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September 19, 2008
World elections spark blogger reactions

In recent weeks, several national elections took place around the world. Here is a round-up of the newly elected with comments from bloggers.

Thailand’s parliament elected Somchai Wongsawat on Sept. 17 following the resignation of Samak Sundaravej. The blog “2point6billion” points out the quick turnover of prime ministers in the last two years.

Israel‘s ruling Kadima Party elected Tzipi Livni as its new leader on Sept. 17, putting her on track to becoming the country’s second female prime minister. “Yael K” live blogged about the elections, reporting about several disturbances and the closing of a polling station in Rahat.

Rwanda became the first country where women outnumber men in parliament after its elections on Sept. 15. The “Living in Kigali” blog outlines the day’s events and praises the order of the election.

Hong Kong‘s pan-democrats retained most of their seats and the ability to veto government legislation following legislative elections on Sept. 7. Blogger “Elmer” describes the campaign atmosphere in Hong Kong, where megaphones blasted candidates’ messages throughout the streets.

Pakistan elected Asif Ali Zardari, widower of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, as its new president on Sept. 6. “Pakistan Policy Blog” criticizes the election of Zardari, saying that it was no victory for democracy.

Angola‘s Sept. 5 elections ended in a landslide victory for the ruling MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola). Human Rights Watch reported problems with media bias and state funding for opposition parties. Lawyer and blogger Robert Amsterdam of “Corporate Foreign Policy” discusses the legitimacy of the election.

Vanuatu‘s Sept. 2 parliamentary election results were contested. The parliament will elect a new prime minister on Monday. “Seth,” a Peace Corps volunteer in Vanuatu, described election day in his blog.

And in current news:

Swaziland held parliamentary elections Friday — even though King Mswati III rules the nation as an absolute monarchy. Richard Rooney, an associate professor at the University of Swaziland, found the election laughable.

Slovenia held parliamentary elections Sunday, and Prime Minister Janez Jansa’s party may suffer from accusations of bribery. “Global Economy Matters” provides an outline of the election.

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