Tag Archives: elections

Czech opposition narrowly prevails

Brussels 09.10.2021 The Czech Republic’s opposition prevailed over Prime Minister Andrej Babis’s party in this weekend’s parliamentary elections.

The Three-party coalition, Together, won 27.78% of the vote in the two-day elections, narrowly edging out Babis’s ANO party which won 27.13%, according to Reuters.

A third opposition coalition, the Pirate/Mayors, came in third with 15.6% of the vote.

Together and the Pirate/Mayors are set to win 108 of the 200 seats in the lower house of the Czech Parliament, according to Reuters.

Petr Fiala, who leads Together, said the groups have “brought a chance that we will stop getting in debt, that we will remain a part of democratic Europe,” he said. “The results are clear, the democratic opposition won a clear majority.”

However Babis conceded his coalition’s loss, he said that he would lead talks on forming a cabinet if he is appointed by President Milos Zeman, according to The Associated Press.

Zeman has previously said that he would allow the leader of the strongest party, not coalition, to form a new government, the outlet noted.

Incumbent Prime Minister Babis has faced multiple scandals during his term as Prime Minister, but his ANO party was still favored to win the two-day election. This election notably came just after the release of the Pandora papers, which focused on his financial dealings overseas.

The Pandora Papers, released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, reveal that Babis acquired $22 million villa in France in 2009. The research claimed that he appeared to have routed the money through shell companies in the British Virgin Islands, Washington, D.C., and a real estate management firm in Monaco.

Germany: centre-left at rise

Brussels 27.09.2021 The projections suggest the centre-left parties were the biggest winners of the election. Both the SPD and the Greens are on course to gain more than 5% compared to their result in the last federal election in 2017.

The conservative bloc suffered heavy losses as the Angela Merkel era comes to an end. They were down by over 8% on the previous election and are heading towards their worst result since World War II.

It’s unclear if Die Linke will be in the next German parliament. The latest projected results have the democratic socialist political party below the 5% threshold required to join parliament, while the SPD maintain their lead over the CDU/CSU, the DW writes:

The first projected results are in for Germany’s 2021 federal election, with the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) on 25.8%, narrowly ahead of the centre-right Christian Democrats and their Bavarian sister party (CDU/CSU) on 24.1%.

Both the conservative bloc and the SPD have said they want to lead the next government, and mathematically, either party could if they secure the necessary allies.

The environmentalist Greens are on course to record their best ever result, headed for around 14% of the vote. The pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) had 11.5%, while the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) had 10.5%. The socialist Left party was hovering around the 5% mark.

EU top diplomat congratulates Biden

Brussels 07.11.2020 The head of the EU diplomacy Josep Borrell has congratulated the candidate of the Democratic party with the election victory. “I warmly congratulate President-Elect
Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris. Record voter turnout expressed will of the American people for change.Great day for US and Europe, we look forward to working together with new administration to rebuild our partnership” the diplomat wrote on his Twitter micro blog.

Meanwhile a series of President Trump messages have been removed from Twitter, which has been actively filtering his communication with the American people, contesting the outcome.
“We think there’s going to be a lot of litigation because we have so much evidence, so much proof, it’s going to end up perhaps at the highest court in the land, you’ll see,” Trump said, adding “We think there’ll be a lot of litigation, because we cannot have an election stolen like this.”

“The American people are entitled to an honest election: that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots,” Trump said.

“It remains shocking that the Biden campaign refuses to agree with this basic principle and wants ballots counted even if they are fraudulent, manufactured, or cast by ineligible or deceased voters,” Trump added. “Only a party engaged in wrongdoing would unlawfully keep observers out of the count room – and then fight in court to block their access.”

AMENDMENT:

Over the past few weeks the president and his cabinet have prepared the different scenarios with regards to the elections in the USA, and coordinated with Member States, the EU official said.

President Charles Michel was today in touch with the Chancellor Merkel and other leaders to communicate simultaneously.

Following to the discussion, 7 PM was the hour that was agreed upon to congratulate the President elect and the Vice President elect following the result in Pennsylvania, while showing respect for the electoral process, the official has underlined.

AMENDMENT:

EU: Georgia elections “competitive”

“Georgia held the first round of its 2020 Parliamentary elections on 31 October, under a revised electoral system and with high voter turnout, despite the challenging context of the COVID-19 pandemic.” the statement of the European External Actions Service reads.

“According to the joint statement of preliminary findings and conclusions of the international observers from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the Parliamentary Assemblies of the OSCE, Council of Europe and NATO, the elections were competitive and, overall, fundamental freedoms were respected.

“The observers noted, however, that the conduct of the elections was impacted by pervasive allegations of pressure on voters and blurring of the line between the ruling party and the state throughout the campaign and on election day, reducing public confidence in some aspects of the process.

“Ensuring the highest democratic standards throughout the entire electoral process, including during the second round, remains key, as well as a fair, transparent and rigorous handling of all complaints and appeals. It is important that all parties continue to adhere to democratic principles and standards and respect for human rights. Ensuring conditions for a free and pluralistic media environment is extremely important including to allow voters to make a fully informed choice. The European Union will remain very attentive to developments during the remainder of the electoral period and in particular on the day of the second round.

