Ex-rebel Mujica wins Uruguay presidential vote: exit polls

Uruguayan presidential candidate and former guerrilla Jose Mujica of the ruling Frente Amplio (Broad Front) votes during run-off presidential elections in Montevideo. Mujica won Uruguay's presidential runoff on Sunday, with around 51 percent of the vote, according to exit polls.

Uruguayan presidential candidate and former guerrilla Jose Mujica of the ruling Frente Amplio (Broad Front) votes during run-off presidential elections in Montevideo. Mujica won Uruguay's presidential runoff on Sunday, with around 51 percent of the vote, according to exit polls.

AFP – Former leftist rebel Jose Mujica won Uruguay’s presidential runoff on Sunday, garnering some 51 percent of the vote, according to exit polls.

The preliminary results suggested rival candidate former Conservative president Luis Lacalle won some 44 percent of the vote, triggered after Mujica failed to win over 50 percent of a first round vote in October.

Mujica, 74, will succeed President Tabare Vazquez, the first elected leftist to lead this small country located between Argentina and Brazil.

Vazquez, who is extremely popular, is constitutionally prohibited from standing for another term in office.

Kosovo PM’s party on top in local polls: preliminary results

Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, casts his ballot at a polling station in the capital Pristina on November 15. Thaci's party was on top in local polls held over the weekend, the first election here since the territory declared independence, preliminary results showed Tuesday.

Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, casts his ballot at a polling station in the capital Pristina on November 15. Thaci's party was on top in local polls held over the weekend, the first election here since the territory declared independence, preliminary results showed Tuesday.

ELECTIONS|AFP Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci’s party was on top in local polls held over the weekend, the first election here since the territory declared independence, preliminary results showed Tuesday.

Thaci’s Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) won a majority in 16 of 36 municipalities in Kosovo, while the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) of President Fatmir Sejdiu was in control of eight local councils, Nesrin Lushta of the electoral commission said.

“The results are still preliminary” as the votes were still being counted, Lushta said.

Some 45 percent of 1.5 million eligible voters cast their ballots in the elections on Sunday, seen as an important test for the newly declared state to organise free, fair and peaceful elections.

Belgrade had called on Kosovo minority Serbs to boycott the polls, but some cast ballots in parts of Kosovo. Serbia refuses to recognise the independence of Kosovo, where 90 percent of the population is ethnic Albanian.

Lushta said Serbs won majorities in four municipalities in central Kosovo, where they make up the majority of population.

The election commission said Monday the PDK won mayoral posts in five municipalities, while its candidates would go to a run-off in another 16, according to preliminary results.

Sejdiu’s LDK won the top post in the capital Pristina and in some smaller municipalities.

Kosovo seceded from Serbia in February 2008 but Belgrade fiercely opposes the move.

So far 63 countries have recognised the young state, including the United States and all but five EU members.

Anger in Moscow over local election whitewash

Euronews-Russian riot police quickly broke up a crowd in central Moscow last night as protesters cried foul over local election results.

The landslide victory won by the country’s ruling party “United Russia” which has a near monopoly on power, has angered many voters.

Independent poll watchdog Golos and opposition parties have reported wide spread ballot stuffing and voter intimidation.

Regional, mayoral and district polls were held in 76 of Russia’s 83 regions.

In just about all polls, the Kremlin backed United Russia lead by prime minister Vladimir Putin has emerged the strongest party.

It’s retained power in key locations including the most affluent and populous region Moscow City.

Russian regional poll fails democracy test

Euronews-Russia’s Kremlin-backed United Russia party is reported to be leading in regional elections being held across the country.

With a quarter of ballots counted, the ruling party is said to have around 64 percent of the vote.

But opposition candidates and election observers claim there have been significant irregularities.

Analyst Dmitry Oreshkin said:

“The opposition has been pushed away from the centre, they’re marginalized, they have no access to the media, they can’t even be registered as deputies. They are simply outside the political system of the Russian Federation.”

Two months ago President Dmitry Medvedev said “new democratic times were beginning” and promised to break the near-monopoly of United Russia.

But the independent poll-watchdog Golos has reported violations on the day and in the pre- election campaign.

UN Afghan mission chief admits fraud in vote

euronews -The head of the United Nations mission in Afghanistan has admitted for the first time that there was widespread fraud in Afghanistan’s election.

A visibly angry Kai Eide told a news conference that cover-up allegations by Peter Galbraith, his recently fired deputy, were false and undermined the election process.

“That’s been a difficult process. It’s been marred, not least, as you know, by widespread fraud,” Eide said.

Eide appeared at the news conference flanked by the US, British and French ambassadors, which he said was an “expression of international unity in the work that we are doing.”

The Electoral Complaints Commission will announce results of the fraud investigation later this week, either confirming President Hamid Karzai as the victor or ordering a run-off if a large share of Karzai’s votes are found to be fraudulent.

Portugal goes back to the ballot box

euronews channel-Socialists and social democrats go head to head for the third and last time this year for Portuguese local elections.

The centre-right PSD came out on top in June’s European elections but in the general election two weeks ago, voters returned the Socialist Party to power.

The capital, Lisbon, is expected to stay under the control of current, socialist mayor Antonio Costa touted as future leader of the party.

In Porto, the country’s second city, the favourite to win is social democrat Rui Rio, who is also tipped to one day lead the PSD.

Nationwide, the PSD is defending 158 councils, while the socialists have 109.

Political rivalry took a tragic twist in one rural voting station 400 kilometers north of Lisbon. The husband of the local social democrat candidate was shot dead as he was helping to set up ballot boxes.

Police say he was killed by the constituency’s socialist party candidate, who fled immediately after the incident.

Opposition socialists win snap election

Conservative Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has called opposition leader George Papandreou to concede defeat in Sunday’s elections after early results showed a 7.2-point lead in favour of the socialist Pasok party.

AFP – Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis conceded defeat in Sunday’s general elections after early results showed his New Democracy party trailing the socialists by more than seven percent, the party said.

“Mr Karamanlis communicated with Pasok leader George Papandreou by telephone, congratulated him for his party’s victory and wished him every success,” the New Democracy press office said.

With one in three polling stations accounted for, Papandreou’s Pasok party has won 43.53 percent of the vote against 35.62 percent for the ruling New Democracy conservatives, interior ministry figures showed.

The ministry’s official analysts earlier calculated that the socialists could win as many as 162 seats in the 300-member parliament.

The snap election was called two years ahead of schedule by Karamanlis, whose administration was mired in scandal and hamstrung by a one-seat majority in parliament for months.

Karamanlis said a government with a fresh mandate was needed to deal with the effects of the economic crisis with the Greek economy barely hovering above recession.

The victory makes Pasok’s leader the third Papandreou to govern Greece since World War II, after his father Andreas — who founded the party — and his grandfather and namesake George Papandreou, Greece’s first prime minister after the country’s liberation from German occupation in 1944.