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Bulgarians Vote In Snap Election

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bulgaria election

Bulgarians are voting in a tight and tense snap election, marred by accusations of rigging and is expected to result in political stalemate and fresh protests in the EU’s poorest member.

The country’s 6.9 million eligible voters are choosing between the candidates of 36 parties in Sunday’s parliamentary elections.

Voter apathy is widespread in a campaign that has also been overshadowed by an illegal wiretapping scandal and allegations of fraud. Turnout is expected to be under 50 percent.

Former bodyguard and ex-premier Boyko Borisov’s conservative GERB party was tipped to win the most votes, even though the biggest demonstrations in 16 years forced his government to resign only three months ago.

Last-minute opinion polls however gave GERB just 29 to 35 percent of the vote, well short of a majority and nowhere near enough for a repeat of Borisov’s previous minority government when his party was just four seats short of a being able to govern alone.

The polls showed the socialist BSP party snapping at GERB’s heels on 25 to 32 percent, with some surveys putting them neck-and-neck and even suggesting the BSP might pull off a surprise, if slim, victory.

Either way, this will leave either party the tough task of fishing for coalition partners in a severely fragmented parliament that might include up to five other parties.

The run up to the election has been overshadowed by scandals.

On Saturday, authorities stormed a printing house and seized 350,000 illegally printed ballots.

The seizure sparked accusations of fraud by the opposition against Borisov.

Socialist party leader Sergey Stanishev said that the discovery was preparation for total falsification of the elections, which he said corresponded to 10 percent of the expected turnout and ensure about 25 politicians’ seats.

“This is a scandal unseen in Bulgaria so far,” Stanishev said.

As he voted on Sunday in Sofia, he said: “I am ashamed as a Bulgarian and this is why we took all possible measures to overcome this forgery and not to let it happen any time in the future because this is not European.”
The papers in Kostinbrod, 15km northwest of Sofia, the capital, exceeded the number that the privately owned printing company Multiprint was under contract to print.

Elsewhere, the election campaign was marred by revelations of illegal wiretapping of politicians, with prosecutors alleging that Tsvetan Tsvetanov, the former interior minister, was responsible for illegally eavesdropping on political opponents during his term.

The scandal deepened as wiretaps leaked in the media revealed that Borisov allegedly had summoned Sofia’s chief prosecutor to discuss details of the bribery probe, leading to suspicions of government interference.

More than 250 international observers will be monitoring Sunday’s election.

Asked about the forged ballot papers the leader of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s observer delegation said they were waiting for an official investigation.

“It’s not for us to investigate these matters. It is for the Bulgarian authorities, but we will be interested in their assessment of the situation and how they deal with the matter as reported,” Eoghan Murphy said.

Opinion polls suggest that the eavesdropping scandal has further eroded support for the former ruling party.

A party needs to garner more than 43 percent of the actual votes to hold a parliamentary majority. [ALJazeera]

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US Election: Trump Claims Victory Hours After Saying Biden Won

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US Election: Trump Claims Victory Hours After Saying Biden Won

Donald Trump

The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has declared himself the winner of the US Election 2020.

President Trump declared himself the winner of the US election in a tweet on Monday morning, November 16 by simply tweeting: “I won the election.”

Also Read: US election: Trump says Biden won but again refuses to concede

This came hours after he tweeted that his opponent Joe Biden “won because the election was rigged.”

The latest vote tallies project Democratic candidate, Biden a clear winner in the state-by-state Electoral College that decides the presidency, with 306 votes against Trump’s 232.

However, President Trump has remained defiant, continuously claiming he won the election free and fair.

US election: Trump claims victory hours after saying Biden won

 

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Former Ghana President, Jerry Rawlings Is Dead

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Former Ghana President, Jerry Rawlings Is Dead

Jerry Rawlings

Jerry Rawlings, a former Ghanaian president has reportedly died from suspected COVID-19 complications.

The former Ghanaian leader died at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, capital of Ghana on Thursday morning.

Rawlings led the country first as a military ruler and then as a democratically elected president between 1981 and 2001.

Also Read: FG Owes 3,504 Contractors, Fashola Tells National Assembly

Rawlings initially rose to power in Ghana as a flight lieutenant in the Ghana Air Force, following a coup détat in 1979.

After initially handing power over to a civilian government, he took control again in December 1981 as Head of State.

He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years.

Rawlings left office in 2000 after exhausting Ghana’s constitutional term-limit of eight years for Presidents.

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US Election Is Far From Over — Trump

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US Election Is Far From Over — Trump

Donald Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump has refused to concede after his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, secured the required number of electoral college votes to win the presidential race.

Shortly after Biden was projected winner, Trump in a defiant statement expressed that the election was “far from over” and criticised Biden for “rushing to falsely pose as the winner.”

“Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor.

Also Read: Joe Biden Defeats Trump To Win US Presidential Election

“Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media.

“Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.

“The American people are entitled to an honest election, that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots,” Trump said.

 

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