Elections

Erdogan and Turkey’s Elections

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When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a presidential and parliamentary election June 24—jumping the gun by more than a year—the outcome seemed foreordained: the country is under a state of emergency, Erdogan has imprisoned more than 50,000 of… Conn Hallinan CounterPunch But Erdogan’s seemingly overwhelming strength is not as solid as it appears, and the moves the President is making to insure a victory next month may come back to haunt him in the long run. There is ... Read More »

Venezuela’s Maduro gets support from Erdogan, Maradona ahead of vote

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CARACAS/BARQUISIMETO, Venezuela (Reuters) – Venezuela’s diplomatically isolated president got a show of support from his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan and Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona on Thursday ahead of a… Alexandra Ulmer, Corina Pons Reuters The United States, the European Union and major Latin American countries have criticized Sunday’s vote in which leftist President Nicolas Maduro is likely to win re-election to a… Critics say Maduro, a 55-year-old former bus driver who has presided over an economic meltdown, is virtually ... Read More »

President Maduro’s Likely Re-election in Breadline Venezuela

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As tens of thousands of Venezuelans stream into neighbouring countries, President Nicolás Maduro appears set to win elections on 20 May. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst for the Andes Phil Gunson looks ahead to the vote and its aftermath and explains why the crisis is likely to deepen. Phil Gunson ICG What is at stake in the 20 May elections? These elections are for the presidency of the republic and for regional legislatures in each of Venezuela’s 23 ... Read More »

Italy’s populists seek collision course with Brussels

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‘Italexit is back’ as League and 5Stars prep for government. By JACOPO BARIGAZZI AND GIULIA PARAVICINI Politico Promise the sky during the campaign. Come back down to earth when it’s time to actually govern. That’s the timeless political strategy adopted by office-seekers across the globe. Not this week in Italy. The two populist parties seeking to form a government spent the months before the March election sanding down their rhetoric against the euro. But as they get ready to take charge, their… Italy’s populists ... Read More »

Can Turkey’s opposition finally unite and challenge Erdoğan?

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June 24, 2018 instead of late 2019: that’s the date decided for Turkey’s “snap presidential and parliamentary elections”, called by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s political partner from Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahçeli. Authors: The Conversation The elections are needed by the incumbent president, who wants to maintain his position and stay in power. AKP’s weaknesses Erdoğan has to deal with several issues that have recently weakened his party and leadership both domestically and abroad. Turkey’s military intervention in Syria has ... Read More »

Union election funds to be slashed under NSW Government plan

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The New South Wales Government is again going into battle against unions, to try to slash their influence on election campaigns. Sarah Gerathy ABC Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Tuesday announced an overhaul of electoral funding laws, which would more than halve the amount of money unions and other third parties are allowed to spend on state elections. Under current laws, the amount that third parties can spend on election campaigns is capped at $1.2 million each, but the legislation proposes ... Read More »

What to Expect from Putin’s Fourth Term

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And will he begin to groom a successor? Moscow was the scene of two elaborate celebrations this week. Angela Stent The National Interest On May 7, Vladimir Putin took the oath of office in the Kremlin for his fourth term as president, describing Russia as a “country of magnificent victories and accomplishments” and vowing to “do everything to build up Russia’s might, prosperity and glory.” On May 9, Russia commemorated the victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War with ... Read More »

What to Expect of President Putin’s Foreign Policy in His New Term

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Many wonder what the world should expect now that Russia’s Vladimir Putin has been re-elected for what is supposed to be his final term. Anna Arutunyan ICG Understanding what motivates the Kremlin could help Western policymakers build an approach toward Russia that combines pressure with opportunities for engagement. A particular solemnity cloaked the opening ceremony of Vladimir Putin’s fourth presidential term on 7 May as central Moscow was cordoned off for his motorcade’s procession to the Kremlin. Silence enveloped not ... Read More »

