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Stories related to democracy and electoral processes. 

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French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal announces resignation after election defeat

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal announces resignation after election defeat

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal announced his resignation from the government of President Emmanuel Macron on Monday (8 July), following his heavy defeat in the second and decisive round of the French parliamentary elections. The Nouveau Front Populaire, a left-wing alliance, appears to have won the parliamentary elections against all odds.

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Donald Tusk set to become Poland's next leader

Donald Tusk set to become Poland's next leader

After parliamentary elections held on Sunday (15 October) in Poland, Donald Tusk is set to become the country's next leader. Exit polls results after the close of voting showed that Poland’s opposition parties look like they’ve won convincingly opening the way for the leader of the Civic Coalition led by former president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, to become the country's next leader. Whilst the current governing party, the Law and Justice (PiS) party still emerged as the largest party, winning 36.8 percent of the vote, it will still not be enough to form a government and other opposition parties are likely to join the Civic Coalition, which won 31.6 percent, to form the new government. Two smaller opposition parties, the center-right Third Way which won 13 percent, and the Left which won 8.6 percent, are likely to join the new government. A far-right Confederation won 6.2 percent, but is unlikely to be included in the new coalition. In 2019, PiS won 43.6 percent of the vote. The poll was conducted by IPSOS and was shared with Poland’s three main television networks. The poll has a 2 percent margin of error. Turnout was was high at 73 percent. If the exit poll results are confirmed, the Law and Justice will win 200 seats, Civic Coalition 163, Third Way 55, the Left 30 and Confederation will take 12. Poland is one of the largest and most important members of the European Union but in recent years its government has clashed continuously with the European institutions, as the PiS tried to implement changes in the judicial system and other sectors of government that Brussels considered to be against accepted European norms and values.
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Pashinyan's party victorious but weakened after Sunday's elections in Yerevan

Pashinyan's party victorious but weakened after Sunday's elections in Yerevan

Voters in Armenia's capital Yerevan went to the polls on Sunday to elect a new city council and Mayor. The vote was seen as a test of the popularity of the current prime minister Nikol Pashinyan, and his Civic Contract party, particularly as they move towards signing a peace treaty with Azerbaijan. Pashinyan's party emerged victorious since it gained the most votes, but the vote has been less than decisive. In fact a coalition will be required for a majority to be established in the city council following elections that were also marked by a low turnout. The Armenian Central Electoral Commission (CEC) said that as of closing of polls at 8 p.m. on Sunday, turnout was 28.5 percent, representing 234,553 voters out of 824,250 eligible. Civil Contract's mayoral candidate in Yerevan elections is current Deputy Mayor Tigran Avinian, who served as Armenia’s deputy prime minister in 2018-2021. Hayk Marutian, a former Pashinian ally who served as Yerevan mayor from 2018 to 2021 when he was relieved of his duties by a vote of no confidence passed by the Civil Contract-dominated Council of Elders emerged in second place. The CEC on Monday completed the electronic counting of votes. The results of all 475 polling stations have been summarized, according to which, based on preliminary data, 5 political forces are entering the Yerevan Council of Elders: Pashinyan's Civic Contract, "National Progress" (Hayk Marutian), "Mother Armenia" an alliance  that has the support of former president Robert Kocharian, "Republic", a political force seen as sympathetic to Pashinyan, and "Public Voice".
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Kazakhstan votes to elect president

Kazakhstan votes to elect president

Voting is taking place on Sunday (20 November) in Kazakhstan, Central Asia's largest republic. The elections are considered important since they mark the end of the era of rule of Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan's long-time president who served from 1991 to 2019. Nazarbayev is often credited with being “the father of the nation” helping to forge a Kazakh national identity, but whose rule has increasingly been identified as one riddled with nepotism, corruption and stagnation. Even after Nazarbayev decided to resign, he maintained control over several key leverages of power, and his successor, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, governed in the shadow of his predecessor. In January, Tokayev was faced by what appears to have been an attempted palace coup to unseat him, Having quashed the uprising Tokayev decided to accelerate the process of reforms that he had already started to cautiously implement. Nazarbayev has been side-lined and constitutional reforms initiated under which, a president can only serve for one, seven-year term.     Long-time observers of Central Asia feel that the election marks an important turning point for Kazakhstan and Central Asia. commonspace.eu political editor said in a comment that "there is little doubt that the incumbent president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev will win the election. Yet people in Kazakhstan have started to understand that things are changing; that their president does not intend to serve for life, and diversity of opinions are good. A very modest start, and one that is considered far less than enough for some. But a start it is, and that needs to be recognised too."
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Campaigning starts in earnest ahead of presidential elections in Kazakhstan

Campaigning starts in earnest ahead of presidential elections in Kazakhstan

Presidential elections will be held in Kazakhstan on 20 November. A country that until a few years ago had only known the rule of one man, is now being given a choice between six candidates, the incumbent president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, and five others:  Karakat Abden, Nurlan Auesbayev, Zhiguli Dairabayev, Meiram Kazhyken and Saltanat Tursynbekova. A 300 strong OSCE Observation Mission will deploy on election day to observe the elections. Headed by Urszula Gacek, the mission has already deployed a core team of 11 international experts based in Astana and 30 long-term observers, who will travel to the remotest parts of Kazakhstan in 15 two-person teams. The ODIHR also plans to request 300 short-term observers arrive several days before the election day. Meanwhile the election campaignb has started in earnest. The winner will serve for one seven year term and will not be eligible for re-election, according to constitutional changes proposed by president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, that were adopted recently.