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11 candidates compete for Croatia’s Presidential seat

The 2019 Croatian presidential election is set on December 22, 2019 with eleven candidates competing for the highest government post according to the Croation State Election Commission (DIP) last Thursday,  December 5.

Twelve candidates filed for the post but one of those who applied, Slobodan Midžić, was disqualified after submitting a petition with only one signature. According to the country’s presidential election guidelines, a potential candidate must gather at least 10,000 signatures from eligible voters before his/her name will be printed on the ballot.

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic
Source: https://balkaninsight.com/

The candidates who were able to meet the 10,000 signature requirement are as follows:

Candidate Party affiliation Number of Signatures Garnered
Nedjeljko Babić Croatian Party of all Chakavians, Kajkavians and Shtokavians 14,000
Anto Đapić Democratic Alliance for National Renewal 13,000
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović Independent 231,000
Milan Bandić (also known as Dario Juričan) Independent 13,000
Dejan Kovač Croatian Social Liberal Party 16,000
Zoran Milanović Social Democratic Party 78,000
Dalija Orešković Independent 11,000
Katarina Peović Workers’ Front 14,000
Ivan Pernar Party of Ivan Pernar 15,000
Miroslav Škoro Independent 70,000

The highest number of signatures was garnered by incumbent president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović with 231,000. The reelectionist president is also expected to win the first round for garnering  28.6 per cent in the latest opinion polls. She, however, will be facing Zoran Milanovic who got 24.3 per cent.

Should the top vote-getter in December 22 fails to generate a majority vote, a round-up election will be held on January 5, 2020.

 

2019 Guinea-Bissau presidential election: A duel between Pereira and Embaló

The second round of the 2019 Guinea-Bissau Presidential Elections will be between Domingos Simões Pereira of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) and Umaro Sissoco Embaló of Madem G15 after the multi-candidate race failed to produce a majority vote last 24 November 2019. The second round will be held on 29 December this year.

Pereira, who served as  Guinea-Bissau’s Prime Minister from 2014-2015, got 40.13% or 22,870 of the total votes cast while Embaló, also a former Prime Minister, got 27.65% or 153,530 votes.

The first round was participated in by 12 candidates. In addition to Pereira and Embaló, the 2019 presidential contenders are:

Candidate Political Party 24 November 2019 (First round)
Votes %
Domingos Simões Pereira PAIGC 222,870 40.13
Umaro Sissoco Embaló Madem G15 153,530 27.65
Nuno Gomes Nabiam Assembly of the People United 73,063 13.16
José Mário Vaz Independent 68,933 12.41
Carlos Gomes Júnior Independent 14,766 2.66
Baciro Djá Patriotic Front of National Salvation 7,126 1.28
Vicente Fernandes Democratic Convergence Party 4,250 0.76
Mamadú Iaia Djaló New Democracy Party 2,813 0.51
Idrissa Djaló National Unity Party 2,569 0.46
Mutaro Intai Djabi Independent 2,385 0.43
Gabriel Fernando Indi United Social Democratic Party 1,982 0.36
António Afonso Té Republican Party for Independence and Development 1,061 0.19
Invalid/blank votes 11,125
Total 566,473 100

voto1

The Republic of Guinea-Bissau is a country in West Africa that covers 36,125 square kilometres (13,948 sq mi) with an estimated population of 1,874,303 based on the 2018 data. Its gross domestic product is $3.391 billion and a per capita of
$1,951.

Guinea Bissau map

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Taiwan's Tsai Ing-wen looks set to win re-election in 2020 presidential poll

BY KO SHU-LING | http://www.japantimes.co.jp

TAIPEI – Six months ago, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s approval ratings were so low many wondered if she would be nominated to run for re-election in January.

Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party suffered a huge defeat in the 2018 local elections, and few gave her much chance against the main opposition Nationalist Party candidate Han Kuo-yu, who was riding a wave of popularity that began the year before when he won the Kaohsiung mayoral election as part of the DPP rout.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen
Photo credit: https://www.roc-taiwan.org/

Today, however, polls show Tsai leading Han by over 10 points, with most in agreement that, barring a major scandal or economic downturn, Taiwan’s fourth elected, and first female, president is headed for a second term.

Tsai’s rebound is widely attributed to two main causes, both involving China.

The first is the pro-democracy unrest in Hong Kong, which has filled local media with the kind of news guaranteed to increase support for the independence-leaning DPP among voters long wary not only of China, but of the China-friendly opposition party widely known as Kuomingtan (KMT).

The second is Taiwan’s economic health, which the U.S.-China trade war boosted in recent months as foreign businesses seek alternate sources for goods once manufactured on the mainland.

Yet Tsai’s biggest break may not have involved China, but rather her opponent’s decision to accept the KMT nomination only a few months after assuming his duties as Kaohsiung mayor.

Han began his political career in the legislature, where from 1993 to 2002 he earned a reputation for combativeness and heavy drinking. This was followed by a series of minor political appointments and a failed 2017 bid for KMT chair, after which he agreed to represent the party in Kaohsiung, a DPP stronghold that Han was expected to lose.

