One of Angola’s main opposition parties plans to contest the results of last week’s general election, alleging unfair conduct during the vote that kept the ruling party of former president Jose Eduardo Dos Santos in power. The ruling MPLA party won just over 61 percent of the votes cast on Wednesday and about 150 of the 220 seats in Parliament, according to election commission officials, which would put a Dos Santos loyalist, Joao Lourenco, in the presidency. But the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) has accused the government of manipulating the vote, for example by depriving opposition groups of media access.
Kenya’s Supreme Court ordered the elections commission on Monday to allow the opposition, which is disputing the results of this month’s presidential vote, have access to its computer servers and electronic devices used in the vote-count. Election authorities say President Uhuru Kenyatta easily won a second term in the Aug. 8 polls by 1.4 million votes. A parallel tally by independent monitors based on a sample of around 2,000 polling stations produced a similar result. But opposition leader Raila Odinga is disputing these results, which sparked scattered protests in parts of Kenya. The protests, which dissipated within days, had raised fears that political violence could again destabilize the region’s biggest economy, as it did following a disputed election in 2007.
Kenya’s opposition will argue before the Supreme Court that technology enabled rather than curbed election fraud, as it seeks to overturn a vote this month won by President Uhuru Kenyatta. Opposition leader Raila Odinga’s National Super Alliance (NASA) said in a petition filed on Friday that results from more than a third of polling stations were “fatally flawed”, in some cases because of irregularities in electronic transmission of paper results forms. The documents suggest the opposition will link alleged irregularities to the murder of Chris Msando, the election official overseeing information technology, days before the Aug. 8 election.
Kenya’s election commission urged the Supreme Court to uphold the results of this month’s vote that returned President Uhuru Kenyatta to power and dismiss a legal challenge by his political opponents, saying the process was “impartial, neutral and accountable” to the constitution. The Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission called on the court to throw out a petition filed by the opposition National Super Alliance challenging Kenyatta’s win against former Prime Minister Raila Odinga in the Aug. 8 vote. That petition “lacks merit and should be dismissed,” the commission’s lawyers said in opposing papers filed at the Supreme Court. The elections were conducted according to the constitution and the president was “validly elected” the IEBC’s lawyers said. “Discrepancies” cited by the opposition “did not materially affect the outcome of the presidential elections.”
The contention whether or not rejected and spoilt votes should have been factored in, during computation of the 50 per cent plus one threshold for winning a presidential election is yet again expected to feature in the 2017 presidential election petition. In its 14-point relief pleadings, the National Super Alliance (NASA) is seeking to convince the Supreme Court bench to review a precedence set in the 2013 presidential election petition where the court decided that rejected votes ought not to be included in calculating tallies in favour of any candidate. NASA has also lined up a series of affidavits among them those filed by election officials, its presidential agents and technology experts, all poking holes on crucial election processes which the alliance argues compromised the credibility of the August 8 General Election.
An Angolan opposition party, CASA-CE, said on Monday it will use a computer program to minimize the chances of ballot-rigging in next Wednesday’s election. The country’s main two opposition parties, National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) and Broad Convergence for the Salvation of Angola – Electoral Coalition (CASA-CE), have complained of irregularities in the electoral process. The People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), which has ruled Angola since independence from Portugal in 1975, is expected to win this week’s election. CASA-CE’s program, presented to media in Luanda on Monday, will calculate results based on data from delegates at polling stations.
The Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has said he will go to court over last week’s presidential election results, ignoring calls by some election observers for him to concede defeat to President Uhuru Kenyatta. Twenty-four people have died in violence since the election on 8 August. Odinga’s decision will ease concerns that he may call for demonstrations that could trigger further violence. “We have now decided to move to the supreme court,” the 72-year-old leader of the National Super Alliance (Nasa) coalition told reporters in the capital, Nairobi. “This is just the beginning, we will not accept and move on.”
Last Tuesday, Nairobi felt like a city awaiting the apocalypse. Streets normally clogged with traffic were eerily quiet. Grocery-store shelves had been largely emptied of supplies. Anxious wealthy residents booked flights out of town, conveniently scheduling their summer vacations to avoid the chaos of a Kenyan national election. The Chinese government, Western private-sector companies, and other foreign investors braced as well. A peaceful vote in Kenya, which is regarded as the most vibrant economic and democratic power in East Africa, could unleash billions of dollars in infrastructure and development contracts. Kenya has had a long and calamitous history of political violence and corruption since it gained independence from British colonial rule, in 1963. Much of this conflict is rooted in ethnic tensions between different tribes, which many historians attribute, in part, to decades of British colonial rule that intentionally played major tribes against one another. Rich and poor Kenyans alike feared a repeat of the 2007 post-election violence between two of the country’s largest tribes, the Luo and Kikuyu, which killed more than twelve hundred people and displaced more than half a million.
