Turkey’s high election board has rejected formal calls by the country’s main opposition parties to annul the result of a referendum that will grant Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sweeping new powers as president. Voters narrowly approved a set of constitutional reforms that will transform the country from a parliamentary democracy into a presidential republic, concentrating power in the hands of Erdoğan, who will be able to run for two more terms and potentially govern until 2029. The Turkish president has been handed the chance to declare himself as the only fit protector of a besieged state and its vulnerable people The two main opposition parties – the Republican People’s party (CHP) and the People’s Democratic party (HDP) – had lodged formal complaints calling for the annulment of the result, citing a controversial last-minute decision by the board to allow the counting of possibly hundreds of thousands of unstamped ballots. The constitutional amendments passed with a margin of just over a million votes. International observers had said the decision to count the ballots “contradicted the law” and removed a safeguard against fraud.
Videos have emerged in Turkey of alleged ballot stuffing and polling station violations during the Sunday referendum that approved sweeping powers to the country’s president. Social media users circulated several videos, apparently showing violations on election day, including people voting more than once. In one video, a man who was identified by France 24 as Mehmet Koçlardan, the leader of a village in east Turkey from Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), is seen casting five votes into a ballot box. Another video shows an unidentified person stamping “yes” on five voting slips and piling them on a table.
Turkey’s top election authority has voted against annulling the referendum to further empower President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Main opposition parties had challenged the results following complaints of vote-rigging. Turkey’s high electoral board (YSK) rejected appeals from the country’s main opposition parties to annul the referendum results, the board said in a statement on Wednesday. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the pro-Kurdish HDP had called on the electoral board to annul Sunday’s referendum because unstamped ballot papers were included in the count. They argued that this contravened Turkish electoral law. The board overwhelmingly voted to reject the parties’ appeals.
Reporting to Russian President Vladimir Putin last September on the conduct of the State Duma elections, Ella Pamfilova, chair of Russia’s Central Election Commission, singled out Daghestan as one of the federation subjects where irregularities were most blatant and prevalent. Pamfilova elaborated on that assessment during meetings in Makhachkala two weeks ago with the republic’s leaders, journalists, and representatives of various political parties, publicly warning republic head Ramazan Abdulatipov that “we do not need inflated statistics” that undermine voters’ trust in the electoral process. Daghestan was one of several Russian regions where elections to the regional parliament and local councils were held concurrently with those to the State Duma. According to official statistical data, at all three levels voter turnout was significantly higher than for Russia as a whole, and candidates representing the ruling United Russia party won with a disproportionately large percent of the vote (88.86 percent in the State Duma election compared to 47.8 percent nationwide, and 75.51 percent in the regional parliamentary ballot.)
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga said on Wednesday mass protests were possible if August elections were rigged, comments likely to scare Kenyans fearful of a repeat of the widespread violence that erupted after a disputed poll in 2007. Then, more than 1,200 people were killed in weeks of fighting after political protests turned into ethnic clashes, but 2013 polls, when Odinga accepted the result after a court ruling, passed relatively peacefully. “This country is not ready for another rigged election. Kenyans will not accept it,” Odinga said, noting that multiple people had been registered to vote with the same identity card in a registration period that has just ended.
Turkmenistan’s Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov bagged a fresh seven-year term with nearly 98 percent of a weakly contested vote, electoral officials announced Monday following a preliminary count. The election commission claimed at a press conference in the capital Ashgabat a massive turnout for the Sunday poll in which eight other candidates, viewed as token opponents for Berdymukhamedov, also competed. The former dentist and health minister took power in 2006 after the death of Turkmenistan’s first president, Saparmurat Niyazov. Casting his vote at a school in Ashgabat on Sunday, the president said the vote would decide “the fate of the people for the coming seven years”.
Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, the authoritarian president of gas-rich Turkmenistan, has secured a third term in office by winning 97.69 percent of the vote in the February 12 election, according to the Central Election Commission. The election commission announced the result on February 13, a day after an election whose outcome seemed certain in advance because of Berdymukhammedov’s domination of the Central Asian country and the tightly controlled campaign. The commission put the turnout at more than 97 percent of eligible voters. But RFE/RL correspondents saw only a trickle of voters at several polling stations in the capital, Ashgabat. The election hands Berdymukhammedov, 59, a new seven-year term. He maintains strict control over all aspects of society and was all but guaranteed to defeat the other eight candidates, who were widely seen as window dressing for the vote.
Alabama: Congressman’s unsupported claim that Democrats rigged voting machines in his election | The Washington Post
While expressing support for the Trump administration’s plans to investigate potential voter fraud in the 2016 election, an Alabama congressman offered a stunning claim: Democrats rigged 11 of 45 voting machine in his first election to the state legislature in 1982. That’s a significant charge, especially since it’s pretty tough to rig an election. So we set out to find out whether facts supported Brooks’s claim. Brooks’s comment, made during congressional Republicans’ meeting with Vice President Pence, became public via a leaked audio recording of the private meeting. His office corroborated the statement but did not offer much evidence to support it. His office provided newspaper clippings showing there were complaints about malfunctioning voting machines in Brooks’s legislative district in Huntsville, Ala. During the afternoon on Election Day, Brooks announced that he planned on challenging election results and charged that 11 voting machines “at one time or another during the day would not register Mo Brooks’ votes.” Brooks changed his mind after he won the election. “I’m not going to contest it,” Brooks said at his victory party on election night. “But I hope there’ll be an investigation.”
Kenyan legislators came to blows Thursday as opposition members tried to block an emergency session that passed a bill to allow manual counting of election results, calling it a back door to manipulating next year’s presidential vote. Opposition leader Raila Odinga called for mass protests from Jan. 4, saying, “No transparency, no elections.” Parliament’s deputy minority leader, Jakoyo Midiwo, said they are challenging the bill’s legality. “They are trying to force a law to rig the elections,” Midiwo said. The bill needs Senate passage and approval by President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is running for re-election.
Russia: Journalist arrested for ‘illegal’ voting after exposing fraud in Duma elections | The Independent
An award-winning journalist who exposed voting fraud during Russia’s parliamentary elections has himself been arrested for alleged fraud. Denis Korotkov, a correspondent for the independent news website Fontanka, was scheduled to appear in court in St Petersburg on Wednesday on charges of “illegally obtaining a ballot”. But campaigners say Mr Korotkov was working undercover to expose vote rigging in the Duma elections, which have provoked international concern, and is now being harassed for his work. Mr Korotkov documented how he posed as a voter on 18 September and was given a sticker by polling station officials, who then arranged for him to be transported around St Petersburg with others to cast multiple ballots for specified candidates.