2018 Presidential Election

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Monday August 3rd 2020

Former Rhode Island Governor Atkins endorses Green gubernatorial candidate


Billie Atkins who served four, four year terms as Rhode Island Governor between 1992 and 2012 today endorsed the Green Party gubernatorial candidate Anderson Gerald. Atkins who twice ran for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2006 and 2014 is still very popular in the state even though she left office for the final time after the 2012 election.

Gerald, a activist lawyer from Providence is currently polling on nine points against Democratic Lt Governor Miles Leonard and Republican Martha Atkinson. "I am here today to proudly support Anderson for Governor. He is the ideal candidate, and I know as someone who did the job for sixteen years, he can do the job".

Atkins who is still highly loved by the liberal wing of the Democratic party, she did endorse Haydn Straus in 2018. Atkins who served as Governor between 1992 and 2000 and then from 2004 to 2012, this due to the term limits, as you can only serve two consecutive terms, but can serve again after a term's gap.

Rhode Island Governors
Billie Atkins (D) 1992-2000
Kenneth Dobson (D) 2000-2004
Billie Atkins (Independent Dem) 2004-2012* In 2004 Atkins ran as an Independent Democrat against Dobson the "official" Democratic candidate. In 2008 she returned to the Democratic Party.
Leon Stansberry (Dem) 2012-2020*Stansberry term limited (see above)
 
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Ah so, NJ likes to teeter between the two parties pretty evenly since the Kean administration. I know it went for Walken in 2010 and the 2017 election was extremely close.
 
Ah so, NJ likes to teeter between the two parties pretty evenly since the Kean administration. I know it went for Walken in 2010 and the 2017 election was extremely close.
New Jersey at the Presidential level pretty much votes with the winner since the Election Year change in 1986. It has only voted for the loser of the election once, in 2014 when it voted for Fitzsimmons. Walken carried the state by 88,009 votes just 2.04% in 2010.
 
BBC World News
6 August 2020
Indonesia: Incumbent President Bambang Nuruddin re-elected to second term

President Bambang Nuruddin (Roy Marten)

In Indonesia, President Bambang Nuruddin of the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) has been re-elected to a second term in office, defeating retired general Suyatno of the Golkar Party. Nuruddin is only the country's fourth president since independence, and the first to be elected in two consecutive democratic elections. However, Suyatno and his supporters allege that Wednesday's election was rigged by Nuruddin with the assistance of the Chinese government. Despite these claims, international observers have reported that the election was carried out freely and fairly. It is only the third such election in Indonesian history, with the first taking place in 2010 after international mediation of the government crisis between then-president Rahm Siguto and opposition leader Jusuf Kharis.

President Nuruddin has ordered police and security personnel into the streets of Jakarta in anticipation of Suyatno's supporters gathering in protest, and also of retaliation against Chinese Indonesians. In addition to pursuing closer diplomatic and economic ties with China, Nuruddin has voiced support for legal protection and recognition of Chinese Indonesians. Nuruddin's government, although placing a strong emphasis on Islamic traditionalism, has stood against the more nationalist tendencies of Suyatno and Golkar.

Nuruddin's victorious re-election campaign emphasized the strong and growing economy and protection of Islam, the religion observed by over 80% of the country's population. General Suyatno was also attacked for human rights violations carried out under his command during the Suharto presidency. The general focused on anti-China and anti-Chinese sentiment. He also promised to protect Islamic clerics, even though he was not seen as a strong traditionalist like the president. President Nuruddin prevailed with 58% of the vote.
 


Thursday, August 6th, 2020

American Bar Association says Franklin "well qualified" for Supreme Court

The American Bar Association (ABA) says Chief Judge Olivia Emmett Franklin is "well qualified" for the role of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. The organization's 15-member Standing Committee released its report on President Seaborn's nominee, unanimously ruling that she was "well qualified", the highest possible recommendation to the Senate.

The ABA grades judicial nominees in three areas: integrity, professional competence and judicial temperament. Nominees are then rated as either "well qualified", "qualified" or "unqualified" in each area.

The White House was pleased with the recommendation, Press Secretary Cassie Tatum said. Tatum reiterated the White House's desire for a "fair hearing" for Franklin in the Republican-controlled Senate when Congress returns from its August recess. Franklin is scheduled to meet with Senator Barbara Layton (R-NC) today in Raleigh, as part of the pre-hearing process. Layton will be only the second Republican to meet with Franklin, besides Brad Maxwell (R-SC), who represents Franklin's home state.

