Tag: Elections

Guinea elections: experts recommend removing 2.5 million names from electoral lists.
Middle East & Africa

Guinea elections: experts recommend removing 2.5 million names from electoral lists.

West African experts missioned to help Guinea out of the political crisis recommend removing nearly 2.5 million names from the lists initially selected for a referendum coupled with legislative elections, according to a document consulted by the AFP. This number represents one-third of the file names that was originally intended for a constitutional referendum and parliamentary election scheduled for March 1st.

The government has postponed these consultations at the last moment, in a context of strong tensions, sharp contestation on the part of the opposition and criticisms emanating from the international community. Guinea has been plagued since October by demonstrations against President Alpha Condé’s intention to run for a third term in late 2020. At least thirty-one civilians and a gendarme have been killed since.

“The organization of the referendum on a new Constitution and its coupling with the legislative elections postponed several times were to serve Mr. Condé to carry out his project”,said the opposition. The latter, specifically denouncing an electoral file rigged and disproportionate to the country’s population, had decided to boycott the polls of March 1st.

A few days before that date, she had been supported by the International Organization of Francophonie, which had accompanied the electoral process, which had deemed 2.49 million names on the electoral lists “problematic”. After the deferral of votes on March 1st, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), of which Guinea is a member, dispatched an expert mission, hoping to reach a reliable file allowing transparent consultations in which the opposition could participate.

These experts noted that, on the list of 7.76 million voters communicated by the Guinean electoral commission, 2.44 million “have no supporting documents”, indicates a document transmitted to this commission. “The mission strongly recommends the withdrawal” of these voters, according to the document. It also notes more than 38,000 cases of potential duplication on the lists and recommends that these cases be reviewed for further validation.

The electoral commission adopted the experts’ recommendations, said its president Amadou Salifou Kébé on Facebook. “We will implement the recommendations tomorrow or the day after tomorrow,” he added, without any indication of the effect that such an implementation would have on the new electoral calendar.

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Burning failure for Bloomberg, despite his war gains.

Burning failure for Bloomberg, despite his war gains.

Bloomberg only lasted 101 days and spent more than $ 550 million on advertising, a historic record for a political campaign.

 With a team of more than 2,000 employees hired for the campaign, local offices, travel, the bill could be close to the absolute record of 737 million spent by Barack Obama for his re-election in 2011-12.

 “Mike Bloomberg has bet that his immense fortune could offer him the Democratic nomination. He lost,” said Doug Muzzio, professor of political science at Baruch College.

 Bloomberg entered the campaign very late, on November 24, nine months after Bernie Sanders and seven after Joe Biden, why did the former mayor of New York wait too long?

 James Thurber, a professor at American University, even if Mike Bloomberg had presented himself earlier, “some of the same structural problems  linked to his personality, would have already been there”.

 For John Zogby, political analyst, the decision to skip the first four ballots left an impression of arrogance. “If you want to be president, you have to campaign humbly in Iowa, New Hampshire, you have to knock on doors. This is how the system works.”

“The first reason for  Mike Bloombergs’ failure is the candidate Mike Bloomberg,” Doug Muzzio added. “He’s boring, technocratic, not exhilarating. Politicians usually connect with people. Not Mike Bloomberg.”

The entrepreneur did not seize the two windows offered to him by the Democratic Party during the two debates on February 19 and 25, going so far as to modify the rules for participation.

 For Lincoln Mitchell, a professor at Columbia University, these two halftone outings were a turning point and exposed him. “If he hadn’t been on stage, the nomination contest would be very different today.”

 In addition to his criticized performances, his presence has also made him a prime target for his rivals, offering a welcome respite to Joe Biden, so far regularly attacked during these debates, Lincoln Mitchell underlined.

Even if the element was not decisive, the memory of his security policy at the head of New York, considered discriminatory by many, also played a role.

 “He was making a breakthrough among African American voters, but it was going to continue to pursue him,” said Lincoln Mitchell, in particular facing Joe Biden, whose image is very directly associated with that of Barack Obama.

Another problem, by positioning himself in the center, Mike Bloomberg joined a path already well congested by candidates who all presented themselves as an alternative to the program of Bernie Sanders.

