Asia

Articles about voting issues in Asia, Australia and Oceania.

Bangladesh: Election will take place as scheduled, says Prime Minister | Arab News

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Monday that her government will hold a general election by the end of this year, as scheduled. “The election will take place on time and the people will exercise their voting rights,” Hasina said.
The prime minister was speaking at a press conference on her return home from an official visit to Italy and the Vatican. Hasina addressed threats from the Bangladesh National Party (BNP) that it will boycott the election unless its chairperson, Begum Khaleda Zia, is released from prison. Zia — who was herself prime minister of Bangladesh from 1991 to 1996 and from 2001 to 2006 — was sentenced to five years in jail for embezzlement on Feb. 8. Read More

India: Row over India’s electronic voting machines leaves electors dazed | Al Arabiya

The brouhaha over use of smart electronic voting machines (EVMs) in India’s legislative elections has reached an ear-splitting pitch, leaving the 850 million constituents confused and confounded. All set for the five-year general polls scheduled for 2019, India’s Election Commission has time and again asseverated that the voter-friendly devices are tamper-proof and cannot be manipulated, but opposition parties have been demanding a ban on the high-tech gizmos and want the poll panel to return to the good old paper ballot system. Browned off by the belligerent mood of seven national and 35 recognized state parties bent on blowing the whistle, the exasperated commission has now thrown a gauntlet before them and invited politicos of all hues to examine the EVMs from June 3 onwards and show how the indigenously-manufactured machines can be hacked. Read More

Bhutan: Bhutan kicks off a busy election year | Kuensel

With the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) rolling out the third National Council (NC) election schedule on February 15, Bhutan has entered a busy election year. The NC elections, which will be held on April 20, will be followed by the third National Assembly elections towards the end of the year. The house of review will complete its term in the second week of May 2018 and a new house is expected to be in place the day after the expiry of the term. The Assembly will dissolve in August. Assuming that the prime minister does not dissolve the Assembly prematurely, elections could be held in October 2018. The ECB had officially shifted its focus to the parliamentary elections by marking voters’ day on September 15 last year. Read More

Malaysia: Opposition objects to EC’s new vote boundaries | Malay Mail

Malaysia’s Opposition and an election watchdog submitted objections today to the redrawing of some constituency boundaries, which they said would favour Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in a general election due by August. The Election Commission is reviewing electoral boundaries for more than half of Malaysia’s 222 parliamentary seats. Opponents of the redrafting say it is unconstitutional and could skew voting in favour of Najib’s ruling coalition, the Barisan Nasional (BN). The government denies the accusation. Read More

Sri Lanka: Election Losses Test Sri Lanka’s Leader, and the Country’s Direction | The New York Times

Local elections across Sri Lanka on Saturday were supposed to be about small issues, like installing street lighting for some neighborhoods and improving garbage sweeping in others. But the country’s first post-war national government has stagnated, with the governing coalition partners at each other’s throats. Suddenly, the local vote has become a referendum on the national government’s performance. And, to an extent, the results of the elections may signal what direction the island nation takes in its still-fragile transition from decades of a civil war that killed as many as 100,000 people before it ended in 2009. Read More

China: Hong Kong democracy activists walk free in appeal victory | AFP

Joshua Wong and two other leading Hong Kong democracy activists won an appeal against their jail terms at the city’s highest court Tuesday in a case seen as a test for the independence of the city’s judiciary, which some fear is under pressure from Beijing. But the trio warned it was not a time for celebration because the city still faced threats to its freedoms. Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow were jailed in August last year for their role in the mass pro-democracy Umbrella Movement protests of 2014 after Hong Kong’s government pushed for more severe sentences. A lower court had originally given Wong and Law community service orders and Chow a suspended sentence. But after the government’s intervention they were jailed for between six and eight months by the Court of Appeal. All three activists were later bailed pending their appeal. Read More

China: Why Joshua, Nathan, Alex and the Umbrella Movement would be an excellent choice for the Nobel Peace Prize | Hong Kong Free Press

It is very heartening that twelve United States lawmakers nominated Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, Alex Chow and the Umbrella Movement for the Nobel Peace Prize. The nomination comes at a time when the pro-democracy movement is under sustained attack by the Chinese Communist Party and Hong Kong government. Their primary means of attack are criminal prosecutions of pro-democracy leaders and activists and disqualifications from candidacy and elected office. Through these means, they have barred all groups which grew out of the Umbrella Movement from participating in the formal political system and are attempting to destroy the groups they find the most threatening.  They intend especially to intimidate young people against getting involved in politics, in the classic Communist ploy of “killing the chicken to scare the monkeys.” Read More

Nepal: Communist parties poised to take power | Dhaka Tribune

Nepal’s Communist parties have secured a majority of seats in the upper house of parliament, the election commission said Thursday, paving the way for the leftist alliance to form the next government two months after historic general elections. The alliance of the main Communist party and former Maoist rebels won a strong majority in the indirectly elected upper house, according to results announced Thursday. The results of the national vote held late last year have not yet been confirmed, but an incomplete tally suggests the alliance also secured a majority in the directly elected lower house. Read More

Malaysia: New electoral maps set to favour ruling coalition | The Straits Times

Malaysia’s electoral authorities are rushing through new maps that critics say will further tilt the bias in favour of the long-ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) at a general election expected within the next few months. Despite 16 months of protests and a record number of objections and court cases to declare the Election Commission’s (EC) proposals illegal, Prime Minister Najib Razak is expected to table new maps in Parliament next month, the last session scheduled before polls must be held. The EC’s redelineation exercise came under fire when a first proposal was unveiled in September 2016 for worsening malapportionment – the difference in the number of voters between wards – and shifting voters to ensure more victories for BN, which surveys say is at its most unpopular since Datuk Seri Najib took over nine years ago. Read More

Azerbaijan: Snap election in Azerbaijan: Fighting elite, Russia’s factor and economy | EADaily

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s decree to set the date of a snap presidential election on April 11, 2018, has become a kind of “information bomb.” The Central Election Commission of Azerbaijan has been charged to organize and conduct the presidential election in compliance with the Election Code. The regular presidential election was supposed to be held in October of 2018. The president’s aide for public and political affairs Ali Hasanov has already called the nation to support the incumbent president at the snap election. Read More