DG Roundup October 16-22, 2013

Oct. 22, 2013, 12:26 p.m.

Guinea: The results from last month’s parliamentary elections have been released. President Alpha CONDE’s party, the Rally of the Guinean People, won 53 seats, while its main rival, the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea, won 37 seats. Many in the opposition have criticized the election’s credibility and alleged widespread fraud, a concern echoed by international observers. However, UN Secretary-General BAN Ki-Moon has urged Guineans to resolve their disputes nonviolently through legal channels, emphasizing the need for stability after months of pre-election violence.


Madagascar: The Independent National Election Commission (CENIT) says it plans to ensure a smooth and credible presidential election on 25 October. CENIT has arranged for trained election officials to administer the more than 20,000 polling stations, and has given the ballots traceable serial numbers to prevent fraud. CENIT plans to coordinate with the military to ensure a safe election, and has pledged to release the results within 10 days of voting. This long-delayed election will be the first in Madagascar since the 2009 coup d’état and is seen as essential to restoring democracy in the country.


Maldives: Electoral officials have set the new date for the presidential election. The first round will be held on November 9 and if no candidate receives a majority of votes, a run-off election will be held on 16 November between the two top candidates. The Maldives attracted international attention after the Supreme Court annulled the results of the first attempt at elections on 7 September due to irregularities in the voter registry. The second attempt at elections on 19 October was prevented from taking place after police intervened and halted the distribution of materials because two of the three candidates had not approved the new registry. Meanwhile, presidential candidate and former President Mohamed NASHEED has called on current President Mohamed WAHEED to step down and has accused WAHEED of stalling the election to stay in power.


Tunisia: The ruling Ennahda party has agreed to hold new elections within six months after it steps down and a caretaker government is formed. While Prime Minister Ali LAARAYEDH has pledged to resign in less than three weeks, agreements on a final draft of the constitution and on new electoral laws have still not been reached. Meanwhile, Tunisia’s political crisis continues to worsen, with opposition groups planning massive demonstrations in Tunis this week. Ennahda’s rule has become increasingly unpopular for its perceived failure to address Tunisia’s social and economic problems as well as its alleged role in recent political assassinations. The country’s largest labor union, currently brokering the negotiations between Ennahda and the opposition, has denounced the new wave of protests as a threat to the fragile national dialogue process initiated this month.


(Image Credit: theguardian.com)

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