For Timor-Leste, another election and hopes for an end to crippling deadlock

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For the last year, the people of Timor-Leste have expected – and received – little from their government except deadlock. Jerry Courvisanos The Conversation From a political standpoint, there’s been gridlock for nearly a year after the Fretilin party eked out a victory in parliamentary elections last July, kicking independence hero Xanana Gusmao’s National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT) party out of power for the first time in a decade. However, Fretilin’s minority government found itself blocked at every turn ... Read More »

The Making of a Kurdish Mandela

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By keeping a key challenger in jail, Turkey’s government risks making Selahattin Demirtas an even more popular and formidable opponent. Henri J. Barkey FP The Turkish government has just called snap presidential and parliamentary elections, which will be held on June 24. Most analysts are predicting that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) will sail to victory primarily because of the weakness of the main opposition parties and… He also appears to have developed ... Read More »

In Lebanon’s Elections, More of the Same is Mostly Good News

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Lebanon’s elections yielded few surprises, says Crisis Group’s Lebanon, Syria and Iraq Project Director Heiko Wimmen in this Q&A. Hizbollah is slightly stronger and its main rival weaker. But the polls do represent a return to normalcy. Heiko Wimmen ICG Who won and who lost in the Lebanese elections? The 6 May elections readjusted the political balance but brought no fundamental change. As before, no government can be formed without Hizbollah. To be effective in government the Shiite Islamist movement, ... Read More »

Iraq’s Pre-election Optimism Includes a New Partnership with Saudi Arabia

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After the defeat of the Islamic State in 2017, normality is returning to Iraq ahead of the 12 May parliamentary elections. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst for the Arabian Peninsula Elizabeth Dickinson says the country’s cautious optimism includes hopes of a new partnership with Riyadh, balancing Baghdad’s strong ties with Tehran. Elizabeth Dickinson ICG First: the facts. What is happening on 12 May, who is competing? And any prognosis as to the outcome? This is the fourth time ... Read More »

Sting in the tail of strict High Court ruling

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Time this week seems to be on the government’s side: the Treasurer on Tuesday handed out a budget that promised significant tax cuts, and a return to surplus, largely through a series of complex choices about timing. Rosalind Dixon Brisbane Times And the High Court ruled Wednesday that ALP Senator Katy Gallagher was incapable of being chosen for the Senate at the last federal election, because at the time she nominated as a candidate the UK Home Secretary had not ... Read More »

Libya’s Unhealthy Focus on Personalities

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The surprise electoral defeat of one Libyan leader and the hospitalisation of a rival show the error of relying solely on individuals to achieve national reconciliation in Libya. All sides in Libya’s conflict should focus instead on making institutions more representative and improving governance. ICG What’s new? Two events have shaken up Libyan politics: the election of Muslim Brotherhood affiliate Khaled Mishri as president of the Tripoli-based High State Council, replacing Abderrahman Swehli, who had held the post since 2016, ... Read More »

What You Need To Know About The Special Election In Arizona

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Democrat Hiral Tipirneni’s race against Republican Debbie Lesko has been surprisingly close. Daniel Marans HuffPost Tuesday is Election Day in Arizona’s 8th Congressional District, where Democrats have mounted a serious bid to flip a GOP-held House seat in a district Donald Trump won by 21 percentage points. Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, a health care advocate and physician, is battling Republican Debbie Lesko, a conservative former state senator, for a seat representing an area that encompasses a swath of Phoenix’s western and northern ... Read More »

Cuba nominates Castro replacement Miguel Díaz-Canel

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Cuba’s parliament has picked Miguel Díaz-Canel as the sole candidate to succeed Raúl Castro, 86, bringing the family’s decades-long rule to an end. BBC Mr Castro took over as president from his ailing brother Fidel in 2006. The National Assembly, the country’s legislative body, will vote on the nomination but Mr Díaz-Canel is almost certain to be confirmed. Mr Castro is expected to remain a powerful influence in the communist state even after he steps down. He will stay on ... Read More »