Maithripala Sirisena, Sri Lanka’s president, abruptly dissolved parliament on November 9th and called a snap general election. The move capped several weeks of political drama in the Indian Ocean republic as the president has tested—many would say has greatly exceeded—the constitutional limits of his power. The action began on October 26th, when Mr Sirisena abruptly sacked Ranil Wickremesinghe, the elected prime minister and also his ostensible political ally in the ruling coalition. He replaced him with Mahinda Rajapaksa (pictured), a former strongman president whose regime Mr Sirisena had loudly accused of corruption and even of having plotted to kill him. The flip-flopping president also suspended parliament for three weeks to avoid a debate on his actions, and began to swear in new ministers. The suspension of parliament was widely seen as an indication that the new prime minister did not have the support of majority of MPs.Full Article: Sri Lanka’s president calls a snap election - A dubious do-over.
Australia: Government rules out dual election option, says poll will be ‘next year’ | Sydney Morning Herald
The Morrison government has ruled out a “dual election” scenario where Australian voters would go to two federal elections next year, after talks about the option emerged in the media. Special Minister of State Alex Hawke dismissed the idea and insisted on the standard timetable for an election next year. “The government has no plans for a dual election. The election is due next year, as required,” Mr Hawke tweeted. Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s office also rejected the option, saying “the government has no plans for a dual election” and also stipulating the election would be next year, as Mr Morrison continues a bus tour in regional Queensland to listen to voters.Full Article: Government rules out dual election option, says poll will be 'next year'.
Lawmakers in Armenia triggered an early parliamentary election on Thursday after failing to elect a prime minister, a move sought by acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan who quit as premier last month in order to force a new vote. Pashinyan, a former opposition leader who took power in May after a popular uprising, has long sought a new vote for parliament, which is still made up of members elected before demonstrators pushed the former ruling party out of power. By quitting and leaving parliament unable to find a successor, he forced parliament to dissolve and hold a new vote.Full Article: Lawmakers in Armenia trigger early parliamentary election | Reuters.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian vowed late on October 2 to tender his resignation in an effort to force early parliamentary elections before the end of the year. Rallying tens of thousands of supporters in Yerevan, he also announced the firing of six government ministers representing the Prosperous Armenia (BHK) and Dashnaktsutyun parties who he accused of hampering his drive for early elections. Pashinian called on supporters to rally outside the parliament building in central Yerevan immediately after lawmakers from the BHK and Dashnaktsutyun joined the former ruling Republican Party (HHK) in passing a bill that would make it harder for him to dissolve the current parliament.Full Article: Armenia's Pashinian Says Will Resign In Push To Force New Elections.
A standoff over Italy’s future in the eurozone has forced the resignation of the populist prime minister-in-waiting, Giuseppe Conte, after the country’s president refused to accept Conte’s controversial choice for finance minister. Sergio Mattarella, the Italian president who was installed by a previous pro-EU government, refused to accept the nomination for finance minister of Paolo Savona, an 81-year-old former industry minister who has called Italy’s entry into the euro a “historic mistake”. “I have given up my mandate to form the government of change,” Conte told reporters after leaving failed talks with Mattarella. Italy has been without a government since elections on 4 March ended in a hung parliament.Full Article: New elections loom in Italy amid calls for Mattarella to be impeached | World news | The Guardian.
Horacio Cartes resigned from the presidency of Paraguay on Monday — a long-expected step that paves the way for him to take a Senate seat. The recently approved Vice President Alicia Pucheta will take over as leader. The Senate now must vote on whether to accept the resignation, but approval seems likely. Cartes’ five-year term ends in August and Paraguay’s constitution says former presidents automatically become senators for life, with a voice but without a vote. But Cartes, 61, won a full Senate seat during last month’s elections, a post that would help him extend his political influence into the future, and the Supreme Court ruled that it was constitutional. He has to resign before his term ends so that he can be sworn in as senator for the coming sessions.Full Article: Paraguay president leaves post early to take seat in Senate.
