Presidential campaigning has begun in Brazil. In a country where voting is compulsory, about 140 million are expected to cast ballots on Oct. 7.
This presidential election is uniquely uncertain. The country’s most popular politician — former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, known as “Lula” — is in jail for corruption and barred from the ballot. The mainstream parties and politicians are tainted by the same massive corruption investigation that brought down Lula — leaving a relatively open field.
This uncertainty means women’s votes may decide the election. Let me explain.
Brazil’s shaky political landscape
With Lula off the ballot, his leftist Workers’ Party put former Sao Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad — who was Lula’s candidate for vice president — on the ballot for the presidency.… Seguir leyendo »
Last Thursday, Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro was stabbed in the abdomen during a campaign rally in the southeastern town of Juiz de Fora.
As supporters of the far-right candidate and former Army captain — known for his support of torture during the country’s military dictatorship, and for his desire to loosen gun laws — hoisted him onto their shoulders and carried him through the crowd, police said the suspected attacker, Adelio Bispo de Oliveira, allegedly lunged at Bolsonaro with a knife, lacerating his small and large intestines. At the time, the injury was considered life-threatening and Bolsonaro was rushed to the hospital, where he underwent surgery to repair the damage and to stop internal bleeding.… Seguir leyendo »
In Sweden’s general election on Sept. 9, voters reduced the power of the center-left and center-right parties — while boosting that of a populist, far-right, anti-immigrant party. The election has gotten an unusual amount of international attention for a country of only 10 million.
So what happened, and why does it matter?
Voters across Europe are abandoning traditional parties — resulting in unstable governments.
Long viewed as an island of democratic stability, Sweden has finally succumbed to the electoral instability that’s been sweeping Europe. Here’s how stable it was: The center-left Social Democratic Party (SAP) led governments from the 1930s through the 1970s.… Seguir leyendo »
Poco antes de las elecciones del domingo y el extraordinario avance del partido de extrema derecha Demócratas Suecos, la comunidad internacional descubrió una realidad incómoda: ni siquiera una sociedad tan progresista como la de Suecia es inmune al odio y a la intolerancia. Tal vez algún politólogo dé con una fórmula para conocer la relación entre los niveles de inmigración y el ascenso del populismo nacionalista. Suecia, desde luego, tiene el mayor número de inmigrantes por habitante de toda Europa. Pero es bien sabido que algunos países, en particular los del grupo de Visegrado, en Europa del Este, están apoyando lo que el líder húngaro Viktor Orbán llama “democracia iliberal” sin haber convivido nunca con la inmigración.… Seguir leyendo »
In the strange world of the online alt-right, Sweden has long played a special role. This isn’t because of its economic strength (small but robust), or because of its population (just less than 10 million). This is because — how shall I put this delicately? — Swedes are blond.
Never mind that many aren’t: In the dismal fever swamps of the Internet, Swedes now symbolize Blondness and Whiteness for a whole host of people — American, European, Russian — who use that symbolism to tell a particular story: Blondness Under Siege. Whiteness Under Siege. Alt-right headlines such as “How Sweden is Committing Suicide Through Political Correctness” draw long chains of vicious and vulgar commentary.… Seguir leyendo »
On Sunday, voters went to the polls in Sweden. The result confirmed what the polls had forecast: a record high for the national populist Sweden Democrats, a party rooted in white supremacism that wants to reduce the number of immigrants and refugees and hold a referendum on membership in the European Union. As the last votes are being counted, the party has surpassed 17 percent, its highest vote share on record.
This was accompanied by sharp losses for the two big mainstream parties as Sweden’s party system fragments. Since the 1970s, the center-left Social Democrats and the center-right Moderates have regularly won more than 60 percent of the vote.… Seguir leyendo »
Mientras el incendio devoraba más de 20 millones de piezas de arte, los dos hidrantes más cercanos al Museo Nacional de Brasil no pudieron ser utilizados por los bomberos. No tenían agua. Según se sabe, en 1803, en Filadelfia, Frederick Graff, encargado de la ingeniería de la ciudad, introdujo por primera vez en la historia un hidrante conectado a la red de tuberías urbanas. Quince años después, en Río de Janeiro, se fundó el Museo Nacional de Brasil. Doscientos años no fueron suficientes. Lo ocurrido el domingo pasado desnudó el fracaso de la historia. En una metáfora cruel de la crisis institucional de Brasil, un país que parece estar devorado por el fuego de la corrupción y de la inestabilidad política.… Seguir leyendo »
On Sunday, Sweden will vote in a much-anticipated national election. Public opinion polls suggest that the extreme-right Sweden Democrats are likely to increase their vote share over the 13 percent they received in 2014.