 “He hurt (Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar) by trying to seduce the same audience,” observes James Thurber, “but it was also detrimental to him when it came to distinguishing himself from Joe Biden.”

 After indicating that he was not going to stay in the race late enough, the man who made his fortune through market terminals finally withdrew the day after the first elections in which he participated.

“The fact that he supports Biden is a huge boost for the Democratic Party,” said James Thurber. “Now the crucial question is whether he will use his means to help him, because Biden does not have much money.”

 During the three months that the Bloomberg campaign lasted, it was often presented as innovative, notably for its investment in social networks.

 “There was nothing revolutionary in his campaign or his approach,” said Doug Muzzio. “What was revolutionary was the ability to finance it.”

“What history will remember is an anecdote,” he said, “which will say: Mike Bloomberg in 2020, three-quarters of a billion dollars and a handful of delegates.”

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Netanyahu announces election victory
Middle East & Africa

Netanyahu announces election victory

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his victory in the general election in Israel. According to polls at the exit of polling stations, his party is not much ahead of his main rival Beni Ganz.
Shortly after publishing the first exit poll results, Netanyahu posted a photograph on his Twitter on which he sits at a table surrounded by his supporters. The picture is accompanied by the caption: “A huge victory for Israel.”
He later said that he had agreed with leaders of right-wing and religious parties to meet on March 3 to form a stable and strong government.
“This is a great victory for the right-wing camp led by Likud. We went through several difficult electoral campaigns, and it’s time to end the series of elections and form a government,” Netanyahu said, speaking to his supporters at the party’s campaign headquarters in Tel Aviv.
“Our opponents said that the Netanyahu era is over, but we gathered all our strength and turned the situation around. We turned lemons into lemonade,” he added.

According to the latest data, Likud is gaining 30.9% of the vote, which is equivalent to 36 seats in the Knesset. The opposition bloc Kakhol-Lavan is gaining 23.6% – about 28 seats.

If the results of the polls correctly reflect the results of the vote, Netanyahu lacks one seat for the majority in the Knesset, in which there are only 120 seats.

Likud hopes for the support of other right-wing parties to jointly overcome the threshold of 61 seats necessary for the formation of a coalition government.

Exit polls came as a surprise to many, as public opinion polls on the eve of the election showed equal chances for the two main candidates, another deadlock confrontation and the possibility of another fourth election.
Image caption Netanyahu is sometimes called the “wizard” for his ability to get votes contrary to skeptic forecasts. In the photo, he and his wife Sarah
Kahol-Lavan leader Beni Ganz did not admit defeat, but noted that he was not satisfied with the results of exit polls.

“I understand and share your feelings of frustration and pain, because this is not the result we wanted,” he said.
According to Ganz, Israel “needs unity, reconciliation is needed, it needs a leader who unites people, and this is exactly what we will continue to offer the Israeli people.

The head of the Our Home Israel Party Avigdor Lieberman, in turn, stressed that he still promises not to enter into a coalition with religious parties.

This is the third election in Israel in less than a year. After the previous two, none of the leaders of the two leading parties was able to form a government.

70-year-old Netanyahu, who heads the Likud right-wing party, is trying to take the prime minister’s chair for the record fifth time.

Two weeks later, however, he is awaiting trial in court on corruption charges. He himself rejects the charges against him, calling them political “witch hunts.”

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Adam Schiff Blamed For Influencing 2020 Election Build-Up

Adam Schiff Blamed For Influencing 2020 Election Build-Up

Representative Adam Schiff has been blamed for leaking classified information on Russian interference in the 2020U.S. election. President Donald Trump has accused him of doing so to hurt Democratic presidential front-runner Bernie Sanders’ election campaign.

Trump denied to media sources that he did not know any briefing through American intelligence services who have said to have share data on how Russia was aiming to boost the campaign of Sanders. Bernie Sanders is a U.S. senator from Vermont, and is said to have called for a probe into Schiff for the leak. Schiff, a Democrat, denied the allegation.

It is being confirmed through the American intelligence sources that Russia is actually trying to indulge in misinformation and propaganda campaigns to push for Sanders and Trump to get through the re-election. Schiff, who served as the lead prosecutor in Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate, said Trump was seeking to turn attention away from his own actions with the comments.

