Showing posts tagged as "presidential elections"

Showing posts tagged presidential elections

9 Sep
Grace Mugabe poised for political power in Zimbabwe | David Smith
Even as he received red carpet treatment in Beijing last month, lauded by China as an “old friend” and “renowned leader”, Robert Mugabe was in danger of being upstaged by a colourful, charismatic presence at his side. His first lady, Grace Mugabe, sporting a series of vivid outfits during the official visit to China, was once a lowly member of the presidential typing pool. Then she caught Mugabe’s eye. Now the woman better known to headline writers as “DisGrace” or “First Shopper” is making a surprise entrance on to the political stage and, it is speculated, might be central to her autocratic husband’s plan to build a dynasty.
The 49-year-old was recently nominated as leader of the ruling Zanu-PF’s women’s league, as well as having a place on its central committee. She insists she is ready. “The time has come to show people what I am made of,” she told a crowd in Mazowe, the Zimbabwe Standard reported. “People should learn to wait for their time… I had never dreamed of entering politics, but you have approached me and I am ready to go.”
FULL ARTICLE (The Observer)
Photo: GovernmentZA/GCIS/flickr

Grace Mugabe poised for political power in Zimbabwe | David Smith

Even as he received red carpet treatment in Beijing last month, lauded by China as an “old friend” and “renowned leader”, Robert Mugabe was in danger of being upstaged by a colourful, charismatic presence at his side. His first lady, Grace Mugabe, sporting a series of vivid outfits during the official visit to China, was once a lowly member of the presidential typing pool. Then she caught Mugabe’s eye. Now the woman better known to headline writers as “DisGrace” or “First Shopper” is making a surprise entrance on to the political stage and, it is speculated, might be central to her autocratic husband’s plan to build a dynasty.

The 49-year-old was recently nominated as leader of the ruling Zanu-PF’s women’s league, as well as having a place on its central committee. She insists she is ready. “The time has come to show people what I am made of,” she told a crowd in Mazowe, the Zimbabwe Standard reported. “People should learn to wait for their time… I had never dreamed of entering politics, but you have approached me and I am ready to go.”

FULL ARTICLE (The Observer)

Photo: GovernmentZA/GCIS/flickr

2 Sep
LINK

Political vacuum in Afghanistan | All media content | DW.DE | 02.09.2014

Political vacuum in Afghanistan | Waslat Hasrat-Nazimi

DW’s Reporter reports on insecurity as the political uncertainty in post-election Afghanistan continues.

COMPLETE VIDEO (Deutsche Welle)

11 Sep
Somalia elects a new president | Boston.com
By Abdi Guled
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Somalia’s Parliament elected a new president of the country’s fledgling government Monday, a move that members of the international community say is a key step toward the east African nation’s transition from a war-torn failed state to a nation with an effective government.
FULL ARTICLE (AP via Boston.com)
Photo: Jesse B. Awalt/Wikimedia Commons

Somalia elects a new president | Boston.com

By Abdi Guled

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Somalia’s Parliament elected a new president of the country’s fledgling government Monday, a move that members of the international community say is a key step toward the east African nation’s transition from a war-torn failed state to a nation with an effective government.

FULL ARTICLE (AP via Boston.com)

Photo: Jesse B. Awalt/Wikimedia Commons

Somalia’s new parliament to elect president | CNBC
By Abdi Guled
The International Crisis Group think tank has said the current political process has been as undemocratic as the Transitional Federal Government structure it seeks to replace, “with unprecedented levels of political interference, corruption and intimidation.”
The U.S. government urged Somali lawmakers to act with courage, determination, and integrity in conducting a fair and transparent election.
FULL ARTICLE (AP via CNBC)
Photo: Sgt. G.D. Robinson/Wikimedia Commons

Somalia’s new parliament to elect president | CNBC

By Abdi Guled

The International Crisis Group think tank has said the current political process has been as undemocratic as the Transitional Federal Government structure it seeks to replace, “with unprecedented levels of political interference, corruption and intimidation.”

The U.S. government urged Somali lawmakers to act with courage, determination, and integrity in conducting a fair and transparent election.

