Tag Archives: presidential elections

France Presidential Election: A socialist at Elysee Palace…most likely – became certainty

French citizens are voting on Sunday in a crucial runoff that could see a Socialist win the presidential poll for the first time since 1988. On Saturday, as the polling stations opened in France’s overseas territories, starting in the tiny islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon off the coast of Newfoundland.

The two candidates competing in the second round are François Hollande, an opposition leader of the French Socialist Party, and Nicolas Sarkozy, incumbent president and leader of the ruling Union for a Popular Movement. The first round of the presidential race in France ended on April 22. Under Sarkozy, France pledged to rein in its spending while the rest of 17 countries that use the euro embark on a strict period of belt-tightening. The rating agency Standard & Poor’s this year downgraded France’s triple-A credit rating, citing in part its over-high state spending for straining public finances. Both Hollande, a moderate from the centre ground of the Socialist party, and Sarkozy have promised to balance the books – France hasn’t had a balanced budget for more than 30 years. Hollande has promised to renegotiate Europe’s fiscal pact on austerity and shift the focus to growth measures.

According WSJ, Hollande will wait for the announcement of election results in his native city Tulle. Sarkozy will be in Paris and is expected to deliver a speech to his supporters and journalists at the election headquarters after the name of the winner is known.

Update: Leading Brussels paper reporting Socialists claiming Hollande has won 53% to 47%. French voter participation at 5pm local time: 71.96% (more than in the 22 April first round) – according French Minister of Interior. An exemplary mobilization suggesting that the French have understood the importance their presence at the polls.

Update_2: Au revoir, Sarko ! Exit polls: Hollande – 51,9%; Sarkozy – 48,1%

  The Socialist Left are back in power in the Elysee Palace. Francoise Hollande is the 24th president of France. He is first Socialist president since François Mitterrand’s re-election in 1988. BBC Live footage of the crowds outside Socialist headquarters in Paris (Place de la Bastille) shows people cheering, waving flags, hoisting children into the air, one man pumping the air with his fist. Sarkozy has accepted the victory of Hollande. He phoned Mr Hollande to wish him “good luck”. Voice strained, Sarkozy thanks cheering supporters at his party headquarters in Paris (Place de la Concorde), saying it was an honour to have served France. Re-gaining the presidency is a triumph for the Socialists but the story is not over there: a new parliament is to be elected on 10-17 June in the country which made famous/notorious the term “cohabitation”. More, the new president will have no state of grace, leading a country crippled by public debt and in economic crisis, with unemployment nudging a record 10%, a gaping trade-deficit, stuttering growth and declining industry. France’s public debt is so high that interest repayments alone account for the second highest state expenditure after education.

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Moscow – The Ceremony of Putin’s return to Kremlin

 Usually “The ceremony took office President of the Russian Federation”  broadcast two public companies – “First Channel” (Pervyi Kanal) and RTR, sometimes joins them is also a channel “TV Center”, which its status as a public company. In 2008, when was the inauguration of the president Dmitry Medvedev mandat, these three television carried live coverage of the ceremony. This time, as we found from the website of Russian Premier / President, the ceremony of Tsar Putin’s return to Kremlin will be broadcast live by 6 TV channels. Also Russia’s major national channels will show special programs devoted to Vladimir Putin. First Channel will invite political scientists, sociologists and cultural activists in its studio. They will summarize the results of Putin’s work and share their expectations of his new term as Russia’s president.

Although organizers have kept secret many details of ceremony, is supposed to be an impressive event that will be seen by tens of millions of viewers in Russia and beyond. RIA Novosti takes a closer look at the official ceremony. Kremlin ceremony will begin at 11.30 am (Moscow time) and will take one hour. The ceremony will cost 26 million rubles ($878,400); 1,000 guests including state deputies, ministers, presidential administrators, governors, cultural figures, political scientists, media representatives and diplomats will attend it.

The ceremony in Moscow takes place amid the opposition’s protests that continue to challenge the legitimacy of new presidential mandate of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. More, Internet activists from the hacking group Anonymous vowed on Friday to attack Russian government websites ahead of the May 7 inauguration.

Update: 6 May 2012, The “March of a Million”

A protest demonstration (which was uninspired called the “March of a Million”) by at least 20,000 – 40,000 people on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s inauguration as president boiled into a battle with police after protesters tried to split off from the approved venue and march to the Kremlin. Among those arrested were three of the leaders of the opposition movement that gained new life over the winter: Sergei Udaltsov, Alexei Navalny and Boris Nemtsov.