Armenia’s opposition secured another victory on Thursday as the country’s parliament said it would hold a special session and new leader elections after weeks of protests and the resignation of its prime minster. The elections, set for 1 May, are part of a three-step opposition plan for a transition of power that includes electing a “people’s prime minister” and then holding snap parliamentary elections. Nikol Pashinyan, the charismatic leader of the opposition who has called for the country to root out corruption and voter fraud, appeared the favourite to be elected prime minister.Full Article: Armenia plans leader elections after shock resignation of PM | World news | The Guardian.
President Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday called snap elections for June 24, saying economic challenges and the war in Syria meant Turkey must switch quickly to the powerful executive presidency that goes into effect after the vote. The presidential and parliamentary elections will take place under a state of emergency that has been in place since an attempted coup in July 2016. It was extended by parliament on Wednesday for another three months. In 15 years of rule as prime minister and then president, Erdogan has transformed a poor, sprawling country at the eastern edge of Europe into a major emerging market. But Turkey’s rapid growth has come been accompanied by increased authoritarianism, with a security crackdown since the failed coup leading to the arrest of tens of thousands.Full Article: Turkey's Erdogan declares early elections on June 24.
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak announced the dissolution of parliament on Friday, paving the way for a tough election where the embattled leader will face off against his old mentor and the country’s most seasoned campaigner Mahathir Mohamad. Najib, 64, burdened by a multi-billion dollar scandal linked to a state fund, is under pressure to deliver an emphatic win for his Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition as he struggles to appease Malaysians unhappy with rising costs and blunt the challenge from the charismatic 92-year-old Mahathir.Full Article: Malaysia's PM Najib dissolves parliament paving way for tough election.
In a setback to President Nicolas Maduro, the CNE announced it would not be able to organize all the elections on one day. The OAS and the US have criticized the vote, set to take place in April. The National Electoral Council (CNE) of Venezuela has ruled out the possibility of carrying out legislative, state and municipal elections, in conjunction with the scheduled presidential elections on April 22, as President Maduro had proposed. Tibisay Lucena, the president of the CNE, announced the decision on Friday, saying that the electoral authority would not be capable of preparing such a range of elections so soon. “We are now not prepared to make a presidential election coincide with other elections that are technically more complex,” Lucena said.Full Article: Venezuela: Electoral authority rejects President Maduro′s mega-elections | News | DW | 24.02.2018.
Antigua and Barbuda will hold parliamentary elections on March 21, according to an announcement made by Prime Minister Gaston Browne during a party rally late Saturday. Browne said the early legislative elections come to protect the many plans his Antigua Labour Party, ALP, has programed for this year and the and next. “We have an opportunity at this point to consolidate the leadership of this country, to provide investors with predictability, to prove stability, to provide continuity, and that’s the main reason why we’re going to the polls early,” Browne told a cheering crowd of supporters.Full Article: Antigua and Barbuda to Hold Early Elections on March 21 | News | teleSUR English.
A top Venezuelan opposition party announced on Friday it would boycott April’s presidential vote, showing divides within the opposition coalition. Popular Will, the third largest opposition party, said it would “not nominate or endorse any candidate” in the April 22 presidential election that it says amounts to a “fraud,” DW reported. “Those who register in these conditions are doing the dictatorship a favor,” said the party led by Leopoldo Lopez. He is under house arrest on allegations of inciting violence in 2014 protests. Venezuela’s opposition is huddled around the Democratic Unity Round Table (MUD), an alliance of some 20 parties opposed to Socialist President Nicolas Maduro.Full Article: Leading Venezuelan Party to Boycott Election | Financial Tribune.
Venezuela’s National Electoral Council highlights 15 audits have been planned to guarantee the process’ transparency. Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) has confirmed the date for the next presidential elections will be April 22 and provided details on the dates for voter and candidate registration. The announcement was made by Sandra Oblitas, CNE’s Vice-president, who added that 531 locations would be open throughout the country for voters to register and to change where they vote. Venezuelans will have until Feb. 20 to register to vote in the presidential elections.Full Article: Venezuela: Electoral Council Confirms Election Dates, Plans | News | teleSUR English.
