parliamentary elections

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Moldova: Pro-Western Parties Vow to Push Europe Ties After Close Victory | Wall Street Journal

Pro-Western parties in Moldova said Monday that they would press ahead with building closer ties to Europe, relying on a narrow victory in parliamentary elections to fend off Russia’s attempts to keep the ex-Soviet republic in its orbit. The election Sunday in one of the poorest countries in Europe was seen as an important battleground in the worst standoff between the West and Moscow since the Cold War, sparked by Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. Russia has opposed the European Union’s moves to seal free-trade and political-association deals with countries in the region, including Ukraine and Moldova. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other Western leaders have warned that the Kremlin is trying to restore its old sphere of influence over its neighbors using economic and military pressure. After street protests in Kiev early this year ousted a pro-Moscow president, Russia seized Ukraine’s Crimea region and has backed separatists in the country’s east. Russia has also stationed troops in Transnistria, a pro-Russia breakaway region of Moldova, and has blocked imports of some of Moldovan meat, fruit and wine in response to the landlocked country’s EU ambitions.

Full Article: Moldova Pro-Western Parties Vow to Push Europe Ties After Close Victory - WSJ.

Jordan: Jordan’s king appoints new PM ahead of elections | Yahoo News

Jordan’s King Abdullah II appointed a veteran independent politician on Wednesday as his new caretaker prime minister ahead of parliamentary elections — the last time he will make such an appointment, according to his own reform plan. The appointment of Abdullah Ensour is part of the king’s political roadmap that addresses popular pressure for a broader role in decision-making. It paves the way for elections scheduled for the end of this year or early 2013. That parliament will choose the next prime minister. The changes were decreed by Abdullah earlier this year to transfer more power to elected bodies and forestall any chance of an Arab Spring-style uprising similar to those that toppled regimes elsewhere in the region.

Full Article: Jordan's king appoints new PM ahead of elections - Yahoo! News.

Georgia (Sakartvelo): Georgian government warns of Russian build up as election nears | The Cable

As Georgians head to the polls Monday, analysts are warning that rising tensions could boil over just as the Russian military is conducting exercises near the de facto border line, a situation the Georgia government is worried Moscow could exploit. “We hope it will be made clear to Russia that a military invasion into Georgia with the goal of destroying Georgia’s sovereignty, which is still the goal of the Kremlin, will have a huge at minimum political price for Russia in its relationship with Western powers,” Georgia’s National Security Advisor Giga Bokeria told The Cable in a phone interview from Tbilisi. The European Union’s monitoring mission, which patrols the administrative boundary between Georgia and the Russian-occupied regions of Abkhasia and South Ossetia, noted in its most recent report that while the observers saw no movement of military equipment on the Georgian side that could be perceived as instigating an attack, the Russian forces on the other side of the boundary line are increasing. “The Mission has raised its concerns about this activity with the relevant Russian command structures,” their report stated.

Full Article: Georgian government warns of Russian build up as election nears | The Cable.

Belarus: Foreign Ministry says denial of visas to OSCE election monitors not related to elections | Kyiv Post

Belarus’ decision to deny entry visas to two members of the OSCE election observation mission to monitor parliamentary elections slated in Belarus for Sept. 23 is not related to the elections as such, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry said. “These two people are foreigners whose entry to the territory of the Republic of Belarus is unwelcome. This has absolutely no relation to the observation of the elections,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Savinykh told Interfax.

Full Article: Foreign Ministry: Belarus' denial of visas to OSCE election monitors not related to elections.

Libya: European Union Hails Orderly Conduct Of Libyan Elections | RTT

The European Union on Thursday lauded the Libyan authorities for conducting the recent parliamentary elections in a transparent as well as orderly manner, and congratulated the Libyan people on their “peaceful and dignified” march towards democracy. In a statement released after the announcement of the preliminary results for the election of the Libyan National Congress, EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton hailed Libya’s election commission for conducting the electoral process in a professional manner. She said the EU Electoral Assessment Team (EU EAT) had assessed that processing of results at the tally center in Tripoli had been transparent and fully open to observation.

Full Article: EU Hails Orderly Conduct Of Libyan Elections.

Syria: Elections held as opposition boycotts | chinadaily.com.cn

Syrians cast ballots on Monday in parliamentary elections billed by the government as key to President Bashar al-Assad’s political reforms, but the opposition dismissed the vote as a sham meant to preserve his rule. Polls opened at 7 am, and Syrian state TV showed voters lining up and dropping white ballots in large, plastic boxes. There are 7,195 candidates in the election competing for 250 seats in the new parliament. Results from 12,152 polling stations across the country are expected to be announced on Tuesday or Wednesday. The opposition has called the elections a farce and says it will accept nothing short of the fall of Assad’s rule.

