The main opposition coalition in Togo said on Monday it will boycott December 20 general elections and call for further protests over what it alleged was a “fraudulent” poll. “We’re not going to give our blessing to this masquerade being prepared,” a co-ordinator in the coalition, Brigitte Adjamagbo-Johnson, told local radio. Togo’s Constitutional Court has validated ballots for 12 parties – but not any for the 14-party opposition coalition that has staged protests in the former French colony over the past year. Ballots for 17 independent candidates have also been approved.Full Article: Main Togo opposition coalition boycotts elections | News24.
Bahrain’s main opposition group called Tuesday for a boycott of November parliamentary elections after its members were banned from running. The vote follows waves of unrest since 2011, when security forces in the Sunni-ruled Gulf state crushed protests led by its Shiite majority demanding a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister. Authorities have imprisoned hundreds of dissidents, stripped many of their nationality and outlawed opposition movements including Al-Wefaq, the main movement representing the kingdom’s Shiite majority.Full Article: Flash - Bahrain opposition calls for election boycott - France 24.
President Gjorge Ivanov has called for voters to boycott an upcoming referendum on Macedonia’s name change, saying the country was being asked to commit “historical suicide.” “Voting in a referendum is a right, not an obligation,” Ivanov said on September 27 in a speech at the United Nations General Assembly. Macedonians are due to go to the polls on September 30 to vote on an agreement its new Socialist government led by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev reached with Greece this year to change the country’s name to North Macedonia. The name dispute between Skopje and Athens dates back to 1991, when Macedonia peacefully broke away from Yugoslavia, declaring its independence under the name Republic of Macedonia.Full Article: Macedonian President Urges Boycott Of Name Referendum.
On the streets of Phnom Penh, everyone is asking the same question: did you or didn’t you vote? But the answer is obvious. Those who voted in Sunday’s problematic general election sport dark brown ink stains on their index fingers. Those with ‘clean fingers’, by contrast, appear to have backed exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy’s call for an election boycott. Cambodia’s July 29 elections were fought not along conventional party lines, but around the single issue of turnout. At least 25 countries have made use of semi-permanent election ink, ostensibly to curtail fraudulent voting. The ink is supposed to stop people from voting more than once. In Cambodia, election ink has assumed a new significance: its purpose was to maximize voter turnout, by putting pressure on citizens to participate in an election that many of them viewed as farcical.Full Article: The trouble with turnout at Cambodia's election | Asia Times.
Cambodia: Ruling party claims landslide victory in ‘sham election’, with strongman Hun Sen set to extend his 33-year rule | AFP
Cambodia’s ruling party claimed a landslide win in Sunday’s one-horse election, an expected outcome after the main opposition was banned, paving the way for its leader Hun Sen to prolong his 33 years in power. Hun Sen, who came to power in 1985 in a country still plagued by civil war, has cracked down on dissent in the run-up to the poll, pressuring civil society, independent media and his political opponents. CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said his party won an estimated 100 out of 125 parliamentary seats. “The CPP won 80 per cent of all the votes and we estimate we will win not less than 100 seats,” Sok Eysan said.Full Article: Cambodian ruling party claims landslide victory in ‘sham election’, with strongman Hun Sen set to extend his 33-year rule | South China Morning Post.
Cambodia’s exiled opposition leaders have launched the ‘clean finger’ campaign which calls for a boycott of the general election scheduled on July 29, 2018. Typically, an indelible ink is placed on the finger of voters on election day which means those who fail to vote, have a clean finger. Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), the main opposition party, was disbanded by the Supreme Court on November 2017 after the ruling party accused it of conspiring with foreign powers in an attempt to topple the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen.Full Article: Cambodia’s ‘clean finger’ campaign urges voters to boycott ‘sham’ election · Global Voices.
MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has ruled out a boycott of the seven-member alliance in next Monday’s election‚ even though he expressed strong reservations around the credibility and transparency of the polls. Supporters gathered outside the party headquarters cheered Chamisa for his decision to participate in the election. “We can’t boycott our victory. Winners don’t quit. Winners don’t boycott‚” Chamisa told journalists at the MDC’s headquarters. At the heart of the tiff is the clash between the MDC Alliance and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). The alliance accuses the ZEC of refusing to give it access to the voters roll and refusing to let it see the ballot paper — which‚ among other things‚ it believes will mysteriously see an X cast for Chamisa disappear and move to the box allocated to the incumbent‚ President Emmerson Mnangagwa.Full Article: Zimbabwe's opposition leader rules out election boycott despite credibility concerns.