FULL ARTICLE (AP via CNBC)

Photo: Sgt. G.D. Robinson/Wikimedia Commons

3 Jul
Will Venezuela’s Violence Prompt Change in Govt, or Prevent it? | InSight Crime
By Hannah Stone
Days after the official launch of the government’s new security plan, which promises security to all Venezuelans, Caracas saw its most violent weekend of the year, with 64 murders. The capital has become the most dangerous city in South America, with homicides shooting up to 108 per 100,000 last year, while the country as a whole saw its most violent year ever.
The story of one of those killed on the weekend of June 23-24 gives an indication of the petty and indiscriminate nature of much of the violence. As El Universal reported, Yoiz Valor Rebolledo was 23 years old. He had moved from Caracas six months before to seek a better quality of life, working as a taxi driver in a city in the interior. He returned to the capital on Friday, with his pregnant girlfriend, to visit his mother. Returning from a party early Saturday morning he was stopped at a traffic light and shot dead. The killers stole his motorbike, wallet, and shoes.
FULL ARTICLE (InSight)
Photo: InSight Crime

Will Venezuela’s Violence Prompt Change in Govt, or Prevent it? | InSight Crime

By Hannah Stone

Days after the official launch of the government’s new security plan, which promises security to all Venezuelans, Caracas saw its most violent weekend of the year, with 64 murders. The capital has become the most dangerous city in South America, with homicides shooting up to 108 per 100,000 last year, while the country as a whole saw its most violent year ever.

The story of one of those killed on the weekend of June 23-24 gives an indication of the petty and indiscriminate nature of much of the violence. As El Universal reported, Yoiz Valor Rebolledo was 23 years old. He had moved from Caracas six months before to seek a better quality of life, working as a taxi driver in a city in the interior. He returned to the capital on Friday, with his pregnant girlfriend, to visit his mother. Returning from a party early Saturday morning he was stopped at a traffic light and shot dead. The killers stole his motorbike, wallet, and shoes.

FULL ARTICLE (InSight)

Photo: InSight Crime

26 Jun
What Morsy Must Do to Avoid Being Egypt’s President in Name Only | TIME
By Tony Karon
Egypt marked a milestone on Sunday by announcing the election of Mohamed Morsy as its first civilian president — but it’s a very early milestone on what remains a long, perilous journey toward democracy. Morsy was democratically elected and will enjoy the symbolic trappings of the presidency — he began working in the presidential palace on Monday — but he won’t have many of the powers typically associated with the office. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) essentially switched the chairs around, stripping Morsy of most of the key prerogatives of executive power enjoyed by his predecessors, leaving him with the title of president but powers more typically enjoyed by a prime minister in a presidential system. The democratically elected presidency does, however, enjoy unprecedented legitimacy, and therefore becomes a perch from which Morsy can press for a more thorough democratic transition — but only if he corrects some of the political mistakes made by the Muslim Brotherhood since the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak.
FULL ARTICLE (TIME)
Photo: Daniel Berehulak/ Getty Images

What Morsy Must Do to Avoid Being Egypt’s President in Name Only | TIME

By Tony Karon

Egypt marked a milestone on Sunday by announcing the election of Mohamed Morsy as its first civilian president — but it’s a very early milestone on what remains a long, perilous journey toward democracy. Morsy was democratically elected and will enjoy the symbolic trappings of the presidency — he began working in the presidential palace on Monday — but he won’t have many of the powers typically associated with the office. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) essentially switched the chairs around, stripping Morsy of most of the key prerogatives of executive power enjoyed by his predecessors, leaving him with the title of president but powers more typically enjoyed by a prime minister in a presidential system. The democratically elected presidency does, however, enjoy unprecedented legitimacy, and therefore becomes a perch from which Morsy can press for a more thorough democratic transition — but only if he corrects some of the political mistakes made by the Muslim Brotherhood since the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak.

