national assembly

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Tunisia: Islamists set to resign after deal on election commission | Reuters

Tunisia’s ruling Islamists are preparing to resign in the next few days to make way for a caretaker cabinet once government and opposition parties agree on the makeup of an electoral commission, mediators said on Tuesday. Three years after its uprising ousted veteran autocratic president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia is in the final stages of its transition to full democracy after months of deadlock between Islamist and secular parties. Late last year, after a political crisis erupted, the ruling Islamist party Ennahda agreed to hand over power to a caretaker government once a new constitution was complete, an election committee named and a date for elections set. Tunisia’s national assembly last week began voting on the final parts of the new constitution, and parties on Tuesday were working out disagreements over composition of the election commission to oversee a vote later this year.

Full Article: Tunisia Islamists set to resign after deal on election commission - chicagotribune.com.

Mauritania: Ruling party wins majority vote | Al Jazeera

Mauritania’s ruling Union for the Republic Party (UPR) has won a ruling majority in parliament after a second round of legislative elections, issued results show. The UPR party entered Saturday’s election with a secured victory in the November 23 first round after a boycott by several opposition parties – who insisted that they would not be fair – in the mainly Muslim republic, a former French colony on the west coast of the Sahara desert. According to Sunday’s results, which decided an outstanding 26 seats, the UPR held 74 seats in the 147-member National Assembly.

Full Article: Mauritania's ruling party wins majority vote - Africa - Al Jazeera English.

Voting Blogs: Democracy on ice: a post-mortem of the Icelandic constitution | openDemocracy

Iceland earned the respect of many observers of democracy around the world when, after the financial crash of 2008, its parliament decided to go back to basics and revise the country‘s constitution. A constitutional overhaul was long overdue. For nearly 70 years, Iceland’s political class had repeatedly promised and failed to revise the provisional constitution of 1944, which was drawn up in haste with minimal adjustment of the 1874 constitution as part of Iceland’s declaration of independence from Nazi-occupied Denmark. Clearly, the 1944 constitution had not prevented the executive overreach and cronyism that paved the way for the corrupt privatization of the Icelandic banks from 1998 to 2003 – and their subsequent crash a few years later. Faced by pots- and pans-banging crowds in Parliament Square in Reykjavík in late 2008 and early 2009, the politicians admitted failure, accepting the protesters’ demands for, among other things, a new constitution.

Full Article: Democracy on ice: a post-mortem of the Icelandic constitution | openDemocracy.

Kenya: A Clear Definition of the IEBC Tech Failure | IEBC Tech Kenya

This information comes from members of a team that worked with the RTS system.  The following is in his words:

RTS As you stated – RTS was a slick design, it was a system that was to run on 339 servers across the country and over 33k phones and at least 26k users logged in to the production system. It was a shame that issues outside the main RTS software denied it the limelight. The visualization and transmission aspects were not part of the RTS system and thus the RTS system comprised of:
mobile phone software – a J2ME application
the web service processing the request – a Servlet running on Glassfish
Memcache to cache data that was not changing
the database – running on Mysql
All of which were based on tried and tested open technologies.
The Failure
The truth is that around 8PM Monday is that the /var partition on the provisioning server (running CentOS not Windows) got filled and thus the underlying RDBMS failed. It was a shame because there was so much space on that server but not in the correct (needed place). I can state that there was no hacking (nothing points to it).  I can also state that RTS was not creating files and thus the partition was not filled by RTS data but rather by Mysql binary logs that were being generated in situ due to database replication which was switch on. Thus this meant that if the provision server went down – no new logins and requests for candidate data for that polling station could not be serviced. However, those individuals who had logged in at least once before in accordance to the procedure were able to send results to the other servers that were up.  This explains the “slow down” experienced after the provisioning server went down.

Full Article: IEBC Tech Kenya — A Clear Definition of the IEBC Tech Failure.

Cameroon: A Decisive Moment in Cameroon | allAfrica.com:

Public debates on the convening of the Electoral College for the 14 April 2013 election of senators in Cameroon are rife. Discussions have been on whether or not the time for such election is now, is the Electoral College legitimate and are all those who qualify to participate in the poll according to the Constitution of Cameroon going to take part? While hoping that legal minds clarify the population on what the best practice should be, the bottom line is that the decision to take part ought to be political since Cameroon has embarked on a democratic process and like in all democracies, the freedom of choice remains fundamental. Another crucial factor which cannot be overlooked is the fact that; Part III of Law N° 96-06 of 18 January 1996 to amend the Constitution of 2 June 1972 says in Article 14 (1) that; “Legislative power shall be exercised by the Parliament which shall comprise 2 (two) Houses: (a) The National Assembly; (b) The Senate.” Until now, only the National Assembly existed in the country, leaving a constitutional vacuum that many thought should be filled. Another Constitutional right is that of the Head of State who decides when to convene the Electoral College for any election in the country. Thus, any debate over the timeliness of the election must take into consideration all the legal arguments.