Full Article: Syria holds elections as opposition boycotts|World|chinadaily.com.cn.

Syria: Elections held as opposition boycotts | chinadaily.com.cn

Syrians cast ballots on Monday in parliamentary elections billed by the government as key to President Bashar al-Assad’s political reforms, but the opposition dismissed the vote as a sham meant to preserve his rule. Polls opened at 7 am, and Syrian state TV showed voters lining up and dropping white ballots in large, plastic boxes. There are 7,195 candidates in the election competing for 250 seats in the new parliament. Results from 12,152 polling stations across the country are expected to be announced on Tuesday or Wednesday. The opposition has called the elections a farce and says it will accept nothing short of the fall of Assad’s rule.

Full Article: Syria holds elections as opposition boycotts|World|chinadaily.com.cn.

Russia: Fresh protests set after Putin victory | BBC

Renewed protests are due to be held in Moscow and other Russian cities following Vladimir Putin’s victory in last weekend’s presidential election. Authorities have given permission for up to 50,000 protesters to gather on one of central Moscow’s large avenues. A wave of protests was sparked last December by evidence that parliamentary elections had been rigged. Similar allegations have surrounded the presidential vote, which saw Mr Putin win a third term. Foreign states have accepted Mr Putin’s victory but observers said the poll had been skewed in his favour.

Full Article: BBC News - Russia set for fresh protests after Putin victory.

Iran: Some Iran parliament candidates to face second round of voting | The Washington Post

Iran’s interior minister on Monday announced a second round of parliamentary elections in April in several key cities, including the capital, after candidates in a number of consituencies failed to reach the necessary vote threshhold to be elected. Under the Iranian electoral system, a candidate must receive at least 25 percent of the votes to be elected. In Tehran, the largest constituency in Iran, only five of 30 pre-selected candidates received enough votes. Several seats in large cities such as Mashhad, Shiraz and Abadan also remained undecided. A date for the second round has not yet been set.

Full Article: Some Iran parliament candidates to face second round of voting - The Washington Post.

Egypt: Partial Results Show Muslim Brotherhood In The Lead | huffingtonpost.com

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood was leading in initial, partial results from Egypt’s parliamentary elections but it was facing stiff competition in many places both from more hard-line Islamic groups and from a liberal-secular alliance, judges overseeing counting said Wednesday. The trend from results so far mirrored expectations that the Brotherhood, Egypt’s most powerful fundamentalist group, would make the strongest showing in the first parliament elections since the fall of Hosni Mubarak.

Still, it was too early to extrapolate whether their victory was bigger or smaller than expected, with counting still continuing from the first round of voting, which took place on Monday and Tuesday. The Brotherhood had the biggest share of votes in the capital Cairo and the country’s second biggest city, Alexandria, on the Mediterranean coast, as well as the southern city of Luxor, Port Said on the Suez Canal, and Kafr el-Sheikh, a major city in the Nile Delta, according to judges in each area.

Full Article: Egypt Election Results: Partial Results Show Muslim Brotherhood In The Lead.

Egypt: Voters turn out for second day of elections | latimes.com

Throngs of Egyptians voted for a second day Tuesday in parliamentary elections that were surprisingly peaceful, as the country appeared excited and determined to fulfill the so far elusive promises of the revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak. Lines snaked and last-minute campaigning echoed across nine governorates as the first round of a multistage vote drew what Abdel-Moez Ibrahim, head of the election commission, called a “massive and unexpected turnout.”

After months of protests and anger over military rule, Egyptians were defiant in stamping their imprints on ballots and on the nation’s fate. The election took place as protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square dwindled and voters focused on the deeper questions of selecting a 498-seat parliament that would write a constitution and usher in a post-Mubarak political era.

Full Article: Egypt voters turn out for second day of elections - latimes.com.

Egypt: Election commission says voter turnout ‘massive’ | silive.com

The head of Egypt’s election commission said turnout was “massive and unexpected” for the first elections since Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, with millions participating peacefully in a spirit of hopefulness that surprised many after new protests broke out in the days leading up to the vote.

Long lines formed again today at polling centers around the capital Cairo and other cities on the second and final day of the first round of parliamentary elections. The historic election — which promises to be the country’s fairest and cleanest in living memory — will indicate whether one of America’s most important Middle East allies will turn down a more Islamic path with powerful religious parties such as the Muslim Brotherhood expected to dominate.

Full Article: Egypt election commission says voter turnout 'massive' | SILive.com.

Egypt: Military rulers reject demands to leave | The Globe and Mail

Egypt’s military rulers rejected protester demands for them to step down immediately and said Thursday they would start the first round of parliamentary elections on time next week despite serious unrest in Cairo and other cities.

The ruling military council insisted it is not the same as the old regime it replaced, but the generals appear to be on much the same path that doomed Hosni Mubarak nine months ago — responding to the current crisis by delivering speeches seen as arrogant, mixing concessions with threats and using brutal force.

