Preliminary results show that as predicted, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s incumbent conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) won Saturday’s state election in Saxony, receiving 39 percent of the votes and up to 59 of the 132 seats. This means Premier Stanislaw Tillich will continue to govern, but will need to seek out a new coalition partner, with the liberal FDP party receiving only 3.7 percent of the votes – failing to clear the 5 percent hurdle required for parliamentary representation. The eurosceptic Alternative for Germany party (AfD) won 10 percent of the vote. The AfD, with lead candidate Frauke Petry (pictured top), has capitalized on voter concerns about asylum seekers in its campaign. The party only narrowly failed to enter the national parliament and the state assembly in Hesse last year. It did, however, manage to garner seven seats in the European Parliament at elections in May. The right-wing, populist party drew voters away from the extreme-right National Democratic Party (NPD), whose re-entry into the state parliament is still unclear.
Mauritania, a predominately Arab country that straddles North and West Africa, will hold legislative and local government elections on November 23 (first round) and December 7 (second round), which will be the country’s first full elections since 2006. These elections will replace officials of the national assembly and local governments (i.e. communes) who have continued to carry out their duties even though their elected terms ended, constitutionally, in 2012. Since gaining independence from France, Mauritania has had a turbulent history: the country’s first president and university graduate, Moktar Ould Daddah, who assumed power in 1960, was ousted by a military coup in 1978. Subsequently, Mauritania was rocked by several additional coups: in 1979, 1980, and 1984. In 1984, a general-cum-president — Maaouya Sid’ Ahmed Ould Taya — asserted control and constructed a dominant regime party, le Parti Républicain Démocratique et Social (PRDS). Akin to Egypt’s National Democratic Party, the PRDS dominated Mauritanian politics for the next 21 years until 2005, when Taya was deposed in a putsch led by two of his closest military advisors, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz and Ely Ould Mohamed Vall.
The People’s Assembly (the lower house of Egypt’s parliament) devoted a special session on Wednesday afternoon to discussing proposed legislation aimed at prohibiting figures associated with ousted president Hosni Mubarak from contesting upcoming presidential elections. The assembly reportedly decided to convene after several MPs expressed fears that the bill, drafted by the moderate-Islamist Wasat Party, might be ruled unconstitutional. “The problem is that the bill contradicts Article 26 of the constitutional declaration [issued in March of last year by the ruling military council and approved via popular referendum], which does not set any conditions on the presidency,” said Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Mohamed Attia. “Once the law is passed by the assembly, it must be scrutinised by the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) to determine its constitutionality.” Echoing the opinion of most MPs, Attia added that “any undue haste in passing the law will make people think it was tailored to serve the needs of a particular group or to prevent a particular person from contesting the presidency.”
The Independent Electoral Commission this week deregistered nine more political parties ahead of the general election, which reports suggest could take place in May this year. This makes it a total 12 parties the Commission has struck-off its roll in a space of one month for failing to comply with the country’s electoral laws, following the deregistration of the Christian Democratic Party, Lesotho Labour Party and United Democratic Party in December 2011.
Elections in Egypt tend to produce not just one but two solid majorities. The ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) has never, since its creation in 1978, failed to win less than a two-thirds majority of seats in Egypt’s parliament. And since that time, the vast majority of voting-age Egyptians have never bothered to vote.
Predictability under a veneer of democracy has given three decades of stability to the most populous and politically pivotal Arab state. But it has also produced a ruling class increasingly remote from an increasingly bitter people.
Revolutionaries, some political parties and youth groups called on the Higher Election Commission (HEC) to bar all members of former president Hosni Mubarak’s disbanded party from running in a parliamentary poll that starts later this month, in application of an administrative court ruling in a Delta city. The revolutionaries also urged parties fielding the remnants of…
Millions of Egyptians will head to the polls on 28 November in the first parliamentary vote after a popular uprising ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule. The elections end decades of what was effectively one-party rule and will establish a parliament to lead the drafting of a new constitution within a year. If approved in a subsequent referendum, this constitution will shape Egypt’s future.
But few Egyptians understand the complex election system or know what the parties represent. “The election system is really confusing,” Saed Abdel Hafez, chairman of the local NGO, Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue, told IRIN. “Because people do not understand the system, they will most likely vote for the people or the powers they used to vote for in the past. This means that the next parliament will not reflect the new political realities created by the revolution.”
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.