Nepali voters will head to polling stations across their northern Himalayan districts next Sunday in the first phase of general elections, taking a significant step forward in establishing a federal democracy in the country. The polls will take place under a new constitution passed by lawmakers in September 2015 as part of a peace process that began with the end of a decade-long civil war in 2006. The war pitted the Maoists against the state and left more than 16,000 people dead. After Maoist rebels gave up their arms, they joined the parliamentary system, resulting in Nepal shifting from a monarchy to a secular federal republic.
Hundreds of police and soldiers fanned out across many of Honduras’ poorest slums on Wednesday after gang members threatened people campaigning for election candidates. With a November 26 general election looming the authorities rolled in in force. They checked IDs while stopping people and cars in poorer areas of the capital Tegucigalpa, the second city San Pedro Sula, the Caribbean port of La Ceiba and other areas. Gangs including one called Barrio 18 have been threatening campaigners ahead of the vote. Among those harassed were people canvassing for President Juan Orlando Hernandez, who is seeking re-election.
At least five people died and 11 were wounded in acts of violence during and after weekend municipal elections in Nicaragua that saw President Daniel Ortega’s party the victor, various party leaders and local media said Monday. Two people were killed in the remote community of Sandy Bay Sirpi, on Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast. Both were members of the indigenous Yatama party, the group’s leader, George Henriquez, told AFP. A member of the right-leaning Liberal Constitutionalist Party was killed with a shot to the head as he served as a polling officer in the northern town of Wiwili, a spokesman for the party, Jorge Irias, told the media. The other two killed were members of the Citizens for Liberty Party, in the northern town of Yali, party leaders said.
Kenyan activist Boniface Mwangi is calling out his country’s leaders as “tribal kingpins” that he says are taking the country to the brink of disaster. He and thousands of others have taken to the streets to protest corruption and what they say is an electoral system that exacerbates Kenya’s ethnic divisions. “I went to protest against police violence and got shot with a tear gas canister,” notes Mwangi, with more than a touch of irony. Tensions are especially high in Kenya after last week’s presidential election re-run. President Uhuru Kenyatta has now been declared the winner, with 98 percent of the vote. Challenger Raila Odinga boycotted the balloting, arguing it would not be free and fair. He said that about the original vote, too.
Tensions were on the rise in western Kenya and parts of Nairobi amid confusion and discrepancies surrounding the country’s repeated presidential election this past week, with deadly violence breaking out in some areas. Shops were burned Friday night in Kawangware, a neighborhood in central Nairobi, and a civil society group reported that six people had been injured, including three with machete wounds. The neighborhood is a stronghold of the opposition leader Raila Odinga, who withdrew from the presidential race two weeks before the second vote. In western Kenya, where Mr. Odinga enjoys strong support, demonstrators clashed with the police. Six people were killed, 13 injured and 86 arrested in election-related unrest nationally, the police said late Friday.
Ivan Skripnichenko, a 35-year-old Russian opposition activist, was standing guard at a makeshift memorial to a slain Kremlin foe when a man dressed in army surplus clothing walked up to him. “Don’t you love Putin?” he asked, before knocking Skripnichenko down with a punch to the face. Eight days later, Skripnichenko was dead. “It was a powerful and professional blow,” Marina Lebedeva, an anti-government activist who says she witnessed the August 15 attack in central Moscow, tells Newsweek. The assailant also kicked Skripnichenko as he lay on the ground next to the flower-strewn “people’s memorial” for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was shot dead at the exact same spot near Red Square by Chechen gunmen in 2015. Authorities have refused to give permission for the memorial, and so opposition activists have been guarding it around-the-clock since Nemtsov’s murder.
Kenyans have begun voting in an election rerun that has polarised the country and is likely to be fiercely disputed in the absence of the opposition leader Raila Odinga, who is boycotting the poll. In stark contrast to the first election, which the supreme court annulled last month, many polling stations in Odinga strongholds saw only a trickle of voters. In Nairobi’s Kibera slum, tangled wire and charred streets marked the spots where there had been sporadic outbreaks of violence overnight. Police fired teargas at opposition supporters who tried to set up barricades in front of a polling station, prompting them to lob stones at the officers. Similar scenes were repeated in the western towns of Migori, Siaya and Homa Bay.
Papua New Guinea’s parliamentary elections took place June 24 to July 8, and there was significant controversy. During the election, officials went on strike in the capital city, Port Moresby, and violence broke out at polling stations in Enga province, where at least 20 people died. Election officials worked slowly to tally the votes, delaying the announcement of results as a way to protest lack of payment. It wasn’t until late September that the last undeclared seat was filled. Despite these and other setbacks, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill formed a new government in Papua New Guinea in early August. Here’s what you need to know about this country’s complex voting system. In Papua New Guinea’s ninth election since independence from Australia in 1975, 3,340 candidates ran in races for 111 parliamentary seats. Half of those candidates came from 44 political parties — including 25 new parties registered for this election. The other half of the candidate pool ran as independents.
The European Union urged Kenya’s ruling Jubilee Party and the main opposition alliance to be prepared to compromise hard-line positions to allow for a credible rerun of presidential elections. “Dialogue and cooperation are urgently needed for compromises so there can be a peaceful electoral process with integrity and transparency and Kenyans can chose their president,” the EU’s elections observer mission said on Monday in an emailed statement. Uncertainty about the Oct. 26 election is unnerving investors and clouding the outlook for an economy that’s already slowing. Kenya is a regional hub for companies including Toyota Motor Corp. and could become an oil exporter with Tullow Oil Plc among firms that are likely to start exploiting an estimated 1 billion barrels of crude resources.
Kenya’s government has banned protests in three city centres, citing lawlessness during opposition rallies against the electoral commission before a scheduled presidential vote rerun. The opposition leader, Raila Odinga, has called for daily protests next week to keep up pressure on election officials, after his refusal to take part in the 26 October poll plunged the country into uncertainty. “Due to the clear, present and imminent danger of breach of peace, the government notifies the public that, for the time being, we will not allow demonstrations within the central business districts of Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu,” said the security minister, Fred Matiangi. “The inspector general of police has been advised accordingly.” Hundreds of opposition supporters have marched in recent weeks, sometimes burning tyres and clashing with police who have used teargas to disperse crowds.