Cambodia: Authorities Threaten to Withhold Public Services if Villagers Don’t Vote For Cambodia’s Ruling Party | RFA
Agents working for Cambodia’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) are threatening to end public services for indigenous residents of Mondulkiri province unless they vote for the party in an upcoming election marred by allegations of campaign violations and a ban on the opposition, according to sources. An ethnic Phnong resident of Pulu village, in Mondulkiri’s Bu Sra commune, told RFA’s Khmer Service on Tuesday that local authorities and agents of the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia (UYFC)—headed by Prime Minister Hun Sen’s son, Hun Many—were compelling villagers to tick number 20 for the CPP on sample ballots ahead of the July 29 general election. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the resident said that authorities and UYFC agents told villagers local government officials would refuse to sign legal documents—including land titles, birth certificates, and family registers—for those who do not vote for the CPP on the sample ballots.Full Article: Authorities Threaten to Withhold Public Services if Villagers Don’t Vote For Cambodia’s Ruling Party.
Cambodia’s election commission on Tuesday (Jul 17) described calls to boycott a controversial election on Jul 29 as a “crime” and said authorities were already pursuing charges against those who criticised the vote. Strongman leader Hun Sen is set to extend his 33-year grip on power in the upcoming election after supporting the dissolution of the main opposition group last year and turning up the heat on civil society and the media. In recent weeks, however, opposition figures – mostly those who left the country in the wake of a sweeping crackdown – have pushed back and called on voters to skip the poll in protest.Full Article: Cambodia calls campaign to boycott election a 'crime' - Channel NewsAsia.
When Ariles López takes a break from her fruit stall and begins to describe her life in Venezuela, there is a moment when she chokes up and begins to cry. That will not come as a surprise, when you hear her story. López, who’s 47, is among those Venezuelans who say they will vote in Sunday’s election, despite a widely held view that it’s a fraudulent exercise calculated to keep President Nicolás Maduro in power. She is desperate for change, after a year of personal hardship that underscores the scale of the multilayered catastrophe that is engulfing Venezuela: hyperinflation, widespread hunger, deaths from preventable diseases, and a wave of deadly crime.Full Article: Venezuela To Hold Presidential Election But Main Opposition Is Boycotting It : Parallels : NPR.
Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday slammed a call by a former leader of the now-dissolved opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) for voters to boycott the country’s upcoming general ballot, saying that it was a violation of electoral law. Earlier, former CNRP President Sam Rainsy, who is living in self-imposed exile to avoid a string of convictions widely seen as politically motivated, reiterated a call he made last week, urging Cambodia’s voters to boycott the July 29 elections if the party is not allowed to participate. In a four-minute video posted on his Facebook page on Friday, Sam Rainsy said that the CNRP, which was dissolved by the Supreme Court in November for its alleged role in a plot to topple Hun Sen’s government, is the only party fighting for democratic change in Cambodia, and that CNRP supporters and activists should stay away from the polls to refrain from legitimizing the election.Full Article: Cambodia’s PM Hun Sen Threatens Legal Action Over Call For Election Boycott.
Venezuela’s opposition on Thursday called for a boycott of the May 20 presidential election, urging those running against President Nicolas Maduro to withdraw their candidacy. “Don’t take part and leave the streets empty,” said a statement issued by the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), the main opposition coalition, which said it would be a clear sign “rejecting Maduro’s regime and electoral fraud.” There are only two challengers running against Maduro, both former supporters of the late Hugo Chavez supporters who have distanced themselves from the current government.Full Article: Venezuela opposition calls for boycott of May 20 election.
President Ilham Aliyev is expected to secure a fourth consecutive term in Azerbaijan’s election on Wednesday that opponents say has already been skewed in his favor. The former Soviet republic’s huge energy reserves and its strategic location along the Caspian Sea mean it is viewed by Europe as an important alternative to Russia for energy supplies. Opposition parties say they are boycotting the presidential vote because of Aliyev’s sustained crackdown on dissent during his rule and a likely rigging of electoral results. “We are not going to participate in this show,” Jamil Hasanly, head of the National Council of Democratic Forces, the Azeri opposition coalition, told Reuters.Full Article: Azerbaijan's Aliyev eyes fourth term in presidential election.