As the election approaches, supporters of this populist, anti-immigrant, anti-European Union, far-right party are energized. Critics of this movement are nervous. The modern trend of radicalism is not specific to Sweden, of course. But the run-up to the Swedish election again raises the big question: Why is right-wing populism on the rise in advanced democracies?
Immigration anxiety plays a role
Many experts point to the role of people’s views on immigration in motivating voter support for radical-right parties in Europe.… Seguir leyendo »
On Sept. 4, Mali’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, was sworn in for a second term. Keïta won 67 percent of the vote in Mali’s recent presidential elections, which went to a runoff Aug. 12.
Not all Malians are enthusiastic about the president, however: Opposition candidates alleged fraud, and turnout was 34 percent because of a combination of voter apathy and widespread violence.
During his first term, Keïta failed to rein in the country’s multisided civil war. Various foreign military forces deployed in Mali have also been unable to end the conflict. In the lead-up to the two-round election in July and August, news coverage focused on concerns that Islamist militants affiliated with al-Qaeda would disrupt the vote.… Seguir leyendo »
To understand why Sweden, a bastion of social democracy, might end up with a far-right party in government after national elections on Sunday, you need to take a walk with Ahmed Abdirahman.
An American-educated Somali immigrant who works as a policy analyst at the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Abdirahman grew up and now lives in the suburb of Rinkeby-Tensta, where some 90 percent of residents have a foreign background, roughly 80 percent live on welfare or earn low incomes and 42 percent are under age 25. It is a violent place: Sixteen people were killed there in 2016, mostly in drug-related conflicts, an unheard-of number in this typically peaceful country.… Seguir leyendo »
The Brazilian Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE) last week barred Brazil’s most popular politician — former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, known as “Lula” — from running for president in this fall’s national elections.
Why? Because Lulu is in jail, serving a 12-year sentence for corruption. Granted, the electoral tribunal’s decision could still be appealed. But the decision shakes up Brazil’s already unstable political situation. As a result, an authoritarian, outsider candidate who has promised to return Brazil to military rule may end up winning.
Here are six things to know about the upcoming elections.
1. Lula’s party could appeal the court’s decision
If Lula appeals the electoral tribunal’s ruling, the case would land in the hands of Brazil’s Supreme Court, which must announce its decision on his candidacy by Sept.… Seguir leyendo »
El 17 de junio de 2018, Iván Duque, simple senador desconocido un año antes, ganó la segunda vuelta de las elecciones presidenciales en Colombia con la más alta participación de la historia. Con un poco más de 10 millones de votos, este candidato del Centro Democrático venció al de Colombia Humana, Gustavo Petro, representante de la izquierda y exalcalde de Bogotá. Los 8 millones y medio de votos aproximadamente que Petro consiguió fueron insuficientes para derrotar a quien las encuestas preelectorales veían como claro ganador. Estos resultados obligan a preguntarse por qué las fórmulas de los candidatos como el centrista Sergio Fajardo o el candidato liberal, Humberto de La Calle, no convencieron a la ciudadanía en la primera vuelta; si el expresidente Álvaro Uribe sigue siendo un factor importante en las elecciones presidenciales y cuáles son los retos que afronta el presidente electo.… Seguir leyendo »
El intenso período electoral que vive América Latina muestra el alto grado de heterogeneidad que caracteriza a la región la cual, sin embargo, asiste a la emergencia de un fenómeno transversal común: el “voto del enojo”.