“The revised legal framework provided a sound basis for the holding of democratic elections. Recent legislative amendments partially addressed previous OSCE/ODIHR and Council of Europe/Venice Commission recommendations, however, although a number remain outstanding. It will be important to continue addressing shortcomings in the electoral framework, including the final recommendations of OSCE/ODIHR, through an inclusive dialogue, after the second round on 21 November.

“The European Union stands by a democratic, stable, prosperous and inclusive Georgia and continues to support Georgia’s process of political association and economic integration with the EU as per its Association Agreement”.

Tajikistan: Rahmon declared 90% winner

Presidential elections in Tajikistan as expected endorsed the incumbent Emomali Rahmon mandate for seven years more, crowning him as the longest-serving ruler among leaders of the former Soviet Republics.

Polling stations opened at 6am local time (01:00 GMT) on Sunday, October 11, and closed at 8pm (15:00 GMT), with results expected the following morning.

The Central Electoral Commission said the vote had passed the turnout threshold required for validation, with more than 70% of the nearly five million strong electorate casting votes.

Just a week ago on October 5th the Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has wished a happy birthday to Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon, BelTA reported quoting sources from the press service of the Belarusian leader.
“In your country and abroad you are by right appreciated as an experienced and authoritative leader whose efforts and political will have ensured sustainable development of Tajikistan and the strengthening of its influence on the international arena,” the felicitation message reads.

Rahmon, 68, has run the Persian-speaking nation of 9.5 million people since 1992, a period including a civil war. He has gradually strengthened his grip and a 2016 constitutional reform removed a limit on the number of terms he could serve.

Rahmon had four competitors, all of whom are viewed as token opponents, in his bid for a renewed seven-year term. All challengers are members of the lower house of parliament and have avoided criticising Rakhmon, whose official title is “Founder of Peace and National Unity – Leader of the Nation.”

AMENDED:
The European Union has been closely following the electoral processes in Tajikistan throughout 2020, including the Presidential elections that took place on 11 October.

The EU welcomes the decision of the Government of Tajikistan to invite the OSCE/ODIHR to monitor both the Presidential and, previously, the Parliamentary elections, as well as the subsequent deployment of a small team of electoral experts as part of an Election Assessment Mission (EAM). The EU looks forward to the EAM’s concluding report that will be published in the next 6-8 weeks and will carefully examine its recommendations in order to support their implementation.

The Presidential elections seem to have been carried out in a peaceful and orderly manner. However, we note that several of the recommendations identified in the final report of OSCE/ODIHR Electoral Assessment Mission that was deployed in March 2020 in connection with the Parliamentary elections remain valid and unimplemented, such as the independence of the media environment and political plurality.

Significant efforts are needed to further align the electoral process with Tajikistan’s OSCE commitments and other international obligations and standards for the conduct of democratic elections, including the freedom of the media to impartially cover and report on political developments in all parts of the country”.

The EU will seek to cooperate with and support Tajikistan in its efforts to fully implement the full sets of OSCE/ODIHR recommendations presented by both EAMs. We remain a reliable and significant partner in development cooperation, actively promoting economic modernisation, sustainable and equitable socio-economic growth, as well as enhanced governance reforms and regional cooperation”.



EU regrets Lukashenko demands

“The demand of the Belarusian authorities that Poland and Lithuania withdraw their ambassadors and significantly reduce their diplomatic representations in Minsk is unfounded and regrettable. It goes against the logic of dialogue and will only further isolate the authorities in Minsk” reads the statement of the EU lead spokesperson.

“Attempts by the Belarusian authorities to target certain EU Member States will not succeed in weakening EU unity, which was clearly reaffirmed by the European Council on 1 October when all EU Member States called on the Belarusian authorities to end violence and repression, release all detainees and political prisoners, respect media freedom and civil society, and start an inclusive national dialogue” 

“The EU continues to support the democratic right of the Belarusian people to elect their President through new free and fair elections, without external interference” the statement concludes.

Belarus authorities announced sanctions against the European Union on October 2 in retaliation to restrictive measures agreed by European leaders hours before over the sham presidential election.

The Belarusian Foreign Ministry’s statement accused the EU of “striving towards the deterioration of relations with us” and imposed its own set of sanctions against the bloc.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on October 2 he was sure the problems that had emerged in Belarus after the presidential elections would be settled soon, the Kremlin press service said after his telephone conversation with his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko.

“The presidents also discussed various aspects of the post-election situation in Belarus in the context of the ongoing attempts of outside interference. Confidence was expressed that the current problems will soon be settled,” the press service said, adding that the telephone conversation was initiated by the Belarusian side.

MEPs CALL for new elections in Belarus

17.09.2020, Brussels. MEPs call for new presidential elections in Belarus and urge the EU to sanction President Lukashenko.

