Posts tagged parlamentary elections
Posts tagged parlamentary elections
Armenian president’s party ‘to keep power’
Serzh Sarksyan’s Republican Party is on course to win parliamentary election, an exit poll showed.
Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan’s Republican Party is on course to win Sunday’s parliamentary election, an exit poll showed after voting ended in the South Caucasus country.
The exit poll by the Gallup International Association showed Prosperous Armenia, the Republican Party’s partner in the previous coalition government, was set to finish second.
It put the Republican Party on 44.44 per cent, and Prosperous Armenia on 28.81 per cent.
Opinion polls had suggested that the Republican party was ahead of the Prosperous Armenia party, led by Gagik Tsarukian, a super-rich former arm wrestling champion.
“I want everything to be calm, peaceful and in accordance with our laws today, tomorrow and the day afterwards. This is a guarantee of progress,” Sarkisian told journalists after casting his ballot in Yerevan, the capital.
Vote conduct scrutinised
Around 2.5 million people, out of a population of 3.3 million people, were eligible to vote in the elections, which was contested by eight parties and one bloc.
Some 350 European observers and 31,000 local monitors are scrutinising the conduct of the polls.
“I am for change but without drastic upheavals. We need stability,” one voter at a polling station in the capital, electrician Garnik Khacheian, told the AFP news agency.
“I voted for fairness. It’s impossible to live in a country where human rights are not observed, where there is no work and there are the very rich and those who have nothing,” said unemployed voter Alvard, who declined to give her surname.
Sarkisian had been criticised for continuing Friday’s campaign event after the incident which saw scores of promotional balloons burst into flames as people screamed in panic.
The elections are the biggest test of the ex-Soviet state’s fragile democratic credentials since a disputed presidential vote in 2008 which ended in fatal clashes.
The Armenian National Congress opposition bloc led by Levon Ter-Petrosian, a former president, has alleged that the governing party was planning to rig the vote to keep power and has threatened protests.
“If the elections are normal, we will agree with any result,” Ter-Petrosian said after voting.
Pictured: President Serzh Sarkisian promised a fair election, and portrayed the vote as a break from the past [AFP]
Greek main parties ‘suffer big losses’ at polls
Partial results in Greece’s parliamentary election suggest the two main parties have seen dramatic losses.
With half the votes counted, centre-right New Democracy is in the lead with 20%, down from 33.5% in 2009.
Centre-left Pasok is in third place with 13.8%, down from 43.9% in the last elections. Left-wing coalition Syriza is in second place with 16.06%.
Pasok and New Democracy, in coalition since last November, were expected to lose support to anti-austerity parties.
There is widespread anger across Greece to harsh measures imposed by the government in return for international bailouts.
Syriza opposes the government’s austerity measures.
The neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party could enter parliament for the first time if the exit poll prediction of it winning 6.5% -7.5% of the vote comes to fruition.
New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras said he would form a national salvation government to keep the country in the euro.
But he said he would seek to “amend” Greece’s controversial EU-IMF bailout agreement in order to boost growth.
Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras said he wanted to form a left-wing coalition rejecting the terms of Greece’s bailouts.
“The parties that signed the memorandum (with the EU and the IMF) are now a minority. The public verdict has de-legitimised them,” he said.
“Our proposal is a left-wing government that, with the backing of the people will negate the memorandum and put a stop to our nation’s predetermined course towards misery.”
Pictured: Syriza supporters are celebrating major gains across Greece that could put them in second place.
Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi steps forward to take her place in parliament, under the watchful eye of military representatives
Photograph: Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters
Myanmar opposition postpones parliamentary debut over oath wording
NEW DELHI — The major opposition party in Myanmar headed by pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi said Sunday it will postpone its parliamentary debut because of an impasse over the wording of the oath of office, an early sign of tension with the government.
Members of the newly emboldened opposition had been scheduled to take their seats Monday.
The oath requires lawmakers to protect the constitution, written by the country’s former junta. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party objects to the charter on the grounds that it fails to safeguard many rights and reserves one-quarter of parliamentary seats for unelected military officials.
“We are not boycotting, but we are just waiting for the right time to go,” said Suu Kyi, after a meeting on the issue in Yangon, according to the AFP news service. The Nobel Prize winner won her first seat in parliament in April 1 elections in which her party swept 43 of the 45 seats being contested.
The government, which is dominated by former military officials, has so far rejected the party’s request to change the oath’s wording from “safeguard” to “respect” the constitution. The opposition party has petitioned Myanmar’s constitutional court and Suu Kyi has written to Thein Sein, Myanmar’s president, asking that it be altered.
The National League for Democracy, which boycotted the 2010 election on the grounds that it was illegitimate, switched gears last year and decided to contest elections in a bid to influence policy from within. Suu Kyi has said that one of her priorities as an elected official will be to amend the 2008 constitution.
The wording difference is a wrinkle in otherwise steadily improving relations between Suu Kyi’s party and the long-isolated government. In recent weeks, she has called on the European Union to suspend economic sanctions, although some ethnic minorities say it is too early to do that. And she has planned her first international trip in 24 years, something she refused to do in the past, fearful the former military regime wouldn’t let her back into the country.
