Menus Subscribe Search

Follow us


Election Results From the Rest of the World

• November 06, 2012 • 10:04 AM

The U.S. isn’t the only country experiencing election fever right now.

What, you think the U.S. is the only place voting?

NICARAGUA: With 91 percent of the vote counted, Nicaragua’s Sandinista Front won an overwhelming 76 percent Sunday, in a key vote focused on mayoral offices across the Central American nation. That gives the party of Reagan-era figure Daniel Ortega control of a whopping 134 of 156 city halls that were in play, according to wire reports.

Ortega

The US State Department, among others, declared the result fishy. Notably, the race for mayor of Managua went to a Sandinista candidate with an overwhelming 83 percent of the vote. Nicaragua Dispatch, an English-language website that covers the country, reported claims by international election observers that 20 percent of Nicaraguans who came to the polls had been turned away because their names did not appear on voter registration lists.

UKRAINE:  Before last week’s vote, incumbent Viktor Yanukovych had famously thrown his main opponent in jail. His (probably badly-translated) Party of Regions won a plurality at 30 percent last week, but lost nearly 5 percent of its support from the last election. A recount is under consideration after reports of fraud, and words like “post-election chaos” are showing up in most other reports. Here’s a primer from the fabulous obsessives at World Elections:

Yanukovych is not particularly popular and not a lot of voters are enamored by his government’s record. However, the government went into the election with a well-oiled machine which had managed to sideline its top rival by throwing her in jail, and which could manipulate public opinion through a tight control of most media sources.

She’s in jail; he’s in office.

Tons of irregularities (vote buying, intimidation and so forth) were committed during the campaign, by both sides but largely by the government’s supporters. Few Ukrainians trusted these elections to be free and fair, and the OSCE observers came out of these elections quite unimpressed. They noted a general decline or reversal in democracy in Ukraine, and criticized the abusive use (and abuse) of administrative resources, the lack of transparency, the imbalance in media coverage and the excessive role of money in the election.

The vote was likely largely fair, but there is some evidence of tampering (in the PR’s favour) with the results in very closely fought races in single-member districts. This criticism notwithstanding, however, the President’s party has secured a strong majority in the Parliament. With the support all 44 independents, it already has a narrow majority.

LITHUANIA: Though the election happened in mid-October, the vote-counting only ended in Vilnius before the weekend — and the ruling coalition lost. Two left-leaning parties, Labor and the Social Democrats, have struck a deal with the right wing Order and Justice party, allowing the country to form a new government that says it wants to raise taxes on the tiny state’s top earners and raise the minimum wage. That’s according to this BBC report.

CUBA: Regional legislative elections happened Sunday. Who won? No one has any idea. Joventud Rebelde had a nice summary of the action:

Almost a million Cubans in a total of 13 provinces, 136 municipalities, including the Isle of Youth, in 3210 constituency polling stations, took part this Sunday in a new round of popular democracy.

Citizens with full legal capacity to exercise their right to vote went [to] the polls again to elect delegates to the 1160 municipal assemblies of People’s Power.

Some of the voting seems to have been rescheduled. The whole thing has a bit of a Monty Python vibe:

After the National Electoral Commission (NEC) informed the nation that the second round, scheduled for October 28, was postponed for this Sunday, November 4, and there would be elections throughout the country, except in the province of Holguin, to be performed the next day 11 -, and in eastern Santiago de Cuba, where the date would be decided –there was much work for the electoral authorities at all levels, but particularly, those who work in the municipalities, districts and school booths, so that nothing would impede the sovereign exercise of the nearly 960,000 voters who voted again yesterday.

Some problems required modification of the electoral rules, so that someone could win. Apparently too few voted for the list provided by the nomination process:

…None of the candidates proposed by the people in their nomination assemblies, won more than 50 per cent of the valid votes cast, last October 21. So, it was vital to take into account that one of the candidates whose names were written on the ballot should be marked, for those who they considered has the human capacity, and is able and willing enough to represent them as their delegate to the Municipal Assembly of People’s Power for a period of two years.

Don’t worry, they’ll take care of it:

This time a delegate who receives the most votes from their neighbours in each constituency will be elected and, if a new tie happens, a third round will be convened within ten days.

Ahn Cheol Soo

KOREA: South Koreans are in the thick of a fascinating presidential campaign that will end early next month. The November surprise came in the past day, when the two main opposition candidates decided to join forces to defeat the incumbent. Here’s a good summary from BusinessWeek. Storify has a look at the insurgent candidate, doctor Ahn Cheol Soo, here.

Commenting on the race, the voice of rival North Korea, the Korean Central News Agency of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, managed to overlook all that. Pitched at the KCNA of DPRK’s usual, Wagnerian register, Pyongyang accused the U.S. of an attempt to “quench the will of the South Koreans” (they meant quash, right?):

The puppet conservative forces, with nobody to rely on in south Korea, have made desperate efforts to extend the conservative regime at any cost, backed by their master U.S. by staking their fate on it. This fully reveals the true colors of the group of traitors as the despicable pro-U.S. sycophants and the master hand of confrontation who cannot live even a day without their master U.S.

The south Koreans should enhance vigilance against the moves of the U.S. to interfere in the “election” aimed at extending the pro-U.S. conservative regime, and resolutely check and frustrate them.

That could be read as a North Korean endorsement of one of today’s U.S. election candidates, too. Hard to tell which.

