Showing posts with label Elections. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Elections. Show all posts

Friday, September 01, 2023

Presidential elections in Singapore.. Tharman is the likely successor to Halima Yaqoub

    Friday, September 01, 2023   No comments

Since its secession from the Federation of Malaysia in 1965 until today, Singapore has known only 3 prime ministers, while 8 presidents have succeeded in that small country in Southeast Asia, which is described as a "city-state"; With an area of 710 square kilometers, and a population of 5 million people, half of whom are foreigners coming to work, making it the fourth country in the world in terms of population density.

Singapore is a country of many races, ethnicities and religions, 3 quarters of its citizens are of the Chinese race, while the rest of the population belongs to the Malay race or mixed Indian or Eurasian race. As many ethnicities as there are many religions in Singapore as well and include Buddhism, Islam, Taoism, Hinduism and Christianity.

All three prime ministers that Singapore has known came from ethnic Chinese - the largest of Singapore's ethnicities - and from one party, the People's Action Party (PAP), which has governed Singapore continuously since 1959.


And while the presidency of the government remained confined to the Chinese ethnicity, the ethnicities of those who assumed the position of head of state, which is an honorary position, varied, as they include, in addition to the Chinese ethnicity, the Malay and Indian ethnicities, and others of mixed ethnicities as well.


The religions of these presidents also varied between Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam. The first president of the state was Youssef bin Ishaq, whose image is placed on the country’s banknotes. He is a Malay Muslim who held the position for 3 consecutive terms from the founding of the state until his death in 1970. While it was Executive power is in the hands of Lee Kuan Yew, the founder and builder of Singapore and its first prime minister, who has been in office for 3 continuous decades.


The current president, Halima Yaqoub, 70, is a Muslim of the Malay ethnicity. She took office in 2017 after winning by acclamation, without a competitor, declaring that she was satisfied with one 6-year term that ends on September 17. Then, today, Friday, multi-party elections will be held to choose a successor.

In contrast to the position of prime minister, which the parties compete for in general legislative elections; The position of the president is non-partisan under the constitution, and the parliament remained the one who elects the president, until the constitution was amended in 1991, allowing him to be elected through presidential elections. Today's elections, Friday, are only the third since the constitutional amendment that transformed this position into a position elected by the public and gave the public the right to choose.


What is unique to Singapore in the requirements for a candidate for the presidency is that he has worked either as a senior government employee or CEO of a company whose shareholders have a value of at least 500 million Singapore dollars (370 million US dollars).


Although the role of the president in Singapore is largely ceremonial, there are strict requirements for the position, which formally oversees the country's accumulated financial reserves that can only be relied upon in exceptional circumstances, such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the 2009 global financial crisis. With the power to veto certain actions and to approve anti-corruption investigations.


Three candidates who meet the conditions are competing in the elections taking place today, namely the Deputy Prime Minister and former Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who is the youngest of the three candidates (65) and the most fortunate, compared to his competitors; They are Ing Kok Song, 75, and Tan Kin Lien, 75.

Economic backgrounds and a major public position appear to be the common denominator among the three contenders, who the election administration announced that they met the strict criteria for competition among the applicants for candidacy.


The announcement of their official acceptance of the candidacy came less than two weeks before the elections were held today, which is a very short period compared to the rest of the world, and was the object of the complaint of the candidate, Tan Kin Lien, who saw it as an insufficient period for the electoral campaign that ended last Wednesday before the election day of silence yesterday, Thursday.


The nominee, Ing Kok Song, is a former chief investment officer at the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund that manages the country's foreign reserves, and spent more than 4 decades working in public service until his retirement in 2013. Ing is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of Avanda Management Corporation. Investments worth billions of dollars.


Having spent years working closely with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Eng admitted he might be seen as "part of the establishment". However, he believes that the lack of direct political affiliation makes him an independent candidate. He never joined the Popular Action Party, which has ruled the country since its independence six decades ago. He believes that his long experience in the financial sector puts him in a good position to protect the national reserves.


As for Tan Kin Lien, a former presidential candidate in Singapore, this is his second attempt to win the position. Having come last out of 4 candidates in the 2011 presidential election, he is a former chairman of one of Singapore's leading insurance companies and has the support of several opposition leaders.


Layan presided over the International Federation of Cooperative and Mutual Insurance from 1992 to 1997, and the federation was an international organization that at that time represented 123 insurance groups in 65 countries, and employed 260,000 people. The total assets of the members of this international association amounted to 1.5 trillion US dollars in 1997.

As for the most likely candidate, Deputy Prime Minister and former Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, he is a multi-ethnic Singaporean citizen (Tamil-Indian-Ceylon) who is known as a supporter of the ruling People's Action Party, but he submitted his resignation before his candidacy. He is widely seen as having the support of the government, and has been questioned about his independence during the election campaign.


Before resigning his government positions to contest this election, Tharman spent more than two decades in office with the People's Action Party, rising to the position of Deputy Prime Minister.


He was first elected to Parliament in 2001 and was Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. He also served as the Coordinating Minister for Social Policy, and provided economic advice to Prime Minister Lee.


He said that if given the opportunity to lead, he would be "total and impartial in the discharge of the constitutional duties of office in respect of the prudent use of the country's reserves".


While his rivals seemed preoccupied with their party independence, Tharman urged voters to judge candidates on their record, rather than their past affiliations.


"If I am lucky enough to be elected president, I will represent the unity of Singaporeans, of all races, religions, social backgrounds and political leanings, at a time when views among the population are becoming more diverse," he said.


