Tag Archives: Election 2017

UK: UKIP fully abandons former kinda-sorta-libertarian image, goes full authoritarian xenophobe

Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

"Britain's anti-EU U.K. Independence Party says it will promote social integration by banning face-covering veils and barring the opening of new Islamic schools. The right-wing party on Monday unveiled what it calls an 'integration agenda' ahead of Britain's June 8 election. It includes bans on Sharia law and on wearing face-covering veils in public, and a call for prosecution of parents of girls subjected to female genital mutilation." (04/24/17)


UK: Corbyn says Labour government would suspend Syria airstrikes

Source: Independent [UK]

"A Labour government would move to suspend British air strikes against targets in Syria, Jeremy Corbyn has said. The Labour leader said his foreign policy priority in the country if he became the Prime Minister would be to urge US President Donald Trump to resume international peace talks in Geneva. RAF warplanes are currently hitting Isis targets in Iraq and Syria, though they are not engaging with Assad regime targets. The US has made strikes against the Assad regime under Mr Trump, however." (04/23/17)


Iran: Ahmadinejad "disqualified" from presidential election

Source: Al Jazeera [Qatar]

"Iran's former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been disqualified from running in next month's presidential election, according to state media. The decision on Thursday was taken by the Guardian Council, a clerical body charged with vetting candidates for the May 19 election. In a surprise move, Ahmadinejad registered as a candidate last week, despite previously saying he would not stand. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had previously urged him not to run." (04/20/17)


France: Would-be presidents make last-minute appeals before vote

Source: Reuters

"Candidates in France's presidential election made last-ditch appeals to sway undecided voters on Thursday as the third and fourth placed contenders kept up the pressure on the two hopefuls leading opinion polls. Voters will cast ballots on Sunday in the first round of what has turned into the most unpredictable French election in memory, with four of the 11 candidates within reach of the two places for the run-off on May 7. … A Harris Interactive poll showed [Emmanuel] Macron and [Marine] Le Pen still in front, with the gap a bit wider than before. The centrist inched ahead to 24.5 percent while Le Pen was a bit weaker on 21 percent. Conservative former prime minister Francois Fillon scored 20 percent, meaning he was now gaining on Le Pen. Jean-Luc Melenchon, a far left politician propelled from wildcard to genuine contender thanks to feisty television performances and smart social media campaign, was stable on 19 percent. An Ifop-Fiducial poll showed roughly the same breakdown." (04/20/17)


Ecuador: Assange hints at running for UK parliament

Source: Sydney Morning Herald [Australia]

"WikiLeaks head Julian Assange has hinted he may run for the UK parliament in June's snap election…. On Twitter on Wednesday he asked his followers what they thought of the idea of his running, adding 'the government has detained me without charge for seven years.' His followers strongly approved. … British MPs are not obliged to attend parliament in person. However if elected Assange would be unable to cast a vote unless he could somehow make it to Westminster without being arrested. Assange is holed up in London's Ecuador embassy, where he sought asylum in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden to face [questioning over] rape allegations[, likely to be followed by rendition the US for political prosecution]." (04/19/17)


Indonesia: Voters oust renowned Christian politician in show of Islamist power

Source: Washington Post

"Jakarta’s first Christian governor in generations lost his reelection bid Wednesday, according to unofficial results, after a heated sectarian campaign that underscored the influence of hard-line Islamists in the world’s most populous Muslim nation. Although the results were not final, early counts showed a decisive victory for Anies Baswedan, a Muslim candidate whose supporters portrayed the race as a referendum on the power of Islam in shaping the politics of Indonesia’s capital. … The incumbent governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, was known for tough anti-corruption drives and challenges to hard-line Muslim groups that have taken on an increasingly central role in Indonesian politics. Comments he made last year led to charges of blasphemy that hung over the campaign. His blasphemy trial is scheduled to resume Thursday; if convicted, he faces up to five years in prison." (04/19/17)


GA: Special election for formerly "safe" GOP House seat goes to runoff

Source: Los Angeles Times

"Republicans on Tuesday forced the front-running Democratic candidate for an Atlanta-area House seat into a runoff, extending until June a congressional contest that has become a nationalized referendum on President Trump. With a small percentage of votes uncounted because of a balloting glitch, Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old former Democratic congressional aide and filmmaker making his first run for public office, easily finished in first place. But he narrowly missed the 50%-plus-one-vote mark that would have given him the seat outright. Instead he will meet Republican Karen Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, in the June 20 runoff. … the district is strongly Republican in registration. Until February, the seat was held by Trump’s new Health and Human Services secretary, Tom Price." [editor's note: Republicans are trying to paint this as a victory, but the last time a Democrat won the district was 41 years ago. That Democrat was replaced by Newt Gingrich, and Price won re-election last year with 61% of the vote before moving to the executive branch. For a Democrat to even come close there is a very bad sign for the GOP – TLK] (04/19/17)


Turkey: Opponents seek to annul referendum result as Erdogan's new powers become reality

Source: Reuters

"Turkey's main opposition began a battle on Tuesday to annul a referendum handing President Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers, while the bar association and an international monitor said an illegal move by electoral authorities may have swung the vote. A defiant Erdogan, whose narrow victory exposed the nation's deep divisions, has said Sunday's vote ended all debate on the more powerful presidency he has long sought, and told European observers who criticized it: 'talk to the hand.'" (04/18/17)


A mockery of democracy

Source: spiked
by Jacob Furedi

"When, on Monday morning, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan retired to his newly built $600million, 1,100-room presidential palace, his sense of victory would have been somewhat muted. Yes, he had secured victory in Turkey’s constitutional referendum, but it was close: only 51.4 per cent of Turks voted for Erdogan’s proposed changes, while 48.6 per cent stood up to the president with a resounding No. Of course, a victory — however slender — is still a victory, and Erdogan now has a mandate to make 18 amendments to the constitution. By 2019, the office of prime minister will be abolished, and Erdogan will be handed executive power. … this referendum was never truly democratic. Ever since the referendum was proposed, the debate has been undermined by the government’s brutal censorship of its critics. In Turkey, opposition to the government is equated with terrorism. Since the attempted coup last July, 100,000 Turkish officials have been dismissed, and 228 journalists have been thrown in jail — more than in any other country — for questioning the government." (04/18/17)


UK: May to seek snap election for June

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

"UK Prime Minister Theresa May has announced plans to call a snap general election on 8 June. She said Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership following the EU referendum Explaining the decision, Mrs May said: 'The country is coming together but Westminster is not.' There will be a Commons vote on the proposed election on Wednesday — Labour have said they will vote with the government. The prime minister needs Parliament's backing to hold a vote before the next scheduled date of 2020." (04/18/17)