Full Article: allAfrica.com: Cameroon: A Decisive Moment.

Cuba: Cubans Ready for February 3 General Elections | Radio Cadena Agramonte

On February 3, over eight million Cubans will elect 612 parliament deputies and 1 269 delegates to provincial governments for a five-year term and by means of free, secret and direct vote. Once the deputies are elected, they will have a 45-day period of time to meet at a place and time to be decided by the Cuban Council of State in order to set up the National Assembly of People’s Power (Cuban Parliament), according to Granma daily newspaper.

Full Article: Cubans Ready for February 3 General Elections.

Netherlands: Dutch Election Suspense | Presseurop

Rupture or continuity? The Dutch go to the polls on Sept. 12 for early elections marked by the crisis. Liberal Prime Minister Mark Rutte seems well ahead, but on the left there’s tough competition to come up with an alternative. For the Dutch press this close vote risks prolonging the political crisis. The general election campaign of 12 September is still coming up with surprises. According to a survey published on September 3, the VVD party of outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte (Liberal) is still in the lead, expected to pick up 35 of the 150 seats in the National Assembly. Its main rival, though, seems to be not the rising star of the Socialist Party led by Emile Roemer (radical left), which had set the tone of the debate over the summer, but the Labour Party (PvdA) under Diederik Samsom.

Full Article: Election suspense | Presseurop (English).

Panama: Election Commission wants electoral reforms withdrawn | Prensa.com

The National Commission on Electoral Reforms requested the judges of the Tribunal Electoral (TE) to request the National Assembly withdraw the draft of electoral reforms, since it believes there is enough time to implement them before the 2014 elections. TE Judge Gerardo Solis said that the commission also decided that the reforms should be considered one of the first priorities of the next government.
According to Solis, the withdrawal of the reforms will be the best way to ensure peace and tranquility during the election.

Senegal: President Macky Sall wins national assembly landslide | BBC

Senegal’s new President Macky Sall has won a huge majority in legislative elections, official results show. His Benno Bokk Yakaar (United in Hope) coalition won 119 of the 150 seats. The Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) of former President Abdoulaye Wade gained only 12 seats, while a breakaway PDS faction won four seats. After 12 years in power, Mr Wade was defeated by Mr Sall in March’s tense elections which saw at least six people killed in anti-Wade protests.

Kuwait: Row rages over rumored election law changes – Liberals call for legalizing parties, election commission | Kuwait Times

Two key liberal groups called yesterday for important democratic reforms that include establishing an independent election commission, legalising political parties and issuing legislation to combat corruption as part of democratic reforms necessary to resolve the political deadlock in the country. The National Democratic Alliance, an umbrella group of liberals, and the Kuwait Democratic Forum, made the calls in a joint statement which insisted that these are essential demands to gradually achieving a full parliamentary system of governance after 50 years of democracy. Kuwait does not have an independent election commission and the ministries of interior and justice organize and manage the election process and declare results, whereas the constitutional court tackles challenges to election results or the election process. The statement also called for issuing legislation to guarantee more independence of the judicial authority and to support the constitutional court in order guarantee all factors for a fair judiciary.

Full Article: Row rages over rumored election law changes – Liberals call for legalizing parties, election commission | Kuwait Times.

Kuwait: Thousands Rally against Court Ruling Dissolving Opposition-led Parliament | International Business Times

Protesters have taken to the streets of Kuwait City to criticise a constitutional court ruling that declared parliamentary elections in February illegal and reinstated the previous parliament. The National Assembly elections saw the opposition dominate and replace a more pro-regime parliament. That election result was torpedoed by the court ruling, which protesters said followed opposition calls for a constitutional monarchy with a full parliamentary system. “This is the beginning of the road to a constitutional monarchy,” prominent opposition MP Mussallam al-Barrak told protesters. “We call on the authorities to issue a new decree to dissolve the 2009 parliament.”

Full Article: Thousands of Kuwaitis Rally against Court Ruling Dissolving Opposition-led Parliament - International Business Times.

Libya: Carter Center to send election monitors to Libya | WSET.com

The Carter Center is sending observer teams to Libya to monitor and report on that country’s July 7 parliamentary elections. Former President Jimmy Carter said in a statement Wednesday that he hopes the center’s limited mission will contribute “to a peaceful, transparent and credible electoral process and will support Libyans’ aspirations to build a strong democracy.” Voters will elect a national assembly that is expected to write a new constitution for Libya. The election will be Libya’s first national vote since the capture and killing of longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi last October.

Algeria: MPs stage parliamentary walkout over ‘poll fraud’ | BBC

More than 60 lawmakers walked out of the inaugural session of parliament in Algeria, in protest at alleged fraud in recent elections. The MPs, mostly from a Islamist coalition, waved banners that said “Say ‘no’ to fraud”, before leaving after a roll call of new members. The party claims the polls two weeks ago were fixed in favour of the ruling FLN party and its coalition partners. Algeria was one of the few states in the region to avoid unrest last year.

