Tag Archives: elections

Timor-Leste’s king-maker delivers to Lu-Olo

Timor-Leste’s presidential election looks to have produced a strong victory for Fretilin’s serial candidate, Francisco ‘Lu-Olo’ Guterres. While results remains unofficial, based on a largely complete tally, Lu-Olo was looking to have around 57 per cent of the total vote for the mostly ceremonial role of president. This means that Lu-Olo will comfortably surpass the […]

Myanmar’s compromised elections

On 8 July 2015, Myanmar’s Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) government announced that Myanmar would go to elections on 8 November. This raised the prospect of whether Myanmar’s process of reform and liberalization – what US President Barak Obama had earlier called the country’s ‘real but incomplete’ process of democratization – would continue. In […]

Afghanistan's second election: not exactly democratic consolidation

Perhaps it’s because we like to reinforce our own prejudices with positive reaffirmations or perhaps it’s because the media does not know how to tell a complex story simply, but the weekend’s presidential election in Afghanistan was not the democratic triumph we have been led to believe. Yes, they were elections, but this was somewhat […]

Jokowi now cleared to run to the finish line as Indonesia's next president

In the race for the Indonesian presidential elections in July, Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo has just been nominated as PDI-P’s presidential candidate. This follows a decision by former president, Megawati Sukarnoputri, to shelve her own plans for an unlikely comeback to support the long-standing front-runner. The 52 year old Jokowi is streets ahead of the nearest […]

Anti-reform actors hover over Indonesia’s coming elections

Indonesia’s democracy is being increasingly tested by the triple challenges of anti-reform actors, a high-level political malaise and popular disenchantment with the electoral process. Prabowo Subianto accepts the Great Indonesia Movement Party nomination for the 2014 presidential election (Photo: Wikipedia). One indicator of this has been an increasing tendency by the Indonesian military (TNI) to […]

Cambodian election: Hun Sen losing his tight grip on power

The only surprise in Cambodia’s elections over the weekend was that the victory for Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party was reduced to a comfortable rather than an overwhelming majority. For a "democracy" in which the ruling party and the state machine are, in effect, as one and there are widespread allegations of electoral fraud, the […]

Japan’s elections signal disillusionment, change.

The crushing victory by Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party in the weekend’s elections has signalled that Japanese voters are worried, disillusioned and impatient for change. With Japan’s economy still in the doldrums, China’s influence growing and the country still reeling from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, many Japanese want a return to when the country was an […]

Why the Timorese voted as they did

In a country in which there are no public opinion surveys and in which the still developing media could not be said to reflect, much less shape, the views of most people, trying to understand why the people of Timor-Leste vote as they do was not an exact science. Such judgments that could be made […]

Australia rolls over on Fiji

Australia’s rebuilding of diplomatic ties with Fiji has taken some observers by surprise, given the strength of opposition to Fiji’s 2006 military coup. Australia has been torn between principle and real politik since its high commissioner, James, Battley, was ordered out of Fiji in 2009, followed by acting high commissioner Sarah Roberts in 2010. The […]

On any Sunday

Last weekend my old friend, Timorese ‘boss’ in the days of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) and the current Secretary of State for Energy Policy (SEPE), Avelino Maria Coelho da Silva, invited me to his traditional land outside of Ossu on the southern slopes of the great mountain range that runs […]