Since the ABA began evaluating judicial nominees in the 1950s, they have ruled that a vast majority of nominees are either "well qualified" or "qualified". To date, no Supreme Court nominee has yet earned a rating below "well qualified" (or its equivalent under previous systems the ABA used to evaluate judicial nominees).
 
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Thursday August 6th 2020

Breaking News Breaking News


Reports from Syrian TV: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is dead

Syrian TV is reporting in the last hour that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has died. It reports sources within the Iraqi Government. It is understood that Iraqi State controlled TV went off the air at around midday local time. It should be remembered that satellite dishes are banned in Iraq, and the stories are yet unconfirmed.

Huessein has only been seen in public twice in the past nine mouths, once in November and once in February. He didn't even attend his 83th birthday celebrations in Baghdad back in April. The Seaborn Administration will be following the events in Iraq closely in the coming hours. Saddam has been in office as President since 1979, and his youngest son Qusay is his designated successor, although no-one is certain what will happen if his death is true.
 
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Thursday August 6th 2020

Breaking News Breaking News

Iraqi State TV confirms death of Saddam Hussein, no news on successor

Iraqi state TV returned to the air briefly around 11.30 PM (local time) to confirm the death of President Saddam Hussein. An un-named spokesman appeared saying "Our beloved President Saddam has died. He will forever be in the hearts of the Iraqi people". It that was then replaced with patriotic songs and images of Saddam Hussein. No information was given on whom would be Saddam's successor.

Rumours broadcast on Syrian TV suggest that the Republican Guard has been seen on the streets of Baghdad and other cities such as Tikrit and Mosul. Tikrit is the hometown of Saddam, and the main powerbase of the Hussein family.
 
BBC World News
6 August 2020
Indonesia: Incumbent President Bambang Nuruddin re-elected to second term

President Bambang Nuruddin (Roy Marten)

In Indonesia, President Bambang Nuruddin of the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) has been re-elected to a second term in office, defeating retired general Suyatno of the Golkar Party. Nuruddin is only the country's fourth president since independence, and the first to be elected in two consecutive democratic elections. However, Suyatno and his supporters allege that Wednesday's election was rigged by Nuruddin with the assistance of the Chinese government. Despite these claims, international observers have reported that the election was carried out freely and fairly. It is only the third such election in Indonesian history, with the first taking place in 2010 after international mediation of the government crisis between then-president Rahm Siguto and opposition leader Jusuf Kharis.

President Nuruddin has ordered police and security personnel into the streets of Jakarta in anticipation of Suyatno's supporters gathering in protest, and also of retaliation against Chinese Indonesians. In addition to pursuing closer diplomatic and economic ties with China, Nuruddin has voiced support for legal protection and recognition of Chinese Indonesians. Nuruddin's government, although placing a strong emphasis on Islamic traditionalism, has stood against the more nationalist tendencies of Suyatno and Golkar.

Nuruddin's victorious re-election campaign emphasized the strong and growing economy and protection of Islam, the religion observed by over 80% of the country's population. General Suyatno was also attacked for human rights violations carried out under his command during the Suharto presidency. The general focused on anti-China and anti-Chinese sentiment. He also promised to protect Islamic clerics, even though he was not seen as a strong traditionalist like the president. President Nuruddin prevailed with 58% of the vote.
Is this the same guy who Josh and Toby struggled to find a translator for?
 
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Friday August 7th 2020

Breaking News Breaking News

Rasim Khalid al-Faruq declares himself Saddam Hussein's legal successor

In a statement broadcast on Iraqi state TV midday (local time) Rasim Khalid al-Faruq who was the Supervisor of the Iraqi Republican Guard and is son-in-law of Saddam Hussein being married to Saddam's daughter Rana has declared that he is the next President of Iraq.

al-Faruq appeared on the broadcast dressed in a grey suite, rather than military uniform praised Saddam Hussein before announcing "I have here, papers signed by President Hussein making me his legal successor. Qusay (Saddam's youngest son and believed to have been his designated successor) Hussein is under arrest for the misuse of state funds. The same applies to Uday Hussein. I ask all Iraqi's to remain calm. I also wish to speak to the United States of America, do not interfere in our initial affairs. I have no ambitions against your nation or any other as well".