Since Tharman entered Singaporean politics just over two decades ago, he has avoided constant calls from the public that he should become the next prime minister of the Southeast Asian country.


Tharman - who is very popular and has risen in the ranks of the ruling People's Action Party, and is very popular among members of the opposition - insists that he is not suitable for the position of prime minister. He even likened his refereeing skills to those of a soccer goal-maker, saying that he is better as a team player who can provide assists than a superstar who scores goals. "I enjoy making long passes," he said. "But I'm not the striker."


His candidacy is thus a far cry from the quest for the premiership currently held by Lee Hsien Loong, the son of Singapore's founding prime minister. He is expected to retire and choose his successor before the country's next general election in 2025.


But it is a step that helps avoid the looming question of whether the Chinese-majority country (or the ruling party) that promotes its multi-ethnic and pluralistic society is ready or reluctant to elevate someone from an ethnic minority to the position of prime minister.


Also unique to Singapore is voting, which is compulsory for more than 2.7 million eligible citizens of Singapore. Those who do not vote without valid reason are subject to being removed from the voter list.


He also notes the absence of long, orderly lines at polling stations, as well as the raucous atmosphere that can accompany elections in other countries, with supporters cheering or handing out flyers to push for last-minute votes. And "presidential elections are increasingly being treated as a general election."


Today's presidential elections are being watched closely as an indication of support for the ruling Popular Action Party after a rare series of political scandals that rocked the party recently, which is rare in a country that has benefited from the reputation of its clean government, and has become an international center for a group of industries such as finance and aviation, especially since the party has suffered from its worst electoral performance ever in 2020; However, he maintained his majority of more than two-thirds.

Observers said the vote could indicate the level of support for the PAP ahead of general elections scheduled for 2025 or discontent after recent scandals that include a corruption investigation into the transport minister and the resignation of two PAP lawmakers over an affair.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

After his inauguration as President of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu pledges to unite the country and ensure its security

    Tuesday, May 30, 2023   No comments

On Monday, Bola Ahmed Tinubu called for the unification of Nigeria, the day after his inauguration as the new president of the most populous country in Africa, and pledged that ensuring its security would be his “priority.”

The new 71-year-old head of state, in traditional dress, was sworn in during a ceremony held in Abuja in front of a crowd of officials and a number of African heads of state (Rwanda, Ghana, South Africa, Benin and Cameroon).

Tinubu, who was elected in February, pledged at the end of a ballot whose results were challenged by the opposition in court, denouncing widespread fraud, to serve Nigerians "without prejudice".


He stressed the need to unite the country of 215 million people, divided between the Muslim-majority north and the Christian-majority south, particularly by "promoting economic exchanges, social cohesion and intercultural dialogue."


He pledged that tackling insecurity would be his "absolute priority", as well as defending "the nation from terrorism and all forms of crime" by strengthening security forces.


The new president has promised to put Africa's largest economy back on track, while the oil-rich country sinks into recession, inflation, exploding debt and poverty.


Tinubu, who was called the “kingmaker” or “the spiritual father,” because of his enormous political influence, organized his election campaign, stressing that it was his “turn” to lead the largest economy on the continent.


However, the rise of the new president, who has huge wealth, was accompanied by many accusations of corruption, without being convicted at all, which he also always denied.


Tinubu will have to focus on the speedy recovery of the country's economy. One of the main challenges for Nigeria, which is rich in oil, is that it exchanges crude, which is estimated at billions of dollars, in exchange for imported fuel (due to poor operation of refineries) that it supplies to its market later.


What happens now that Erdogan is re-elected president of Turkiye?

    Tuesday, May 30, 2023   No comments

Two weeks ago, the American New York Times reported that European leaders would be happy to have an "easier Turkey," referring to the European desire for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to lose in the current presidential elections.

The newspaper pointed out that Westerners, especially the US administration, would like to see Erdogan lose, in favor of opposition figure Kemal Kilicdaroglu.

The New York Times said that Turkey, an important and strategic member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), has become, under Erdogan's rule, "an increasingly troublesome partner of the European Union."


However, "NATO", according to the newspaper, hopes that the change of Turkish leadership "will lead to an end to the confrontation over the approval of Sweden's membership in the alliance," before the summit scheduled to be held in Vilnius, Lithuania, next July.


Within Turkey, the opposition and its candidate, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, whom the Western media called "Turkey's Gandhi," sought to overthrow Erdogan.


And the opposition exploited anti-refugee sentiments to try to win the elections, according to the British "Guardian". Kilicdaroglu tried to win the support of voters, especially the youth, taking advantage of the difficult economic conditions, and promised to restore the parliamentary system, after its improvement, to the country.


Now, after Erdogan announced his victory in the presidential elections in its second round, what will the picture look like, at home and abroad?


Globally:

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace saw that the margin of creative thinking for the West will be limited with Erdogan's victory, as "21 years of experience with the current government has mostly exhausted the West's expectations of a qualitative improvement in relations."


And the Turkish president's victorious exit from this juncture means, according to the foundation, that Erdogan and his "indomitable sense" will reach new highs, which will increase what it called his "fiery behavior."


As for the relations between Ankara, Washington, and the rest of the Western capitals, the foundation said that they would be "devoid of flexibility and subject to circumstantial crises."


The reason behind this lies in the fact that Turkey will be in dire need of foreign financial flows due to the economic hardship the country is witnessing, as the Foundation said, which will prompt Erdogan to manage his country's foreign policy within the constraints of this reality, that is, with "less adventurism and more stability." .