Update_26 May 2012, President Medvedev fired navy chief on last day in office

President Dmitry Medvedev dismissed the head of Russia’s accident-prone navy and named a new air force chief on his last full day in office on Sunday as he prepares to take the No. 2 post under Vladimir Putin. Medvedev replaced Vysotsky with a vice-admiral, Viktor Chirkov. In another decree, he named General Viktor Bondarev to replace former air force chief Alexander Zelin, who had grumbled about military restructuring and was dismissed on April 27. Medvedev also dismissed the commander of the army in late April, but appointed him to a high-level post as deputy head of the military general staff. On Sunday, Medvedev named Zelin as an aide to Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov.

The Batman′s return – The light battle for the Kremlin

Is a pretty long title, huh? If you have a deja vu from the movies with low ratings, but promoted as if it were a phenomenon, do not worry about – you’re right.  Beyond the media show is nothing spectacular in the battle for Kremlin. Not today ! In fact, if not long time ago, news headline in large letters wrote about the end of Putin’s career, now the tone of mass-media has changed visibly. In fact, the winner takes it all, right?

Monitored by web cameras (almost 200.000) and a network of volunteer

Where four fight the fifth wins !

civilian observers, Russians voted Sunday in presidential elections. Along with the OSCE mission, tens of thousands of Russians have volunteered to be election observers, receiving training for activist groups on how to recognize vote-rigging and record and report violations. But nobody seems to have doubts about the Batman′s return. Of course, together with his Robin (at least for a period of time, depending on the evolution of things internally and externally). Given its expansive territory, polling stations in some Russian regions have opened just recently, while in the most easterly areas the voting process is already well underway.

President in office and future PM, Dmitry Medvedev has urged Russians to take part in the presidential poll on March 4. He stressed that only voters can determine the country’s path for years to come, adding “our future depends on each and every one of us.” Moreover, a noteworthy win this election seems to be a significant increase of the population decided to go to the polls. Almost 260,000 Russians voted early, the Central Election Commission says. That includes 177,350 domestic voters and 81,667 casting ballots abroad. The figure is noticeable higher than that during the 2008 presidential election when 188,421 people voted early. December’s parliamentary election saw 193,815 early votes. Regarding accusations of election fraud, Russian media seems to have found that the maximum percentage of votes collected by fraud over time cannot exceed 5%.

Your holiday just ended!

According to the most recent survey by the independent Levada Center polling agency, Putin is on track to win the election with around two-thirds of the vote against four challengers. The results of an opinion poll by the state-run pollster VTsIOM released on Friday show that support for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin grew 3 percentage points this week to 52 percent and that he could win the March 4 presidential elections without a runoff. “Putin has a solid lead in the presidential election rating poll, with support for him growing from 49 to 52% throughout the week. Support for [Communist candidate] Gennady Zyuganov, who shares the second place with [LDPR candidate] Vladimir Zhirinovsky (8%), declined (from 11 to 8 percent)” the pollster said. A Just Russia party candidate Sergei Mironov lost two percentage points during the week and is currently supported by 4% of respondents. Mikhail Prokhorov’s ratings remained unchanged, at 4%. How can to change something five percent in addition in these conditions ? Mr. Putin is still the most popular individual, political figure in Russia – despite downward trajectory of his party United Russia and the massive street protests in Moscow and other cities at the end of 2011. He wants to keep the stability and predictability for Russia. Yes, it is boring and lacking enthusiastic prospects such approach. But the great mass of Russians who were not born in Putin′s Era (many of those who were born during Yeltsin probably going to vote for the first time), know it can be much worse. How was before he coming to the Kremlin. More, there is no coherent manifesto coming out of the opposition groups. I know that they do not like to hear it. But failure of opposition leaders to overcome their internal small and big egos have done the struggle for the chair from the Kremlin to be a small and easily won by Putin.The real question now is whether Mr. Putin can also present himself and his next presidency as something different from before. So, welcome back and success, Mr Putin ! Your holiday just ended !

UPDATE: Sunday, 4 March, 2012, 20.00 Moscow Time

Exit-polls results: Vladimir Putin61,8%, Ghenadi Ziuganov18%, Mikhail Prokhorov8%, Vladimir Jirinovski8%, Sergey Mironov4%.