Schiff, in his defense has said that Trump seems to be trying to get back at him because of his earlier role in the impeachment trial. Schiff has served as the lead prosecutor in Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate. It is also being indicated that Trump is using the classic tactic of diverting the world’s attention from his own involvement in the 2016 election scandal where American agencies had indicated that Moscow had a strong role to play in defaming the prominent candidate Hilary Clinton. The result was that the American voters’ attention shifted to Trump.

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Iran Blames Virus Outbreak For Low Election Turnout
Middle East & Africa

Iran Blames Virus Outbreak For Low Election Turnout

Bitten by the unpopularity bug, Iran has faced a poor turnout in its 2020 parliamentary election attempt. The poll turnout showed at 42percent. Authorities are still averting the responsibility of poor governance due to which the civilian population is refusing to vote for any of the nominations standing for the election.

The population is not happy with the way Tehran has dealt with mounting crises, one after the other. Iran has been faced with growing isolation from the west and Europe. The result has been that the economy has had to suffer set back. Iran is an essentially import dependent country. Threats of conflict over its nuclear standoff with the United States had led to an increase in gasoline prices, burning a hole in the pocket of the civilian population.

Undeniably, there is a pronounced increase in discontent at home. The turnout has been therefore seen as a referendum on the popularity of the Islamic republic’s rulers.

In comparison to the recent turnout, the previous years have been much healthier. Turnout was 62% in the 2016 parliamentary vote and 66% of voters cast ballots in 2012.

The results have been tilted towards hardline loyalists close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last say on all state matters. Strangely, however, Khamenei, who on Friday said that voting was “a religious duty”, blamed the low turnout on the “negative propaganda” about the new coronavirus by Iran’s enemies.

“This negative propaganda about the virus began a couple of months ago and grew larger ahead of the election,” said Khamenei, according to his official website Khamenei.ir.

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Iran’s preparation for elections could test the popularity of the ruling party.
Middle East & Africa

Iran’s preparation for elections could test the popularity of the ruling party.

On Thursday, Iran’s parliamentary election campaigns officially ended a day before the vote, which is seen as a crucial test of the popularity of the ruling religious establishment.

Workers went out early in the morning to clean the streets from posters and banners in preparation for the first Iranian elections after US President Donald Trump announced withdrawal from the nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions in 2018.

Analysts said that the turnout in the elections would be a referendum on the Islamic Republic’s leaders dealing with political and economic crises, while Iran faces increasing isolation on the international stage and resentment at home from economic difficulties.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the vote was a “religious duty” but some prominent politicians of the reformist movement in Iran and activists abroad have called for a boycott of the elections. “We need to launch a strong boycott campaign to respond to the regime’s oppressive policies,” said imprisoned human rights activist Narges Mohammadi from her cell in the city of Zanjan in a message posted on her husband’s Facebook page this week.

Iranian activists, opposition groups, and two advocates of boycotting the elections are posting heavily on social media.
The vote to choose the 290 members of parliament will have little impact on Iran’s foreign policy or nuclear policy, which Khamenei sets, and his supporters are likely to dominate parliament.

The Guardians Council, which is responsible for reviewing applications for those who want to run, refused 6850 moderates and conservatives from among the 14,000 applicants who qualified.

“We expect that 50 percent of citizens will participate in the elections,” Council spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhadai told a televised news conference on Wednesday.

The turnout was 62 percent in the 2016 parliamentary elections and 66 percent in the 2012 elections. There are about 58 million Iranians who are eligible to vote.

While supporters of the foundation will vote for hard-line candidates, many Iranian reformists are outraged by the authorities’ handling of protests in November over high fuel prices, which quickly turned into political protests in which protesters demanded “regime change”.

Human rights groups said a campaign led by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to quell the protests had killed hundreds and arrested thousands. Iranian authorities have accused the opponents of the Islamic Republic and foreign enemies of fomenting the unrest.

Many are also angry that a Ukrainian passenger plane was downed in January, killing all 176 people on board, mostly Iranians. After days of denial, the Revolutionary Guards claimed responsibility for the downing of the plane.

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A Chinese company offered Friday to replace thousands of faulty coronavirus test kits after Spanish health authorities – desperate for materials to cope with the world’s second highest COVID-19 death toll.
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