Dec. 17, 2013, 12:17 p.m.
Guinea: Opposition members elected to the National Assembly in September have agreed to take their seats. The election, the first of its kind since a coup d’état resulted in the body’s dissolution in 2008, was marked by violence, a lack of transparency, and allegations of irregularities. However, after the Supreme Court validated the election results in mid-November, and after consultations with party members, civil society groups, and the international community, the three largest opposition parties have decided to participate in the legislature.
Mexico: The Congress of Mexico has approved a series of electoral reforms, including allowing legislators to run for second terms, strengthening Congress relative to the presidency, setting out new rules on forming coalition governments, and enabling the election commission to nullify elections where the winning candidate exceeded the spending limit. A majority of state legislatures will now have to ratify the reforms before they can go into effect.
Nicaragua: On 10 December, the Congress approved a constitutional amendment that would abolish term limits and allow President Daniel ORTEGA to run for re-election in 2016. ORTEGA, a former Marxist guerrilla, ruled the country from 1979 to 1990, and was elected back into power in 2006. A 2009 Supreme Court ruling allowed him to run for a second consecutive term in 2011. The amendment was accompanied by other changes to the electoral law, allowing members of the military to run for public office and eliminating the two-round presidential election in favor of a one-round election where a candidate needs only a plurality of votes to win. However, the reforms will not be adopted until they are ratified early next year.
(Image Credit: bloomberg.com)