April 3, 2014 |
KABUL, Afghanistan - The last time Abdullah Abdullah ran for president of Afghanistan the election devolved into a bloody farce. Votes cast in some areas in 2009 exceeded the number of voters. One in 5 ballots nationwide was tossed out because of fraud. Thirty-one people died in insurgent attacks. Days before a runoff against President Hamid Karzai, Abdullah withdrew from the race, fearing more fraud in the incumbent's favor. Five years later, the Karzai era is ending, as is the dominant role of the United States in Afghan life.
April 3, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Democrats struggling to combat a flood of outside money pouring in to defeat their candidates have found at least a temporary solution: If you can't beat them, brand them. The latest strategy of Democratic messaging is tying Republican candidates and policies to the party's most prominent - and at times vilified - financial patrons, billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) initiated the strategy last month when he decried the brothers - whose last name is pronounced "coke" - from the Senate floor as "shadowy billionaires" and "un-American.
March 31, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Faced with a strong prospect of losing control of the Senate in November, Democrats have begun a high-stakes effort to try to overcome one of their party's big weaknesses: voters who don't show up for midterm elections. The party's Senate campaign committee plans to spend $60 million to boost turnout. That's nine times what it spent in the last midterm election, in 2010. The Democratic National Committee has begun to make the sophisticated data analysis tools developed to target voters in the 2012 presidential campaign available to all the party's candidates.
March 30, 2014 |
Negative early headlines about Afghanistan's April 5 presidential election are easy to imagine. Some candidates are already trying to foster a simplified view among Westerners that they can fail to make the likely second-round runoff only if there is fraud. This is a deliberate attempt to provoke U.S. interference, whatever the facts. A peaceful transition of power to a new president broadly accepted as legitimate by the Afghan people is essential for several reasons: to secure future Afghan stability; to maintain support for Afghanistan in the U.S. Congress; and, above all, to achieve a key strategic goal - that the nation does not again become a base for terrorism against the United States.
March 30, 2014 |
ISTANBUL, Turkey - Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party appeared headed toward a sizable victory in the country's municipal elections Sunday, despite a corruption scandal that continues to swirl around Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his inner circle. With 85% of the vote counted, the party, known as the AKP, had secured between 44% and 47% of municipal posts, while the main opposition Republican People's Party, or CHP, garnered between 27% and 29%, according to Turkish media reports early Monday.
March 21, 2014 |
Thailand's constitutional court Friday nullified the Feb. 2 election won by supporters of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra amid an opposition boycott, prolonging the country's 4-month-old political crisis and threatening a deeper toll on its tourism-dependent economy. Opposition supporters celebrated the 6-3 court ruling that said the vote was invalid because not all polls were open to receive voters on the same day. Antigovernment protesters had blocked registration in 28 constituencies, forcing election workers to delay voting at the affected polls.