Spain: Parliamentary Results Are Still a Mess After Repeat Elections | Fortune

Six months after an historic election that fractured Spain’s traditional two-party system but failed to produce a government, Spanish voters returned to the polls Sunday and, in an unexpected move, turned away from the two upstart parties that had burst onto the national scene in the December polls. Just days after the seismic shock of Brexit, Spain turned back to the safety of the known. The big beneficiary of the return to tradition was acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, whose center-right Partido Popular (PP) won 33% of the vote for 147 seats in the 350 deputy parliament, recovering 14 of the 63 seats it had lost in December and making it the only party that gained both seats and votes (almost 700,000) in the election.

United Kingdom: Brexit Regret: Will There Be A New Referendum Vote? Huge Online Petition For New Vote ‘Hijacked’ By ‘Remain’ Supporters | International Business Times

An online petition asking for a second British referendum on whether to leave the European Union had collected 3.89 million signatures by Monday evening. But the petition submitted to Parliament didn’t go up recently, nor was it created by a supporter of the U.K.’s membership in the EU. Instead, the petition was created in November by a Brexit supporter, but interest has spiked since Thursday’s narrow victory for the “leave” camp. The losing side in the vote suddenly took renewed notice. Now, the petition, the largest ever submitted to Parliament’s website, has far more signatures than the 100,000 needed to require MPs to consider the demand. By comparison, another popular parliamentary petition to block U.S. presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump from entering the U.K. garnered about 586,000 signatures.

Spain: New election fails to clarify Spain’s political future | The Washington Post

Spain’s repeat election Sunday failed to clarify the political future of the European Union’s fifth-largest economy, as another inconclusive ballot compelled political leaders to resume six months of negotiations on who should form a government. The conservative Popular Party, which has ruled for the past four years, again collected the most votes in the election but still fell shy of the majority of 176 seats it needs in the 350-seat Parliament to form a government on its own. With 99.9 percent of the votes counted late Sunday, incumbent prime minister Mariano Rajoy’s party had picked up 137 seats in Parliament. That is better than the 123 it won in December but still means it will need allies if it wants to govern. Its earlier efforts to find support from rival parties after December proved fruitless. Even so, Rajoy declared he would make a push for power, telling a victory rally in Madrid, “We won the election, we demand the right to govern.”

Spain: After Brexit shock, Spain prepares for second general election in six months | AFP

Just days after a shock Brexit, Spaniards vote in repeat elections Sunday to decide if they too want a radical change as promised by a far-left coalition led by on-the-rise Podemos. The polls, which open at 0700 GMT, are pitting voters hungry for change in a country with sky-high unemployment against those who fear this change would worsen the situation for Spain, which was on the brink of collapse just a few years ago. Britain’s surprise vote to leave the European Union has further exacerbated this cleavage, with the outgoing conservative Popular Party (PP) insisting on the need for “stability” in the face of “radicalism” and “populism”, in a thinly-veiled dig at the Unidos Podemos coalition. “If you want a united country and not a radical Spain, think about it, go for what is safe… vote for the Popular Party,” acting prime minister Mariano Rajoy said in one of his last tweets before the obligatory day of campaign silence.

Austria: Austria Might Stage Another Vote Much Sooner Than You Think | Bloomberg

Last month’s Austrian presidential election vaulted the country into the international spotlight after nationalist Norbert Hofer and Green politician Alexander Van der Bellen clashed in an acrimonious campaign that rang with the same divisive tones heard ahead of this week’s Brexit vote. After Van der Bellen won the May 22 duel by a whisker — the final count gave him 30,863 lead out of 4.5 million votes — Hofer’s Freedom Party began collecting reports alleging irregularities at the polls. On June 8 they contested the election result before nation’s Constitutional Court. On June 20 the court’s 14 judges began questioning 90 witnesses, mostly election officials and volunteers, in an unprecedented exercise to determine how votes had been counted. A verdict is expected before July 8 — incidentally the day when Van der Bellen is scheduled be inaugurated.

Haiti: US recognizes interim leader but prods legislators | Associated Press

The U.S. State Department’s special coordinator for Haiti said Thursday that he recognizes Jocelerme Privert as the troubled country’s interim president for now as the divided Parliament is avoiding a vote on potentially extending his expired mandate. In a phone call with reporters, Kenneth Merten was asked by The Associated Press if the U.S. still recognized Privert as Haiti’s provisional leader even though his 120-day mandate ended midnight Tuesday under the terms of a negotiated accord that brought him to power. While emphasizing that Privert’s fate was up to Haiti’s National Assembly to decide, Merten responded: “I would have to say I would recognize him as the interim president of Haiti” at this time. He stressed that Haitian electoral authorities should “act soon to clarify” who the country’s provisional leader is. “We really want the National Assembly to take the action they need to take to clear the subject up,” Merten said.