En las siguientes páginas se analizará el caldo de cultivo político-institucional, económico, social y de cultura política que ha provocado la emergencia del “voto del enojo”, particularmente visible en el actual ciclo electoral (2017-2019). El “voto del enojo” se puede definir como el rechazo de una parte mayoritaria de la ciudadanía a los partidos políticos, la elite política tradicional y el funcionamiento de las instituciones democráticas.… Seguir leyendo »
The old guns have retained power in Zimbabwe. On Friday the country’s constitutional court confirmed Emmerson Mnangagwa, the leader of the incumbent Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, as the president after rejecting a legal challenge by the leading opposition party seeking the annulment of the results of the country’s July 30 election.
According to the official results, the incumbent ZANU-PF led by Mr. Mnangagwa narrowly won the elections — the first after the fall of Robert Mugabe — with 50.8 percent of the vote, and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa won 44.3 percent of the vote.… Seguir leyendo »
The political firestorm ignited by a huge anticorruption investigation and the impeachment of former President Dilma Rousseff should have generated a new wave of Brazilian political leaders. But instead the two main contenders in this year’s presidential election — Brazil’s former president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and the retired military officer Jair Bolsonaro, a veteran congressman in Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies — represent the past.
Mr. da Silva, who is running his campaign from his jail cell following a conviction on corruption charges, appeals to voters’ nostalgia for the bygone days of political civility and economic boom that are unlikely to return soon.… Seguir leyendo »
On July 30, for the first time since 1980, Zimbabwe held general elections without Robert Mugabe on the ballot. Many Western donor countries have had sanctions on Zimbabwe since 2002 because of the government’s political repression and human rights abuses — and promised to lift these once the country held free and fair elections.
But free and fair do not appear to apply. Officially, President Emmerson Mnangagwa — a former Mugabe lieutenant who grabbed power in a November 2017 coup — won with 50.8 percent of the vote, narrowly avoiding a runoff election. And his ruling ZANU-PF party won a two-thirds majority of 149 seats in parliament’s lower house, permitting it to amend the constitution at will.… Seguir leyendo »
The Zimbabwean government posited that the first elections after the November 2017 ouster of Robert Mugabe would enhance the state’s credibility and strengthen the country’s prospects for economic recovery. Voters responded in kind, heading to the polls in unprecedented numbers. The results, however, confirmed that the country is deeply divided, with the opposition contesting the electoral commission’s determination that Emmerson Mnangagwa won the presidency. Several parliamentary challenges are also underway in separate petitions. The opposition is accusing the electoral commission of bias and fraud in its legal petition to overturn the election results. The Constitutional Court is expected to announce its judgment in the case later in August.… Seguir leyendo »
El 7 de octubre habrá una elección presidencial en Brasil, la séptima desde el retorno de la democracia en 1985. Esta contienda representa un choque fundamental entre la democracia y el Estado de derecho, entre las elecciones libres y justas y el respeto al debido proceso. El expresidente brasileño y aspirante a candidato presidencial, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, quien registró su candidatura desde prisión el 15 de agosto, explicó parte de esta contradicción recientemente.
El complicado sistema electoral y judicial brasileño decidirá para mediados de septiembre si admite su candidatura o, lo más probable, si le prohíbe participar. Esto sería un error.… Seguir leyendo »
On 8 August 2018, the filing deadline, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s ruling majority coalition announced that Emmanuel Ramazani Shadari would be its candidate in the presidential election slated for 23 December. The announcement ended, for now, speculation that the incumbent, President Joseph Kabila, would run for a third term in violation of the country’s 2006 constitution. Instead, Kabila opted to nominate a loyalist “dauphin” to succeed him. The president’s decision to stand down is a major positive development – the payoff of years of patient pressure from Congolese and outsiders alike.
By selecting a new candidate, the ruling party has shown its intent to contest the elections without the incumbent president.… Seguir leyendo »
Before Zimbabwe’s general election on 30 July, there was a lot of talk about there being ‘landmark change’ and ‘credibility.’ But in many ways it was déjà vu. President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ruling ZANU-PF party won the parliamentary vote, taking a majority 144 seats out of 210. The opposition MDC Alliance, a seven-party coalition led by Nelson Chamisa, won 64 seats—an improvement on their 2013 showing of 44 seats, but still falling far short of expectations.
The presidential results were much closer. After clashes on Wednesday, the incumbent Mnangagwa was declared winner early Friday morning, taking 50.8 per cent of the vote against Chamisa’s 44.3 per cent.… Seguir leyendo »