FULL ARTICLE (TIME)

Photo: Daniel Berehulak/ Getty Images

25 Jun
Armenia: An Opportunity for Statesmanship
Yerevan/Tbilisi/Istanbul/Brussels  |  25 Jun 2012
Unless Armenia’s next presidential election is fair and gives its winner a strong political mandate, the government will lack the legitimacy needed to implement comprehensive reforms, tackle corruption and negotiate a peaceful end to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Armenia: An Opportunity for Statesmanship, the latest report from the International Crisis Group, examines the challenges before a pivotal presidential vote early next year that will determine whether the country has shed its more than a decade and a half of fraud-tainted electoral history. Whoever is elected must accelerate implementation of much-needed governance and economic reforms and help restore  momentum to diplomatic efforts to tackle the long-running territorial conflict with Azerbaijan that poses a danger to regional stability.
“Another election perceived as seriously flawed would further distract from peace talks and severe economic problems”, says Lawrence Sheets, Crisis Group’s Caucasus Project Director. “The likely consequences would then be even more citizens opting out of democratic politics, as well as increased emigration”.
May’s competitive parliamentary elections produced positive signs, with more balanced media coverage and widely respected rights of free assembly, expression and movement. They also exposed longstanding issues. Widespread abuse of administrative resources; inflated voters lists; vote-buying; lack of sufficient redress for election violations; and reports of multiple voting have damaged trust in government bodies and institutions. It is crucial that the February 2013 vote, in which President Serzh Sargsyan will likely seek a second term, becomes “the cleanest elections in Armenian history”, as he had already promised the 2012 polls would be.
Though the president initially took bold steps, most noteworthy among them an attempt to normalise relations with Turkey, broader change has been slow. Political courage is needed to overhaul a deeply entrenched system in which big business and politics are intertwined, and transparency is lacking.
The economy remains unhealthily reliant on financial remittances from Armenians abroad. Rates of emigration and seasonal migration out of the country are alarmingly high. There have been few serious efforts to combat high-level corruption. The executive branch still enjoys overwhelming, virtually unchecked, powers. The judicial system is perceived as neither independent nor competent, and mechanisms to hold authorities accountable are largely ineffective. Media freedom is inadequate, with a glaring lack of diversity in television, from which most Armenians get their news.
To address these shortcomings and establish the basis for a free and fair election, the president should take the lead in encouraging authorities to pass a new criminal code, hold officials involved in corruption and elections abuses to account and increase civilian control of the police and independence of the judiciary. International partners should provide technical and financial assistance and hold the government accountable for any backsliding in reform.
“President Sargsyan has a window of opportunity, in advance of the 2013 elections, to demonstrate statesmanship and make Armenia a better place to live”, says Sabine Freizer, Crisis Group’s Europe Program Director. “A failure to embrace both immediate and long-term structural reforms would neither capitalise on Armenia’s strengths nor make for a good presidential campaign strategy”.
FULL REPORT

Armenia: An Opportunity for Statesmanship

Yerevan/Tbilisi/Istanbul/Brussels  |  25 Jun 2012

Unless Armenia’s next presidential election is fair and gives its winner a strong political mandate, the government will lack the legitimacy needed to implement comprehensive reforms, tackle corruption and negotiate a peaceful end to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Armenia: An Opportunity for Statesmanship, the latest report from the International Crisis Group, examines the challenges before a pivotal presidential vote early next year that will determine whether the country has shed its more than a decade and a half of fraud-tainted electoral history. Whoever is elected must accelerate implementation of much-needed governance and economic reforms and help restore  momentum to diplomatic efforts to tackle the long-running territorial conflict with Azerbaijan that poses a danger to regional stability.

“Another election perceived as seriously flawed would further distract from peace talks and severe economic problems”, says Lawrence Sheets, Crisis Group’s Caucasus Project Director. “The likely consequences would then be even more citizens opting out of democratic politics, as well as increased emigration”.

May’s competitive parliamentary elections produced positive signs, with more balanced media coverage and widely respected rights of free assembly, expression and movement. They also exposed longstanding issues. Widespread abuse of administrative resources; inflated voters lists; vote-buying; lack of sufficient redress for election violations; and reports of multiple voting have damaged trust in government bodies and institutions. It is crucial that the February 2013 vote, in which President Serzh Sargsyan will likely seek a second term, becomes “the cleanest elections in Armenian history”, as he had already promised the 2012 polls would be.

