Rival groups held demonstrations in Thailand’s capital on Saturday, with hundreds of people demanding quick elections to end military rule and a much smaller group of pro-junta supporters saying it was too soon for a vote. The competing protests were tiny compared to those that paralyzed Bangkok in 2014 before the army seized power in the name of ending instability, but were an indication of the tensions in the run-up to a long-delayed ballot. No date has been set for an election which was first promised for 2015 and most recently postponed from Feb. 24. Hundreds joined a demonstration calling for elections on March 10.Full Article: Rival groups demonstrate in Thailand as election tensions grow | Reuters.
A backlash is growing in Thailand against the military junta’s apparent move to further delay elections that are supposed to restore civilian rule, with pro-democracy demonstrators planning to step up their protests in the capital this weekend. The government had given assurances that voting would take place on Feb. 24. But in the latest suggestion that the polls could be pushed back yet again, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam on Thursday said March 24 was the “most suitable date” because it would not overlap with events related to King Vajiralongkorn’s coronation in early May.Full Article: Thailand faces bigger protests against election delay - Nikkei Asian Review.
Thailand’s long-delayed general election to end military rule will have to be postponed from its Feb. 24 date and will likely be held in March, two officials in the Election Commission said on Tuesday. The Election Commission of Thailand has not announced the postponement, but two senior election officials told Reuters it was impossible to hold the polls on Feb. 24, as announced last month. The military junta that has ruled for nearly five years had earlier suggested a one-month delay because of scheduling clashes with the coronation of the king in May. “The February 24 election cannot take place because the Election Commission doesn’t have enough time to organize it,” a senior commission official said.Full Article: Thailand must postpone election again, until March: officials | Reuters.
Demonstrators gathered for the second time in three days in downtown Bangkok to protest against the possibility of another delay in Thailand’s general election schedule. Postings on Twitter on Tuesday showed dozens of people hoisting placards and calling on the junta to stick to a plan for a poll on Feb. 24, after more than four years of military rule. Such protests were banned until the government in December lifted restrictions on political gatherings ahead of the expected vote. Since then, officials have signaled the poll date may have to be moved to avoid a clash with preparations for the coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn in May. On New Year’s Day, the Bureau of the Royal Household said that the coronation ceremony will be held on May 4-6.Full Article: Risk of Delay in Thai Election Sparks Downtown Bangkok Protest - Bloomberg.
Dozens of Thai activists on Sunday protested against a possible delay of a national election set for next month, the first such gathering since the military government lifted a ban on political activity imposed after a 2014 coup. The junta has promised and postponed the election several times since it came to power, with the latest date set for Feb. 24. However, the vote faces yet another postponement after Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam suggested on Friday that post-election events might clash with rituals related to King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s coronation from May 4-6.Full Article: Thai activists protest as election faces delay | Reuters.
A presidential election in the Democratic Republic of the Congo due to take place on Sunday has been delayed until 30 December, the country’s electoral commission has announced, citing problems caused by a recent fire that destroyed 80% of the voting machines in the capital, Kinshasa. The delay to the election, already postponed repeatedly since 2016, will anger supporters of the DRC’s fractured opposition and dismay observers who hoped it would bring a measure of security to the country. It is also likely to raise tensions and could prompt significant protests. Corneille Nangaa, the head of the electoral commission, said officials have found enough voting machines for Kinshasa but had to get 5 million new ballots printed. Nangaa called on the country of some 40 million voters for calm.Full Article: DR Congo presidential election postponed for a week | World news | The Guardian.
Legislative elections in Chad planned for November are set to be postponed to May, a member of the electoral panel organising the vote told AFP Monday. The voting date has been pushed back several times in the central African state. The original mandate of the legislature expired in June 2015, but has been prolonged. “We have scheduled the holding of the legislative elections for the month of May according to our timeline, which will be examined and possibly adopted on Friday,” said Abdramane Djasnabaille of the election commission (CNDP).Full Article: Chad set to postpone November vote: election panel | News24.