Cambodia’s former opposition leader, Sam Rainsy, called on Sunday for Cambodians to boycott a general election set for July 29 if his dissolved party isn’t allowed to take part. The Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) was dissolved by the Supreme Court last November at the request of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government, which alleged it was plotting to take power with the help of the United States. The CNRP and the United States have denied the allegations, which followed the arrest of current party leader Kem Sokha on treason charges over the alleged plot. He has denied the charges and called them a ploy to help Hun Sen win re-election.Full Article: Cambodia's former opposition leader calls for election boycott.
Egypt: The opposition is calling for a boycott of this month’s election. Will it work? | The Washington Post
Later this month, Egyptians will go to the polls to reelect Abdel Fatah al-Sissi to his second term as president. An all too familiar scenario is playing out: Sissi is the only viable candidate. His sole challenger, Mousa Mostafa Mousa, is the head of a party that had endorsed Sissi before entering its own candidate at the last minute. Other potential challengers were threatened, intimidated or arrested into withdrawing. The regime’s harassment and deterrence of potential opposition candidates do not always lead to calls for boycotting. This time, however, 150 opposition figures and seven political parties came together to denounce the elections as a farce and call for a boycott of the upcoming polls. As with most boycott campaigns, the opposition’s decision has roused its share of detractors who dismiss the strategy as ineffective and even a threat to Egypt’s security. The situation in Egypt raises a critical question: Do boycotts work?Full Article: In Egypt, the opposition is calling for a boycott of this month’s election. Will it work? - The Washington Post.
The chairmen of seven political parties launched a campaign on Monday that seeks to mobilise the public to vote in the presidential election, scheduled for 26-28 March. In a statement issued following a meeting at the Wafd Party’s headquarters on 11 February political leaders said “a central operation room” will be formed in order to mobilise citizens in all governorates to cast their ballots. Yasser Qoura, assistant secretary-general of the Wafd Party, told Al-Ahram Weekly that the operation room will start work next week. “The campaign is a response to those who are calling for a boycott. We want as many citizens as possible to participate and vote,” he said.Full Article: Egyptian Politicians move to disrupt election boycott calls - Presidential Elections 2018 - Egypt - Ahram Online.
Opposition parties and figures in Egypt called on Tuesday for a boycott of the March presidential election in which incumbent Abdel Fattah al-Sisi looks set to romp to victory. Branding the poll a “charade”, the coalition of eight parties and 150 public figures announced a campaign under the slogan “Stay at home” ahead of voting on March 26-28. “No to participation in this charade,” said Hamdeen Sabbahi, a presidential candidate in 2012 and 2014. At a news conference by the coalition, founded in December and describing itself as a democratic civic movement, Sabbahi asked: “How can we speak of an election when there is no guarantee of a free vote?”Full Article: Egypt opposition urges boycott of presidential election | News24.
Russia: Protesters urge boycott of presidential vote even as opposition leader is arrested | The Washington Post
From central Moscow to the Arctic, thousands of Russian protesters on Sunday called for a boycott of the upcoming presidential election even as the authorities detained organizers and raided the office of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Police detained Navalny, who branded the boycott a “voters’ strike” against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government, shortly after the protests began. But more than 1,000 people took to one of Moscow’s central thoroughfares nevertheless. Thousands more turned out on squares and streets in St. Petersburg, in Siberia and in places as remote as Murmansk, a port city in the far north where the temperature Sunday afternoon was 8 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.Full Article: Russian protesters urge boycott of presidential vote even as opposition leader is arrested - The Washington Post.
If you oppose Vladimir Putin, is it even worth voting? This basic question over how much remains of Russian democracy is driving an emotional and divisive debate in the ranks of this country’s political opposition. Barred from the ballot in the March 18 presidential election, Russia’s most prominent Putin critic, Alexei Navalny, is staging rallies across the country this Sunday to call for a boycott of the vote. Other opposition politicians are furious over Navalny’s effort, arguing that convincing anti-Putin voters to stay home would be a gift to a Kremlin looking to the election as affirmation of its power.Full Article: Boycott or vote? Putin foes split as Russian election nears. - The Washington Post.
Kenya’s Supreme Court is in its last day of hearing arguments on two petitions contesting results of the October 26 presidential election. Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared winner by a landslide after challenger Raila Odinga urged his supporters to boycott the poll, which was a re-run of the August election the court declared invalid. The two petitions were filed by a former lawmaker, Harun Mwau, and two human rights defenders, Njonjo Mue and Khalef Khalifa. The petitioners argued the electoral commission committed illegalities by going ahead with the election in spite of opposition leader Raila Odinga pulling out of the race.Full Article: Kenya Supreme Court Hears Challenges to Election Re-run.