Though the president initially took bold steps, most noteworthy among them an attempt to normalise relations with Turkey, broader change has been slow. Political courage is needed to overhaul a deeply entrenched system in which big business and politics are intertwined, and transparency is lacking.

The economy remains unhealthily reliant on financial remittances from Armenians abroad. Rates of emigration and seasonal migration out of the country are alarmingly high. There have been few serious efforts to combat high-level corruption. The executive branch still enjoys overwhelming, virtually unchecked, powers. The judicial system is perceived as neither independent nor competent, and mechanisms to hold authorities accountable are largely ineffective. Media freedom is inadequate, with a glaring lack of diversity in television, from which most Armenians get their news.

To address these shortcomings and establish the basis for a free and fair election, the president should take the lead in encouraging authorities to pass a new criminal code, hold officials involved in corruption and elections abuses to account and increase civilian control of the police and independence of the judiciary. International partners should provide technical and financial assistance and hold the government accountable for any backsliding in reform.

“President Sargsyan has a window of opportunity, in advance of the 2013 elections, to demonstrate statesmanship and make Armenia a better place to live”, says Sabine Freizer, Crisis Group’s Europe Program Director. “A failure to embrace both immediate and long-term structural reforms would neither capitalise on Armenia’s strengths nor make for a good presidential campaign strategy”.

FULL REPORT

21 Jun
Egypt courts the unknown in journey to democracy | The National
By Bradley Hope
In the past week Egypt’s highest court has ruled that parliament should be dissolved and Ahmed Shafiq, Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, should be allowed to run for president.
At the same time, it has notably stood aside as the country’s interim military rulers granted themselves full legislative powers and control of appointments to the committee that will rewrite the country’s constitution.
Reformist judges and former legislators say the behaviour of Egypt’s judiciary has enabled the military to carry out a “soft coup” that has upended Egypt’s democratic transition.
FULL ARTICLE (The National)
Photo: Gigi Ibrahim/ Flickr

Egypt courts the unknown in journey to democracy | The National

By Bradley Hope

In the past week Egypt’s highest court has ruled that parliament should be dissolved and Ahmed Shafiq, Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, should be allowed to run for president.

At the same time, it has notably stood aside as the country’s interim military rulers granted themselves full legislative powers and control of appointments to the committee that will rewrite the country’s constitution.

Reformist judges and former legislators say the behaviour of Egypt’s judiciary has enabled the military to carry out a “soft coup” that has upended Egypt’s democratic transition.

FULL ARTICLE (The National)

Photo: Gigi Ibrahim/ Flickr

21 May
Egyptian army’s pledges of retreat could be an illusion: Analysts | Al Arabiya
Egypt’s ruling military has promised a return to the barracks once a new president is elected, but the army’s formidable political and economic weight means that such a withdrawal could be an illusion, analysts say.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), in charge of the country since a popular uprising ousted longtime president Hosni Mubarak, has repeatedly pledged to hand over the keys of the country by the end of June after landmark presidential polls.
The power transfer will symbolize the end of a turbulent transition period marked by violent protests, with the army accused of orchestrating the violence, maintaining a repressive apparatus and holding on to its privileges.
But the powerful institution insists it has kept its promise to lead the country towards democratization, touting its ability to maintain a relative stability compared with other “Arab Spring” countries like Libya or Syria.
“The army is the only institution in the country that works. It still enjoys some popularity, it has real economic power while the police is unable to reorganize itself to maintain order,” said Tewfik Aclimandos, Egypt specialist at the University Paris I.
“It has the ability to remain an important political actor for many more years,” he said.
For Hassan Nafea, a leading Egyptian political columnist, “the role of the army will depend very much on the president to be elected.”
If he comes from the old regime such as the ex-foreign minister and former Arab League chief Amr Moussa, or Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister to serve under Mubarak, “the army will continue to play an important role, and there will be no reform regarding its role or its place.”
FULL ARTICLE (Al Arabiya)

Egyptian army’s pledges of retreat could be an illusion: Analysts | Al Arabiya

Egypt’s ruling military has promised a return to the barracks once a new president is elected, but the army’s formidable political and economic weight means that such a withdrawal could be an illusion, analysts say.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), in charge of the country since a popular uprising ousted longtime president Hosni Mubarak, has repeatedly pledged to hand over the keys of the country by the end of June after landmark presidential polls.