But at the same time, the AKP leader will continue to "see Turkey as a regional power, and a member of a new club of countries," which includes China and Russia, which sees itself as an independent power bloc, according to the Institute for Turkish Studies at Stockholm University.


The European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) said that the approach of Turkish treatment in foreign policy will continue while Erdogan remains in power, and the strained relations with the European Union will continue, "without any progress towards constructive engagement."


In the eastern Mediterranean, the site saw that tensions with Cyprus and Greece will not recede, but rather may escalate, with Ankara pressing for a two-state solution on the island.


As for Syria, the site expected the Turkish government's attempts, under Erdogan's rule, to continue to normalize its relations with Syria and other countries. This would facilitate the return of some Syrian refugees to their homeland, as the website said, bearing in mind that the issue of asylum is a top concern for Turkish voters.


For its part, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) suggested that the United States and Europe would remain silent, and work to find new ways to work with Erdogan upon his victory.


And while relations are expected to be turbulent with the West, it is seen that they will be more stable with Russia, especially after the participation of Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in an official ceremony marking the start of supplying the Akkuyu nuclear power plant with nuclear fuel, days before the start of the elections. public in Turkey.


During the ceremony, which was held last April, Putin stressed that the station is the most important project for Russia and Turkey, and promised that it would allow the development of joint economic relations and the promotion of coexistence between the two countries.


Under Erdogan, Turkey maintained its relations with Russia, at a time when the West cut it off after Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine. Recently, Ankara played the most prominent role, along with the United Nations, in completing the "grain deal" between Ukraine and Russia, which Erdogan announced its extension two weeks ago.


This deal is an integral part of a set of specific agreements for a period of 3 years, which provide for the lifting of the ban on Russian exports of food and fertilizers, the reconnection of the Russian Agricultural Bank to the “SWIFT” system, and the resumption of the supply of agricultural machinery, spare parts and services.


Domestically:

On the domestic front, the head of the Justice and Development Party announced that his economic program for the next stage reveals a return to more traditional policies regarding the "free market" economy.


There is talk that Erdogan's economic program will be very similar to that laid out in the AKP's 2002 electoral platform. In other words, the AKP will return to its "origins" and abandon "heretical economics".


During the past months, the Turkish government has resorted to what is called the "election economy", which permeates it by increasing government spending and reducing collection, by raising the minimum wage, facilitating loans, scheduling debts, and supporting some segments.


The public coalition, led by Erdogan, seeks to increase Turkey's gross domestic product and increase annual growth by 5.5% from 2024 to 2028.


Likewise, the alliance is working to achieve a gross domestic product of $1.5 trillion by the end of 2028, to adopt a policy of developing the defense industries sector and combating terrorism, and to establish the "Istanbul Canal" project.


The Turkish president promised the voters to make Turkey "strong and multi-alliance," and also promised to create 6 million jobs, accusing the West of "trying to overthrow him, after more than two decades in power," in addition to giving tourism a big boost.


However, the opposition is suspicious of Erdogan's promises, especially on the economic issue, and its alliance has made many economic promises. However, the most prominent criticism that reached it is that it does not provide clear mechanisms and policies to achieve its promises.


Faced with this reality, the Turkish interior is vulnerable to a raging political ram between the elected president and his opponents, especially with Kilicdaroglu's statement that he is "sad for Turkey's future", without officially acknowledging the loss.


The issue of the political system that governs the country was raised as one of the main headlines over which electoral competition was intensified. While the opposition was threatening to restore the parliamentary system to rule Turkey in the event of the victory of its candidate, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the "Justice and Development" promised to preserve the presidential system.


According to the election results, Erdogan's assumption of power for another 5 years means the continuation of the presidential system, which provides the president with broad powers, most notably the direct appointment of senior state officials, including ministers, university presidents and judges.

_________

* Adapted from Fatima Karnib's reporting on the Turkish Elections

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Instrumentalizing migrants for political purposes in Turkish elections

    Thursday, May 25, 2023   No comments

The pro-Kurdish parties in Turkey announced today, Thursday, the support of the opposition presidential candidate, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, in the run-off in the presidential elections next Sunday, without mentioning his name, a day after expressing their anger at his agreement with a far-right party.

Incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan finished with a comfortable lead in the first round of voting on May 14, despite the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) backing of Kilicdaroglu.

Erdogan was very close to getting the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff.

Officials from the HDP and their Green Left allies said they were seeking change in the runoff, and their position remained the same, but they did not mention Kilicdaroglu by name.

Pervin Buldan, co-chair of the HDP, said they will vote on Sunday to end Erdogan's "one-man regime".

She added, "The strange system that Erdogan and his partners established is the cause of the societal problems that we suffer from. What will be voted on on May 28 is the extent to which this strange system can continue or not."

Buldan also criticized the campaign's rhetoric in which immigrants are used for political purposes, and the practices of state-appointed trustees.

"The problem of refugees and migrants can only be solved by fighting for peace against the politics of war," Buldan said.


Friday, May 19, 2023

Turkish elections news, Erdogan: Türkiye and Russia need each other, rejects talks with third candidate

    Friday, May 19, 2023   No comments

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke to CNN about a number of files, including elections and foreign policy.


The Turkish president said he would work "without a doubt" with US President Joe Biden, or with "anyone who might replace him."

In response to his reminder of his condemnation of the statements of US President Joe Biden, who described him as a "tyrant", during his campaign in the US presidential elections, Erdogan said: "Can someone who goes to the second round, and not the first (in the Turkish presidential elections), be a dictator? ".