Marc Herman

A weekly roundup of the best of Pacific Standard and PSmag.com, delivered straight to your inbox.

Recent Posts

November 21 • 4:00 PM

Why Are America’s Poorest Toddlers Being Over-Prescribed ADHD Drugs?

Against all medical guidelines, children who are two and three years old are getting diagnosed with ADHD and treated with Adderall and other stimulants. It may be shocking, but it’s perfectly legal.



November 21 • 2:00 PM

The Best Moms Let Mess Happen

That’s the message of a Bounty commercial that reminds this sociologist of Sharon Hays’ work on “the ideology of intensive motherhood.”


November 21 • 12:00 PM

Eating Disorders Are Not Just for Women

Men, like women, are affected by our cultural preoccupation with thinness. And refusing to recognize that only makes things worse.


November 21 • 10:00 AM

Queens of the South

Inside Asheville, North Carolina’s 7th annual Miss Gay Latina pageant.


November 21 • 9:12 AM

‘Shirtstorm’ and Sexism in Science

Following the recent T-shirt controversy, it’s clear that sexism in science persists. But the forces driving the gender gap are still being debated.


November 21 • 8:00 AM

What Makes a Film Successful in 2014?

Domestic box office earnings are no longer a reliable metric.



November 21 • 6:00 AM

What Makes a City Unhappy?

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, Dana McMahan splits time between two of the country’s unhappiest cities. She set out to explore the causes of the happiness deficits.


November 21 • 5:04 AM

Sufferers of Social Anxiety Disorder, Your Friends Like You

The first study of friends’ perceptions suggest they know something’s off with their pals but like them just the same.


November 21 • 4:00 AM

In 2001 Study, Black Celebrities Judged Harshly in Rape Cases

When accused of rape, black celebrities were viewed more negatively than non-celebrities. The opposite was true of whites.


November 20 • 4:00 PM

Women, Kink, and Sex Addiction: It’s Not Like the Movies

The popular view is that if a woman is into BDSM she’s probably a sex addict, and vice versa. In fact, most kinky women are perfectly happy—and possibly healthier than their vanilla counterparts.


November 20 • 2:00 PM

A Majority of Middle-Class Black Children Will Be Poorer as Adults

The disturbing findings of a new study.


November 20 • 12:00 PM

Standing Up for My Group by Kicking Yours

Members of a minority ethnic group are less likely to express support for gay equality if they believe their own group suffers from discrimination.


November 20 • 10:00 AM

For Juvenile Records, It’s ‘Justice by Geography’

A new study finds an inconsistent patchwork of policies across states for how juvenile records are sealed and expunged.


November 20 • 8:00 AM

Surviving the Secret Childhood Trauma of a Parent’s Drug Addiction

As a young girl, Alana Levinson struggled with the shame of her father’s substance abuse. But when she looked more deeply into the research on children of drug-addicted parents, she realized society’s “conspiracy of silence” was keeping her—and possibly millions of others—from adequately dealing with the experience.



November 20 • 6:00 AM

Extreme Weather, Caused by Climate Change, Is Here. Can Nike Prepare You?

Following the approach we often see from companies marketing products before big storms, Nike focuses on climate change science in the promotion of its latest line of base-layer apparel. Is it a sign that more Americans are taking climate change seriously? Don’t get your hopes up.


November 20 • 5:00 AM

How Old Brains Learn New Tricks

A new study shows that the neural plasticity needed for learning doesn’t vanish as we age—it just moves.


November 20 • 4:00 AM

The FBI’s Dangerous Misrepresentation of Encryption Law

The FBI no more deserves a direct line to your data than it deserves to intercept your mail at the post office. But it doesn’t want you to know that.


November 20 • 2:00 AM

Brain Drain Is Economic Development

It may be hard to see unless you shift your focus from places to people, but both destination and source can benefit from “brain drain.”


November 19 • 9:00 PM

Gays Rights Are Great, but Ixnay on the PDAs

New research suggests both heterosexuals and gay men are uncomfortable with public same-sex kissing.


November 19 • 4:00 PM

The Red Cross’ Own Employees Doubt the Charity’s Ethics

Survey results obtained by ProPublica also show a crisis of trust in the charity’s senior leadership.



November 19 • 2:00 PM

Egg Freezing Isn’t the Feminist Issue You Think It Is

New benefits being offered by Apple and Facebook probably aren’t about discouraging women from becoming mothers at a “natural” age.


Follow us


Sufferers of Social Anxiety Disorder, Your Friends Like You

The first study of friends' perceptions suggest they know something's off with their pals but like them just the same.

Standing Up for My Group by Kicking Yours

Members of a minority ethnic group are less likely to express support for gay equality if they believe their own group suffers from discrimination.

How Old Brains Learn New Tricks

A new study shows that the neural plasticity needed for learning doesn't vanish as we age—it just moves.

Ethnic Diversity Deflates Market Bubbles

But it's not in the rainbow and sing-along way you'd hope for. We just don't trust outsiders' judgments.

Online Brain Exercises Are Probably Useless

Even under the guidance of a specialist trainer, computer-based brain exercises have only modest benefits, a new analysis shows.

The Big One

One company, Comcast, will control up to 40 percent of Internet service coverage in the U.S., and 19 of the top 20 cable markets, if a proposed merger with Time Warner Cable is approved by regulators. November/December 2014

Copyright © 2014 by Pacific Standard and The Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media, and Public Policy. All Rights Reserved.