In a resolution adopted by 574 votes in favour, 37 against with 82 abstentions on Septembere 17, the European Parliament rejects the official results of the “so-called presidential elections” in Belarus on 9 August this year, as these elections were conducted in a “flagrant violation of all internationally recognised standards”. Once the term of office for the incumbent authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko expires on 5 November, Parliament will no longer recognise him as the president of the country.

In the meantime, MEPs welcome the recently established Coordination Council as an “interim representation of the people demanding democratic change” in Belarus that is open to all political and social stakeholders. They also reiterate the many calls for new, free and fair elections to take place as soon as possible under international supervision.

MEPs call for EU sanctions against the group of individuals responsible for falsifying the election results and for the violent repression in Belarus, including President Lukashenko, and call on EU member states in the Council to implement these restrictive measures without delay, in close coordination with international partners.

MEPs also staunchly condemn the mass arrests and ongoing violent crackdown on peaceful protesters, strike leaders and journalists in the country, with many reports of ill-treatment, rape and torture emerging from
Belarusian detention centres and jails.

The resolution finally underlines the important contribution made by prominent female opposition members, led by Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, Veranika Tsapkala and Maria Kalesnikova, during the protests. It demands the immediate release of the arrested members of the Coordination Council and all those arbitrarily detained for political reasons.
The text notes that many Belarusians consider Tikhanovskaya to be the winner of the presidential elections and Belarus’ real president-elect.

EU: Belarus elections «falsified»

The EU Foreign Ministers addressed the Belarusian Presidential elections that took place on 9 August.

“Ministers reiterated their repeated call to the Belarusian authorities to stop the disproportionate and unacceptable violence against peaceful protesters. The EU expects the authorities to release immediately all unlawfully detained persons. In light of shocking reports of inhumane treatment and detention conditions, the European Union expects a thorough and transparent investigation into all alleged abuses, in order to hold those responsible to account.

“During their discussions, the Ministers sent a strong signal of the EU’s support to the Belarusian population in their desire for democratic change. The Ministers noted the exceptional work of the domestic election observers, whose reporting, in the absence of international election observers, has been crucial in helping to reveal the true picture regarding last Sunday’s elections. They discussed how to support this vital work.

“The Ministers reiterated that the elections were neither free nor fair. The European Union considers the results to have been falsified and therefore does not accept the results of the election as presented by the Belarus Central Election Commission. The European Union will therefore put forward to the Belarusian authorities a proposal for EU support in in establishing and facilitating a dialogue between the political authorities, opposition and broader society in view of resolving the current crisis. The High Representative/Vice-President and his services will begin work on this proposal immediately.

“Ministers also agreed on the need to sanction those responsible for violence, repression and the falsification of election results. The work on additional listings within the existing sanctions framework for Belarus will start immediately.

“The Ministers expressed appreciation for the work of journalists in the difficult conditions that they are facing and condemned attacks on and detentions of journalists, including EU citizens.

“The Ministers agreed to revert to reviewing EU-Belarus relations at their upcoming informal meeting end of August. As part of this review, the European Union will look at how to increase its support to the Belarusian people, including through enhanced engagement with and financial support to civil society, additional support to independent media, and increasing opportunities for student and academic mobility”.

Image: archive

Belarus: Leyen calls for «additional sanctions»

«We need additional sanctions against those who violated democratic values or abused human rights in Belarus» wrote the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen on her Twitter micro blog.
«I am confident today’s EU Foreign Ministers’ discussion will demonstrate our strong support for the rights of the people in Belarus to fundamental freedoms & democracy».

The European Union foreign ministers are gathering today, August 14, via teleconference to discuss the situation in Balarus, and possible sanctions against Alyaksandr Lukashenko regime for brutal crackdown on peacful demonstrators in the aftermath of widely disputed announcement of presidential election result, attributing to the incumbent President 80% of votes.

Ahead of an EU foreign ministers extraordinary meeting in Brussels on August 14, Belarusian authorities began releasing hundreds of detainees early in the morning.

Many of those released described horrible conditions in detention facilities, beatings, and other mistreatment, while Amnesty International said the accounts suggested “widespread torture.”

At least two protesters have died and some 6,700 people have been detained since nationwide protests erupted on August 9 after the state TV announed the reliminary results, showing Lukashenko winning a sixth term with 80% of vote.

The claim was rejected by opposition candidate Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who was forced to exicle in neighbouringc Lithuania.

EU diplomacy extraordinary Council on Belarus

EU foreign ministers will convene via teleconference on Friday, August 14, to discuss the situation in Belarus following the announced re-election of Alexander Lukashenko with 80% of ballots, and immediatley following accusations of fraud.

The Swedish top diplomat Ann Linde said she had received an invitation to participate in an extraordinary ministerial meeting with the EU foreign ministers where, she added, the question of possible sanctions against Minsk will be debated.

The European Commission said on August 11 it was reviewing its relations with Belarus following the disputed re-election of the Belarusian president, declared the triumphant winner.

August 10 Germany called on EU member countries to discuss sanctions, and Poland proposed an immediate action to defend Belarus citiezens against violent crachdown of the peaceful protests undertaken by the authorities in the aftermath of the disputed elections.

Image: social media

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