Elections

Angola Has an Opportunity to Lead

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A change in leadership often signals a natural time for transformation and, of course, challenges. The first peaceful transition of power in Angola took place in August, with the election of João Lourenço as the new president, replacing long-serving José Eduardo dos Santos, who led the country for thirty-eight years. Eugen Iladi  The National Interest International observers called the election process fair, with the ruling MPLA party taking 61 percent of the votes. In mid-September, the Constitutional Court of Angola ... Read More »

The Domestic Challenge to Kyrgyzstan’s Milestone Election

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While Kyrgyzstan’s 15 October elections are a rare milestone for Central Asian democracy, the campaign is exposing dangerous fault lines. Deirdre Tynan  In the largest city of Osh, the new president will have to face down robust local power brokers, defuse Uzbek-Kyrgyz tensions and re-introduce the rule of law. ICG Kyrgyzstan’s forthcoming presidential elections on 15 October are a milestone for Central Asia: for the first time, a president from the region will voluntarily stand down at the end of ... Read More »

Calls for Theresa May to reveal ‘legal advice’ she received on stopping Brexit

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Theresa May is facing calls to publish legal advice she received that is believed to state that parliament could stop Brexit The country’s top legal experts apparently gave the Prime Minister advice saying that leaving the European Union could be halted if MPs judge that a change of mind is in the national interest. Shehab Khan The Independent msn Prominent lawyer Jessica Simor QC, from Matrix chambers, has written to Ms May asking her to release any legal advice she ... Read More »

If Catalonia goes independent, these places could be next

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Catalonia might be the separatist region making headlines at the moment but Europe has many other separatist movements that are closely watching developments in northeastern… Holly Ellyatt  CNBC Separatist movements in Europe can range from small townships to entire regions and the motivations for wanting to go it alone are equally as diverse encompassing linguistic and cultural differences as well as economic and historical… While some separatist movements harbor dreams of gaining just a bit more autonomy from the national ... Read More »

Why Spain needs to negotiate with Catalonia

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There is a Spanish proverb that a difficult choice puts one between the sword and the wall (entre la espada y la pared) Ryan D Griffiths ABC Spain is currently facing such a choice with Catalonia Should it negotiate with Catalonia knowing that doing so may result in the secession of the region and set a precedent for others? Or should it continue to stand firm in the face of the independence demands while the tension builds, conflict continues, and ... Read More »

How to Ensure a Credible, Peaceful Presidential Vote in Kenya

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Following the annulment of August’s historic vote, Kenya must hold repeat presidential elections by 1 November. But rising tensions and the threat of an opposition boycott could result in missing the vote’s deadline and risk a constitutional crisis Both political camps must move away from harsh words and find mutually acceptable electoral reforms to allow elections to proceed. ICG 1. Overview Kenya must hold repeat presidential elections before 1 November, after the country’s Supreme Court annulled a first vote that ... Read More »

Angela’s ashes: 5 takeaways from the German election

BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 24: (EDITOR'S NOTE: This image was converted from color to black and white) German Chancellor and Christian Democrat (CDU) Angela Merkel smiles after leaving her election party and reacting to initial results that give the party 33,1% of the vote, giving it a first place finish, in German federal elections on September 24, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. Chancellor Merkel is seeking a fourth term and coming weeks will likely be dominated by negotiations between parties over the next coalition government. (Photo by Alexander Koerner/Getty Images)

The next few years won’t be pretty Angela Merkel will remain German chancellor. That widely anticipated outcome was about the only unsurprising element of Sunday’s German election. Matthew Karnitschnig  Politico The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) finished much stronger than most observers dared predict, becoming the first unabashedly racist, anti-foreigner party to sit in Germany’s parliament since the days of Hitler. The Social Democrats (SPD) all but imploded, opting to go into opposition to lick their wounds rather than risk another ... Read More »

Biometric Verification Not Available

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The Secretary of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad, announced on Saturday that the biometric verification machines and the electronic voting machines would not be used in the upcoming general elections in 2018. The Nation A sample of the biometric verification machines was used in the recent NA-120 elections in Lahore, and the results were not satisfactory. Out of the entire voting population of the area, almost 12 percent of the votes could not be verified ... Read More »

