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Inbox separatist sects in the east of the country, all of which present a massive challenge to the new President. In a victory rally following his successful election, Poroshenko announced that the immediate moves of the new presidency would be to “concentrate on ending the war, ending the chaos, ending the disorder and bringing peace to Ukrainian soil, to a united, single Ukraine”. Egypt In presidential elections held in May, the country made history by democratically electing the former military chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as President. El-Sisi has vowed to lead Egypt through important changes, compensate for what the country has missed and correct the mistakes of the past. El-Sisi was sworn in as President in June, with spectators observing the peaceful transition between interim President Adly Mansour and the new President addressing the nation in front of the Supreme Constitutional Court’s General Assembly in Cairo. El-Sisi was declared the winner of the peaceful presidential elections after securing a landslide victory of 96.9 per cent, with Hamdeen Sabahi securing just 3.1 per cent. Voter turnout was 47.5 per cent. Celebrations erupted in the capital with fireworks and balloons bearing the new leaders face as news of el-Sisi’s success spread. India Narendra Modi of the rightwing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) became Prime Minister of India in May, following a month of elections for the 543 seats of the Lok Sabha. Following the announcement of the results, a spokesperson for the nationalist BJP called the predicted landslide a “people’s victory”. The general elections took place over a number of days between April and May. The election results show a decisive victory for the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, a centre-right coalition of political parties. The BJP secured 282 of Lok Sabha seats, winning 31 per cent of the votes. The centre-left India National Congress received 44 seats, securing 19.3 per cent of the votes; the centrist All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam secured 37 seats; and the centre-left All India Trinamool Congress, 34. Nationwide frustrations with the state of the country under India National Congress rule appeared to have resulted in high voter turnout, which broke records with 66.38 per cent eligible adults casting ballots. Syria Bashar al-Assad of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party secured a third term as President of Syria in June in the country’s first multicandidate election since the Ba’ath party first came to power. Incumbent Assad secured a landslide victory with 92.2 per cent of the votes, while runner-up Hassan al- Nouri of the National Initiative for Administration and Change in Syria received just 4.5 per cent, and Independent Maher Hajjar came in third with 3.3 per cent. Many Syrians believe that Assad is capable of bringing a peaceful end to the Syrian Civil War, which has gripped the Middle East for the past three years. The conflict began with peaceful demonstrations for reforms in March 2011 and has since escalated into a full-blown war. Several opposition groups boycotted the election and voting did not take place in rebel controlled areas of the republic or areas under Kurdish militia control. Many citizens travelled to areas under government control to take part. The official turnout was announced at 73.4 per cent. Mauritania In presidential elections held in June, incumbent Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of the centrist Union for the Republic enjoyed a landslide victory, securing 81.9 per cent of the votes. The election results were rejected by unsuccessful candidate Biram Dah Ebeid of the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement, who came in distant second place with just 8.7 per cent. Ebeid described the elections as a “grotesque theatre”, claiming that the voting was marred by fraud and irregularities, and that incumbent Aziz’s control of state institutions ensured his victory. The other two unsuccessful candidates, Boydiel Ould Houmeid of the El Wiam party and Ibrahima Moctar Sarr of the Alliance for Justice and Democracy, accepted the results and congratulated the President on securing another term in office. Voter turnout was 56.5 per cent. Indonesia A new President will take office in Indonesia in October, after Joko Widodo of the Indonesian Democratic Party–Struggle came out on top in presidential elections held in July. Incumbent President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of the Democratic Party was prevented from running for a third term under the Indonesian constitution. Widodo secured 53 per cent of the votes, while Prabowo Subianto of the Great Indonesia Movement Party fell just short with 47 per cent. Voter turnout was 69 per cent. Libya Libya seemed doomed to be without a legitimate parliament this year, as failed elections were held on three separate occasions in May and June. During the first two elections the parliament was unable to elect a prime minister as no candidate secured the 120 seats required by the constitution. A third election was held in which candidate Ahmed Matiq secured 121 votes and was sworn in as Prime Minister. Following his election, parliament gave a vote of confidence to Matiq’s proposed cabinet – but outgoing Prime Minister Abdullah al- Thani refused to hand over power to the new candidate, disputing the legitimacy of Matiq’s election. The Supreme Court later declared Matiq’s election unconstitutional and requested al-Thani to stay on as caretaker Prime Minister. A fourth round of elections was held at the end of June, at which time 188 independent candidates were elected to parliament. Twelve of the 200 seats remained empty due to boycotts and insufficient security measures across the country, which prevented elections from taking place. In September the parliament reappointed Abdullah al-Thani as Prime Minister. Voter turnout was 45 per cent. Turkey Presidential elections in Turkey in August saw success for the country’s incumbent Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of the centre-right Justice and Development Party. Erdoğan, who has served as Prime Minister of Turkey since 2003, secured a landslide victory with the pledge of creating a “new Turkey”. The elections are the first direct presidential elections to be held in the country since a constitutional amendment, drafted in 2007, stipulated that presidents should be elected by citizens rather than by members of parliament. Erdoğan obtained 52 per cent of votes cast, more than the 50 per cent needed to avoid a presidential run-off and far ahead of the nearest opponent independent Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, who received just 38 per cent. Selahattin Demirtaş of the left-wing Peoples’ Democratic Party came in distant third with just ten per cent of the votes. Voter turnout was 74 per cent. four 12 l www.global -br ief ing.org th quar ter 2014 global


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