Bangladesh authorities on Monday (Nov 12) announced they were delaying next month’s general election by a week following an appeal from the country’s opposition alliance, an official said. “The vote will now be held on Dec 30,” Election Commission spokesman S.M Asaduzzaman told AFP. The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) had protested the Dec 23 election date announced last week, saying more time was needed to prepare for the poll. The BNP – whose leader Khaleda Zia is behind bars – had asked for an extra month to campaign against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.Full Article: Bangladesh election pushed back by 1 week after opposition plea, South Asia News & Top Stories - The Straits Times.
The Malian government on Thursday delayed by a month legislative elections initially scheduled for October 28, citing delays in registering candidates. A first round of voting for the National Assembly will now take place on November 25, followed by a further vote on December 16 in constituencies where no candidate wins outright. A government statement said a strike by judges meant some candidates had been unable to obtain and submit the necessary documentation before the deadline Thursday. The new deadline for candidate submissions is October 11, it said.
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha seems to have dropped another hint that the country’s long-awaited election will be delayed yet again. Despite previously promising that one will be held in February 2019, Prayut recently said that a further delay is possible. “We still confirm that the general election will be held in February 2019. Let’s talk about it later if we cannot hold such an election then, and now there isn’t any factor to make us hold the election sooner,” he told reporters after a cabinet meeting in the southern province of Chumphon.
But scepticism and frustrations are running high in the Land of Smiles following delay after delay as to a promised date for the country’s general election. Shortly after the junta’s – The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) – military coup on 22 May, 2014, it promised an election the following year. Four years later and Thailand is still under military rule. This scepticism was related in the Suan Dusit Rajabhat University’s latest poll findings published in June. The poll, carried out between 5 to 9 June and involving a sample size of 1,130 people throughout the country, revealed that the hottest political topic among Thais is whether or not an election will ever take place, and if so, when.Full Article: Thailand’s election could get delayed, again | The ASEAN Post.
Thailand’s former ruling party yesterday slammed the junta’s latest postponement of elections until 2019, accusing the generals of buying time to consolidate support ahead of a return to voting. The junta has delayed several poll dates since toppling the elected government of Yingluck Shinawatra in 2014 and instituting a ban on all political activity. Late Thursday, the military government’s rubber-stamp parliament voted to change an election law and pave the way for polls to be pushed back from the junta’s previously-stated timetable of November 2018. Elections will likely be delayed for three months and fall some time in 2019, deputy prime minister General Prawit Wongsuwon told reporters yesterday, without giving a clear date.Full Article: Ousted Thai party slams fresh election delay to 2019 – Borneo Bulletin Online.
One possible consequence of the controversy engulfing Roy Moore’s campaign for the U.S. Senate is apparently off the table. Josh Pendergrass, communications director for Gov. Kay Ivey, said today the governor does not intend to change the date of the Dec. 12 election. “The Governor is not considering and has no plans to move the special election for the U.S. Senate,” Pendergrass said in a text message. Moore has strongly denied the allegation reported by the Washington Post that he dated and had a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl when he was 32.Full Article: Gov. Kay Ivey has no plans to change Senate election date | AL.com.
A former lawmaker filed a petition at Kenya’s Supreme Court on Monday challenging President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory in last month’s presidential election in a last minute move that opens the door to legal scrutiny of the vote. Harun Mwau filed the petition hours before a Monday deadline set by the constitution expired. Earlier in the day, a coalition of civil society groups said they were being targeted by the government in an effort to head off potential legal cases. The Supreme Court has until Nov. 14 to rule on election petitions. If it upholds the result, Kenyatta will be sworn in on Nov. 28.Full Article: Petition filed in Kenya court challenging Kenyatta's election victory.
Liberian presidential candidate George Weah’s party said on Wednesday that it will respect the decision to delay the country’s planned run-off vote, but called for the electoral process to be put back on course in a “timely” manner. The former international football star was supposed to face Vice President Joseph Boakai in the second round of presidential elections in the English-speaking West African country on Tuesday. But the runoff vote, which was meant to represent Liberia’s only democratic transfer of power in seven decades, was halted on Monday by the Supreme Court over an opposition party complaint of electoral fraud.Full Article: Weah's party raises tone after Liberia election delayed | News24.
Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Tuesday said democracy in the West African country was being threatened, a day after the Supreme Court put a presidential runoff on hold over fraud allegations. Former footballer George Weah was initially set to face Vice-President Joseph Boakai on Tuesday to determine who will replace the term-limited Nobel Peace Prize laureate. A successful vote would be Liberia’s first democratic transfer of power in more than seven decades. But on Monday, the Supreme Court ordered the elections commission to fully examine allegations levelled by Charles Brumskine, who finished third in last month’s first round poll.Full Article: Liberia's president says 'our democracy is under assault'.
The Liberian party of the 1995 world soccer player of the year, George Weah, said it’s concerned that a political crisis could ensue if the Supreme Court decides to annul the outcome of the first round of the presidential election that left the country facing a runoff. Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change raised the matter after the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a runoff may not go ahead until a charge over alleged irregularities in the Oct. 10 vote is heard. The second round was scheduled for Tuesday and would’ve been contested between Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai, of the ruling Unity Party, because neither candidate secured the majority needed for an outright victory to succeed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. “We are concerned about attempts by certain members of the Supreme Court’s bench to mis- or wrongfully interpret our constitution, with the view of now creating a constitutional crisis,” CDC Chairman Nathaniel McGill said by phone. “The election should proceed, that’s what we hope for.”Full Article: Ex-Soccer Star’s Party Fears Crisis in Liberia Over Election Delay - Bloomberg.
The Supreme Court of Liberia on Monday halted a presidential runoff election scheduled for Tuesday, delaying the first democratic transfer of power in the West African country in recent political history. In a unanimous ruling, the court ordered the National Elections Commission to spend more time investigating a complaint from Charles Brumskine, the third-place finisher in the Oct. 10 election, that the vote had been marred by fraud. The former soccer star George Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai, the top two vote-getters in the election, were supposed to compete in the runoff, having finished with 38 percent and 29 percent of the vote. To win outright, a candidate needed more than 50 percent.Full Article: Liberia’s Presidential Runoff Is Delayed - The New York Times.
West African leaders held mediation talks Wednesday with all sides involved in Liberia’s disputed election, following a Supreme Court announcement it would summon the country’s electoral commission to explain alleged fraud and irregularities. Liberia’s top court has reviewed a legal complaint backed by three political parties and found “constitutional issues raised” by the electoral commission’s actions during an October 10 presidential election, it said on Tuesday. A Supreme Court hearing on the issue is set for Thursday at 9am (0900 GMT). The legal complaint was lodged by the opposition Liberty Party but has the backing of the ruling Unity Party and its presidential candidate, incumbent Vice-President Joseph Boakai.Full Article: Togo, Guinea leaders mediate deepening Liberia election dispute | News24.
Liberia’s Supreme Court has stayed next week’s presidential run-off election until it considers a challenge to first round results by a losing candidate who has alleged fraud. Third-place finisher Charles Brumskine’s Liberty Party challenged the results of last month’s vote, which set up a Nov. 7 run-off between former soccer star George Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai. The election is meant to usher in Liberia’s first democratic transition since 1944 after long periods of military rule and a civil war that ended in 2003. In a writ issued late on Tuesday, the court instructed Liberty Party and the National Elections Commission to file briefs by Thursday at the latest. It was unclear if the court would rule before Nov. 7.Full Article: Liberia's Supreme Court halts presidential run-off over fraud allegations.
The election to pick DR Congo’s next president will not happen before early 2019, the electoral commission said Wednesday, a delay that raises fresh security worries in the vast African nation. Polls were due this year under a transitional deal aimed at avoiding fresh political bloodshed after President Joseph Kabila refused to step down when his second mandate ended in December. But the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) said Wednesday it would need another 504 days to prepare for the vote after the completion of an electoral census, which is far from accomplished in the restive Kasai region. The delay could be reduced “if we accept to use voting machines and if we change the electoral law,” a commission spokesman told AFP.Full Article: No DR Congo presidential poll before 2019 | The Citizen.