Bolivia's Socialists Claiming Election Win
The Deciport Daily Quick-Look: 19 October 2020
FILE PHOTO: REUTERS
Unofficial count has socialist candidate set to win.
Political // BLUF: Bolivia's socialist candidate Luis Acre looks set to win the country's presidential election, putting the leftwing party of Evo Morales on the brink of returning to power.
Bolivia saw bloody protests last year as the 2019 election results were annulled, after allegations of vote rigging lead to Evo Morales quitting after nearly 14 years in power.
Jeanine Anez, the conservative interim President who took over in a power vacuum last year, had reportedly said that it appeared Arce was the election winner and offered her congratulations.; according to Reuters.
(See Point 1 Below for Further Information)
The Daily Quick-Look for 19 October 2020
The Deciport Daily Quick-Look is your at-a-glance look at several key events and situations around the world over the last 24 hours. Each headline contains the link to its source report.
BLUF = Bottom Line Up Front.
FYSA = For Your Situational Awareness.
1. BOLIVIA - Political: Bolivia's socialists claim victory as unofficial count shows big win
FYSA: Bolivia’s socialist candidate Luis Arce looks set to win the country’s presidential election without the need for a run-off, an unofficial count indicated on Monday, putting the leftwing party of Evo Morales on the brink of a return to power. The quick-count from pollster Ciesmori, released by Bolivian TV channel Unitel around midnight on Sunday, showed Arce had 52.4% of valid votes, more than 20 percentage points above the second place centrist rival Carlos Mesa, who had 31.5%. The official count had reached just 5% of votes cast, and exit polls had been delayed hours after polls closed, leaving Bolivians in the dark about the election result. A candidate needs 40% of the votes and a 10-point lead to win outright. “All the data known so far indicate that there has been a victory for the Movement towards Socialism,” Morales, who handpicked Arce and has been closely advising the campaign, said in a press conference in Buenos Aires. Arce, a former economy minister under Morales, sounded confident of victory without explicitly claiming the win at his own press conference shortly after midnight in the Bolivian capital La Paz. “We are going to work, and we will resume the process of change without hate,” Arce told reporters. “We will learn and we will overcome the mistakes we’ve made (before) as the Movement Toward Socialism party”. Conducted amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Sunday’s poll was regarded as a test of democracy in the Andean nation after last year’s election was annulled after allegations of vote rigging, which sparked bloody protests and led to Morales quitting after almost 14 years in power. (Reuters. See link in heading for further reading)
2. NEW ZEALAND - Political: Canterbury University's China expert gagged over complaints
FYSA: Canterbury University China expert Professor Anne-Marie Brady has been gagged by her employer while a review into her research proceeds. The review conducted by two academics and two members of the university’s council began in August after Brady’s paper – Holding a Pen in One Hand and Gripping a Gun in the Other – sparked complaints from two New Zealand universities and several individual academics. The paper outlined how universities, academics and businesses could be inadvertently helping the Chinese Community Party by collaborating with Chinese agencies in hi-tech research. Her lawyer, Stephen Franks, said Brady had been told not to comment publicly on the claims and complaints, apparently to protect her privacy. He said she had waived the privacy concern but still felt she could not respond to the complaints publicly. Disputes in academia were common and normally resolved through public rebuttals that then resulted in public corrections if justified, he said. “We are still trying to work out exactly what she must answer. We want to know how the review is a legitimate exercise of the university’s authority.” Until Brady understood where the university was heading with the review, it was difficult to provide responses by the deadlines provided, he said. The academic’s battle with her own university over the article has attracted international attention with recent articles on her troubles published in the Australian Financial Review and British newspaper The Times. Brady, whose research into the Chinese Government’s efforts to influence Western democracies has won her international recognition, presented the paper as a supplementary submission to Parliament’s justice select committee earlier this year. The paper, co-authored by Jichang Lulu and Sam Pheloung, was also published on the Washington-based Wilson Center think tank website. The paper shows how New Zealand universities and hi-tech companies are linked to Chinese universities and companies and how they could be assisting technology transfer useful to the Chinese military. Brady says China has an international technology transfer strategy that includes academic exchanges, investment in foreign companies, espionage and hacking. Franks said disciplinary action against Brady was possible but that was the worst-case scenario. Canterbury University has previously declined to discuss the review and could not respond to questions before deadline. (Stuff. See link in heading for further reading)
3. NEW ZEALAND - Political: New Zealand's next parliament is set to be the most diverse ever
FYSA: New Zealand’s next parliament is set to be the most inclusive ever, with several people of colour, members from the rainbow communities and a high number of women. The ruling Labour Party was handed a resounding mandate in the election over the weekend, as voters rewarded Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for her decisive response to COVID-19. Although Ardern has the numbers to govern alone, she is in talks with former ally the Green Party to build a wider consensus. Labour won 64 of the 120 parliamentary seats, and more than half of those are female candidates. It also has 16 indigenous Maori MPs, the first leader of African origin, Ibrahim Omar, and Vanushi Walters of Sri Lankan origin. “This is the most diverse parliament we have ever had in terms of gender, and minority ethnic and indigenous representation,” said Professor Paul Spoonley from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Massey University. Its also expected to be the most rainbow representative parliament system in the world, with about 10% of the members in the 120-seat house being openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. This includes prominent leaders like Finance Minister Grant Robertson who is openly gay. The Greens surprisingly won as many as 10 seats in parliament and a majority of them are women, indigenous leaders or LGBTQ+. The majority of the new MPs elected into parliament are also much younger and many of them are millennials, Spoonley said. “What we have seen is a departure of many of the older, male, white MPs including some who have been in parliament for over 30 years,” said Spoonley. Ardern herself arrived onto the global scene in 2017 when she became the world’s youngest female head of government at the age of 37. The 40-year-old leader is feted globally as a progressive leader, who is a champion for woman’s rights, equality and inclusivity. (Reuters. See link in heading for further reading)
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