He asked, "What kind of dictatorship is this? Given that the People's Alliance enters Parliament with 322 deputies, and the person who presides over it comes to the fore, and is heading to a second round."


Erdogan described his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin as "special," and said: "We have no problems in our relationship with Russia at the present time, and we are not at a stage where we impose sanctions on it as the West did. We are not bound by the West's sanctions."


Erdogan criticized the "unbalanced approach of the West with Russia," as he put it, saying: "You need a balanced approach towards a country like Russia, which could have been a much more fortunate approach."


He stressed that "Turkey and Russia need each other in every field."


Regarding Turkey's approval of Sweden's request to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, "NATO," Erdogan said that he was "not ready for Sweden to enter NATO."


Regarding the return of Syrian-Turkish relations, he made it clear that he could reconcile with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if they agree on how to deal with the PKK file.


It is worth mentioning that the Turkish Minister of Defense, Hulusi Akar, spoke weeks ago about the possibility of meeting the leaders of Turkey and Syria within the framework of the quadripartite formula, and said in this regard: "We need to make appropriate preparations."



Erdogan said he would not negotiate with Turkish presidential candidate Sinan Ogan.


The Turkish president also expressed his confidence that the people will show the strength of Turkish democracy in the second round of the presidential elections as well.


He said, during the interview: "I believe that my people will show the strong Turkish democracy in the elections that will take place on Sunday (28th of this month) as well. There was a strong participation rate of nearly 90% (in the first round)."


And the Turkish president indicated that "this participation rate is very important, and it is less than its counterpart in the world." As for the Turkish economy, Erdogan said he is committed to his interest rate theory.


Last Sunday, Turkey witnessed presidential and parliamentary elections, and the candidate of the "Audience Alliance" President Erdogan, the candidate of the "Nation Alliance" leader of the Republican People's Party Kamal Kilicdaroglu, and the candidate of the "Ata Alliance" (ancestors) Sinan Ogan competed in the presidential elections.


Turkey's Supreme Electoral Commission officially announced that the second round of the presidential elections would take place on May 28, due to the fact that no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote.


Monday, May 15, 2023

Mauritanian parliamentary and local elections

    Monday, May 15, 2023   No comments

Counting of votes in the Mauritanian parliamentary and local elections continue; the tabualtion began  on Saturday - after polling stations closed their doors at seven o'clock in the evening (Greenwich Mean Time), and it is expected that the preliminary results of the elections will be announced on Sunday evening.

The Independent National Elections Commission decided to extend voting in a number of centers whose opening was delayed "until the last voter present in the geographical area of the voting center is able to vote," according to a spokesman for the commission, Muhammad Taqi Allah al-Adham, at a press conference from the capital, Nouakchott.



Long lines lined up in front of many polling stations in Nouakchott on Saturday to elect a new parliament and regional and local councils in the first poll since President Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani came to power in 2019. Meanwhile, Amadi Ould Sidi El Mokhtar, head of the National Rally for Reform and Development (the largest opposition party), said: In Mauritania) that "significant breaches" were recorded in the first hours of the elections.


The polling stations opened to voters at seven o'clock in the morning local time, as the elections take place with the participation of 25 parties, which is the total number of political parties licensed in the country.


The Independent National Elections Commission announced that the participation rate reached 18% at midday.


For his part, the Mauritanian president said that the government "is insisting on the success of organizing parliamentary and local elections."


On the other hand, the head of the "National Rally for Reform and Development" party said - in a statement after casting his vote - that the opposition "was very concerned about the course of the electoral process, especially with regard to the Independent National Elections Commission, and what we feared has come true today."


Ould Sidi El-Mokhtar pointed out that "during the first two hours of the start of voting, we witnessed many violations. There are centers that did not open their doors two hours after the start of voting, centers that were moved from their places without prior notice, centers that receive incomplete electoral lists, and centers that are not accepted for entry." representatives of the parties.


The Independent National Elections Commission did not comment on the statements of the "National Rally for Reform and Development" party regarding the "violations" and said that "the polling is taking place smoothly and without obstacles."


Rivalry rages in the capital, Nouakchott, between the ruling "Insaf" party and the "National Rally for Reform and Development" (Islamic opposition).


The two parties are looking forward to winning the position of president of the Nouakchott region (mayor of the capital), which is the most important electoral position at the level of the capital.


The ruling "Insaf" party renewed its candidacy for Fatima bint Abdel Malik, who had held the position since the 2018 elections, while the "National Rally for Reform and Development" party pushed the former mayor of Arafat district in Nouakchott and the most prominent party leader, Hassan Ould Mohamed, for this position.


According to figures from the Independent National Elections Commission, the number of candidate lists in constituencies at the parliamentary level has reached 559, which will compete for 167 parliamentary seats.


The number of lists running for the regional elections reached 145 lists competing for 13 regional councils, while the number of lists running for municipalities reached 1,378 lists, competing for 238 local councils.


The total number of voters is two million, 700 thousand and 448 voters.


Last March, the Mauritanian president issued a decree dissolving the "National Assembly" (parliament) in preparation for holding elections, as its sessions have stopped since that date.


Thursday, May 11, 2023

Türkiye Elections: Candidate Muharrem Ince withdraws; Erdogan bribes voters with wage increase 3 days before the presidential elections

    Thursday, May 11, 2023   No comments

The candidate of the "Balad" party for the Turkish presidency, Muharram Ince, announced his withdrawal from the presidential race, after meeting yesterday evening with some officials in his party to discuss the latest developments in his election campaign.

