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Runoff Elections

December 16, 2009 | By Ken Ellingwood
Mexican President Felipe Calderon proposed sweeping political reforms Tuesday that would allow federal lawmakers and some other officials to be reelected and provide for runoff elections for president if no candidate gained more than half the votes. Calderon said the reforms would make Mexican officials more accountable to voters, who tend to view politicians across a deep chasm of cynicism and mistrust. Some of the proposed changes, such as making room on the ballot for independent candidates, have been promoted by activists as a way to let fresh air into Mexico's musty political system and improve citizen participation as the country tries to develop a real democracy.
December 9, 2009 | By Richard Fausset
A week after a hotly contested mayoral runoff in Atlanta, the second-place finisher on Tuesday requested a recount, while her supporters complained of potential voting irregularities. City Councilwoman Mary Norwood trails former state Sen. Kasim Reed by 715 votes, or less than 1% of the total ballots cast -- the threshold for a recount under Georgia law. Fulton County officials said the process would begin this morning and could be completed by the end of the day. A group of Norwood's supporters also this week filed a complaint with the secretary of state's office.
December 7, 2009 | By Maeve Reston
As the Los Angeles City Council race between Assemblyman Paul Krekorian and former film executive Christine Essel drew to a close, outside groups shattered the record for independent spending in a non-citywide election since ethics officials began tracking those figures two decades ago. By Sunday evening, independent groups, including some of the city's most powerful unions, had poured nearly $1 million into the contest for the San Fernando Valley...
November 30, 2009 | By Richard Fausset
A neck-and-neck mayoral runoff pitting a black man against a white woman has spurred some intense discussions about race and politics in the South's most important city. But in recent days, the two campaigns have also turned their attention to a demographic beyond race that may ultimately sway Tuesday's election: the gay vote. The support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, community has been a coveted political prize for some time in Atlanta, a bastion of live-and-let-live progressivism in the heart of the more censorious Bible Belt.
November 29, 2009 | By Maeve Reston
In a campaign where jobs and unemployment have become a signature issue, the two candidates seeking to replace former Los Angeles City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel are fighting over who will do more to stem the exodus of Hollywood production. With feature film production down 37% citywide compared to the same period last year, former Paramount Pictures Corp. executive Christine Essel and Assemblyman Paul Krekorian (D-Los Angeles) agree on one thing: City officials have waited far too long to address the issue.
November 2, 2009 | Alexandra Zavis
President Hamid Karzai's only challenger today pulled out of next week's election runoff, saying the incumbent had turned down his demand for changes to prevent the rampant fraud that marred the first round of voting in August. The withdrawal of former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah threw into disarray a vote that U.S. officials and their allies had hoped would produce a credible partner in the fight against Taliban and Al Qaeda insurgents. Azizullah Lodin, head of the government-appointed Independent Election Commission, said the panel would have to consult lawyers before deciding whether to proceed with Saturday's vote with just one candidate.
November 1, 2009 | Alexandra Zavis
With a week to go before a scheduled runoff election, Afghan President Hamid Karzai's challenger called a gathering of top supporters for today at which aides said he was likely to pull out. The threat of a withdrawal by former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah threw into disarray a vote that U.S. officials had hoped would produce a credible partner in Kabul. President Obama is deliberating over proposals to send thousands more U.S. troops, and having an Afghan government that voters accept is an important element in Washington's strategy to combat the Taliban and other insurgents.
October 28, 2009 | Alexandra Zavis and Julian E. Barnes
Eight U.S. troops were killed today in multiple bombings in southern Afghanistan, the military said, making October the deadliest month for Americans of the eight-year war. The latest deaths bring the number of U.S. service members killed during the month to at least 53, according to the independent website Today's deaths occurred in "multiple, complex" bombings in the south, the military said in a news release. No further details were provided. An Afghan civilian working with the International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, in Afghanistan was also killed, and several service members were injured in the incidents, the military said.
October 21, 2009 | Rajan Menon, Rajan Menon is a professor of international relations at Lehigh University.
Politicians love photo-ops. So when Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) appeared alongside Hamid Karzai as the beleaguered Afghan president announced that he would agree to a runoff election, it was hardly surprising. Kerry was doing what politicians do. Moreover, the senator was in Kabul to supplement the Obama administration's efforts to lean on Karzai to hold another presidential vote, given widespread evidence that the one held in August was rigged. When Karzai claimed victory then, his main opponent, former Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, cried foul, a chorus of international criticism arose and an Afghan government infamous for its ineptitude and sleaziness looked even more illegitimate.
October 20, 2009 | Laura King
A United Nations-backed panel Monday tossed out hundreds of thousands of ballots cast in August for Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and independent election observers said the new figures dictated that a runoff election should take place. Karzai and election officials loyal to him appeared to balk at accepting the fraud investigators' finding that he did not attain the majority needed for a first-round win in the landmark presidential election. That would trigger a runoff with his main challenger, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah.
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