Syrian TV announced that Republican Guard forces where in control of all major cities in the country. The only reported fighting in Baghdad was at "Saddam Hussein International Airport" but pictures broadcast shown later on state tv showed it in the hands of the Republican Guard.
 
Here is a biography on the new President of Iraq Rasim Khalid al-Faruq.

Rasim Khalid al-Faruq (born June 18, 1954) is an Iraqi general who is the current Supervisor of the Iraqi Republican Guard until declaring himself Saddam Hussein legal successor following his death on August 6th 2020. Khalid is a distant cousin and son-in-law of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, being married to Hussein's daughter Rana. He has served as a minister in the Iraqi government at various positions since the 1980s.

Khalid is known to have fought in the Iran-Iraq War, as well as having served as the overall Republican Guard commander during both the Persian Gulf War and subsequent Kurdish and Shi'a uprisings. He is also known to have been in charge of the country's destruction of its stockpile of weapons of mass destruction in the 1990s as noted by the 2005 United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission Report.

After Uday Hussein was replaced as heir apparent by his younger brother Qusay in 2000, it was rumored that Khalid would eventually emerge as the younger Hussein's top lieutenant. However, reports from Iraqi defectors say that the two men have fallen out after Khalid successfully convinced Saddam Hussein to avoid supporting Syrian dictator Jamil al-Hassan during the Syrian War.

Like many high-ranking members of the Iraqi regime, Khalid has been accused of ordering or perpetrating numerous human rights violations including mass killings, torture and ethnic cleansing.



Photo by: Igal Naor
 
Note:
Rasim Khalid al-Faruq is a fictional character based on Saddam Kamel Hassan al-Majid who in the real world was married to Saddam's daughter Rana, and his brother Hussein Kamel Hassan al-Majid.
(Thanks to @lord caedus for the biography & photo)
 

CalBear

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GNN International

White House, Region Reacts To Death Of Hussein

Washington-President Seaborne issued a statement regarding the death of Saddam Hussein and the sudden emergence of Rasim Khalid al-Faruq as the former leader's self-designated successor, urging caution and restraint on al-Faruq's part as he apparently has begun consolidating power by placing Saddam's sons under arrest and placing Republican Guard forces on the streets of Baghdad and other major cities in Iraq.
"While we welcome the peaceful transfer of power in Iraq, I hope that acting president al-Faruq continues to respect existing laws and treaties with other countries, including the United States. Contrary to what Mr. al-Faruq might have said, we have no intention of interfering in Iraq's affairs and hope to continue a diplomatic dialogue with the Iraqi people."
Iraq's neighbors-particularly Iran-expressed varying degrees of concern and optimism over the changeover, as the Iranian government expressed hope for improved relations with its former foe. The government of the Persian Republic seemed to express more concern as its assembly met to debate the issue of diplomatic outreach to Iraq and continuing talks with both Iran and Saudi Arabia over the issue of the Strait of Hormuz.
Since the creators of this thread and joint timeline have requested that any posts involving the United States be approved in advance, please do so.
 
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Saturday August 8th 2020

Iraqi State TV goes back on air & confirms Ba'ath party vote to confirm Rasim Khalid al-Faruq as President

Iraqi state TV restarted broadcasting at 10.am (local time) Saturday as it confirmed that Rasim Khalid al-Faruq is the nations new President following the death of Saddam Hussein on Thursday, following a "unanimous vote" of the Ba'ath party.
It also confirmed that Saddam has had a "private funeral according to Sunni tradition" and has been buried at his birthplace of Al-Awja in Tikrit.
No further information has been broadcast about the make up of the new Government, only that both Qusay and Uday Hussein are "under arrest for the misuse of state funds and treason against the Iraqi people". Sources in Syria claim that two of Qusay son's, Mustapha (31) and Yahya (29) avoided arrest following an attempt to seize them in Baghdad on Thursday, they are believed to have fled with their current location unknown.
 
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Sunday, August 9th 2020

White House condemns Iraq coup, reiterates support for "peaceful transition to democracy"

New York City
— Three days after reports of a coup following the death of longtime President Saddam Hussein of Iraq, the White House has weighed in, condemning the coup and reiterating the United States' support for a "peaceful transition to democracy" in Iraq.

"While we do not mourn the death of the late president Saddam Hussein, a man who slaughtered millions of his own countrymen, the United States does not support the violent seizure of power," Ambassador to the United Nations Paris Stray said in a statement at the United Nations building in New York. "The position of the United States government remains unchanged; we urge President Khalid to take steps to ensure a peaceful democratic transition so that the Iraqi people can decide their own future."

