Sunday, March 26, 2017

BULGARIANS GOES TO POLLS ON SUNDAY

Bulgarians goes to polls on Sunday to vote in the country’s early parliamentary elections, with opinion polls predicting victory for the center-right GERB party or the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP).
As many as 12,081 polling stations were opened across the country at 7 a.m. local time (0500 GMT) and are due to close at 8 p.m. (1800 GMT), the Central Election Commission said. At the same time, 371 more ballot boxes are available in 70 countries for Bulgarians living abroad.
More than 6.8 million voters are eligible to elect 240 lawmakers from 4,680 candidates from 11 political parties and nine coalitions.
Only parties and coalitions that receive no less than 4 percent of the votes will enter the parliament. The votes cast for the others will be distributed proportionally among the qualified parties and coalitions.
Exit polls will be announced immediately after polls close, and the official results are expected on Thursday.
Kolyo Kolev, director of Mediana Polling Agency, in an interview with Xinhua on Tuesday predicted that 28.6 percent voters would support the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and 26.6 percent would back the GERB party. He said the margin of error of his prediction was within 3 percent.
Meanwhile, about 8-9 percent of the ballots will go to the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) and the United Patriots, while Volya party would take some 8.5 percent, Kolev said.
Two other players — the Reformist Bloc-People’s Voice coalition and the ABV-Movement 21 coalition — also had the chance to enter the parliament, Kolev said.
Direct BSP-GERB coalition for now was impossible and any other double coalition was not sufficient, so it would be extremely difficult to form a government, he said.
The elections were scheduled after the GERB party-led coalition cabinet resigned in mid-November last year, and the parliamentary parties failed to form a new cabinet.

GREECE MARKS INDEPENDENCE DAY

Greece commemorated on Saturday the 196th anniversary of the 1821 war of independence against the 400-year Ottoman rule with the annual military parade in the center of Athens and student parades across the country.
In their statements for the day Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Defense Minister Panos Kammenos and opposition parties referred to Greece’s efforts for Europe’s unity and the current challenges to overcome the economic crisis.
On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, Pavlopoulos stressed Greece’s European path and the need for unity.
“Our ancestors, just before the start of the revolution, appealed to the European nations for freedom. We send them today the message that Greece has decided irrevocably to belong to the EU and its hardcore, the Eurozone,” Pavlopoulos said after the end of the military parade in front of the parliament.
“For Greece to be outside Europe is inconceivable, while the EU would never be the same without Greece,” he added.

EU LEADERS CELEBRATE 60 TH ANNIVERSARY OF TREATY OF ROME

European Union  on Saturday celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome here amid concerns over challenges.
The Treaty of Rome was signed in 1957, creating the European Economic Community, a predecessor to the modern EU.
Sixty years later, leaders from 27 nations met in the same room to sign the Rome Declaration, stressing their commitment to Europe’s “common future.”
The document called the bloc a “unique union with common institutions and strong values, a community of peace, freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.”
The Rome Declaration comes as the EU faces some of the most intense challenges in its history.
After the Brexit vote last year, Britain is set to be the first country to leave the bloc.
The wave of anti-establishment sentiment behind “Brexit” is also on the rise in some European countries, and in France which will hold elections next month, and Italy, which may hold a national vote later this year or early next year.
Additionally, slow economic growth has been seen in some member states, while Greece and Italy struggle to process hundreds of thousands of new migrants arriving from war-ravaged parts of the Middle East and Africa.

HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE ELECT CARRIE LAM

Hong kong Election Commission has announced that chief executive-elect Carrie Lam received 777 votes in Sunday’s small-circle election, whereas her rival John Tsang received only 365.The elctions are held after the protest in 2014 in Hong kong for simmering public opinion for the two system one country and one country and one system. The democratic elections are key to the above two opinions the vital plank the electoral ballots enlivened.
Former chief secretary Lam was heavily rumoured as Beijing’s favoured candidate over the past two months, and some electors claimed before election day they were pressured to vote for her.
Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor won the election of the fifth-term chief executive of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) on Sunday, vowing to lead Hong Kong forward in solidarity.
The Electoral Affairs Commission of the Hong Kong SAR declared that Lam garnered 777 of 1,163 valid votes, followed by Tsang Chun-wah with 365 and Woo Kwok-hing with 21.
A candidate wins the election when he or she obtains more than 600 valid votes in any round of voting and will be appointed by the central government, according to Hong Kong’s Basic Law and the Chief Executive Election Ordinance.
After the appointment, the winner will take oath of office on July 1 and become the fifth-term chief executive.
Lam, 59, said in her speech to the press after winning the election that she is ready to begin a new chapter in the journey together with the Hong Kong people.
“The work of uniting our society to move forward begins now,” she said.
Speaking to HKFP, veteran China watcher Johnny Lau estimated that the more popular ex-financial secretary Tsang had received less than 100 votes from the pro-Beijing camp on Sunday. This suggested Beijing may have pressured electors to vote for Lam.
“Did they really support her platform? Or did they vote for her because of Beijing?” asked Lau. “This showed how ridiculous this election is.”
“The divisions in Hong Kong society have not been healed, unless Lam can create good conditions soon, to reach out to pan-democrats and young people,” he added
“The ability of the central government to manipulate the election is shocking,” pro-democracy lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung told reporters outside the venue. “We have to speak for the people who don’t have votes – we want genuine universal suffrage.”
Starry Lee, leader of Hong Kong’s largest pro-Beijing party, said Lam’s votes showed most electors supported her. “Mrs Lam, having been chief secretary, has been communicating with different sectors,” she said. “We should put aside our ideological differences and work with each other.”
“Mrs Lam needs a team of people with close ideals, capable and willing to communicate with people. If she does so, I believe she will have a smooth governance.”
Only around 300 of the 1,194 electors are considered members of the pro-democracy camp, while the others are considered Beijing loyalists..hongkongfp.com

TURKEY SUMMONS SWISS ENVOY

Turkey’s foreign ministry summoned Switzerland’s deputy ambassador to Ankara on Saturday over a protest in the Swiss capital Bern against President Tayyip Erdogan, the state-run Anadolu agency reported. Anadolu said some 250 people, including supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), staged a rally earlier on Saturday in Bern calling for a ‘No’ vote in an April referendum in Turkey that could give Erdogan sweeping new powers. The PKK is designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. Media agencies

ALEKSEY NAVALNY DETAINED IN CENTRAL MOSCOW.

View image on Twitter
Many opposition leaders protest  took place in Russia on Sunday. A number of people were detained for disorderly conduct. Opposition figure Aleksey Navalny is among those detained in central Moscow.
As per the Police authorities detained dozens of protesters across Russia on Sunday, including opposition leader Alexei Navalny, after thousands took to the streets to demonstrate against corruption and demand the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
The Moscow demonstration, thousands  people took to the streets, according to police. As the rally continued, police used loudspeakers to call on the protesters to disperse.
Protesters came despite failing to receive permission from the mayor’s office to hold a rally at the site of their choosing. The authorities suggested two alternative locations for the event, but the organizers rejected them.
Law enforcement say that somebody sprayed “irritant gas” in the capital’s Pushkin Square, but rejected reports that it was part of a police action.
Protests, some sanctioned and others in violation of a municipal ban, also took place in other Russian cities on Sunday, including Novosibirsk, Barnaul, Tomsk, Krasnoyarsk, Khabarovsk, and Vladivostok.
St. Petersburg, an unsanctioned opposition rally was held just next to another unconnected gathering of demonstrators who rallied for traditional values.
Police estimated the number of participants in the opposition event at around 3,000 in St. Petersburg, and said that three individuals were facing administrative action for minor violations.
The rally in Novosibirsk, which was sanctioned by the local authorities after a court ordered them to overturn a ban, attracted around 1,500 people, according to the mayor’s office. At another sanctioned event in Tomsk, around 400 protesters showed up, according to local law enforcement.
Vladivostok, 25 activists have been detained by police for trying to violate a ban on public gatherings.
Police released those detained shortly afterwards.
RT news

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