Three candidates are running in the Turkish presidential elections, after the withdrawal of Ince, namely Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Kamal Kilicdaroglu and Sinan Ogan.

Ince, 58, is a politician and former physics teacher, the son of an immigrant from the Greek city of Thessaloniki. He has challenged Erdogan in his speeches in Parliament for 16 years and was the main opposition presidential candidate in 2018.


The Balad Party ran in the Turkish general elections without being involved in any alliance, as Muharrem Ince's candidate for the presidency. And the country party belongs to the "kemalist thought", relative to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and tends to the national right.

The party calls for the rule of law, separation of powers, equality and prosperity, fair distribution of wealth, sustainable economic development, and reaching the level of contemporary civilization.


The party sees it as a third current between the ruling current, represented by the Justice and Development Party, and the traditional opposition represented by the Republican People's Party. Country Party leader Muharrem Ince has vowed to rid Turkey of both the government and the opposition.


Tuesday, March 14, 2023

New opinion polls show that the opposition candidate for the Turkish presidency, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, is ahead of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by more than 10 percentage points ahead of the May 14 elections

    Tuesday, March 14, 2023   No comments

Opinion polls show that the opposition bloc, which is called the Nation Alliance, leads the parliamentary race, by at least six points, from the Justice and Development Party, led by current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his allies.


New opinion polls show that opposition candidate for the Turkish presidency, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, is leading President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by more than 10 percentage points ahead of the May 14 elections.


Opinion polls published by Reuters show that the opposition bloc, called the Nation Alliance, leads the presidential race, by at least six points, over Erdogan's Justice and Development Party and its allies.

An opinion poll published by Aksoy Research, conducted on March 8, showed that Kilicdaroglu is leading against Erdogan by 55.6% and 44.4%, respectively.


It showed that the main opposition bloc received 44.1% of the vote, and the Peoples' Democratic Party 10.3%. As for the Justice and Development Party and its nationalist allies from the National Movement Party, they got 38.2%.


A poll conducted by Alf Research from March 6 to 7 showed that Kilicdaroglu's rate was 55.1%, and Erdogan's 44.9%. The Republican People's Party, led by Davutoğlu, was the most popular with 31.8%, while the Justice and Development Party came next with 31%.


The poll showed that the main opposition bloc got 43.5% of the vote, while the Peoples' Democratic Party got 11.3%. Likewise, the Justice and Development Party and the Nationalist Movement Party together received 37.5% support.


Piar Research showed Kilicdaroglu winning with 57.1%, while Erdogan was behind with 42.9%.


ORC research showed Kilicdaroglu ahead with 56.8% and Erdogan with 43.2%, according to a poll conducted March 4-6, before the official announcement of Davutoglu as the opposition candidate.


There is no doubt that the earthquakes had an impact on the popularity of the Justice and Development Party, as it appeared in a survey conducted by the "Metropoll" company, that 34.4% of people blamed the government for the losses during the earthquake, while 26.9% blamed the contractors, and the municipalities third, 15.4%.


Monday, March 06, 2023

The Turkish opposition alliance chooses Kilicdaroglu as its candidate in the presidential elections against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

    Monday, March 06, 2023   No comments

The Turkish opposition alliance announced today, Monday, that Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the Republican People's Party, will be its joint candidate against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the upcoming elections scheduled for May 14.

"As a result of our meetings, we decided that Kemal Kilicdaroglu would be our candidate for the presidency," Temel Karamullah Oglu, head of the opposition Felicity Party, said after a meeting of six opposition party leaders.

Midhat Sancar, co-chair of Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), said on Monday the party could support main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu in the May 14 presidential election after "clear and frank talks".

“Our clear expectation is a transition to a strong democracy. If we can agree on basic principles, we may support him in the presidential elections.”

The opposition alliance of six parties in Turkey announced the selection of Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the Republican People's Party, as a joint candidate to run in the upcoming elections against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The six-party table announced by the opposition in Turkey "The six-party opposition party announced Kemal Kilicdaroglu as a consensus candidate for the presidency."


In turn, the six-party opposition table in Turkey announced that "the mayors of Istanbul and Ankara will be appointed as vice-presidents of the republic." Noting that Davutoğlu will be its joint candidate in front of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the upcoming elections scheduled for May 14.


For his part, the co-chair of the Peoples' Democratic Party in Turkey, Kamal Kilicdaroglu, blessed his candidacy for the presidency, commenting: "We are waiting for him at our party headquarters."


The talk about the Turkish elections comes at a time when Turkey is still suffering from the worst humanitarian disaster in the country's modern history, due to the repercussions of the earthquakes that struck 10 provinces in southern Turkey on February 6.



Thursday, December 15, 2022

Thousands of Turks are protesting against preventing the mayor of Istanbul from practicing politics

    Thursday, December 15, 2022   No comments

Thousands of Turks gathered in a square in central Istanbul today, Thursday, in solidarity with the opposition mayor of the city, Ekrem Imamoglu, who was issued a judicial decision against him, preventing him from practicing politics, before the presidential elections scheduled for next year.

Yesterday, Wednesday, a criminal court sentenced Ekrem Imamoglu to more than two years in prison, and prevented him from practicing politics for the same period, on charges of "insulting members of the Supreme Election Commission in 2019."


Earlier today, Davutoglu announced his rejection of the judicial decision against him, stressing that he would confront the "coup against the will of the people."


For his part, Oglu's lawyer confirmed that he would appeal the verdict, which means that he would remain in the position of mayor, but he is now excluded from the presidential elections scheduled for next year.

The US State Department expressed its "great alarm and disappointment" at the prospect of excluding one of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's biggest rivals from the political scene.


