Rwandan president wins re-election despite critics

Rwandan President Paul Kagame celebrated an overwhelming election victory by dancing with thousands of supporters early Tuesday, after opposition parties were banned from the vote and some Rwandans said they were forced to cast ballots for him.

The country’s election commission said preliminary results indicated Kagame would win more than 90 percent of Monday’s vote. While Kagame faced three opponents on the ballot, analysts said none of the three presented any real competition. Continue reading

Rwanda’s Kagame set for landslide win: early results

Early results on Tuesday showed that Rwandan President Paul Kagame would win re-election by a landslide, after an election campaign that rights groups and opponents said was marred by repression and violence against critics.

Preliminary results from the National Electoral Commission showed that in 11 out of a total 30 districts Kagame had won 1,610,422 votes out of 1,734,671 votes cast. Continue reading

Vote counting in Solomon Islands election slower than expected

The chair of the Solomon Islands electoral commission says there are doubts that all the results from the national election will be in by Sunday as had been previously expected.

The first results have been declared but counting has been very slow in some areas.

Jo O’Brien reports from the Solomon Islands capital, Honiara.

“Before the election, the Commission said it expected allt eh results in by sunday, except in two small areas where the voting was delayed by the late arrival of election officials and supplies. But now its chair, Sir Peter Kenilorea, says he doubts that will be the case. He says the counting system is contributing to delays as each box contains votes for all the candidates, and all boxes have to be brought to provincial headquarters before counting can begin. He says counting is also slower in some constituencies in Honiara where there are many candidates. Several constituencies have been able to return results relatively quickly, with sitting MPs Job Dudley Tausinga returned in North New Georgia and Seth Gukuna in Rennell-Bellona. Sir Peter is also calling for reform of voter registration after some people could not vote because they were not on the electoral list.”

UK hails ‘peaceful and open’ Kenya referendum

Foreign Secretary William Hague on Thursday congratulated Kenya for strongly backing a new constitution in a peaceful referendum, saying the result paved the way for “a new era of stability, accountability and prosperity.”

“I congratulate the people of Kenya on their historic referendum which has approved a new constitution for the country and for the peaceful and open manner in which it was conducted,” said Hague. Continue reading

Burundians vote at the polls despite terrorist threats and opposition boycotts

Burundians visited polling stations across Burundi on Friday to vote for members of the country’s national assembly despite a terrorist threat from the Somali terrorist group al-Shabab.

Security remains tight in Burundi after al-Shabab threatened to attack the country because Burundi has several thousand troops in Somalia under the African Union. Al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the July 11 attacks in Uganda that killed 76 people because Uganda also has troops in Somalia. Continue reading

Japan ruling party reels after vote, PM job in danger

Japan’s ruling party, mauled in Sunday’s upper house election, faces an uphill struggle to win new allies to back its policies to cut back huge public debt and probably bitter infighting over whether the premier should quit.

Voters dealt Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s Democratic Party of Japan a stinging rebuke in the election, depriving the DPJ and its tiny ally of a majority less than a year after the Democrats swept to power with promises of change. Continue reading

Polls open for Japan election, PM’s party struggles

Voting began on Sunday in a Japanese upper house election that could deal Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s government a sharp setback, putting his job at risk and threatening steps to curb the country’s huge public debt.

Kan’s Democratic Party of Japan, which swept to power last year promising change, will almost certainly stay in power regardless of the outcome of the vote. Continue reading