In another sign of Myanmar’s early, gradual reintegration into the international community, Japan on Saturday agreed to forgive $3.7 billion in debt and resume development aid as a way to support the country’s democratic and economic reforms.
Pictured: Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, center, arrives at the National League for Democracy headquarters to attend the final day of a party meeting in Yangon on Sunday. Credit: Ye Aung Thu / AFP/Getty Images
South Korea votes in hotly-contested parliamentary poll
South Koreans are voting in a closely-contested parliamentary election seen as a key test for President Lee Myung-bak.
The ruling Saenuri party and the opposition Democratic United Party are neck and neck, analysts say.
While national security issues are a voter concern, domestic economic issues remain the top priority.
This is the first time in 20 years that the parliamentary and presidential polls have fallen in the same year.
The polls for the 300 parliamentary seats occur once every four years. Some 246 legislators will be directly elected by 40 million eligible voters, with the rest selected through proportional representation.
Early in the day Mr Lee cast his ballot at a polling station near the presidential office, accompanied by first lady Kim Yoon-ok and their granddaughter.
He greeted voters but did not make any comments on the poll, national news agency Yonhap reported.
Analysts quoted in South Korean media say that the National Assembly will likely be evenly split between the two rival parties.
Currently the conservative Saenuri (New Frontier Party) has 165 seats in the outgoing parliament, while the liberal opposition DUP has 89 seats.
Early in the race the DUP was tipped to win, with analysts citing Mr Lee’s unpopular pro-business policies as a reason.
But opposition mistakes involving its choice of candidates have resulted in a race too close to call, analysts say.
Pictured: The polls are seen as a test for President Lee Myung-bak
Sick Aung San Suu Kyi suspends Burmese poll campaign
Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has suspended her campaign because of ill-health a week before she is due to stand for a seat in parliament.
A spokesman said she was suffering from low blood pressure and had been vomiting, due to exhaustion, doctors say.
She addressed a crowd of tens of thousands in the port city of Myeik, but will now return home to Rangoon.
She is contesting one of 45 seats in contention in by-elections next week.
Aung San Suu Kyi also complained of sickness during an earlier campaign tour in the north of Burma. Doctors have now advised her to rest.
The opposition leader set herself a punishing schedule, travelling hours in the searing heat by car, and on this most recent trip, by boat, to support her party’s bid for a clutch of parliamentary seats, says the BBC’s Rachel Harvey.
Suspending the campaign will be an immense frustration to her, and a bitter disappointment to her supporters, tens of thousands of whom have turned out to greet her, our correspondent adds.
Pictured: Aung San Suu Kyi is said to be exhausted
Opposition projected to win Slovak elections
Opinion polls suggest Social Democrats poised to win as right-wing contenders are dogged by major bribery scandal.
An exit poll suggests that a leftist opposition party appears to be winning an early parliamentary election in Slovakia.
The poll indicated Saturday the Smer-Social Democracy of Robert Fico, the former prime minister, could get 39.6 per cent of the vote and win exactly half of the 150-seat Parliament.
The result would mean Fico will need a coalition partner to form a majority government. Fico is considered a populist leader who is pledging to maintain a welfare state, increase corporate tax and hike income tax for the highest earners.
The outgoing four-party coalition was projected to combine for just 31.4 per cent or 59 seats as it faced voter anger over a major corruption scandal. The new Ordinary People would receive 8.8 per cent, or 16 seats.
Slovaks are currently voting in an early general election that is overshadowed by a major bribery scandal - the so-called so-called “Gorilla” fraud scandal. Voting began at 0600 GMT and ends at 2100 GMT.
Named after a shady character allegedly involved in the scandal, the Gorilla files allege most parties in the 1998-2006 centre-right government of then-prime minister Mikulas Dzurinda were mired in corruption owing to close ties with Penta, a local financial group.
Anti-corruption protesters numbering around 1,000 massed in Bratislava, the Slovak capital, on the eve of the vote, yelling “treason, treason” and carrying banners with slogans such as “I don’t vote for gorillas, I vote for change”.
Pictured: Anti-corruption protests took place in Bratislava on Friday calling on Slovaks not to vote [Reuters]
Belize’s governing party ‘wins second term’
Belize’s governing United Democratic Party has won a narrow election victory, preliminary results indicate.
The UNDP took 17 seats to the opposition People’s United Party (PUP) 14, Reuters quoted the chief election officer as saying.
Official results are expected later on Thursday.
Belize is one of the world’s most indebted nations and Prime Minister Dean Barrow said he would renegotiate the terms of a $550m (£348m) bond.
The opposition had said it would meet debt obligations by boosting the $1.25bn economy, which is largely dependent on tourism.
Under the current schedule of rising interest rates, Belize is set to repay $46m over the next year.
Ratings agencies have already downgraded its credit rating to “junk” status.
New debt restructuring could damage the country’s economic reputation further, correspondents say.
In the last parliament, Mr Barrow’s party held 25 of the 31 seats.