Germany described the decision as a "harsh blow to democracy," while France urged Turkey to correct "its deviation from the rule of law and democracy, and respect for fundamental rights."

Turkish opposition

It comes six months before an election in which the Turkish opposition is putting its best foot forward to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has ruled the country for 20 years, while a jail sentence against Davutoglu has raised the risk of a presidential struggle between opposition poles.

Turkey's fractious opposition is struggling to unite behind a single candidate to challenge Erdogan, who has ruled Turkey for two decades, in the upcoming elections.

However, the leader of the "Republican People's" party, Kamal Kilicdaroglu, is still pressing hard for the candidacy, and the shares of Meral Aksener, the leader of the "Good Party", rose to run for the competition.


Imamoglu and six opposition party leaders marched side by side in a crowd of supporters in a rally meant to show defiance to Erdogan.


Imamoglu addressed the crowd, saying, "I am not at all afraid of their illegitimate rule," adding, "I do not have judges to protect me, but behind me are 16 million Istanbulites and our nation."


A Metropoll poll showed that even voters of Erdogan's Justice and Development Party believe the case against the Istanbul mayor is "politically motivated".

The poll found that 28.3% of AKP voters believe that "the issue is politicized," while 24.2% believe that it is related to "defamation."


Wednesday, December 14, 2022

The mayor of Istanbul was imprisoned for two years and 7 months for "insulting officials"

    Wednesday, December 14, 2022   No comments

On Wednesday, a Turkish court sentenced the mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu, to more than two years in prison on charges of insulting members of the Supreme Electoral Commission, which effectively prevents him from practicing politics.

Turkish media said that the judiciary sentenced Oglu to two years and 7 months in prison for insulting members of the Supreme Electoral Commission.

And imposed a political ban on him for insulting public officials, in a ruling that is expected to be appealed.

Ekrem Imamoglu, a popular rival of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was prosecuted from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) for a speech he gave in 2019 in which he said those who canceled Istanbul's local elections at the time were "foolish".

It should be noted that the maximum penalty for this charge is four years imprisonment.


For his part, Oglu's lawyer confirmed that he would appeal the ruling, which means that he will remain in the position of mayor, but he is now excluded from the presidential elections scheduled for next year.


The case dates back to a statement issued by Imamoglu, after he defeated the candidate of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamist party in the controversial 2019 municipal elections.


Persons sentenced to less than four years' imprisonment are rarely sent to prison in Turkey.


"This is an unfortunate approach to democracy and the rule of law," his lawyer, Kemal Polat, told AFP.


Imamoglu (52 years old) defeated Erdogan's party in March 2019, by winning the mayoralty of Istanbul, which was led by the ruling Justice and Development Party for 25 years.


The government canceled Imamoglu's election, but he returned and won by a large margin in the run-off elections after about three months.


A few months later, Ekrem Imamoglu considered those who canceled his election victory "stupid," echoing a phrase that Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu had used against him a few hours earlier.


This description exposed the mayor of Istanbul to prosecution for "insulting" members of the Supreme Electoral Council.



Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Syria refused Turkey's request to arrange a meeting between Erdogan and Assad

    Tuesday, December 06, 2022   No comments

 The leader of the Justice and Development Party, Orhan Miri Oglu, declared, "Damascus rejected Ankara's request to arrange a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad."

"Damascus intends to postpone the meeting between Erdogan and Assad until after the Turkish elections," Merioglu told Sputnik.

It is noteworthy that Miri Oglu confirmed, earlier, that the Turkish president is ready to meet his Syrian counterpart, and that he did not reject the idea of meeting.

And the Turkish president had assured Al-Mayadeen, earlier, that he was "ready to meet Syrian President Bashar al-Assad when the time comes," saying: "I may meet al-Assad when the time is right. I am not a politician used to saying that this is not possible or that it is impossible. When the time comes Of course, we may meet with the Syrian president."

Last November, Erdogan hinted at the possibility of reconsidering relations with Damascus after the 2023 elections in Turkey, saying: "We can reconsider our relations with the countries with which we live in problems, after the elections."

It is noteworthy that the Turkish presidency announced, earlier, that Moscow had offered to mediate in order to hold a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The Turkish presidency stated that "there is no political basis for holding a meeting between Erdogan and Assad at the present time, but Ankara does not close the door to diplomacy," adding that Russia offered to mediate and facilitate a meeting between the two leaders.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Report: Half of the world's democracies are in decline, and Washington is in peril

    Wednesday, November 30, 2022   No comments

A report published by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance revealed today, Wednesday, that half of the democracies in the world are witnessing a decline in their political system.

"We are now seeing factors that are very unfavorable to democracy, exacerbated by the consequences of the economic crisis caused by the pandemic and the economic consequences of the war in Ukraine," Kevin Casas-Zamora, secretary general of the Sweden-based institute, told AFP.


He explained that this regression could appear through a review of the credibility of elections, violations of the rule of law, or the imposition of restrictions in civic space.


The number of democracies facing serious undermining, which the report classified as countries "in decline" increased from 6 to 7 in 2022, with El Salvador added to it along with the United States since last year, and Brazil, Hungary, Poland, India and the island of Mauritius.

Kevin Casas-Zamora saw the US situation as "particularly dangerous". The report warned that this country suffers from problems of political polarization, disruption in the work of institutions, and threats to civil liberties.

"It is now clear that this fever has not subsided with the election of a new administration," said the Secretary-General.


This appears especially in the levels of polarization out of control, and attempts to "undermine the credibility of election results without any evidence of fraud," according to Casas-Zamora.


