If you are a political junkie, yesterday’s elections around the world made it feel a little like Christmas came early. Voters went to the polls in several countries including Argentina (general), Poland (parliamentary), Guatemala general run-off), Haiti (parliamentary and run-off for presidency), Tanzania (general), and Ukraine (local). Here’s a quick review of each of those:
Daniel Scioli (left) and Sergio Macri-Image Source: diariocronica
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, a left of center politician, is constitutionally barred from serving a third term. Her hand-picked successor, Daniel Scioli, faced center-right Mayor of Buenos Aires Mauricio Macri, and Sergio Massa, a former Kirchner ally turned rival.
Scioli secured about 36.7 percent of the vote, Macri 34.5%, and Massa just 21.3%. To win in the first round of voting, the constitution requires a candidate to win 45% or more of the vote or 40% and have a lead of more than 10% over the second-place finisher. Since these requirements were not met, Scioli and Macri will go head-to-head in a run-off on November 22.
Jaroslaw Kaczynski-Image Source: Euractiv
The right-wing Law and Justice Party (known in Poland as PiS) led by Chairman Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the twin brother of Poland’s late president Lech, may have won an outright majority in the Sejm, the country’s parliament. It looks like PiS will get 242 seats out of 460 on 39.1% of the vote.
The vote of the governing Civic Platform (PO in Polish) at 23.4% will give PO 133 seats. This means that PiS will be able to govern without a coalition partner, and the likely prime minister, Beata Szyd?o, will likely last a full term in office.
Jimmy Morales-Image Source: cnn
The outgoing president of the country, Otto Perez Molina, was arrested as part of a corruption probe. The two candidates in the run-off both promised to clean up the country.
Former first lady Sandra Torres, who is divorced from former President Alvaro Colom, was the standard bearer for the National Unity of Hope Party. Seen as a part of the establishment, which is the problem in the minds of many, she won just 32.6% of the vote.
The other 67.4% went to Jimmy Morales, a comedian turned politician, who ran under the banner of the Frente de Convergencia Nacional-Nacion. While he may face an uphill fight, the best news of all is that Guatemala has held its ninth election since the end of its civil war, and the outcome is not being challenged.
Image Source: nbcnews
The results of the presidential balloting won’t be available for another 10 days according to the nation’s electoral commission. With 54 candidates running, there is almost guaranteed to be a run-off on December 27. The real news from yesterday is the relative peacefulness of the election. Four polling places in the north were burned, and 70 people were arrested for various election-related infractions. However, that is a vast improvement over the violence seen during the first round of legislative elections earlier this year.
Edward Lowassa-Image Source: Teamlowassa
After 54 years in power, the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party is facing a genuine challenge. CCM’s Works Minister John Magufuli is running against former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa, who quit CCM after he failed to win its presidential nomination. He is backed now by four opposition groups as the Ukawa coalition. Final results will be known Thursday, but a high voter turn out suggests a close race. While there have been some accusations of fraud, there has been no real violence.
Image Source: Rt
Exit polls are all we have to go on at this stage since the count here takes a while. There are 10,700 local councils being elected here along with mayors. However, what we are learning is that the east-west divide is as apparent here as it is everywhere else in Ukraine. Voting in the cities of Mariupol, Krasnoarmiisk and Svatovo was either postponed or abandoned.