Austria: Expert: Election rerun is ‘likely’ | The Local

In an interview with Der Standard newspaper, University of Vienna professor Theo Öhlinger also said that two of the complaints in the 150-page document filed with the constitutional court were “very serious”. One of those complaints is about postal votes being counted in some places by municipal officers rather than the electoral commission as a whole. Öhlinger added that it was also a serious concern that interim results were being published online before the polling stations had closed. The run-off presidential election on May 22nd was won by the independent Alexander Van der Bellen, the former leader of the Green party, who defeated the anti-immigration Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer by a margin of only 30,863 votes.

Haiti: Haiti gets reluctant go ahead to rerun presidential vote | Miami Herald

Haiti’s major foreign donors reluctantly gave the green light Monday to the country’s elections body to rerun last year’s contested presidential elections in October but they remain “deeply concerned” about the consequences of not having an elected president and government until February 2017. “It is the responsibility of an elected government to address the socio-economic and humanitarian challenges Haiti is facing,” the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Sandra Honoré, said in a joint statement with the ambassadors of Brazil, Canada, Spain, France, the United States, the European Union and the Special Representative of the Organization of American States. The ambassadors, known as the “Core Group,” and their nations helped contribute to last year’s election price tag that Haiti’s interim president Jocelerme Privert said over the weekend was $100 million. The U.S. government alone contributed about $33 million including providing vehicles for Haiti’s beleaguered police force to provide security for the balloting. Only $8.2 million is left in an overall election fund, according to the United Nations Development Program resident representative in Haiti.

Maryland: Activists file federal lawsuit to challenge Baltimore primary | Baltimore Sun

A group of activists is asking a federal court to order a new primary for Baltimore voters, alleging that a series of irregularities and a “vote-buying scheme” marred the election’s outcome. Members of Voters Organized for the Integrity of City Elections, or VOICE, joined two candidates and an ex-offender as plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court moments before midnight Wednesday against the city and state elections boards. They are asking the court to declare the results of the primary “null and void,” order a new vote at the earliest date possible and appoint federal observers to oversee the election and “systemic changes in practices, procedures and personnel.” The filing also alleges that the administration of the election disenfranchised African-Americans, who make up the majority of Baltimore’s population. No hearing date has been set.

Haiti: Panel calls for re-run of presidential elections | Miami Herald

The results of Haiti’s contested first-round presidential elections were such a disaster that the process should recommence at zero, the head of a five-member panel charged with reviewing the vote told the nation Monday. Francois Benoit made the recommendation during a ceremony at the National Palace in which he handed over a 105-page report, the results of a month-long audit by the Independent Commission of Evaluation and Verification, to interim President Jocelerme Privert. Privert, in turn, gave the report to the revamped Provisional Electoral Council, which will ultimately decide whether to accept the recommendation. It had planned to announce a new elections calendar on Tuesday. The commission audited 25 percent of the results, or 3,325 tally sheets from 13,000 polling stations across the country. “The conclusion we have reached is that the evil started not only within the polling stations, but a little higher in the distribution of [accreditation cards]” Benoit said, referring to the tens of thousands of cards that were distributed to poll workers and electoral observers and went for as little as $3 on election day. The cards allowed individuals known as mandataires to vote multiple times and at any polling station. The card, he said, “frantically opened the way for … trading.”

Haiti: Haiti awaits elections-council decision | Miami Herald

The No. 2 finisher in Haiti’s presidential elections, who this year boycotted the runoff until sweeping changes were made to the electoral machinery, said that an audit of the balloting confirmed his declarations that the vote was tainted by “massive fraud.” Now the country’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) needs to “sanction the person who committed the fraud, the people who helped defraud,” Jude Célestin said in an exclusive interview with Radio Kiskeya in Port-au-Prince. Asked who that was, Célestin replied: “Everyone knows, the entire population knows the candidate who was the fraudster, for whom the fraud was done on behalf of.” Célestin qualified for the second round against Jovenel Moïse, the choice of former President Michel Martelly. Moïse has denied the fraud allegations and accused opponents of using them to try to kick him out of the race. His PHTK party has refused to recognize the report. A PHTK operative told the Miami Herald that Célestin has to be referring to another one of the top finishers.