The rise of authoritarianism

Of the 173 countries included in the report, 52 of the democracies included in it are in decline.


On the other hand, 27 countries moved to an authoritarian regime, which is more than double the countries that moved to democracy.


Likewise, almost half of the authoritarian regimes tightened their repression during 2022, while Afghanistan, Belarus, Cambodia, the Comoros and Nicaragua recorded a "regression", according to the report.


In Asia, where only 54% of the population lives in a democracy, authoritarianism intensifies, while the African continent remains "resilient" in the face of instability despite the many challenges it faces.


In Europe, about half of the democracies, or 17 countries, have suffered a decline over the past five years.

The report stressed that "democracies are striving to find an effective balance in an environment of instability and anxiety, and populism continues to spread in the world, while innovation and growth are stagnant or regressing."



He noted "worrying trends" even in countries with medium or high democratic standards.

Casas-Zamora explained that "democratic regimes have recorded a real deterioration in the last two decades, and this raises a hot issue," but on the other hand, there are "signs of progress."

_________


Sources: 

https://www.idea.int/news-media/news/global-democracy-weakens-2022


Saturday, November 26, 2022

Is Pakistan on a path to profound changes that can no longer be controlled by outdated systems and outside players?

    Saturday, November 26, 2022   No comments

Streets of Rawalpindi in Pakistan now. Supporters of Imran Khan gathered as part of a massive anti-government march in Islamabad.

At the moment, the former Prime Minister of the Republic Imran Khan speaks to a crowd of protesters. After his speech, the general column is expected to move to the capital.





Saturday, November 19, 2022

Mahathir Mohamad loses his seat in the Malaysian parliament

    Saturday, November 19, 2022   No comments

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, 97, lost his seat in parliament following the legislative elections that took place on Saturday, which threatens to put an end to the long career of this veteran politician who was hoping to return to the political scene.

Mahathir, who served as Malaysia's prime minister for more than two decades in two terms, failed to retain his parliamentary seat and came fourth in a competition contested by five candidates in the Langkawi island constituency.

The seat was won by a candidate from the National Alliance, which is led by another former prime minister, Muhyiddin Yassin.

Mahathir leads a coalition that pledged to overthrow the current National Front coalition government on the grounds of accusations of corruption, but his alliance is not a major competitor, as the Front faces two other major coalitions, the Muhyiddin bloc and another led by Anwar Ibrahim, Mahathir's arch-rival for a long time.


Mahathir said in an interview with Reuters this month that he would retire from politics if he lost.


Millions of voters went to the polls to participate in the national elections, which were called early, in an attempt to end the political instability.


The election is the first since the historic vote in 2018, when the party, which has ruled the Southeast Asian country since its independence in 1957, was defeated in the wake of a multibillion-dollar corruption scandal.


A single party is unlikely to win an outright majority in the 222-seat House of Representatives, and the majority of the major parties have campaigned under one banner, in a race between three major alliances.


Three successive prime ministers in the country within 3 years, including Mahathir Mohamad, 97, who ruled Malaysia for more than two decades during two terms in power.


The economic issue emerges as a priority for parties and voters alike. According to a survey prepared by the Merdeka Center for Opinion Research, it was found that 74% of respondents consider the economy a priority, followed by political stability and corruption.


Thursday, November 10, 2022

Some of the most prominent Arab and Muslim candidates in the American midterm elections

    Thursday, November 10, 2022   No comments

Muslim-Americans are active in local and national US politics. They are members of both major parties. During the most recent elections, some won, some lost, but overall, it was a banner year for politicians who are members of the Arab and/or Muslim communities. 

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim organization in the United States, said that 145 Muslim-American candidates ran in the midterm elections at the local (district), state (state legislature and executive positions), and at the federal level. (The Senate and the House of Representatives). Kerr saw that this represents a new record for the volume of Islamic participation in the midterm elections, which included 48 candidates for legislative councils in 23 states.

A statement by CAIR stated that there are currently 29 Muslim-American legislators in the councils of 18 states, and New York and Minnesota lead these states with three legislators each.

A total of 82 Muslim candidates won the races on Tuesday, the highest percentage since CARE began tracking the electoral progress of American Muslims.

Some of the Muslim policians who ran for national offices:

Daryl Issa - Republican - California - House of Representatives / win

In California's 48th District, Arab-American Republican Representative Daryl Issa faced a challenge from Democratic newcomer Stephen Houlahan, but was victorious with 61% of the vote.


Darren Lahoud - Republican - Illinois - House of Representatives / win

Republican candidate Darren Lahoud, a Lebanese-American, handily defeated his Democratic opponent, Elizabeth Haderlin, in Illinois' 16th district with 66% of the vote.


Abraham Hamadeh - Republican - Arizona - Attorney General/ Not yet determined

For the position of state attorney general, Republican Abraham Hamadeh, a former military intelligence officer and lawyer of Syrian origin, is vying with Democrat Chris Mays, and the winner will represent the state on important issues related to immigration, abortion, and election management. Hamadeh won the support of former President Donald Trump.

As of the end of yesterday, Wednesday, Hamada had obtained 50.1% of the vote, compared to 49.9 percent for his democratic rival, and the completion of the counting and counting of votes had not yet been announced.


Rashida Tlaib - Democrat - Michigan / win

Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib won for the third time in the 12th district in Michigan, after defeating Republican Stephen Elliott, and got 73.3% of the vote, despite being bullied by the former president, in addition to campaigns directed by the Jewish lobby.


