The Maldives will go ahead with a presidential election run-off on September 28, election commissioner Fuwad Thowfeek said on Thursday, despite a decision by the Supreme Court to postpone the second round following a complaint of vote rigging. Thowfeek’s comments followed mounting international pressure on the government to push ahead with a run-off, amid hopes it could end political turmoil in the Indian Ocean archipelago. The first round of voting, on September 7, was won by ex-president Mohamed Nasheed, whose removal from power 20 months ago ignited months of unrest. He secured 45.45 percent in the first round, short of the 50 percent needed for outright victory, and his party promptly announced mass protests against the postponement.
Jumhoory Party (JP) presidential candidate Gasim Ibrahim who narrowly missed out a place in the second round of the presidential elections held Saturday said that he has asked elections commission for a vote recount. Speaking during a rally on Wednesday, Gasim reiterated that there were major doubts surrounding the results of the first round. According to Gasim, issues such as ballots being cast in the names of deceased people and vote rigging had been noted during the first round. In light of such issues, JP had requested for a recount in the presence of relevant interlocutors, he added.
Officials knowingly transported hundreds of Cambodians to polling stations where they were not qualified to vote, a human rights group charges. A report released by the group Licadho said the voters were “intentionally manipulated” into casting the fraudulent ballots, The Phnom Penh Post reported Monday. In one alleged incident, Licadho said professors at a Phnom Penh university bussed hundreds of their students to a district some miles outside of the city. Other violations occurred, the group alleged, when more than 100 workers at a rock quarry in central Cambodia were taken to a newly created polling station near the national capital to vote.
Human rightts organizations in Zimbabwe were hit by cyber attacks during and after the African country’s election last Thursday, leading to suspicions of government suppression of election monitoring. Techweek Europe reported the attacks on Tuesday, saying that some were obviously targeted while other disruptions might have been merely collateral damage. Following the election, hosting providers in the country were hit by two sophisticated distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks over the weekend that took many websites that had been reporting voting results offline. Apparently the organisations hit included Fair Trade Africa, Privacy International and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum, which also told Techweek Europe that it suspected it had been targeted by a hacking attack earlier last week.
Election officials overseeing Zimbabwe’s July 31 ballot insist the country is ready to hold general elections in less than a week. However, fears of vote rigging and a lack of funding are worrying Zimbabweans. “Elections will be credible, free and fair. We are ready for the elections,” Zimbabwe’s Electoral Commission [ZEC] deputy chairperson, Joyce Kazeme, told international election observers stationed in the country on Tuesday (24.07.2013). Some 600 foreign observers have been endorsed to scrutinize the country’s July 31 election as well as pre-poll voting for security officials assigned to work on election day. Close to 6,000 Zimbabwean observers will also monitor voting. International observers include representatives of the African Union, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Voters in Togo will cast ballots in a parliamentary election tomorrow that’s been delayed for eight months amid concerns by opposition parties that the poll won’t be transparent and fair. President Faure Gnassingbe’s ruling Rally of the Togolese People will seek to protect its majority against the main opposition Union of Forces for Change, which threatened protests if it believes the results are rigged. The group challenged the outcome of a presidential vote in 2010 and say the West African nation’s electoral commission is dominated by supporters of Gnassingbe. The RPT denies the claim, saying the ballot will be transparent and fair. “Things can degenerate when the results are announced if anyone tries to falsify the results that come from the ballots,” Kuam Kouakouvi, a politics professor at Lome University in the capital, said in an interview on July 23. “Considering the enormous needs of the population, this would be hugely damaging.”
Damning top-secret intelligence documents that expose President Robert Mugabe’s plans to rig the forthcoming election and crush his political rivals have been handed to The Mail on Sunday. The dossier reveals in astonishing detail how Mugabe is plotting to steal millions of votes with massive and systematic ballot-rigging combined with widespread intimidation by party thugs. His tactics, along with details of massive funding from named British, Chinese and African backers, are disclosed in highly confidential papers written for his closest aides. They were obtained from intelligence sources who risked their lives to expose the covert campaign to keep 89-year-old Mugabe and his military cabal in power.
I just read Doug Chapin’s article on the vote rigging at Cal State San Marcos, and I would add several observations. Had this been a public election conducted via Internet voting, it would have been much more difficult to identify any problem or to capture the perpetrator, Mr. Weaver. Mr. Weaver was captured because he was voting from school-owned computers. This was networked voting but not really Internet voting. The IT staff was able to notice “unusual activity” on those computers, and via remote access they were able to “watch the user cast vote after vote”. But in a public online election people would vote from their own private PCs, and through the Internet, not on a network controlled by the IT staff of election officials. There will likely be no “unusual activity” to notice in real time, and no possibility of “remote access” to allow them to monitor activity on a voter’s computer. Note also that university IT staff were able to monitor him while he was voting, showing that they were able to completely violate voting privacy, something we cannot tolerate in a public election.
A political deal brought Mr Tsvangirai into government in 2009 after Mr Mugabe claimed victory in a bitterly disputed presidential contest that cost hundreds of lives. But in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Tsvangirai said he was not willing to repeat the experience. As he prepares to run for the presidency against Mr Mugabe for a third time, he made clear that if he lost on July 31, he would refuse any invitation to stay on as prime minister. Calling the survival of the coalition a “regressive step”, Mr Tsvangirai insisted: “The people of Zimbabwe are desperate to start on a new plate and actually give proper direction and proper policy direction to revive this economy, give people hope and actually start all over again.”
In the end, Iran’s presidential election may be defined by who doesn’t vote. Arguments over whether to boycott Friday’s ballot still boiled over at coffee shops, kitchen tables and on social media among many liberal-leaning Iranians on the eve of the voting. The choice, once easy for many who turned their back in anger after years of crackdowns, has been suddenly complicated by an unexpected chance to perhaps wage a bit of payback against Iran’s rulers. The rising fortunes of the lone relative moderate left in the race, former nuclear negotiator Hasan Rowhani, has brought a dilemma for many Iranians who faced down security forces four years ago: Stay away from the polls in a silent protest or jump back into the mix in a system they claim has been disgraced by vote rigging. Which way the scales tip could set the direction of the election and the fate for Rowhani, a cleric who is many degrees of mildness removed from being an opposition leader. But he is still the only fallback option for moderates in an election that once seemed preordained for a pro-establishment loyalist.