The leader of Kenya’s opposition party said Wednesday he would challenge the results of last week’s presidential election in the Supreme Court, not in the hopes of overturning the outcome but as a way to expose evidence of widespread vote-rigging. “Whether the court rules in our favor or rules against us, we don’t really care,” the opposition leader, Raila Odinga, said in an interview after making the announcement in front of supporters and media. “We want this evidence to come out so that people can know how they did it and who did, so they know that it was stolen.” At the same time, he called on Kenyans to seek justice by practicing civil disobedience if the Supreme Court fails to give a fair ruling. “This is about the people of Kenya so that the Kenyans are justified to use civil disobedience means to seek justice if they don’t get it in a court of law,” Mr. Odinga said. “So we will use all constitutional means.”
Kenya: Kenyatta Wins Big in Kenya – But U.S.-Style Election Skullduggery Taints the Results | The Daily Beast
Kenya’s election has come off without major disturbances, and on Friday evening Nairobi time, the nation’s Independent Electoral Board and Boundaries Commission declared a winner in the country’s presidential race. Uhuru Kenyatta, the incumbent, secured 54.2 percent of the vote. All the same, a number of election-cycle oddities go unexplained—including the novel involvement of foreign big-data and PR consultancies who’ve played significant roles in electoral upsets in both the U.S. and U.K. Tuesday, election day, the seafront here in Lamu, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was deserted. Shops and schools were closed. In the town square a long line of men–including red-cloaked Maasai–stood chatting quietly. Women waited in a separate queue, noticeably shorter than the men’s.
Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga is expected to announce his strategy Wednesday for contesting his election loss, having further delayed a decision that could defuse or exacerbate tensions in the country. The 72-year-old insists he is the rightful winner of a “stolen” election which took place on August 8 and handed victory to incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta. Speaking at the weekend, Odinga promised to announce his next move on Tuesday. However citing the “complexity and delicate nature” of discussions, his National Super Alliance (NASA) pushed the decision back to Wednesday. The veteran opposition leader has now lost four elections and has also cried foul over results in the previous two.
Kenya: Flying rocks, teargas and a dead child: the grisly aftermath of the Kenya election | The Guardian
Mid-afternoon, and black smoke trails above the grey tenements. Broken glass, burned tyres, rubble and makeshift barricades block roads. Charred spars mark where a stall once stood, incinerated in confused clashes overnight. Police, armed with batons and assault rifles, cluster around their trucks. Angry men shout slogans and wave fists. The morning has seen much violence: teenagers throwing rocks, police firing teargas. During the night, Mathare, a sprawling slum in Nairobi, has echoed to the sound of gunfire and police helicopters. There have been many casualties, some fatal. Now there is a pause. The police are waiting. So too are the youths they have pursued through the narrow lanes for almost 18 hours – since the Kenyan election commission declared Uhuru Kenyatta, in power since 2013, had won the presidential polls held on Tuesday by a substantial margin.
Congo voters go to the polls Sunday in legislative elections in the oil-rich African country, the first since violence-marred presidential polls last year which returned Denis Sassou Nguesso to power. While no fresh violence is expected opposition parties have cried foul, as over 2 million voters are expected to cast their ballots in the first round of polling in Congo-Brazzaville to elect National Assembly members as well as local councils. Sassou Nguesso returned to office in March 2016 after a constitutional referendum ended a two-term presidential term limit, amid deadly violence notably in the Pool region neighbouring the capital Brazzaville.
A candidate opposing Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister has taken the country’s Electoral Commission to court for allowing voting on a Sunday. Voting in Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s electorate of Ialibu-Pangia began on Sunday July 2 after two days of delays, symptomatic of widespread problems with the current PNG national election. Opposing candidate Stanley Liria has filed an application in the PNG Supreme Court, asking for it to decide if the Sunday voting breached the constitution. Mr Liria said Sunday voting was prohibited in section 130 of PNG’s Organic Law on National and Local-level Government Elections, which says polling must take place on days “other than a Sunday or a public holiday”.
Labor has launched a high court challenge to the right of a National party MP to sit in the parliament, which could remove the Coalition government’s one-seat majority. Labor’s national executive confirmed the decision on Friday morning to challenge the assistant health minister and National MP for Lyne, David Gillespie, over a potential commercial interest with the commonwealth. If the case were successful, a byelection would be triggered in the safe National party seat on the New South Wales mid-north coast. If the Coalition candidate lost, the Turnbull government would lose its one-seat majority. Gillespie won the seat after the former independent Rob Oakeshott retired at the 2013 election. Oakeshott ran at the 2016 election in the nearby safe National seat of Cowper but failed to unseat MP Luke Hartsuyker after a three-week campaign.
