Recent News About Elections and Democracy

  • 01/30/2010: In response to this week’s Supreme Court ruling that corporations are entitled to the same freedoms of speech held by individuals, Murray Hill, a Maryland public relations firm, announced that it intends to run for Congress, Baltimore City Paper. In his State of the Union address, President Obama rebuked the Supreme Court for its controversial 5-4 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, prompting a response from Justice Samuel Alito, Christian Science Monitor. The ruling may have unintended consequences, including opening the door to political campaign contributions from foreign entities, Washington Post. Full coverage of Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission from Bill Moyers Journal.
  • 01/27/2010: Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s current president, has won reelection in a race against his former chief military officer, Gen. Sarath Fonseka. Military police surrounded Fonseka’s hotel after the result was announced. Fonseka said he will contest the result, CNN. The Sri Lankan election in pictures, BBC News.
  • 01/26/2010: Violent bombs rocked Baghdad for the second day in a row. Violence is expected to continue during the lead-up to parliamentary elections in March, CNN.
  • 01/26/2010: Following weeks of sporadic violence, Sri Lankans went to the polls today to vote for president. Results are expected tomorrow. Current president Mahinda Rajapakse (BBC News profile) is running for reelection against Sarath Fonseka (BBC News profile), the former military leader who was successful in crushing a multi-decade running Tamil rebellion, Al Jazeera.
  • 01/23/2010: In his weekly address, President Barack Obama said the Supreme Court overturned more than a century of law when it ruled that corporations have a constitutionally protected right to spend unlimited amounts of money in political campaigns, White House. Transcript. The ruling will have an impact on existing laws in some states, New York Times.
  • 01/19/2010: Massachusetts today as holds a special election to replace the U.S. Senate Seat vacated when Sen. Edward Kennedy died last year. The seat was thought to be reliably Democratic, but the Republican in the race, Scott Brown, has been taking the lead in pre-election polls. Brown opposes health care reform and has pledged to vote against health care reform bills in Congress, Wall Street Journal.
  • 01/07/2009: The Tamil National Alliance announced that it will support the general who led the campaign to crush Tamil resistance in Sri Lanka last year over current President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is seeking reelection. The election will be held on January 26, The Independent.
  • 12/16/2009: The PLO has extended Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas’ term after negotiations to hold new elections as scheduled in January stalled.  The militant political group Hamas which controls Gaza vowed to not accept new elections. Abbas’ group Fatah controls the West Bank, Al Jazeera.
  • 12/06/2009:  Iraq’s parliament has missed a deadline that would have approved elections for January 2010. Iraq has two vice presidents who both have veto power and Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi vowed to not approve new election rules unless greater representation for Iraq’s Sunni population was included.  Iraq does not currently have reliable census information. The UN has suggested February 27 as a new target date for an election, Al Jazeera.
  • 12/06/2009:  Political instability continues in Honduras. Though conservative Porfirio Lobo Sosa won last Sunday’s vote, some countries, including Argentina, Brazil, and Spain, are still not recognizing the legitimacy of the election because ousted President Manuel Zelaya was not returned to power before the election. The voter turnout numbers are now being analyzed to see if an argument can be made that the election represented the will of the citizens of Honduras, CNN.
  • 12/06/2009:  A run-off vote for president was held in Romania today. Current President Traian Basescu is running against former Foreign Minister Mircea Geoana. Geoana was leading in the polls going into the election. The run-off election follows a November 22 election that was marked with fraud. The third place finisher in that election dropped out and gave his support to Geoana in the run-off, Bloomberg.
  • 12/06/2009:  According to polls, Evo Morales, the incumbent president of Bolivia is poised for reelection. Morales previously sponsored a referendum that allowed him to seek a second term. Morales is the country’s first indigenous president, BBC News.
  • 12/02/2009:  More than 1,000 police officers were removed from their posts in the province of  Maguindanao where 57 people were massacred on November 23 in a pre-election power struggle. Those killed were family members and supporters of Esmael Mangudadatu who were on their way to register his name for the race for governor of the province as well as journalists covering the event. Andal Ampatuan, Jr., son of the current provincial governor, has been charged with 25 counts of murder and is suspected of arranging the massacre. The federal government removed the police officers, who are suspected of helping or allowing the violence, prior to a full investigation of the massacre. They will be replaced with officers from other parts of the Philippines, Al Jazeera.
  • 11/30/2009: Porfirio Lobo, the conservative candidate for President in Honduras appears to have won yesterday’s election. If the rest of the world accepts the vote as legitimate, the Honduran constitutional crisis may be over, New York Times.
  • 11/29/2009: Voters in Honduras are at the polls today to select the country’s next president. According to polls, conservative candidate Porfirio Lobo of the National Party is in the lead while the Liberal Party candidate, Elvin Santos, trails behind. Both Manuel Zelaya, the former Honduran president who was deposed in June after he tried to change the country’s constitution so that he would be eligible to run for a third term in office, and Roberto Micheletti, the man who has been acting president since then, are members of the Liberal Party, Christian Science Monitor.
  • 11/27/2009: Andal Ampatuan Jr., the mayor of Datu Unsay, a town in Maguindanao province in the Philippines, has been charged in the murders of 57 people who were on their way to file election papers for Ismael Mangudadatu, political rival of Ampatuan’s father who is governor of the province, Voice of America. Some of the suspects who carried out the attacks have turned themselves in and others are being sought by authorities. More than 20 journalists were also killed in the attack. New reports have surfaced that the women who were killed in the massacre were shot in the genitals and may have been raped, New York Times. Ismael Mangudadatu, whose wife was killed in the attack, has since filed the papers for his candidacy, Associated Press.
  • 11/25/2009: The death toll from the pre-election massacre in the Philippines has risen to 57. A group was going to register file election paperwork for the office of governor of Maguindanao for  Ismael “Toto” Mangudadatu. Mangudadatu’s wife and sisters were among the group as well at least 12 journalists. Mangudadatu had been warned not to file the papers himself, CNN.
  • 11/24/2009: The total number of people killed in a dispute among clans ahead of next year’s elections in Maguindanao province in the Philippines has risen to 46, BBC News. Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has declared a state of emergency for the southern regions of Mindanao island where the killings took place, Christian Science Monitor. More on the two clans involved, Inquirer.
  • 11/23/2009: 21 journalists and civilians are dead after being abducted on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines where the politicians were filing papers to register for next year’s election. The group was going to file papers for Ismael Mangudadatu for his candidacy for governor of Maguindanao province. Mangudadatu was not among the group which included lawyers, journalists, aides, and his wife. The murders were conducted on behalf of local clan leader Datu Andal Ampatuan whom Mangudadatu will be challenging for office, BBC News.  More on the clan linked to the killings, BBC News. Statement from Reporters without Borders.
  • 11/23/2009: A vote in the Iraqi parliament has paved the way for elections in 2010. The law still must go to the presidential council where it may be vetoed by Sunni Arab Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi. Elections were originally scheduled for January 2010 but have been held up due to a previous veto by al-Hashemi, Reuters.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s