Haiti: Council starts deliberating on possible election redo | Associated Press

Haiti’s electoral authorities begin deliberating Tuesday whether they should annul results of the disputed presidential election’s first round, as recommended by a special commission that reported finding significant fraud. Electoral council chief Leopold Berlanger declined to comment on the verification commission’s findings Monday night, saying his panel would need until June 6 to examine the report and announce a new election calendar for this troubled country. The Provisional Electoral Council has the final say on election matters. The leader of the verification commission, Pierre Francois Benoit, told The Associated Press that members of his panel were so troubled by their month-long review that they had no choice but to recommend starting over and scrapping a presidential run-off vote that has been postponed three times. The panel examined 25 per cent of the roughly 13,000 tally sheets from polling stations.

Comoros: Presidential vote re-run ends under tight security | AFP

Several thousand voters in Comoros, the archipelago nation off the east coast of Africa, went to the polls Wednesday in a partial re-run of the presidential election with the result hanging in the balance. Former coup leader Azali Assoumani won last month’s run-off vote by just 2,100 votes, according to provisional results, but a court ordered 13 polling stations on Anjouan island to vote again due to “irregularities”. Polls closed at 1500 GMT and voting passed off without any major incidents, according to an AFP journalist. Just 6,305 voters were called to vote on Wednesday, two percent of the Comoros electorate.

Spain: King Felipe Dissolves Parliament, Clearing Way for New Elections | The New York Times

King Felipe VI of Spain signed a decree on Tuesday to dissolve Parliament and hold a rerun of national elections for the first time since the country’s return to democracy in the late 1970s. The step followed months of political paralysis and discord over who should form a government after inconclusive elections in December. That election resulted in a fracturing of Spain’s political landscape with the emergence of insurgent parties that challenged the establishment, marking a sea change in the nation’s politics. The repeat election is now scheduled for June 26, but opinion polls suggest that the outcome of a new vote could look much like the first, which split ballots among four main parties, with no single one close to a majority. Turnout, however, could fall amid growing frustration about the intense but fruitless party squabbling.

Serbia: Prime Minister Loses Ground In Repeat Elections | RFE/RL

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic appears to have lost ground in a repeat election held at a small number of polling stations on May 4. Preliminary results suggest the Dveri coalition will have 13 members in the 250-seat parliament, with coalition partners successfully surpassing the minimum 5 percent of votes needed for representation in the legislation. That outcome would be a setback for Vucic’s conservative Progressive Party, which now appears to be on track to control 131 parliamentary seats — 27 fewer than before the elections Vucic called halfway through his term.

Serbia: Partial repeat polls held after irregularities in April vote | Europe Online

Some Serbians are voting Wednesday in repeat elections after irregularities in the April 24 parliamentary polls. Only 20,000 of the 6.7 million registered voters may take part in the repeat vote being held in 15 polling stations because of problems reported by both the opposition and the government. However, the handful of voters will decide on 10 per cent of the 250 seats in parliament. The April elections were called by conservative Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic two years ahead of schedule. The victory of the coalition grouped around Vucic‘s Progressive Party (SNS), which won 48.2 per cent of the votes, is not in question – but the number of the seats it will control is. Vucic and the SNS go into Wednesday‘s vote with 138 of the 250 seats.

Spain: King disolves parliament calls for repeat election on June 26 | Reuters

Spain’s King Felipe dissolved parliament on Tuesday and called a new national election for June 26 after a vote in December left such a fractured political landscape that no government could be formed. The new vote follows four months of fruitless coalition talks between Spain’s four main parties after the inconclusive ballot stripped the conservative People’s Party (PP) of acting prime minister Mariano Rajoy of its majority. The re-run is not expected to herald a major shift in voting patterns, opinion polls show, likely forcing bickering leaders to once again try to forge a coalition.

Tanzania: Zanzibar election re-run raises likelihood of confrontation | African Arguments

After a long period of negotiations, it was announced on Friday that Zanzibar will hold a re-run of elections on 20 March. The news was accompanied by a deployment of security forces in the semi-autonomous archipelago and was greeted with anger by many on the streets of the capital. “We have been cheated,” exclaimed one resident of Stone Town. “They will be here up to the 20 March, there is no freedom in Zanzibar,” said another. The decision comes three months after elections in October 2015 were controversially annulled by the Zanzibar Electoral Commission chairman, Jecha Salim Jecha, who claimed that there had been irregularities. The Tanzanian army had a strong presence in Stone Town and had surrounded the Commission.

Tanzania: Zanzibar to Hold Poll Rerun in March |

Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairman Jecha Salim Jecha has announced the date for a rerun of Zanzibar election as March 20 despite resistance from the main opposition Civic United Front, which insists that it will boycott such a poll. Mr Jecha said the decision was reached by ZEC in its meeting on January 21. “I call on leaders of political parties and the general public to continue to observe peace during this reparation time, on the voting day, during tallying and on the day a winner will be declared,” said Mr Jecha in a televised announcement.