Ambassador Stray similarly remarked that the United States remained committed to its allies and treaty obligations in the region—a veiled reference to Saudi Arabia, Qumar and the Holy Land, where the United States has pledged to aid any of the three states therein (Israel, Palestine and the Holy City of Jerusalem) in the event of a military attack as part of the Ankara Agreement.

President Sam Seaborn has not yet made a statement on the coup, which saw Hussein's son-in-law Rasim Khalid al-Faruq seize power and arrest Hussein loyalists, including his youngest son and previous heir apparent, Qusay Hussein, after Hussein's death was announced on Thursday. The stated policy of the United States since President Owen Lassiter signed the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998 is to "support efforts to remove the regime of Saddam Hussein from power by supporting democratic movements [in Iraq]." Lassiter's successor, Josiah Bartlet, issued an executive order that denied the use of the act to justify American military intervention in Iraq "except as directed by resolutions of the United Nations Security Council." None of Bartlet's successors, all of whom inherited other military conflicts upon entering office, have revoked the order or modified it.

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Sunday August 9th, 2020

Rare three-corner race in district of controversial GOP Rep. Daniel Wellsley

Ahead of what is likely to be a rejection by the Supreme Court of Colorado, the campaign of Congressman Daniel Wellsley (R) has withdrawn its legal challenge of independent Randy Foster's candidacy in this year's race for Colorado's fifth congressional seat, setting up a rare three-corner contest between Wellsley, Foster, and Democratic challenger J.R. Schultz.

Wellsley, perhaps the most controversial member of the House of Representatives, had challenged Foster's candidacy because of Foster's proclamation that he would "join the Republican caucus" if elected, filing a legal challenge that Foster was committing electoral fraud.

"Primary voters [in Colorado's fifth district] voted for Congressman Wellsley to be the nominee of the Republican Party," the Wellsley campaign's legal brief argued. "Proclamations and campaign literature distributed by Mr. Foster seeks to confuse voters as to who the legitimate nominee of the Republican Party is in this race, a clear violation of both state and federal election law."

Foster, a businessman and former Republican state senator, joined the race after Wellsley won renomination for his seat, despite several national political action committees sending funds to his main challenger, state senator Curtis Halls. His campaign announcement highlighted his conservative bona fides, and slammed Wellsley for "sullying the name of the Republican Party."

"The party of Lincoln, Eisenhower and Lassiter should never be associated with a former Klansman who was tried for a multiple murder," Foster said, alluding to Wellsley's past, including his 1999 trial for the murder of four LGBT people outside a Colorado gay bar (he was found not guilty on both murder and hate crime charges). "I will stand up for conservative values, including treating all Americans with dignity and respect."

Colorado's fifth district is the most conservative in the state, centered around Colorado Springs and its suburbs. Wellsley has represented it since 2006 and has safely won reelection since then, despite his past and stridently anti-gay remarks that occasionally venture into hate speech. He won nearly 70% of the vote in 2018, but with Republicans poised to retake the House for the first time since 2007, national leaders have begun to distance themselves from him--most visibly, House Minority Whip Andrew Casey (R-NY) appeared at a fundraiser for his primary opponent (Casey's office said that the congressman stopped by briefly to "greet old family friends" on his way to another GOP fundraiser in Denver).
 
OOC: While Congress is out of session and the Seaborn administration takes a breather (in between international crises, of course), here's some non-person infoboxes:


  • I didn't get around to formally putting Hessani in as Qumar's first (official) president, so this will have to do.

    The insignia was inspired by one posted in the old thread of the faravahar as Qumar's symbol, but modified (since Qumar isn't Zoroastrian) to resemble the Hawk of Quraish with the top text being the shahada while the bottom just says "Republic of Qumar" in Arabic.

  • Layton v. Kansas, is of course the decision that legalized same-sex marriage throughout the US ITTL. Most of this was covered earlier, but United States v. Wettin is TTL's answer to United States v. Windsor (a small joke based on "Wettin" being what the British royal family's surname would be as descendants of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert if the royal family hadn't gone for Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and later Windsor)

  • I realized that we'd written ourselves into a corner by having both the Montreal Expos and their OTL successor team, the Washington Nationals, established as being active simultaneously. My best solution is that the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (IOTL they are now simply the "Rays") took the place of the Expos and moved after being bought by new ownership in 2007 (IOTL, the new ownership was responsible for rebranding the team and saw them post their first winning season after a decade of losing records).