Full Article: BBC News - Algeria MPs stage parliamentary walkout over 'poll fraud'.

Algeria: MPs stage parliamentary walkout over 'poll fraud' | BBC

More than 60 lawmakers walked out of the inaugural session of parliament in Algeria, in protest at alleged fraud in recent elections. The MPs, mostly from a Islamist coalition, waved banners that said “Say ‘no’ to fraud”, before leaving after a roll call of new members. The party claims the polls two weeks ago were fixed in favour of the ruling FLN party and its coalition partners. Algeria was one of the few states in the region to avoid unrest last year.

Full Article: BBC News - Algeria MPs stage parliamentary walkout over 'poll fraud'.

Editorials: Are Libya's elections premature? | CNN.com

In less than 40 days, Libya is set to witness the first elections since the ouster of the late Moammar Gahdafi. But are the elections coming too early? Post-conflict elections should mark the pinnacle point in the recovery and reconstruction of Libya. Libyans and the international community look at the election on June 19 as a milestone toward peace and democracy. But some studies show history can paint a gloomy picture of elections held soon after bloody armed struggles, when political institutions may be weak or non-existent. Many believe elections soon after the armed conflict that ended Moammar Gadhafi’s regime would foster the promise of peace and democracy. It would show a democratic transition and effective recontruction, which in turn would assure the international community about the stability of Libya. Elections would also help post-conflict Libya attract much needed foreign assistance and investment to help rebuild the country.

Full Article: Are Libya's elections premature? – Global Public Square - CNN.com Blogs.

South Korea: Illegal campaign activities, legal actions mar South Korea general elections | Korea Herald

Illegal election campaign activities continued to plague the run up to Wednesday’s general election. According to the National Election Commission, the number of Public Official Election Act violations stood at 1,239 on Tuesday. Although the figure was lower than during the 2008 general election, the number of more serious offences such as slander increased significantly. The election watchdog’s figures show that the number of cases of slander and spreading falsehoods increased 31 percent from four years ago. Areas with tight races between candidates such as South Gyeongsang Province saw increases in illegal campaign activities. According to the election commission for the region, 110 violations were filed as of midday Tuesday. In comparison, the figure came in at 85 in 2008. Incheon also suffered from a spike in irregular campaign activities.

Full Article:.

Cambodia: Ruling party secures expected victory in Senate elections closed to general public | The Washington Post

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s party secured an expected victory at Senate elections Sunday, according to preliminary results following the vote that was closed to the general population and criticized for lacking credibility. The ruling Cambodian People’s Party won almost 78 percent of votes, while the opposition Sam Rainsy Party won almost 22 percent, Election Commission chairman Im Suosdey told reporters. Official results were expected Feb. 4. The 61-seat Senate has no power to amend or veto legislation and is widely seen as an ineffectual body that rubber-stamps bills from the lower house, or National Assembly, which the ruling party dominates.

Full Article: Cambodian ruling party secures expected victory in Senate elections closed to general public - The Washington Post.

Pakistan: 2013 preparations? Election commission secretary gets two-year extension | The Express Tribune

The government has given a two-year extension to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) secretary in order to ensure that the next election due in early 2013 is held under the incumbent set-up. The extension has been given to ECP Secretary Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan, who reached the age of superannuation (retirement) on November 5, to ‘ensure continuity’ of the reforms process initiated by him. This was the justification for the extension given in the notification issued on the directives of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. An official of the establishment division told The Express Tribune that the notification was issued a few days back, without mentioning the exact date. The official who requested anonymity could not explain why the notification was not made public. Khan, when contacted, confirmed the extension. This is one of the most high-profile extensions given by the Pakistan Peoples Party-led government after Chief of Army Staff Gen. Parvez Kayani and Director-General Inter-Services Intelligence Shuja Pasha.

Full Article: 2013 preparations?: Election commission secretary gets two-year extension – The Express Tribune.

United Kingdom: Groups Oppose Suspension of Bill On Diaspora Voting | allAfrica.com

UK-based Nigerian groups yesterday said the suspension of the Bill on Diaspora voting by the National Assembly was a “collective disenfranchisement of innocent citizens”. The bill, which seeks to allow Nigerians in the Diaspora to vote in future elections, suffered a setback in the House of Representatives as it was suspended for further input.

Most of the lawmakers who spoke on the bill, sponsored by Rep. Abike Dabiri-Erewa (ACN Lagos), said the country could not afford the cost of conducting such an election. “Clearly, this is collective disenfranchisement of a group of innocent citizens by our government on the basis of their abode,” Ms Jenny Okafor, President of Nigerian Women in Diaspora Leadership Forum, said in an interview in London.

Full Article: allAfrica.com: Nigeria: UK Groups Oppose Suspension of Bill On Diaspora Voting.