Tag Archives: elections

France: Minister quits over scandal as Macron's presidency bid gathers pace

Source: Reuters

"Centrist Emmanuel Macron's bid for power in France gathered pace on Tuesday when he won support from a junior minister in the Socialist government while the interior minister resigned amid scandal in a new twist to the topsy-turvy presidential campaign. Voters rated Macron as the strongest performer of the five leading candidates who took part in the first debate of the presidential election campaign on Monday night, watched by nearly 10 million viewers, according to snap opinion polls. His front-running status was reinforced by an endorsement from a junior minister in Socialist President Francois Hollande's administration, the first government member openly to back the independent politician in preference to the Socialist candidate, Benoit Hamon." (03/21/17)


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)


Israel: Netanyahu threatens election over rift with finance minister

Source: Bloomberg

"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to call early elections after clashing with his finance minister over the fate of the nation's public broadcaster, roiling the political landscape just hours before he headed to China on a trade trip. Netanyahu told ministers from his Likud party on Saturday that if Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon doesn't agree to scrap plans for a new public broadcaster that has already been set up and keep the old one running, then he will dismantle the government, according to two party members who spoke on condition of anonymity because the conversation was private. … Early elections would come as police gather evidence in two criminal probes against Netanyahu that have weakened him politically and could increase pressure on him to resign should they lead to charges." (03/19/17)


Netherlands: PM Rutte scores big victory over far-right Wilders

Source: Reuters

"Dutch center-right Prime Minister Mark Rutte scored a resounding victory over anti-Islam and anti-EU Geert Wilders in an election on Wednesday, offering huge relief to other governments across Europe facing a wave of nationalism. … With around 95 percent of votes counted, Rutte's VVD Party won 33 of parliament's 150 seats, down from 41 at the last vote in 2012. Wilders was second with 20, the CDA and centrist Democrats 66 tied for third with 19 each, data provided by the ANP news agency showed. At 78 percent, turnout was the highest in a decade in an election that was a test of whether the Dutch wanted to end decades of liberalism and choose a nationalist, anti-immigrant path by voting for Wilders and his promise to 'de-Islamicise' the Netherlands and quit the European Union." (03/16/17)


France: Fillon pleads conspiracy theory after graft charge

Source: Bloomberg

"Francois Fillon told voters he's the victim of a plot, as pollsters assess how far his deepening legal problems have damaged his bid to be France's next president. A day after being charged with embezzlement over his wife's allegedly fake job as a parliamentary aide, the 63-year-old former prime minister insisted on his innocence in a radio interview Wednesday and argued that the courts are being used by his political opponents in the run-up to the first round of voting on April 23. 'Justice is being manipulated against me to prevent me from running,' Fillon told Radio Classique. 'I am innocent.'" (03/15/17)


France: Beleaguered Fillon hit by fresh scandals

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

"Beleaguered French presidential candidate Francois Fillon was put on the defensive again over the weekend following two fresh controversies. Mr Fillon's party apologised on Saturday for tweeting a caricature of rival Emmanuel Macron that Mr Fillon admitted was anti-Semitic. And on Sunday it emerged that he had accepted two suits from a friend worth €13,000 (£11,500; $13,900). France sets a limit of €4,600 that any individual can donate to a candidate. … Mr Fillon was at one point the favourite to win the presidency but his campaign has been hit by a series of scandals, including an investigation into allegations that he paid his wife €831,400 (£710,000; $900,000) of public funds for work she didn't do." (03/12/17)


The efficacy and ethics of voting

Source: Libertarian Institute
by Ben Stone

"As an adult, I have spent a great deal of effort studying the American election cycle and I can say with confidence, the election of 2016 was not unique, but rather a built-in aspect of the design of American politics. When any serious resistance to the powers of DC begin to show themselves, magically a hero appears to speak for the American people and lead them back to freedom. (A freedom that exists in their memory but never in reality.) This great hero always appears as an outsider, yet is actually a hand selected member of the elite. Three times incredibly wealthy and powerful New York businessmen from extremely wealthy and powerful New York families, have emerged to convince middle America that they were the champion of the little man, the trust buster, the hero of the downtrodden, and then they went on to cut backroom deals with the banking and industrial powers to start wars and further rob the wealth of the average American." (03/06/17)


Ecuador: Correa cries wolf, claims he will be persecuted if opposition wins

Source: PanAm Post

"Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa warns that if the opposition candidate Guillermo Lasso wins in the presidential elections, a political persecution will be initiated against him, preventing him from leaving the country. 'If that guy wins [Guillermo Lasso], who is not going to win, he's going to start chasing us … Those people will persecute us if they win the government and my best option will be to stay in the country. Defend my government, my honor, etcetera, and I will beat them again,' the president said during an interview." (03/06/17)


France: Fillon "won't surrender" presidential candidacy despite charges

Source: ABC News

"French conservative candidate Francois Fillon is refusing to quit the presidential race despite receiving a summons Wednesday to face charges of faking parliamentary jobs for his family. Calling the investigation a 'political assassination,' Fillon called on his supporters to 'resist' and said he would leave it up to voters to decide his fate. Once a front-runner in the race for the April-May two-round election, Fillon's chances have slipped since the probe was opened in January. Fillon abruptly canceled a campaign stop Wednesday after receiving the legal summons, prompting media speculation that he would quit the race. 'I will not surrender,' he told reporters at his headquarters later. 'I will not withdraw.'" (03/01/17)


Ecuador: Ruling party to face Guillermo Lasso in second round election

Source: PanAm Post

"Banker and ex-governor Guillermo Lasso will face former vice president Lenin Moreno in an April 2 runoff election. The news came as a great relief to the Ecuadorean opposition, who had feared attempts by the ruling Alianza Pais party to influence or manipulate the outstanding vote count by the National Electoral Council (CNE)." (02/22/17)