Political scientists from two of the nation’s most highly respected universities, usually impartial observers of political firestorms, now find themselves at the center of an electoral drama with tens of thousands of dollars and the election of two state supreme court justices at stake. Their research experiment, which involved sending official-looking flyers to 100,000 Montana voters just weeks before Election Day, is now the subject of an official state inquiry that could lead to substantial fines against them or their schools. Their peers in the field have ripped their social science experiment as a “misjudgment” or — stronger still — “malpractice.” What went so wrong? Last Thursday, the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices started receiving complaints from voters who had received an election mailer (see below) bearing the state seal and describing the ideological standing of non-partisan candidates for the Montana Supreme Court. The fine print said that it had been sent by researchers from Dartmouth College and Stanford University, part of their research into voter participation. But that wasn’t satisfactory for the voters who received the flyers or the state officials to whom they complained.
His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, the Prime Minister, asserted here yesterday that “the government will not turn a blind eye on the phenomenon of vote buying during elections.” HH the Prime Minister thanked, after his tour of the Media Center for National Assembly elections 2012, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense and Interior Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Humoud Al-Sabah for involving the Kuwait Transparency Society in monitoring the elections for the first time, stressing that “the government cannot accept any sort of disturbance of the electoral process”.
The High Court in Jinja has set November 29 to December 2 for the recount of votes for Jinja Woman MP seat. The resident judge, Ms Flavia Anglin Ssenoga, made the ruling following a successful election petition filed by the former Woman parliamentary candidate Maureen Kyalya Walube, challenging the election of Agnes Nabirye as Jinja Woman MP.
Ms Walube’s application for a vote recount was first made in April but was trashed by Jinja Chief Magistrate Amos Kwizera, who was not convinced by the submissions. The ruling by the chief magistrate prompted Ms Walube to petition the High Court alleging a number of anomalies that transpired in the February 18 polls.
By-elections in Kenya come and go, but few command attention in the form of drama or uniqueness. Among the few was the one held in Kamukunji constituency last Thursday. The turn-out was only 30 per cent of the registered voters.
Kamukunji is a special constituency that has, over time, acquired the status of a political shrine thereby giving the name Kamkunji to have extra political meanings. It is symbolic of struggles as well as a political weathervane. In colonial days, it acquired a reputation as the place where Africans could hold rallies, mostly political, because there were no other venues available for “natives”. It was an open field, surrounded by heavily crowded “African quarters” such as Shauri Moyo, Kaloleni, Muthurwa, Majengo and Gorofani.
The Burmese Election Commission disqualified three elected MPs and a legislator from the Rakhine National Democratic Party (RNDP) on Thursday for their alleged election malpractices in favour of plaintiff legislators from the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP).
RNDP General-Secretary Oo Hla Saw objected to the verdict, calling it unjust.
“It is really upsetting to see our three elected legislators disqualified. Our party is just a local ethnic party, and we are not challenging them politically. The verdict shows their ill-will to us. It’s suspicious too,” Oo Hla Saw told Mizzima.