Ilhan Omar - Democrat - Minnesota / win

Ilhan Omar won a landslide victory in the fifth district in the state for a seat in the House of Representatives. Ilhan is considered one of the most effective Muslims in defending Arab and Islamic issues in Congress. She received the votes of 75% of the electorate, while her Republican opponent, Cecily Davis, received less than 25% of the vote.


Garrett Greaves, Republic of Louisiana/Foz

In the southern US state of Louisiana, Garrett Graves, a Republican of Lebanese descent, won the 6th District over another Republican contender, Brian Bayzer, by 80%.


Andrew Carson, Indiana, Democrat, House of Representatives

Farrow, Representative Andrew Carson in his seat, which he has held for several years, won by 68% over Republican candidate Angela Grabowski.


State legislatures

At the local level, dozens of Arab candidates achieved important victories, including Harvard-educated Democratic candidate Abdel Nasser Rashid, who won the Illinois State House of Representatives in the 21st district in the southwestern suburbs of Chicago, which includes one of the largest concentrations of Palestinian Americans. In Iowa, Democrat Sammy Sheetz won the 78th District in the state House of Representatives.

The Somali-born American, Zainab Muhammad, won the 63rd district seat in the Minnesota local Senate, and Zainab won the votes of 39 thousand 63 voters, or 85.8%, compared to 14.2% for her Republican challenger, Sean Holster. Zainab will be the first Muslim woman elected to the state senate, joining her fellow Democratic senator Omar Fateh, who won re-election.

Commenting on the election results, CARE National Executive Director Nihad Awad said, “The historic string of electoral victories for American Muslims that broke previous records is a testament to our community’s continued rise in American politics and the trust our neighbors have placed in us to represent them and fight for their interests. ".


In the press release, Awad called on "all elected American Muslim leaders to be inspired by their Islamic faith, and to work towards the best possible future for all Americans."



Sunday, October 09, 2022

Media Review: The West is Paying the Price for Instrumentalizing Human Rights and Convenience-Driven Policies

    Sunday, October 09, 2022   No comments

As revealed again by the West’s rhetorical support of protesters in Iran, the practice of using human rights claims to go after governments the West does not like and ignoring human rights abuses when they are done by Western-supported regimes or when done in Western countries, such a practice is very short-sighted and tends to backfire.

Case in point: for more than seventy years, the US and other

European governments provided unwavering support to the Saudi regime even when such regime banned women from driving, unleashed its morality police to beat shop owners who did not close their shops during Friday prayers, abused migrant workers, oppressed its Shia community, beheaded dissidents, launched illegal wars against its neighbors, and sent a team of 15 operatives to lure a dissident into its embassy building and dismember his body. Then, after one single decision by the Saudi regime to cut oil export just one month before midterm elections in the US and when Russia's oil is sanctioned, and the media and politicians are now gearing up to tell the world how bad the Saudi regime is. Soon, you will see more commentaries and political talking points unmasking Saudi Arabia’s “bad” human rights record. Given the context, few informed people will pay attention, and even fewer will trust the human rights claims behind which the West stands to justify its sanctions or interventions in countries run by leaders who do not follow and obey Western preferences. Here, the preeminent NYT and its top influencer is using a line from Trump’s book, They Are Laughing At Us, to promote the idea of punishing the Saudi regime.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Punjab province election results show that Imran Khan, forced out prime minister of Pakistan, is not going anywhere

    Wednesday, July 27, 2022   No comments


Punjab province election results was bad enough news for those who wanted Imran Khan out of politics. To make matters worse for them, yesterday, the Pakistani Supreme Court issued a decision in the case raised a few days ago regarding the vote on the presidency of the Punjab provincial government, which invalidated the victory of Hamza Shahbaz Sharif as the head of the provincial government, in favor of Pervez Elahi Chaudhry, the candidate of the PTI party that he leads.

In this way, the Insaf Party was able to invest its victory in the elections in Punjab, which is the largest and most influential province in Pakistan on the political scene. This region owns more than half of the seats in the country's parliament, and the winner of his local elections will have the opportunity to form the federal government later.


This prompted Imran Khan to demand again new national elections after his party's landslide victory. "Any other path will only lead to more political uncertainty and economic chaos," he said on Twitter.


There are a number of reasons for Imran Khan's success in this election. Between 30 to 45 thousand new voters were added to the voter register, who usually vote for parties and not individuals.


Al-Insaf Party's nomination of popular members or influential families and clans, in addition to obtaining the support of religious groups (Sunni and Shiite) in some electoral districts.


The effective campaign of the leadership of the Insaf Party, especially after the 10th of April (the date of the overthrow of the Khan government), and the focus on the external role in this overthrow, despite the repeated denials of this by his opponents.


Imran Khan's performance in the electoral rallies, which observers and followers described as admirable, as his personality was a decisive factor by urging voters to "jihad" and defeat "traitors" and achieve the real independence of the country and prevent any external interference, and this is popular with the Pakistani people.


Outside these matters, there is alos the state of other political parties. Internal disagreements over the nomination of members within Sharif's Muslim League party, which led to the division of the popular base for them, in addition to their lack of a clear plan or a strong electoral campaign. So what might happen in the near future?


A. Federal Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif is supposed to announce early elections in the country.

B. If Sharif does not do so, then there is a high probability that Punjab Chief Minister Pervez Elahi will resort to dissolving the provincial parliament, and this may force Sharif to dissolve the federal parliament. It is also possible that the Chief Minister of the PTI-controlled Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province will do a similar scenario, and this will certainly destabilize the federal government.

 

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