elections - The Trawler.org
On July 25th Somalia’s National Constitution Assembly (NCA) convened for the first time in Mogadishu, marking a milestone in its transitional period. The 825 members conferred on ratifying the forthcoming provisional constitution, which will be put to a referendum in late August. Subsequently, the country will hold its highly anticipated elections and establish its first democratically elected government since independence. The author argues that, at its current pace, Somalia may have the most legitimate democracy and political system in East Africa. Onyango-Obbo points out the irony that the described “failed state” will hold a freer election than its regional neighbours (e.g. Uganda and Ethiopia), and it will be predicated on a publicly approved constitution, unlike Kenya. The NCA will no doubt face impediments after postponing the second convention because of mortar shelling in the capital on July 27th. Still, the events of the summer demonstrate unprecedented promise. (Full article)
Worldwide news is currently analyzing the victory of the socialist Hollande in France. El Tiempo in today’s editorial points out that Hollande’s triumph highlights a new position of Europe in crisis: austerity is killing Europe and it’s time to promote growth.
One hour after the victory was announced, Hollande stated that the French people have spoken and they have asked for change. According to El Tiempo, it wasn’t only the French who raised their voices, but also Europeans. His election demonstrates that Europe doesn’t agree with the strict German policy, which was supported by Sarkozy, and called for budgets to be cut, cut and cut, even so far as to limit government aid to the most vulnerable sectors of the population. The French socialists are demanding a change in the model that is currently leading the European Union to failure.
In Germany, Angela Merkel lost the elections in the land of Schleswig-Holstein. The Greeks also voted few days ago and they did so against Europe: conservatives, left wing and a neo-Nazi group won seats on the parliament. But such a divided parliament makes it very difficult to rule the country, and it might mean new elections.
This is the panorama of Europe now, and with France at the head, Europe is ready for a shift. (link to the article)
Arlene Tickner in her weekly column in El Espectador talks about the challenges facing Francois Hollande, the new president of France. He won with 51.7% of the votes, which can’t be taken as an enormous victory; however, after 17 years the socialists are in power again.
Hollande has claimed that it is necessary to move to a model characterised by economic growth through employment and fair financial discipline. His victory with such a small margin reflects the lack of enthusiasms and the huge division in the French society, among which are the Islamists. Sarkozy is xenophobic: during his term in office he created the polemic Immigration and National Identity Minister, and he promoted the fight against the migrants as a core aspect of his campaign. Moreover, he accused Hollande of being an Islamic candidate, who would open the boarders of France to both legal and illegal immigration.
The new president of France has many challenges to confront, but there are two that he has to solve now. The first is the success or failure of the left wing in the parliamentary elections in June, while the second is the relationship between Paris and Berlin, the axis of the continent decisions. These challenges will be key to what the new French government can or cannot do. It is now possible that Hollande and Merkel will find a new balance that is more socially democratic.
Tickner concludes by pointing out that the extent to which Monsieur Normal will keep his promise of giving back social justice and equality to France is yet to be seen. (link to article)
Tomorrow, France will make an important decision: 46 million French voters have to choose between the socialist leader François Hollande and the current president Nicolas Sarkozy.
The two were the most voted in the first round and reached so the second round. A. Ginori, for “La Repubblica”, writes that it will be the classic “photofinish victory”, because there are still 7 million people undecided and most polls show that there is not a big gap between the two candidates.
Therefore, the challenge promises to be interesting. Obviously not only the French but also all European citizens are waiting to know who will be the new (or the reappointed) face of a key country in the european and the world scene.
In recent days the poll published by El Universal and Buendia & Laredo shows that the PRI candidate (Enrique Pena Nieto) is leading the public opinion preferences with 18.8 points ahead of the PAN candidate (Josefina Vazquez Mota) and 25.6 points from the PRD candidate (Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador), points out Francisco Valdes Ugalde from El Universal.
There is no shortage of reasons for pulling down the Manmohan Singh government, with the controversy over the railway budget being only the latest example of UPA’s inability to push through necessary reform and manage its coalition partners. “The UPA is a lame-duck administration hobbled by lack of decisive leadership and hounded by obstreperous allies”, argues Coomi Kapoor. However, the government is likely to survive for a while longer because none of the political parties are ready for a general election at this stage. (article here)
The “First Past the Post” system disproportionately awarded victory to the Samajwadi Party in the Uttar Pradesh elections. Srinivasan Ramani argues in this article that there would have been a truly representative verdict if seats were allocated according to a mixed proportional representation system, which would allow for transferable votes. If this electoral trend of 2012 occurs regularly and the larger parties continue to focus on a limited set of cases in the communities, the clamour for a proportional representation system is likely to increase.