    Since the Rays are in the American League, this means the Nationals ITTL are as well. Luckily they don't need to move divisions after moving from Tampa, so they're in the AL East alongside the Blue Jays, Orioles, Red Sox and Yankees.

  • Blame the lack of OTL Olympics for why I didn't do really any coverage of the Olympics as they were going on. Suffice to say that everyone (except the boycotting Armenian athletes and those who stood with them) had a good time and some of them even got shiny medals because they did so well.

    The logo and motto are taken from Istanbul's OTL candidate bid for the games. The list of previous Summer games is here (locations for 2024 & 2028 are here), while the Winter Games list is here. Yerlikaya is a two-time gold medalist in wrestling (IOTL he won his medals in the 1996 Athens and 2000 Beijing games instead of the OTL Atlanta and OTL Sydney games)
 


Sunday, 16 August 2020

Tuleev says Russia attempting to interfere in election

President Erik Tuleev of Kazakhstan in a wide-ranging interview with the BBC said that he believes Russia is attempting to intervene in the upcoming presidential election.

Tuleev, who is the first president to be elected in free and fair elections since Kazakhstan became independent in 1991 and is ineligible to run in this year's election due to term limits, said that he had "only little bits" of proof that both the Russian government is attempting to influence the election of his successor. "I cannot say publicly what information has been shared with me by intelligence services, but it is clear that Russia has been trying to intervene in the election."

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Fyodor Avodin called the allegations "outrageous" and "a disgusting attempt to scapegoat [ethnic] Russians ahead of elections".

The president of Kazakhstan has had a contentious relationship with Russia even after the Antwerp Plan restored full Kazakh sovereignty in 2010. In 2015, a Russian political crisis nearly led to a second intervention by Russia and China before it was resolved. The completion of an oil pipeline to the People's Republic of China in 2016 has further complicated Russo-Kazakh relations, in spite of Russian President Natalya Romanova's more conciliatory approach to the country, including a formal apology to the Kazakh people for the Soviet Union's "reckless" nuclear testing at the Semipalatinsk Test Site in northeastern Kazakhstan that exposed an estimated 200,000 people to nuclear fallout from Soviet nuclear tests between 1949 and 1989 (a joint American-Kazakh-Russian task force completed cleanup of the decommissioned site in 2018).

Foreign Secretary Fiona Wallace said that the government "is closely monitoring" the conduct of elections in Kazakhstan, along with other members of NATO, including the United States. She declined to comment on whether the government could confirm or disprove Tuleev's allegations of Russian interference.

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Sunday, August 16th 2020

International reaction split on Sawahili's proposed reform

Jerusalem
— The international community had a mixed reaction to the proposal by President Ben Sawahili of the Holy City of Jerusalem that would enshrine religious power-sharing in the city-state. Sawahili, who is term-limited from running in next year's presidential elections, proposed a referendum to the city's inhabitants that would create the position of "deputy president" who would be required to be a member of the "largest religious group that is not currently represented by the President." Sawahili, an Arab Christian who previously served as mayor of the city while it was under Israeli control, said that the importance of "power-sharing, and religious tolerance must be the components of a strong and stable Free City."

Christians make up only two percent of Jerusalem's population, with the majority (60 percent) of the city's residents identifying as Jews, and most of the remainder (37 percent) as Muslims. With the city split until 2011 between areas formerly claimed by Israel and Palestine, religious and civic leaders in the capital have worried that without another candidate acceptable to both the city's Jewish majority and its Muslim minority, ethnic and religious tensions that have remained largely dormant during Sawahili's term will begin to erupt again as the campaign to elect his successor begins next year.

Both Israeli prime minister Gilad Doron and Palestinian president Umar Hastan have extended their support to the proposals, a necessity for submitting any proposal that would alter the system of government in the Holy City under its Charter. But in spite of the support of all three states in the Holy Land, some world leaders have raised the specter of increased religious factionalism if the religions of specific candidates is enshrined into law. French president Giselle Trenier, the most vocal skeptic, said that it would be "troublesome for the future of peace in the Holy Land" if Jerusalemites were encouraged to vote for candidates on a religious basis.

"I cannot see this proposal as a lasting or wise solution." Trenier said in a statement to ACN.

