Tag Archives: Election 2017

Turkey: International monitors deliver scathing verdict on referendum

Source: CNN

"International election monitors have delivered a scathing verdict on the conduct of Turkey's controversial referendum to grant expansive new powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Representatives from a coalition of international bodies said the vote took place on an 'unlevel playing field' with the 'yes' campaign dominating media coverage. Voters were not provided with adequate information, opposition voices were muzzled and the rules were changed at the last minute, they said. … Erdogan's margin of victory in the referendum was razor-thin. Despite a state of emergency and a widespread crackdown on dissent, he succeeded in persuading only 51.4% of voters to back his constitutional upheaval." (04/17/17)


France: Macron, Le Pen edge further ahead of Fillon, Melenchon in poll

Source: US News & World Report

"French centrist Emmanuel Macron is set to top the voting in the first round of France's presidential election ahead of far-right leader Marine Le Pen, and their leads over conservative Francois Fillon and leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon have widened, a poll showed on Monday. The Elabe poll for magazine L'Express showed Macron winning 24 percent of the vote on Sunday, up from 23.5 percent the last time the survey was conducted a week ago. Le Pen's score also improved slightly, rising to 23 percent from 22.5 percent, which would put her and Macron on course to face off in a May 7 runoff that he was seen winning by 62 percent to 38 percent." (04/17/17)

Democracy more dead

Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

"'Turkey’s democracy died today,' CNN headlined its report on yesterday’s national constitutional referendum. The measure contained 18 significant changes designed to further empower the country’s already seemingly all-powerful President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. CNN is behind the times. Turkey hasn’t been a real democracy for some time." (04/17/17)


Turkey: Erdogan declares referendum victory, opponents plan challenge

Source: Reuters

"President Tayyip Erdogan declared victory in a referendum on Sunday to grant him sweeping powers in the biggest overhaul of modern Turkish politics, but opponents said the vote was marred by irregularities and they would challenge its result. Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast and its three main cities, including the capital Ankara and the largest city Istanbul, looked set to vote 'No' after a bitter and divisive campaign. Erdogan said 25 million people had supported the proposal to replace Turkey's parliamentary system with an all-powerful presidency, giving the 'Yes' camp 51.5 percent of the vote." (04/16/17)


Turkey: Historic vote on presidential powers under way

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

"Voting is under way in Turkey in a landmark referendum that will determine whether President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be granted sweeping new powers. Mr. Erdogan's supporters say replacing the parliamentary system with an executive presidency would modernize [sic] the country but opponents fear it could lead to greater authoritarianism. A 'Yes' vote could also see Mr. Erdogan remain in office until 2029." (04/16/17)


Lebanon: Aoun adjourns parliament for one month

Source: New York Daily News

"Lebanese President Michel Aoun says he is invoking his constitutional powers to adjourn the parliament for one month. Lebanon's deputies were set to vote in Parliament on Thursday to postpone national elections and extend their term for a third time since 2013. Aoun, addressing the nation from the Presidential Palace, justified the adjournment to give legislators time to craft a new election law and hold elections as quickly as possible." (04/12/17)


Iran: Ahmadinejad registers for presidential polls, defying Khamenei

Source: The Hindu [India]

"Iran’s former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday stunned the country by unexpectedly filing to run in the May presidential election, contradicting a recommendation from the supreme leader to stay out of the race. Mr. Ahmadinejad’s decision could upend an election many believed would be won by moderate President Hassan Rouhani, who negotiated the nuclear deal with world powers. … Mr. Ahmadinejad’s firebrand style could prove appealing for hard-liners seeking a tough-talking candidate who can stand up to U.S. President Donald Trump. His candidacy also could expose the fissures inside Iranian politics that linger since his contested 2009 reelection, which brought massive unrest." (04/12/17)


KS: Republican Estes wins special election for US House seat

Source: ABC News

"Republican Ron Estes has won the special election for the U.S. House seat in the 4th congressional district of Kansas, according to The Associated Press. In this conservative, rural district, which President Donald Trump won by nearly 30 percentage points in November, anxious Republicans needed to make a frantic push in the campaign's final days …. Despite the very conservative district — where a Democrat has not held a House seat since 1994 — and the last-minute GOP star power, Estes won by only a 53-45 percent margin, with 100 percent of precincts reporting." [editor's note: I wouldn't categorize a 53-45 result as "tight" (the original headline characterization) or "only," but it is an interesting shift. Oddly the story doesn't even identify Estes's opponent, James Thompson – TLK] (04/12/17)


Ecuador on edge as both presidential candidates claim victory

Source: stuff [New Zealand]

"Leftist candidate Lenin Moreno appeared to have won Ecuador's presidential election but his opposition rival refused to recognise the results, calling on his supporters to take to the streets to guard against fraud. Sunday's (Monday NZ Time) second-round runoff in the Andean nation of 16 million was being watched closely as a barometer of whether the left, which had dominated South American politics for the past 15 years, could stop a string of right-wing victories across the region. With almost 99 per cent of polling places counted, Moreno had 51 per cent of the vote while conservative banker Guillermo Lasso stood at just under 49 per cent — a difference of about 230,000 votes." (04/04/17)


India: Hardline priest sworn in as head of Uttar Pradesh state

Source: Irish Times [Ireland]

"A hardline Hindu religious leader was sworn in on Sunday as head of India's most populous and politically significant northern Uttar Pradesh state. Yogi Adityanath, facing charges of attempted murder and inciting violence against Muslims, took the oath of office in the provincial capital Lucknow after his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won a landslide victory in provincial elections last week. The 44-year-old was hand-picked by prime minister Narendra Modi, who attended his swearing-in ceremony, despite protests from opposition parties and Muslims, who constitute about 20 per cent of the state's population of more than 204 million, If it was independent, Uttar Pradesh, which sends 80 members to India's parliament, would be the world's fifth most populous country." (03/19/17)