Instead, he took 54 percent of the votes, astonishing everyone and initiating a “Han wave” of supporters who immediately began touting him as presidential material.

Lifting a page from the populist playbook, he campaigned as a humble everyman, replying to complex questions with slogans, or dodging them outright, especially when they involved China. Han focused on local grievances, notably the economy, blaming the DPP for regional stagnation and the exodus of young people forced to move north to find work.

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An Election Brings Abkhazia Back into Focus


Rejeanne Lacroix
 | FairObserver.Com | Aug 23, 2019
Abkhazia news, Abkhazia election, South Ossetia, Russia news, Georgia news, Caucasus news, Russia-Georgia relations, Russia Georgia war, Raul Khajimba Abkhazia, Georgia anti-Russia protests

An old dilapidated building of parliament of Abkhazia in Sukhumi © Gans33

The disputed existence of the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia has come into focus again in the context of the ongoing diplomatic dispute between Russia and Georgia and the August anniversary of the 2008 Russo-Georgian War. Abkhazia remains at the heart of discussions because its upcoming election on August 25 is reflective of the duplicity of post-Soviet electoral spectacle and a hope for positive change that seems to escape citizens. Elections in breakaway republics shift the focus away from geopolitics and toward the idiosyncrasies inherent in political cultures unique to all nations.

A Deterioration of Relations

In June, a series of anti-Russian protests broke out in the Georgian capital Tbilisi and across the country. The appearance of high-ranking Russian politician Sergey Gavrilov at the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy and his consequent seating in the speaker’s chair inflamed Georgian sensibilities. But to identify this act as a catalyst for the protests is to oversimply matters, as deeper frustrations with the Georgian Dream ruling party are a factor as well. 

The Georgian Dream attempted to balance relations with the West while at the same time ensuring a mutually beneficial relationship with Russia. Voters within the country are increasingly displeased with internal political affairs. The sight of a Russian politician occupying the chair of the speaker of parliament could easily be construed as Moscow’s long arm reaching toward its southern neighbor, or as an act of occupation. It was viewed through this lens when Georgian commentator Giorgi Gabunia went on a televised expletive-ridden rant labeling Russian President Vladimir Putin a “miserable creature” and “stinking invader.” Further, Gabunia crossed even the lowest of professional lines by mocking Putin’s deceased parents.

Continue reading “An Election Brings Abkhazia Back into Focus”

Bolivia’s Evo Morales to face three challengers in the October 2019 elections

President Evo Morales of the Plurinationational State of Bolivia is seeking reelection this October 2019 under the Movement for Socialism (MAS). He is being challenged by Carlos Mesa of The Civic Community, Óscar Ortiz Antelo of the Democrat Social Movement, and Jaime Paz Zamora of the Christian Democratic Party.

Evo Morales
Photo credit: wikipedia.org

The 2019 presidential race is the third reelection bid of Morales. He was first elected in 2006, and reelected in 2009 and 2014.

For this year’s election, the strongest challenger of Morales is Mesa. The two are statistically tied at 32% based on the January 2019 survey of Mercados y Muestras. Mesa’s support, however, declined to 23.6% this July based on the report of Captura Consulting. The case is otherwise with the incumbent whose voting preference surged to 38.4% in the same period.

Continue reading “Bolivia’s Evo Morales to face three challengers in the October 2019 elections”

The Newcomers Shaking Up Uruguay’s Election

BY NICOLÁS SALDÍAS | Americas Quarterly

A host of new faces and parties are adding uncertainty to this year’s presidential race.

Ernesto Talvi
MIGUEL ROJO/AFP/Getty Images

Two men from the same political coalition have governed Uruguay since 2005. But with the Oct. 27 presidential election approaching, the country is seeing a rare shake-up of its usually staid and predictable politics.

In fact, new faces and parties are challenging traditional stalwarts and the established political order. That includes the recent resurgence of the once-dominant Colorado Party with the primary victory of outsider Ernesto Talvi, as well as the emergence of a right-wing nationalist party and the ruling coalition’s choice of a little-known city councilmember as its vice presidential nominee. 

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Will Torres Win the 2019 Guatemala Presidential Elections?

J.A. Carizo

The 2019 Guatemala Presidential Elections is an uphill battle for former First Lady, Sandra Torres. Torres who is running under the National Unity of Hope (UNE) Party generated 33.4% of the votes cast during the first round of the presidential elections last June 16, 2019 but only climbed 7.56% based on the pre-runoff polls conducted by the CID Gallup for Fundación Libertad y Desarrollo.

The pre-runoff polls was conducted last July 9-14 with a sample size of 1,204 and a ± 2.8% margin of error.

Torres’s rival, Alejandro Giammattei of Vamos Por Una Guatemala Diferente (VAMOS), on the other hand, jumped to almost three times of the votes he gathered during the first round. From 13.95% of the total votes cast during the first round of the presidential race, Giammattei got 40.6% in the CID Gallup poll.

Continue reading “Will Torres Win the 2019 Guatemala Presidential Elections?”