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Global 21 fourth quarter 2015

Inbox Portugal October’s parliamentary elections saw the incumbent Social Democratic Party/ Popular Party coalition returned to power with 38.2 per cent of the vote and 99 of 230 seats. This makes Portugal the first of the eurozone countries that received financial aid from the EU to re-elect a government that had imposed harsh austerity measures. Several countries were bailed out by the EU to stave off a severe recession, but had to promise cost savings in return that were always unpopular domestically. The Socialist Party came second with 33.6 per cent (85 seats), the Left Bloc gained 10.6 of votes (19), the United Democratic Coalition 8.6 per cent (17), and the Social Democratic Party (Azores and Madeira) 1.6 per cent (five). Turnout was low at 57 per cent. Pedro Passos Coelho remains Prime Minister. Finland Prime Minister Alexander Stubb resigned and President Sauli Niinistö asked Juha Sipilä to form a new government following parliamentary elections in April. The elections saw the Centre Party win 21.1 per cent of the vote (49 of 200 seats), the National Coalition Party 18.2 per cent (37), the Finns Party 17.6 per cent (38), the Social Democratic Party 16.5 per cent (34), the Green League 8.5 per cent (15), the Left Alliance 7.1 per cent (12), the Swedish People’s Party 4.9 per cent (nine) and the Christian Democrats 3.5 per cent (five). Turnout was 66.8 per cent. United Kingdom In the May general election the Conservative Party won a narrow majority, defying the polls, which had pointed to a result that was too close to call; it had been widely expected that there would be a hung parliament. In a 66 per cent turnout, the Conservatives won 331 seats, the Labour Party 232, the Scottish National Party (SNP) 56 and the Liberal Democrats eight. The Conservatives’ victory brought to an end five years of coalition government, which had seen the Conservatives team up with the Liberal Democrats. The 2015 election saw the Liberal Democrats lose 49 seats, a loss that was widely attributed to dissatisfaction with the coalition on the part of former Liberal Democrat supporters. Labour saw considerable losses in Scotland – a traditional Labour heartland – with it retaining only one Scottish seat. The Scottish National Party took every Scottish seat, bar three, the other two going to the Conserva- In brief Belize Dean Barrow, Belize’s Prime Minister, won an unprecedented third term in a snap November election. The United Democratic Party (UDP) won 19 seats to the People’s United Party’s 12, increasing the UDP’s majority by two seats. Switzerland In October’s parliamentary elections, the Swiss People’s Party won 29.4 per cent of the vote (65 of 200 seats), the Social Democratic Party 18.8 per cent (43), the Liberal-Democratic Party 16.4 per cent (33), the Christian Democratic People’s Party 11.6 per cent (28), the Greens 7.1 per cent (11), the Green Liberal Party 4.6 per cent (seven), and the Civic Democratic Party 4.1% (seven). Turnout was 48.4 per cent. Tuvalu Twelve of the 15 members of the previous parliament were returned in a general election in March. Parliament voted to re-elect Enele Sopoaga as Prime Minister uncontested. Benin In April parliamentary elections, the Cauri Forces for an Emerging Benin won 32 of 83 seats, Union Makes the Nation 15, the Party of Democratic Renewal ten and Rebirth of Benin-Party for Revival seven. Turnout was 65.9 per cent. Guyana A coalition of APNU and AFC won the May parliamentary elections by a very narrow margin. The coalition secured 50.3 per cent of the vote and 33 seats, and PPP–Civic, led by Donald Ramotar, 49.2 per cent and 32 seats. APNU–AFC coalition leader David Granger was sworn in as President on 16 May 2015. Turnout was 71.02 per cent. Suriname In parliamentary elections in May, Suriname’s National Democratic Party won 45.5 per cent of the vote (26 of 51 seats), the V7 coalition 37.2 per cent (18) and the Alternative Combination 10.5 per cent (five). tives and the Liberal Democrats. Both the Liberal Democrat and Labour Party leaders resigned as a result of the election’s outcome. David Cameron remains as Prime Minister. Denmark In parliamentary elections, the Social Democrats won 26.3 per cent of the vote (47 of 175 mainland seats), the Danish People’s Party 21.1 per cent (37), Venstre (Liberals) 19.5 per cent (34), the Red–Green Alliance 7.8 per cent (14), the Liberal Alliance 7.5 per cent (13), the Alternative 4.8 per cent (nine), Radikale Venstre (Social Liberals) 4.6 per cent (eight), the Socialist People’s Party 4.2 per cent (seven) and the Conservative People’s Party 3.4 per cent (six). Turnout was 85.8 per cent. Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt resigned and Lars Løkke Rasmussen (Venstre) formed a minority government on a mandate from the Queen. Burundi In June’s parliamentary elections, Burundi’s ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) won 74.8 per cent of the vote (77 of 100 seats), the Independents (Abigenga) 13.9 per cent (21) and the Union for National Progress (UPRONA) 3.1 per cent (two). Turnout was 74.3 per cent. Incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza ran for a third term in July, despite controversy over whether he was eligible to run again. While the opposition boycotted the vote, Nkurunziza won reelection with 69.4 per cent of the votes. Myanmar In the country’s first openly contested general election since 1990, Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy, won a resounding victory at the November polls, with 255 out of 440 seats in the House of Representatives (58 per cent) and 135 out of 224 seats (60 per cent) in the House of Nationalities. The Union Solidarity and Development Party won 29 seats in the House of Representatives (6.6 per cent) and 112 (5.3 per cent) in the House of Nationalities. Long-time freedom fighter Aung San Suu Kyi is prevented by the constitution from becoming President, as her sons have British nationality. But she has hinted that a new role above that of President may be created. four 8 l www.global -br ief ing.org th quar ter 2015 global


Global 21 fourth quarter 2015
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