Mongolia’s first-ever presidential runoff has been brought forward by two days to July 7 due to a traditional sporting festival, the country’s electoral authorities said Thursday. The three candidates in Monday’s first-round poll fell well short of the absolute majority needed to secure the presidency, extending the drama of an election marked by corruption scandals. Former judoka Khaltmaa Battulga of the opposition Democratic Party and speaker of the parliament Mieygombo Enkhbold of the ruling Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) were the top two finishers and will contest the runoff. Both parties asked for the date to be brought forward due to the start of the long national Naadam holiday a few days later — Mongolia’s biggest festival featuring wrestling, archery and horse-riding.
Turkey: Opposition party to challenge referendum on expanding presidential powers at European Court | Los Angeles Times
The question now is whether Europe can and will step in to keep Turkey’s leader from expanding his powers. Turkey’s main opposition party announced Wednesday it will challenge President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s April 16 referendum victory to replace the country’s parliamentary democracy with an all-powerful “presidential system.” The opposition will ask the European Court of Human Rights to render judgment, a day after Turkey’s top administrative court ruled it lacked jurisdiction over the electoral body whose oversight of the voting has sparked daily nationwide protests. “We faced illegal referendum results after seeing an unverified election,” Selin Sayek Boke, a spokeswoman for the Republican People’s Party told journalists in Ankara. “Our priority is standing up for the legal rights of all citizens. Thus, we would like to announce that we will soon apply to the ECHR.”
Turkey’s ruling party and the main opposition party kept up their fight Saturday over the results of the referendum on expanding the president’s powers. In a series of tweets Saturday, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag slammed the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) for continuing to object to the results of the April 16 referendum due to voting irregularities, saying that judicial paths to reverse the ruling are shut. The CHP fired back, saying he was threatening the judiciary in order to get them to rule against the party’s case. Unofficial results show the “yes” campaign for transforming Turkey’s parliamentary government system into a presidential one garnered 51.4 percent of the vote. Official results by the electoral board are expected next week.
Turkey’s top election authority has voted against annulling the referendum to further empower President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Main opposition parties had challenged the results following complaints of vote-rigging. Turkey’s high electoral board (YSK) rejected appeals from the country’s main opposition parties to annul the referendum results, the board said in a statement on Wednesday. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the pro-Kurdish HDP had called on the electoral board to annul Sunday’s referendum because unstamped ballot papers were included in the count. They argued that this contravened Turkish electoral law. The board overwhelmingly voted to reject the parties’ appeals.
President Tayyip Erdogan declared victory in a referendum on Sunday to grant him sweeping powers in the biggest overhaul of modern Turkish politics, but opponents said the vote was marred by irregularities and they would challenge its result. Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast and its three main cities, including the capital Ankara and the largest city Istanbul, looked set to vote “No” after a bitter and divisive campaign. Erdogan said 25 million people had supported the proposal, which will replace Turkey’s parliamentary system with an all-powerful presidency and abolish the office of prime minister, giving the “Yes” camp 51.5 percent of the vote. That appeared short of the decisive victory for which he and the ruling AK Party had aggressively campaigned. Nevertheless, thousands of flag-waving supporters rallied in Ankara and Istanbul in celebration.
Opposition candidate Guillermo Lasso filed a complaint Wednesday challenging Ecuador election results that show he narrowly lost to President Rafael Correa’s handpicked successor. The former banker is demanding a recount of all votes cast in the election, repeating accusations of fraud and saying if Lenin Moreno takes power he will head an illegitimate government. “It’s necessary to be in the streets,” he told supporters at an event announcing the election challenge. Official results released Monday show Lasso lost to Lenin Moreno by less than three points. The election was closely watched in Latin America as an indicator of whether the region would continue to shift right after recent conservative candidate wins in countries including Peru and Argentina.
Opposition candidate Guillermo Lasso filed a complaint Wednesday challenging Ecuador election results that show he narrowly lost to President Rafael Correa’s handpicked successor. The former banker is demanding a recount of all votes cast in the election, repeating accusations of fraud and saying if Lenin Moreno takes power he will head an illegitimate government. “It’s necessary to be in the streets,” he told supporters at an event announcing the election challenge.
Brazil’s Supreme Electoral Court was to meet Tuesday on whether to invalidate the 2014 presidential election because of illegal campaign funding and to force President Michel Temer to step aside. The court, known as the TSE, could in theory scrap the results of the election, forcing either a snap election or for Congress to pick a new interim leader in Latin America’s biggest country. This would be a bombshell for a country already wallowing in two years of recession and the fallout from the massive “Car Wash” corruption investigation. Analysts say there is little chance of this, however, with Temer likely to keep his seat until regularly scheduled polls at the end of 2018.
