Tag Archive | Elections

UK voters turned away from polls

Scores of polling stations in the United Kingdom have been unable to cope with one of the highest voter turn outs in thirty years, leaving thousands of voters unable to cast their vote in yesterday’s general election.

Police had to intervene in Heeley, Hackney, and Islington when angry voters refused to leave after the 10.00pm deadline. Elsewhere voters were turned away before ten when polling stations ran out of ballot papers.

A late surge in voter registrations also saw hundreds of voters eligible to vote but unable to because electoral rolls had not been updated.

The Electoral Commission sets national standards for elections, and promised an inquiry into elections where people were unable to vote.

The returning officer of each constituency is legally independent and is personally responsible for the local conduct of the election. Returning officers are appointed and funded by local authorities.

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Iraq starts manual vote recount

The Iraqi election commission has started to manually recount about 2.5 million ballots cast in the capital Baghdad during parliamentary elections two months ago.

Counting could take from two to three weeks, according to officials. An official for the Independent High Electroral Commission, Qassim al-Abbudi, said that “[w]e will count 600 boxes today”.

The recount was requested by incumbent Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, who is accusing the opposition of fraud, when provisional results gave the bloc led by rival Iyad Allawi a two-seat lead. al-Maliki’s election coalition, however, now says the recount should be stopped, saying the election commission isn’t using the correct procedures and will have an incorrect result.

The Iraqi parliamentary poll, held on March 7, resulted in the Iraqiya bloc receiving 91 seats, while the incumbent PM’s State of Law coalition taking 89 seats; in order to form a government, a block must obtain 163 parliament seats.

Belgium’s King Albert accepts the resignation of PM Yves Leterme

From the start of the Leterme I Government, the problem of the electoral district of Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde caused problems between the coalition partners.

Yves Leterme

The Constitutional Court of Belgium had judged in 2003 that the rules applying to the electoral district violated the non-discrimination principle.

When no solution was found, the Flemish liberal party Open Vld quit the coalition. Leterme offered his resignation to King Albert II of Belgium on 22 April 2010. On 26 April 2010, after a final round of consultations by Didier Reynders failed, the king accepted the resignation.

Early general elections will be held in Belgium in June 2010, likely at the earliest on 13 June 2010. Following a continued lack of agreement over how to resolve the conflict over the electoral arrondissement of Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde. Read More…

Fischer is re-elected President of Austria

Heinz Fischer is re-elected President of Austria beating Barbara Rosenkranz by scoring 78.94% of the vote. Rosenkranz received 15.62%. Rudolf Gehring came third by scoring 5.44%.

Heinz Fischer

Opinion polls had placed Fischer in a good position on the day of the election.

Fischer thanked the nation on television: “I am extremely happy and thank the Austrian population for having so much confidence in me”.

Poor voter turnout – only 49.2% voted – led again to calls by leaders of the extreme-right for the post to be abolished.

Born in Graz, Fischer received a humanistic education,and studied law at the University of Vienna, earning a doctorate in 1961. Apart from being a politician, Fischer also pursued an academic career, and became a Professor of Political Science at the University of Innsbruck in 1993.

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Sudan president wins re-election

The Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, has been declared the winner of this month’s elections, after the first multiparty polls in 24 years.

Omar al-Bashir

Salva Kiir, a former rebel leader, meanwhile, was also declared president of the semi-autonomous southern Sudan in separate elections.

According to the Sudanese election commission, al-Bashir won 68% of the vote, while Salva Kiir obtained 93% of the vote out of slightly more than 2.5 million total votes.

“The first [was] Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir. He was the candidate and won,” said Abel Alier, the chairman for Sudan’s National Elections Commission.

Observers and the opposition complained of fraud in the elections; two of al-Bashir’s main opponents withdrew before the voting began, accusing the polling process of being rigged. Al-Bashir is also wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes, which issued a warrant for his arrest, although al-Bashir denies the allegations.

UK PM calls 6 May general election

The UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, announced the country’s next general election is to be held on May 6.

PM Gordon Brown

He made the announcement after Queen Elizabeth agreed to dissolve Parliament on April 12. The date has been suspected by the media for months and Brown referred to it as the “least well-kept secret of recent years”.

The current Parliament will sit for a final time on April 8, meaning it has just two days to pass any remaining legislation. Many bills will have to be scrapped and reintroduced in the next Parliament, which will sit for the first time on May 18.

The three main parties in the UK are the Labour Party, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats. Labour has been in power for thirteen years, but current opinion polls show it trailing behind the Conservatives. Read More…

On this day March 23, 1996

Taiwan holds its first direct elections and chooses Lee Teng-hui as President.

Lee Teng-hui

Lee Teng-hui

The previous eight ROC presidential and vice presidential elections under the 1947 Constitution were by the deputies of the National Assembly.

Incumbent Lee Teng-hui of the ruling Kuomintang won a majority of 54% of the votes following missile tests by the People’s Republic of China intended to intimidate the Taiwanese electorate against him.

The ruling Kuomintang nominated Lee Teng-hui in August 1995 at its 14th Party Congress after plans to institute a closed primary system by his opponents were thwarted. As his running mate, Lee chose Lien Chan, who promised to resign as Premier if he were elected Vice President. Read More…