Top 7 Elections to watch out for in 2020

At least 90 elections are scheduled in 2020 – all of them set to challenge the status quo either at the local or at the national and even the international level. While we still expect some surprises and un-scheduled elections to be held particularly in the second half of the year, almost all the elections have been set with some waiting for the specific dates to be finalized.

Conceptually, all elections are equal. However, there are a few that stands out. TheVote.Net lists the ten that are rather interesting because of the context that surrounds them.

Continue reading “Top 7 Elections to watch out for in 2020”

Taiwan Elections: Young candidates, underdogs prevail in several legislative races

FocusTaiwan.tw

From left to right Kao Chia-yu, Lai Pin-yu and Chen Po-wei

Taipei, Jan. 12 (CNA) Taiwan’s legislative elections saw several young politicians prevail in high-profile races, and some candidates claimed victory independent of the country’s political mainstream dominated by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Kuomintang (KMT).

Of the 113 seats available, the DPP won 61, followed by the KMT with 38, the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) with five, the New Power Party (NPP) with three, and the remaining six seats divided between independents and a small pro-independence party.

In the 79 races in which candidates were directly elected rather than through a party vote for legislators-at-large, 14 new faces emerged.

In one of the night’s more closely-watched races, in New Taipei City’s rural 12th District, 27-year-old DPP candidate Lai Pin-yu (賴品妤) narrowly edged out her KMT opponent in a field of three.

Lai, a former student activist and cosplay enthusiast, entered the race in September, after the district’s incumbent, the NPP’s Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌), announced he would run on his party’s legislator at-large list, leaving a lesser-known NPP candidate to try and defend the seat.

Meanwhile, in Taipei City’s 4th District, 39-year-old DPP city councilor Kao Chia-yu (高嘉瑜) upset KMT incumbent Lee Yen-hsiu (李彥秀) by a 50-47 percent margin.

In doing so, Kao leveraged a national profile built through her frequent appearances on political talk shows to overcome Lee’s deep family connections to the district, which was previously represented by her father and grandfather.

However, in a battle between two rising political stars in Taipei’s 3rd District (Zhongshan and Songshan districts), KMT incumbent Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) was able to hold his seat against DPP challenger Enoch Wu (吳怡農).

Chiang Wan-an
Chiang Wan-an

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Taiwan election: Tsai Ing-wen wins second presidential term, beating Beijing- friendly rival

Pei-ju Teng | Hong Kong Free Press

Taiwan’s incumbent leader Tsai Ing-wen has won Saturday’s presidential election, defeating her Beijing-friendly rival Han Kuo-yu by a wide margin.

Tsai Ing-wen

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen greets supporters after winning the presidential election on January 11, 2020. Photo: Sam Yeh/AFP

“Taiwan is showing the world how much we cherish our free and democratic way of life,” Tsai told supporters at 9pm as she confirmed her victory.

Taiwan election January 10 Democratic Progressive Party DPP Tsai Ing-wen

DPP supporters rally in Taipei on January 11. Photo: KM/United Social Press.

A jubilant crowd of supporters outside the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) headquarters in Taipei burst into cheers as Tsai appeared on stage to address reporters.

Taiwan election January 10 Democratic Progressive Party DPP Tsai Ing-wen

Democratic Progressive Party supporters rally in Taipei on January 10, election day. Photo: Viola Kam/United Social Press.

Continue reading “Taiwan election: Tsai Ing-wen wins second presidential term, beating Beijing- friendly rival”

Nationalist Alliance dominates Sint Maarten 2020 general elections

The Nationalist Alliance (NA) dominated the snap general election of Sint Maarten, a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean, held last 9 January 2020. The election was conducted two years earlier than scheduled following the dissolution of the Second Marlin-Romeo cabinet in September 2019.

The location of St. Maarten

The Nationalist Alliance was able to secure six seats through proportional after generating 35.20 percent of the total 13,222 valid votes. This is being followed by the United People’s Party with 24.4 percent of the valid votes making it eligible to four seats.

Other contenders are the United St. Maarten Party and Party for Progress both with two seats; The United Democrats with 1 seat; and St. Maarten Christian Party and the People’s Progressive Alliance which both failed to secure at least a seat.

The minimum vote required to secure a seat is only 889.

St. Maarten has 23,106 eligible voters and a turnout of 59 percent.

Supporters campaigning for their candidates. Source: St. Maarten

St. Maarten is a a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Monarch of the Netherlands is head of state and is represented locally by a Governor. It is largely autonomous in internal affairs though the Netherlands remains responsible for international affairs and defense. Population is 41,486 with a GDP per capita of $66,800

Source: The Government of St. Maarten

Taiwan election: How Tsai stayed one step ahead

By Cindy Sui | BBC News, Taipei

Tsai Ing-wen waving to supporters
Tsai Ing-wen has proven herself a shrewd politician. Photo by Reuters

Taiwan’s first female President Tsai Ing-wen is a thorn in mainland China’s side and this may have worked to her advantage as a crucial election looms.

When the island became the first Asian society to legalise gay marriage last year, Ms Tsai made global headlines, but was also criticised for going against majority public opinion in Taiwan.

Earlier, she faced accusations of nearly causing an electricity shortage with her promotion of green energy. When she tried to give all workers two days off a week, she found herself accused of hurting rather than increasing worker earnings and holiday.

Low wages and controversial pension reform also pulled down her approval ratings to as low as 15% late last year. She even had to battle a former subordinate for her party’s nomination.

While many cheered, public opinion was against gay marriage

But her biggest headache has been China – it has turned up the pressure on her because she and her party do not accept that Taiwan can be part of one China.

Last year Beijing snatched seven of Taiwan’s already sparse collection of diplomatic allies – only a handful of countries recognise self-governing Taiwan as a sovereign nation. China also displayed its muscle by flying fighter jets and sailing aircraft carriers in Taiwan’s vicinity, and banned much-needed Chinese tourists from visiting the island.

Despite all this, as she stands for a second term, she has a good chance of winning.

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From social media to cosplay: How Taiwan politicians are reaching out to voters

By J. A. Carizo*

It’s not just the economy, stupid!

Well, not in these times, James Carville. In the 2016 elections, Donald Trump benefited heavily from the social media interactions leading to his election as President of the United States. According to Pew Research Center, 44% of the Americans get their information on, and even interact with, the candidates through the social media. In the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte also used heavily the Facebook to connect with the voters and won the highly contested presidential race. So did other candidates in different elections all across the globe that the social media platforms became suspect of spreading false information and fake news.

The ease of using the social media platform and the speed of reaching out to target voters is indeed enticing that Taiwan’s presidential hopefuls turned to Facebook and YouTube to ramp up their campaign and reach out to the younger segment of the electorate. According to Taiwan’s electoral commission, the country has over 19 million voters and under 7 million of them are between the ages of 20 and 39. This segment of voters usually exhibit low turnout during elections and reaching out to them could bring closer to victory.

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Milanović defeats Grabar-Kitarović in Croatia's Presidential elections

Opinion polls suggested Milanovic would win the largely ceremonial post, though by a smaller margin [Marko Djurica/Reuters]

Social Democrat candidate Zoran Milanović emerged as the winner in the recently concluded presidential elections in Croatia beating incumbent president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic of the governing Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party. Milanović generated 52.7% of the vote according to results released late Sunday, January 5, as against Grabar-Kitarovic who garnered only 47.3% in the second round of the elections.

Eleven candidates initially competed during the first round of the elections held last December 22, 2019. The incumbent president only got garnered 26.65% while former Prime Minister Milanović got 29.55%. For failing to reach a majority, a second round of voting became necessary.

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