Full Article: Egypt's military rulers reject demands to leave - The Globe and Mail.

Morocco: First parliamentary elections since protests | CNN

Moroccans went to the polls Friday in the country’s first parliamentary elections since adopting a new constitution following mass protests over unemployment and corruption. Turnout in the North African country was 45%, the Interior Ministry said. Both Parliament and the prime minister have greater powers under the new constitution, while the monarch’s sway has been slightly lessened.

More than 300 international observers monitored the voting, alongside 3,500 Moroccan observers, the semiofficial Le Matin newspaper reported. Morocco’s moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) is expected to do well in the vote.

Full Article: Morocco holds first parliamentary elections since protests - CNN.com.

Egypt: Ganzouri to become Egypt’s prime minister, military says | CNN

Several planned demonstrations in Egypt Friday could test whether the nation besieged by recent violent clashes can remain peaceful.The area around Cairo’s Tahrir Square was eerily calm early Friday morning. There were no protesters and only security forces could be seen near Tahrir Square.

Since Saturday, protesters have clashed with police near the Cairo square, the epicenter of the movement that led to Mubarak’s ouster as president nine months ago. Among other demands, they have called for the interim military rulers step down. But the situation seemed to calm down Thursday after soldiers came to the area an erected barbed wire barricades to separate protesters from police.

Full Article: Ganzouri to become Egypt's prime minister, military says - CNN.com.

Egypt: Military rejects call to delay elections | sfgate.com

Egypt’s military rulers rejected calls Thursday to delay parliamentary elections scheduled to take place next week and issued a strongly worded statement that has the potential to further polarize the country as it reels from a week of violent protests.

The statement called on “honorable people” to apprehend those causing strife and turn them over to the authorities. The vague directive could encourage vigilantism between camps supportive and critical of the military as the unrest that has killed at least 38 people and wounded thousands more continues to sow anger and frazzle nerves.

Full Article: Egyptian military rejects call to delay elections.

Egypt: Military rulers reject calls to step down | Connecticut Post

Egypt’s military rulers rejected protester demands for them to step down immediately and said Thursday they would start the first round of parliamentary elections on time next week, despite serious unrest in Cairo and other cities.

The ruling military council insisted it is not the same as the old regime it replaced, but the generals appear to be on much the same path that doomed Hosni Mubarak nine months ago — responding to the current crisis by delivering speeches seen as arrogant, mixing concessions with threats and using brutal force.

Full Article: Egypt military rulers reject calls to step down - Connecticut Post.

Armenia: Opposition Leader Demands Safeguards For Fair Elections | rferl.org

An Armenian opposition leader has challenged President Serzh Sarkisian to prove his commitment to hold democratic elections by enacting radical changes to the law and not allowing government resources to be used by his ruling Republican Party (HHK), RFE/RL’s Armenian Service reports.

Sarkisian has pledged to “spare no effort” to ensure that parliamentary elections in May are widely recognized as free and fair. Visiting Brussels earlier this month, Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian (no relation) said the vote will be the most democratic in the country’s history.

Full Article: Armenian Opposition Leader Demands Safeguards For Fair Elections.

Egypt: Protesters, Forces Clash for Third Day Before Election | Businessweek

Clashes erupted in Cairo for a third day after fighting between security forces and demonstrators protesting military rule left at least 22 people dead, a week before Egypt’s first parliamentary elections since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak.

Protesters were driven back by tear gas in Tahrir Square, the center of the uprising that toppled Mubarak in February, some waving Egyptian flags and others hurling stones at riot police, in scenes televised from the site. Besides those killed, hundreds were injured in the fighting that started on Nov. 19, Health Ministry spokesman Mohammed el-Sherbeeny said today by telephone.

Full Article: Egypt Protesters, Forces Clash for Third Day Before Election - Businessweek.

Morocco: Thousands of Moroccans make final boycott call 5 days before elections | The Washington Post

Thousands of Moroccans from the pro-democracy movement made a final call Sunday to boycott upcoming elections with protests across the country. At least 3,000 people marched through the capital Rabat and another 4,000 chanted demonstrated in Casablanca, the country’s largest city. Demonstrations took place in other cities across the country as well.

Anti-government protesters hold Moroccan national flag, left, and the 20th February movement flag in red black and white during a rally organized by the 20th February, the Moroccan Arab Spring movement in Casablanca, Morocco, Sunday, Nov 20, 2011, in a mass popular call to bring more democracy into this North African kingdom. Some thousands of Moroccans from the pro-democracy movement braved pouring rain and high winds in Casablanca to make a final call to boycott upcoming elections.

Full Article: Thousands of Moroccans make final boycott call 5 days before elections - The Washington Post.