Supporters of Guillermo Lasso protested in the capital, Quito, for a second night on Monday, echoing their candidate’s calls for votes to be recounted. “I’m warning the world that in Ecuador procedures are being violated, and they’re trying to swear in an illegitimate government,” Lasso said. “This is a clumsy fraud attempt.” Addressing a crowd of a few thousand supporters outside the National Electoral Council, Lasso said “We’re not afraid of the miserable cowards who are on the wrong side of history.” The scenes were more muted than protests on Sunday – election evening – when thousands of Lasso supporters chanted “fraud” through the night. Lasso shared images of the protests on his Twitter feed, saying: “All of you are like the majority of Ecuadoreans who voted for a change. Thank you for your support, thank you for your confidence.”
Right-wing opposition candidate Guillermo Lasso alleged fraud Sunday in Ecuador’s presidential runoff election, vowing to contest results that had his rival Lenin Moreno extending a decade of socialist rule. Moreno, the designated heir to President Rafael Correa’s “21st-century socialism,” had 51.07 percent of the vote to 48.93 percent for ex-banker Lasso, with 94.2 percent of districts reporting, said the National Electoral Council. Lasso said his campaign had evidence of an attempt to rig the results. “We are going to defend the will of the Ecuadoran people in the face of an attempted fraud that aims to install what would be an illegitimate government,” he said, setting up what could be a long and ugly fight.
Yahya Jammeh, the former Gambian president, has left the country after he finally agreed to step down following 22 years of rule. Jammeh and his family headed into political exile on Saturday night, ending a 22-year reign of fear and a post-election political standoff that threatened to provoke a regional military intervention when he clung to power. As he mounted the stairs to the plane, he turned to the crowd, kissed his Qur’an and waved one last time to supporters, including soldiers who cried at his departure. The flight came almost 24 hours after Jammeh announced on state television he was ceding power to the newly inaugurated Adama Barrow, in response to mounting international pressure calling for his departure. Though tens of thousands of Gambians had fled the country during his rule, Jammeh supporters flocked to the airport to see him walk the red carpet to his plane. Jammeh landed in Guinea an hour later and members of his family emerged from the plane, though the country might not be his final destination.
The political standoff in Gambia intensified on Thursday as foreign troops crossed the border with orders to dislodge a repressive leader who has refused to step down after losing a presidential election last month. Gambia’s erratic leader, Yahya Jammeh, seized power in a coup 22 years ago and once said he could rule for a billion years. But on Thursday the Senegalese military headed toward the capital of Gambia, Banjul, where Mr. Jammeh has been holed up in the state house, insisting that his rule is still valid. Mr. Jammeh has warned that he will fight back against any foreign military intervention. At least 26,000 Gambians, worried about violence, have fled the country, the United Nations says, and several senior officials in Mr. Jammeh’s government have resigned in protest or have left the nation as well.
The Gambia: President’s Term Running Out, Gambia Shudders as He Refuses to Quit | The New York Times
President Yahya Jammeh once predicted that his rule could last a billion years. Now, the fate of his nation is hanging on one more anxiety-filled day. After acknowledging defeat in an election last month, Mr. Jammeh abruptly changed his mind, refusing to step aside for the inauguration of the new president scheduled for Thursday and threatening to drag the nation into a bloody standoff. Mr. Jammeh, who has long been criticized for human rights abuses and grandiose claims like being able to cure AIDS with little more than prayer and a banana, has insisted on a do-over election. He declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, warning the nation not to engage in any “acts of disobedience.” West African nations are preparing to enter the country and force Mr. Jammeh’s ouster if he does not leave. In response, Mr. Jammeh has threatened that his own military is prepared to defend Gambia’s sovereignty.
The top judge in Gambia’s Supreme Court declined on Monday to rule on President Yahya Jammeh’s petition to overturn his election defeat, as many Gambians wait nervously to see how the veteran leader will react to his rival’s planned inauguration this week. Jammeh initially conceded defeat to opposition leader Adama Barrow following the Dec. 1 poll but later changed his mind, drawing widespread condemnation and the threat of a military intervention by regional neighbours. Whether Gambia succeeds in swearing in Barrow is viewed as a test for democracy in West Africa, a region which is seeking to draw a line under a history of coups and autocratic rule.
Gambia’s President-elect Adama Barrow has left the country for neighboring Senegal, a coalition member and local media said on Sunday, a day after West African leaders failed to persuade President Yahya Jammeh to step aside. Barrow, a former real estate agent, won a Dec. 1 election in the former British colony by a slim margin. Long-ruling Jammeh conceded defeat but then changed his mind, plunging one of West Africa’s tourist hot spots into crisis and dimming hopes for democracy in a region accustomed to coups and autocratic rule. Barrow, backed by the West and the African Union, is due to be inaugurated on Jan. 19, although Jammeh is seeking to block this pending a Supreme Court ruling on his legal challenge to poll results. “He (Barrow) is in Dakar. He will be back for the inauguration and we are mobilizing the whole country for that,” said Isatou Toure, a member of Barrow’s coalition.