Waiting for Najib Razak, Malaysia’s prime minister, to call a much-anticipated general election is getting to be painful.
First it was to have been called at the beginning of the month. This would have meant polling in the last week of March, a convenient time since schools are out and classrooms are often used as polling stations in Malaysia. Continue reading »
From London’s Boris Johnson to New York’s Michael Bloomberg, city governors and mayors around the world have proven their roles are as much about power politics and money as they are about getting stuff done.
In Thailand, last week’s hard-fought election for Bangkok’s governor was a battle fought on promises of change – most of which cannot be delivered, say analysts. But what really lay behind the fight was the struggle for power in Thailand between the two main political parties. All the votes are in, but it’s not over yet. Continue reading »
The government is unlikely to be unseated in Malaysia’s upcoming parliamentary election, which is good news for the business environment. A win by the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition will eliminate most investors’ concerns about instability that have recently contributed to market volatility.
That said, given the complexities of Malaysian politics, a reduced margin of victory for the incumbent could still impact the speed with which BN’s ambitious reforms are introduced. Continue reading »
A caretaker government in Sofia will do its utmost to steady the tiller before May’s snap elections, following several weeks of street protests that toppled the previous administration and plunged Bulgaria into political uncertainty. But what happens after the poll is anybody’s guess. Many in Sofia’s political elite seem reluctant to grasp the poisoned chalice of leadership and their capacity to satisfy the demands of a restive and inchoate popular movement is limited.
On Wednesday, President Rosen Plevneliev ended weeks of speculation by naming Marin Raykov, Bulgaria’s ambassador to France, as caretaker prime minister until the May 12 elections. Continue reading »
The race for Kenya’s presidency is heading to a nail-biting finish as the front-runner’s lead fades away and the votes counted show the decision going to a run-off for the first time since counting began four days ago.
With around 80 per cent of the constituencies declared, the early lead held by deputy prime minister Uhuru Kenyatta has fallen away, slipping just below the 50 per cent mark needed to secure an outright win. His rival, prime minister Raila Odinga, is trailing with 44 per cent of the vote but results trickling in from Odinga strongholds are closing the gap. With 20 per cent of ballot papers left to count, the outcome could go either way. Continue reading »
A failure of electronic vote counting systems has delayed the announcement of preliminary results for the Kenyan presidential elections and caused a sharp drop in the value of the shilling.
The Kenyan currency had strengthened over the past week and remained steady during the election. But in the face of uncertainty over the outcome of the vote on Wednesday it fell 1.5 per cent against the US dollar, reaching 86.75 by the end of the day. Continue reading »
As policy making in Indonesia becomes subordinated to capricious electioneering ahead of national polls in 2014, the economic challenges are getting tougher.
Chatib Basri, head of the government’s investment coordinating board (BKPM), likes to call his country the “least unattractive market in the world” at the moment, with strong domestic demand keeping GDP growth above 6 per cent despite a range of macro-economic concerns. But the latest inflation and trade data released on Friday point to the risk that Indonesia could become more unattractive to investors. Continue reading »
Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s Islamist president, has called parliamentary elections to start on April 27 and to be held over four stages, culminating in late June.
Mr Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood group are hoping the poll will help restore stability and arrest economic deterioration in a turbulent country rocked by protests and periodic violence. Continue reading »
Investors have given Viktor Orbán the benefit of the doubt by backing the country’s $3.25bn bond issue, its first international offering in more than a year.
They’ll be hoping that the unpredictable Hungarian prime minister won’t let them down as he prepares for next year’s parliamentary election, with all its political and economic uncertainty. Is this a safe bet? Continue reading »
The indelible ink produced by Mysore Paints and Varnish (MPVL) will mark millions of index fingers across India this year, with parliamentary elections due in the world’s largest democracy.
Since 1962, this little-known company has had an exclusive government licence to supply Voters’ Ink for parliamentary and local elections. MPVL exports the ink around the world, from Turkey and Nepal to Ghana and South Africa. The product is used to stop voters repeat voting and by the company’s estimate, has been used on over 6bn people. Continue reading »
As Kenya moves towards presidential elections next spring, there is nervousness that a closely fought campaign could reignite the violence seen in 2007 and a return to the economic collapse that followed. Katrina Manson, the FT’s East Africa correspondent, reports from the country’s capital, Nairobi.
The Slovenian presidency is generally seen as predominantly ceremonial. But the 2012 presidential election, with its first round on Sunday, could prove more important than first impressions suggest.
Slovenia is in serious economic trouble, as the country endures a second year of recession, a banking crisis, and a looming fiscal crunch. Politically, the country is divided between left and right, with new forces fracturing the picture. The election could complicate the politics and make economic decision-making even harder. Continue reading »
Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich (pictured) and his ruling Party of Regions may be jubilant after Sunday’s election. Preliminary results show they are likely to retain control over parliament, preserving a three-year monopoly grip on domestic political power. But they should celebrate fast, because serious economic and foreign policy problems are piling up. Continue reading »
It’s too early to call the result of Ukraine’s parliamentary election on Sunday but if exit polls are any guide the country is set for a delicate balancing act between government and opposition in parliament and, on the world stage, between the west and Russia.
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