On the opposite side, both US president Sam Seaborn and UK prime minister Richard Samuels have expressed their support for what Seaborn said was a "cross-faith proposal to prevent any one group from monopolizing power in the city that is holy to three of the largest religions in the world", while Samuels pointed to the solution's similarities to the power-sharing agreements in Northern Ireland, which the prime minister said has "resulted in nearly a quarter-century of peace" between Catholics and Protestants.
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Sunday August 16th, 2020

Staub says Senate Republicans would be "incredibly foolish" to reject Franklin nomination

Retired chief justice Henry Staub made a rare return to the media spotlight after he opined that it would be "incredibly foolish" for the Republican-controlled Senate to reject the nomination of Olivia Emmett Franklin for the Supreme Court.

Staub, who was appointed as the nation's first African-American chief justice by Acting President George P. Bush in 1986, said in an interview with his hometown Richmond Times-Dispatch that he did not see any compelling rationale to reject President Sam Seaborn's nominee, the first African-American nominee since Staub himself, for the Supreme Court.

"I've spoken with Chief Judge Franklin briefly, and am familiar with her legal writing," Staub said. "I don't see any reason why she shouldn't be on the Court, even if I disagree with her interpretation [of the Constitution] in several areas." The retired chief justice also agreed that it was time that another African-American serve on the Supreme Court, and cited polls showing that most Americans were similarly supportive of a more racially-balanced Supreme Court.

Staub served as chief justice until his retirement in 1992, and unlike most retired Supreme Court justices, has not remained active in appellate courts. The 85 year-old has enjoyed what he called a "long retirement" with his wife Nadia, and has remained active in his church and in civic organizations. He is known as perhaps one of the strongest opponents of Roe v. Wade appointed to the Court, and his failure to completely strike down that case played a large part in his decision to retire from the bench after only six years as chief.
 
Kick
GNN International
Mexican Elections Signal Shift


Mexico City-legislative elections held throughout Mexico this week have signaled a strong shift away from PAN and the PRI towards Morena and a recently formed coalition of groups with varied ideologies that all represent an independent or populist outlook. The coalition scored wins in the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, while the President's official platform continued to reflect that of PAN in the wake of continued cartel violence that now affects Mexico's affluent neighborhoods and resorts to the point where the Army has been called up to give assistance to the police in those areas, an arrangement that some of the President's critics say has been rife with corruption and collusion with the same cartel leaders they are charged with arresting.
"Hopefully the elections will send a message to the President that the status quo of looking the other way or trying to otherwise ignore the cartels has not worked," one of the coalition's leading spokespersons said on Telemundo. "While it is true that the economy has improved greatly, our safety as well as our liberty also matter."
Outside observers from both the United Nations and Mexico's neighbors have concluded that the elections have been mostly fair, despite allegations of vote-rigging and "widespread cheating" by both PAN and the PRI, a claim that has been dismissed by one of the senators who recently won reelection with the coalition's support.
"The PRI are still sore after no longer being the only game in Mexican politics for decades," she said in a statement through her press office. "Real change has come to our country."
 

CalBear

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GNN International
Mexican Elections Signal Shift


Mexico City-legislative elections held throughout Mexico this week have signaled a strong shift away from PAN and the PRI towards Morena and a recently formed coalition of groups with varied ideologies that all represent an independent or populist outlook. The coalition scored wins in the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, while the President's official platform continued to reflect that of PAN in the wake of continued cartel violence that now affects Mexico's affluent neighborhoods and resorts to the point where the Army has been called up to give assistance to the police in those areas, an arrangement that some of the President's critics say has been rife with corruption and collusion with the same cartel leaders they are charged with arresting.
"Hopefully the elections will send a message to the President that the status quo of looking the other way or trying to otherwise ignore the cartels has not worked," one of the coalition's leading spokespersons said on Telemundo. "While it is true that the economy has improved greatly, our safety as well as our liberty also matter."
Outside observers from both the United Nations and Mexico's neighbors have concluded that the elections have been mostly fair, despite allegations of vote-rigging and "widespread cheating" by both PAN and the PRI, a claim that has been dismissed by one of the senators who recently won reelection with the coalition's support.
"The PRI are still sore after no longer being the only game in Mexican politics for decades," she said in a statement through her press office. "Real change has come to our country."
Well, don't say you were not warned (you were, twice, by me, last time was on August 7th).

The OP_ of the thread have made crystal clear (and for that matter so have I) that these sorts of additions need to be approved before they are posted. See post # 2,126.

Kicked for a week.
 
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