South African opposition parties on Monday (Feb 12) called for early elections as the ruling African National Congress (ANC) wrestled with a leadership battle between President Jacob Zuma and his deputy, Cyril Ramaphosa. “We must proceed to the dissolution of parliament… subsequent to that, we move on to an early election,” Democratic Alliance (DA) party leader Mmusi Maimane told reporters, speaking alongside several opposition parties. The ANC’s executive committee held a special meeting on Monday, and could “recall” Zuma from office. But Zuma – who has refused to resign – would be under no constitutional obligation to obey the order.Full Article: South African opposition parties call for early elections , Africa News & Top Stories - The Straits Times.
Venezuela: Few Challengers in Sight, Venezuela Sets April 22 for Presidential Vote | The New York Times
The Venezuelan government said Wednesday that it would hold a snap presidential election on April 22, putting the unpopular administration of President Nicolás Maduro in the hands of voters at a time when most top challengers have been barred from running. The announcement was made by Tibisay Lucena, the president of the country’s electoral commission, who said the date had been chosen after negotiations with opposition politicians had failed to reach an agreement about how to conduct the election fairly. The election will allow Venezuelans to “freely decide their fate,” she said. “We are committed, as always, to our constitutional task, to guarantee the right conditions so that democratic differences are settled through an efficient, transparent and balanced vote.”Full Article: Few Challengers in Sight, Venezuela Sets April 22 for Presidential Vote - The New York Times.
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.Full Article: Snap election in Azerbaijan: Fighting elite, Russia’s factor and economy — Politics, Russia — EADaily.
Venezuela’s government and opposition pushed on Tuesday with talks aimed at soothing their country’s political crisis, but President Nicolas Maduro’s bid for virtually unopposed re-election in early polls weighed heavily on the negotiations. The government’s chief negotiator, Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez, said “electoral guarantees” for the vote would be on the table — as was the issue of US economic sanctions that have worsened Caracas’ precarious finances. “We are working on all the issues and we have narrowed positions on all the issues,” he said as he arrived at the Dominican Republic’s foreign ministry, the venue for the talks overseen by several Latin American foreign ministers. The latest round of negotiations opened on December 1.Full Article: Venezuela talks move forward under shadow of early election.
A surge of popularity for a freshly minted opposition party in Japan is making Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s decision to call a snap election look riskier than initially thought. Abe dissolved the lower house of parliament Thursday, setting the stage for an Oct. 22 vote. The Party of Hope, launched earlier this week by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, may not dethrone Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party but analysts say it could put a dent in the LDP’s majority. A major setback could derail Abe’s presumed hope to extend his rule for three more years at a party leadership meeting next year. Minutes after the lower house dissolution, Abe made a fiery speech to party members. He said he is seeking a public mandate on his tough diplomatic and defense policies to deal with escalating threats from North Korea, and that party members would have to relay his message to win voter support during the campaign.Full Article: Japan’s Abe faces new challenge as he calls snap election - The Washington Post.
Iceland: Prime Minister calls snap election after coalition party quits over ‘breach of trust’ | Reuters
Iceland’s prime minister called for a snap parliamentary election on Friday after one party in the ruling coalition quit the government formed less than nine months ago. The outgoing party, Bright Future, cited a “breach of trust” after Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson’s party allegedly tried to cover up a scandal involving his father. That leaves the country, whose economy was wrecked by the collapse of its banking system nearly a decade ago, facing its second snap election in less than a year. The outgoing government would be the shortest-living in Iceland’s history. The previous government was felled by the Panama Papers scandal over offshore tax havens.Full Article: Iceland PM calls snap election after coalition party quits over 'breach of trust'.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering calling a snap election as early as next month to take advantage of an uptick in approval ratings and disarray in the main opposition party, domestic media reported on Sunday. Abe’s ratings have recovered to the 50 percent level in some polls, helped by public jitters over North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests and chaos in the opposition Democratic Party, struggling with single-digit support and defections. Abe told the head of his Liberal Democratic Party’s junior coalition partner, the Komeito party, that he could not rule out dissolving parliament’s lower house for a snap poll after the legislature convenes for an extra session from Sept. 28, public broadcaster NHK reported, citing unidentified informed sources.Full Article: Japan's PM Abe mulling snap election as early as October: media.