The power transfer will symbolize the end of a turbulent transition period marked by violent protests, with the army accused of orchestrating the violence, maintaining a repressive apparatus and holding on to its privileges.

But the powerful institution insists it has kept its promise to lead the country towards democratization, touting its ability to maintain a relative stability compared with other “Arab Spring” countries like Libya or Syria.

“The army is the only institution in the country that works. It still enjoys some popularity, it has real economic power while the police is unable to reorganize itself to maintain order,” said Tewfik Aclimandos, Egypt specialist at the University Paris I.

“It has the ability to remain an important political actor for many more years,” he said.

For Hassan Nafea, a leading Egyptian political columnist, “the role of the army will depend very much on the president to be elected.”

If he comes from the old regime such as the ex-foreign minister and former Arab League chief Amr Moussa, or Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister to serve under Mubarak, “the army will continue to play an important role, and there will be no reform regarding its role or its place.”

FULL ARTICLE (Al Arabiya)

7 May
Bloomberg | Myanmar Generals Must Respect Elections, President’s Aide Says 
Myanmar’s military contains smart people who have no intention of seizing back power as the former dictatorship transitions to democracy, according to President Thein Sein’s top political adviser.
“The military has to accept the election result,” Ko Ko Hlaing said in an e-mail. “Our military is a very obedient one, senior officials are well educated and I hope there will be no more coups.”
Thein Sein has won praise from world leaders after freeing political prisoners, easing media restrictions and convincing opposition chief Aung San Suu Kyi to stand for parliament since taking power 14 months ago. His party’s election win in 2010, while criticized by Western nations at the time, ended about five decades of direct military control.
Investors are watching to see whether Myanmar’s political opening will proceed quickly or face opposition from entrenched interests as the country looks ahead to national elections in 2015. Thein Sein remains undecided on whether he will stand for a second term, Ko Ko Hlaing said.
“Our president hasn’t revealed any desire on the next term,” he said in the e-mail. “So I couldn’t say whether he will run or not in the next election.” Hlaing said in a May 2 interview in Yangon that Thein Sein had “laid the foundation” for political reform and if his tenure is “quite successful, he may be content with his works.”
Presidential Contender
Another contender for the presidency in 2015 is Shwe Mann, the former No. 3 in the junta and now the speaker of parliament’s lower house, according to the International Crisis Group.
FULL ARTICLE (Business Week)
Photo: State.gov/Wikimedia Commons

Bloomberg | Myanmar Generals Must Respect Elections, President’s Aide Says

Myanmar’s military contains smart people who have no intention of seizing back power as the former dictatorship transitions to democracy, according to President Thein Sein’s top political adviser.

“The military has to accept the election result,” Ko Ko Hlaing said in an e-mail. “Our military is a very obedient one, senior officials are well educated and I hope there will be no more coups.”

Thein Sein has won praise from world leaders after freeing political prisoners, easing media restrictions and convincing opposition chief Aung San Suu Kyi to stand for parliament since taking power 14 months ago. His party’s election win in 2010, while criticized by Western nations at the time, ended about five decades of direct military control.

Investors are watching to see whether Myanmar’s political opening will proceed quickly or face opposition from entrenched interests as the country looks ahead to national elections in 2015. Thein Sein remains undecided on whether he will stand for a second term, Ko Ko Hlaing said.

“Our president hasn’t revealed any desire on the next term,” he said in the e-mail. “So I couldn’t say whether he will run or not in the next election.” Hlaing said in a May 2 interview in Yangon that Thein Sein had “laid the foundation” for political reform and if his tenure is “quite successful, he may be content with his works.”

Presidential Contender

Another contender for the presidency in 2015 is Shwe Mann, the former No. 3 in the junta and now the speaker of parliament’s lower house, according to the International Crisis Group.

FULL ARTICLE (Business Week)

Photo: State.gov/Wikimedia Commons