Tag: featured

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.

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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.

Continue reading “From social media to cosplay: How Taiwan politicians are reaching out to voters”

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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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”

Guinea-Bissau: Former PM Embalo wins presidential election

BBC.Com

Mr Embalo has vowed to work to resolve political tensions in Guinea-Bissau; AFP Photo

Former Guinea-Bissau Prime Minister Umaro Cissoko Embalo has been elected president after winning a run-off vote against another ex-prime minister.

The 47-year-old beat rival Domingos Simoes Pereira by about 54% to 46%, the electoral commission announced.

Mr Pereira vowed to contest the result, alleging “electoral fraud”.

Mr Embalo has said he wants to resolve political tensions in the West African country, which has seen nine coups or attempted coups since 1974.

Incumbent President Jose Mario Vaz crashed out of the election in the first round in November.

He was the first head of state to carry out his term without being either deposed or assassinated, but his tenure was marred by issues including political infighting and widespread allegations of corruption.

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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?”

Is populism finally coming to Japan?

DAISUKE MINAMI | The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – While populism is rising across the world, Japan has so far been immune to it. There is no Japanese equivalent to French politician Marine Le Pen, U.S. President Donald Trump or Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. This, however, seems to be changing after the Upper House election on July 21, in which a new left-wing, anti-establishment party made big strides. What is happening to Japan’s “firewall against populism”?

Reiwa Shinsengumi founder Taro Yamamoto is called “Japan’s Bernie Sanders” for his anti-establishment stance. | KYODO

Scholars attribute the firewall to the lack of ethnic or economic cleavages that populist leaders can exploit to build an anti-immigration or class-based platform. Despite measures to increase foreign workers, Japan remains a homogeneous nation, with resident foreigners only accounting for 1.76 percent of its population. Japanese society is also egalitarian, without high income inequality as in the United States and elsewhere. And the country has seen a steady economic recovery since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office in 2012, with an unemployment rate at historic low 2.3 percent.

Against this backdrop, the Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partners won almost a supermajority in the Upper House by touting the success of Abe’s economic policies known as Abenomics.

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Zelenskiy’s party sweeps Ukrainian parliamentary elections: what has changed?

Peter Mikhailenko, 29 July 2019

Last Sunday, Servant of the People, the parliamentary party of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, swept the elections, gaining 254 out of a possible 424 seats. This represents one of the largest parliamentary majorities ever, but with another record low turnout of less than half of potential voters.

This is not surprising, since no left-wing candidates ran, given the past several years of state repression against them, particularly the Communist Party of Ukraine. Another factor is that many more voters are working overseas due to Ukraine’s weak economic situation, even relative to poor Eastern Europe, among whom Ukraine is now the poorest country, with the GDP per capita now lower than Moldova.

Poroshenko’s bloc – renamed after May’s presidential defeat to “European Solidarity”, based on his promise to get Ukrainian closer to EU membership – won only 26 seats from 132 in 2014 (total votes down from 3.4 million to just over 1 million). This again confirms the hatred the Ukrainian people had for his government, as expressed in opinion polls. Even the majorities in his strongholds in the western districts during the presidentials almost all evaporated, although this is still where he got most of his support.

The sad irony is that Zelenskiy’s programme represents a continuation of Poroshenko’s policy of privatisations and austerity in the interest of Ukrainian oligarchs, while bowing and bending to the pressures of US imperialism. This is a line that he has not really strayed from, before nor after the election. In a recent English-language video aimed at Western capitalists, Zelenskiy highlighted his desire to “deregulate” industry and how the potential investors could “make money both internally and externally” from Ukrainians. The external part is clearly aimed at those EU companies currently looking for more Ukrainian migrant workers they can pay a pittance to work in miserable conditions.

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Political clans take House seats in tandems and trios

Dave Abuel | ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group

As the 18th Congress opens, at least 20 political families in the House of Representatives will be sitting together as husbands and wives; parents and children; siblings; cousins; uncles; aunts and in-laws.

The political families who will occupy the most number of seats in the lower chamber are the Suarezes of Quezon and the Dys of Isabela. They have 3 seats each.

Dr. Ronald Mendoza, dean of the Ateneo de Manila School of Government, said having relatives sitting together in Congress may lead to the “rapid erosion” of independence and credibility of Congress.

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