What the stunning success of AfD means for Germany and Europe

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The radical right party profited from the fact immigration was the number one election issue. But can its breakthrough last? Cas Mudde The Guardian n 1991 Belgium had its (first) black Sunday, when the populist radical right Flemish Block gained 6.8% of the national vote. Since then many other western European countries have gone through a similar experience, from Denmark to Switzerland. And now, even the ever stable Germany has its own schwarzer Sonntag, and it’s blacker than most people ... Read More »

The Rise and Fall of Leftist Populism in Germany

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What happened to Martin Schulz? After Germany’s Martin Schulz stepped down as president of the European Parliament in late 2016, he embarked on a nationwide tour of his home country. Paul Hockenos The Atlantic His aim, he said, was to better understand the concerns of ordinary Germans.In speeches before packed union halls, beer tents, and farmers markets, Schulz, a prominent member of the troubled Social Democratic Party (SPD), touted the classic values of social democracy—fairness and dignity. Such values, in ... Read More »

Why is Canada supporting Africa’s most ruthless dictator?

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September 7, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Pambazuka News — After amending the constitution to be able to run indefinitely Paul Kagame recently won 98.63% of votes in Rwanda’s presidential election. Yves Engler Links In response Canada’s High Commissioner Sara Hradecky tweeted: “Congratulations to Rwandans for voting in peaceful presidential election” and “Canada congratulates Paul Kagame on his inauguration today as President of Rwanda”. The latter Tweet was picked up by the state propaganda organ ... Read More »

The secret to Germany’s scientific excellence

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With a national election this month, Germany proves that foresight and stability can power research. Alison Abbott Nature  Ask any German researcher why the country’s science base is blooming, and they are bound to mention Chancellor Angela Merkel. The world’s most powerful woman, they say, has not forgotten her roots as an East German physicist. During a decade of global financial turbulence, her government has increased annual science budgets in a stable, predictable, quintessentially German way. It has spurred competition ... Read More »

Democrats exploit GOP ethics woes in battle for the House

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Some longtime Republicans are dogged by ethical questions, and Democrats believe their seats are now within reach. ELENA SCHNEIDER and AUSTIN WRIGHT Politico Duncan Hunter’s Southern California district isn’t normally a serious target for Democrats. But a criminal investigation into allegations of campaign funds for personal use — including flying his pet rabbit across the country — isn’t exactly normal either. Hunter is one of a handful of House Republicans in ethical hot water that could put their typically safe seats at ... Read More »

50 years of hurt: Togo protesters vow to continue

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After years of government stalling, demonstrators are demanding electoral reforms, including the reinstatement of term limits. BY FARIDA NABOUREMA African Arguments On Saturday 19 August, shocking images of the bodies of protesters being carried on stretchers started flooding social media in Togo. That day, thousands of citizens had taken to the streets to demand democratic reforms and the restoration of the country’s 1992 constitution. Calling for change after half a century of rule by the Gnassingbe family, demonstrators marched to chants of ... Read More »

Washington lobbying firms receive subpoenas as part of Russia probe

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Lawyers for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election, have issued subpoenas to several prominent Washington lobbying firms as the probe examines the finances of two former Trump campaign advisers, according to people with knowledge of the requests. Carol D. Leonnig and Tom Hamburger  The Washington Post The subpoenas asked the firms to answer questions and provide records regarding their interactions with the consulting firms led by Michael Flynn, a former national ... Read More »

Kenya Should Come Together After its Contested Elections

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Contrary to the deadly election of 2007, Kenya’s pivotal and highly-anticipated 2017 national and local polls passed without major outbreaks of violence. ICG But in order to build on this achievement, Kenyans must take further steps to overcome ethnic divisions and work toward greater national unity and inclusive governance. Despite claims of irregularity and the continuing risk of unrest, Kenya’s pivotal national and local elections on 8 August passed off in a largely peaceful manner. Millions of voters braved the elements and ... Read More »