Tag Archives: Elections

US seeks UN draft resolution calling for Venezuela elections

US seeks UN draft resolution calling for Venezuela electionsThe United States has presented a draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council calling for international aid deliveries and a presidential vote in Venezuela, triggering a Russian counter-proposal. While no date has yet been set for a vote on the American draft, and negotiations are ongoing, Russia is likely to use its veto power to block it as part of its support of Nicolas Maduro’s regime, diplomats said.



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Venezuela set for another round of protests as Maduro rules out fresh elections

Venezuela set for another round of protests as Maduro rules out fresh electionsVenezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said he was prepared to hold negotiations with the US-backed opposition but ruled out early presidential elections as Caracas braced itself for fresh street protests. "I am ready to sit down at the negotiating table with the opposition so that we could talk for the good of Venezuela," Maduro told the Russian state news agency in an interview in Caracas. Last week the oil-rich but economically devastated Latin American country was plunged into uncertainty when the US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself "acting president". The United States, a dozen Latin American countries and Canada have recognised Guaido as interim president, while China and Russia - Venezuela's two main creditors – have urged non-interference. Support for Venezuela leadership In the interview with RIA Novosti, Maduro also said he would support early parliamentary elections. "It would be very good to conduct parliamentary elections at an earlier stage, it would be a good form of political discussion," Maduro said. At the same time he dismissed the possibility of holding a new presidential poll any time soon. "Presidential elections in Venezuela have taken place, and if imperialists want new elections let them wait until 2025," he said in an apparent reference to Washington. Guaido called for more protests on Wednesday and a mass march on the weekend, in a bid to keep up pressure on Maduro in the streets. Wednesday's action would not be a major march, but a series of small concentrations, Guaido said. The UN human rights office said the protests had so far led to the deaths of more than 40 people. Maduro has been in charge since 2013 but his re-election in May was branded illegitimate by the European Union, United States and Organization of American States. Students walk past a painting of US President Donald Trump on a wall in Caracas Credit:  JUAN BARRETO/AFP The embattled leader also implied he was firmly in charge of the army whose support is crucial. "I am carrying out my duties as commander-in-chief according to the Constitution consolidating the national Bolivarian armed forces," he said. "And the Bolivarian armed forces are demonstrating a lesson in ethics, loyalty and discipline." Maduro also claimed that US President Donald Trump had ordered the government of Colombia to assassinate him. "If something happens to me one day then Donald Trump and Colombian President Ivan Duque will be responsible for everything that is happening to me," he said, adding however that he was in good hands. "At the same time, I am protected. We have a good system of defence in place and moreover, we have more significant protection – this is protection from God who will give me a long life," Maduro added. Russia has denounced the opposition's "usurpation of power", calling Maduro the crisis-hit country's legitimate leader. Russia and Venezuela have a long history of ties and Maduro's predecessor Hugo Chavez, known for his tirades against the United States, was a welcome guest at the Kremlin.



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EU to 'take further actions' if new elections not called in Venezuela: Mogherini

EU to 'take further actions' if new elections not called in Venezuela: MogheriniThe European Union “will take further actions” if new elections are not called in Venezuela in the coming days, EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said on Saturday, as international pressure grows on embattled Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro. “In the absence of an announcement on the organisation of fresh elections with the necessary guarantees over the next days, the EU will take further actions, including on the issue of recognition of the country’s leadership,” Mogherini said.



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Trump had conversations on Moscow tower up to the 2016 US elections: lawyer

Trump had conversations on Moscow tower up to the 2016 US elections: lawyerUS President Donald Trump had conversations about a proposed project to build a Trump Tower in Moscow throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, far later than previously acknowledged, his lawyer said Sunday. Trump’s conversations with his then personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, who was spearheading the negotiations in Moscow, continued throughout the year until October or November 2016, Rudy Giuliani said.



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In third year, U.S. women's marches turn to 2020 elections

In third year, U.S. women's marches turn to 2020 electionsMillions of people took part in the women’s marches in Washington and other cities in the United States and abroad on Jan. 21, 2017, the day after the Republican president was sworn in. Vanessa Wruble, a co-founder of the original Women’s March on Washington who left to start March On, a separate grassroots coalition, said the movement has evolved from being a reaction to Trump’s presidency. Women’s March, a national nonprofit organization that evolved from the initial Washington march, is using its #WomensWave marches in Washington and elsewhere on Saturday to roll out a 10-part policy platform that includes raising the federal minimum wage and protecting reproductive rights.



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Lawmakers override veto of North Carolina elections bill

Lawmakers override veto of North Carolina elections billRALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — With Republicans' veto-proof majority ending in days, the North Carolina legislature on Thursday overrode the Democratic governor's veto of legislation that would keep campaign finance investigations confidential and allow the GOP to possibly dump their nominee in a still-undecided U.S. House race marred with ballot fraud allegations.



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Netanyahu Coalition to Dissolve, Elections Called for April

Netanyahu Coalition to Dissolve, Elections Called for AprilCoalition faction leaders voted unanimously Monday to dissolve parliament and call early elections for April 9. Elections originally were scheduled for November 2019, but no Israeli coalition in the past 30 years has served out its term. Speculation has been rife for months that the current government would fall, too, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces multiple corruption allegations.



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Israel coalition leaders agree on early elections in April: spokesman

Israel coalition leaders agree on early elections in April: spokesmanIsraeli coalition leaders agreed Monday to hold early elections in April, seven months before they are due, a statement issued on their behalf said. Coalition party heads in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government have decided to dissolve parliament and hold elections in early April “in the name of budgetary and national responsibility,” the statement distributed by a spokesman for Netanyahu’s Likud party said. The decision comes with the coalition struggling to agree on a key bill related to ultra-Orthodox Jews serving in the military like their secular counterparts.



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Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska accused of interfering in Montenegro's elections

Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska accused of interfering in Montenegro's electionsOleg Deripaska, the Russian oligarch, was yesterday accused by the United States of working with a former Kremlin intelligence officer to interfere in Montenegro’s 2016 elections. The US Treasury announced sanctions against Victor Alekseyevich Boyarkin, once a member of Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency but now working for Mr Deripaska, according to the department. The Treasury said that Mr Boyarkin “reported directly to Deripaska and has led business negotiations on Deripaska’s behalf”. It added: “Deripaska and Boyarkin were involved in providing Russian financial support to a Montenegrin political party ahead of Montenegro’s 2016 elections.” That election, it has been alleged, featured an assassination attempt on the country’s prime minister by the pro-Russian opposition to stop its accession to Nato. Russia has denied involvement, and it is not suggested Mr Deripaska or Mr Boyarkin were involved in the attempt. The plot, reported extensively by The Daily Telegraph last year, has become a focal point for Western fears about Russian election meddling and led to legal action being taken against leaders of the Montenegrin opposition and two Russian nationals. Mr Deripaska at the World Economic Forum Credit: Reuters Mr Deripaska is one of Russia’s best-known businessmen and was head of the aluminium companies EN+ and Rusal until earlier this year. He is a well-known figure in London where he floated EN+, raising more than £1 billion, and is believed to own several properties. He once had links at the top of British politics, infamously hosting Lord Mandelson and George Osborne on his yacht in 2008. The US action is likely to increase pressure on Theresa May, the Prime Minister, who has vowed to take action against Russian oligarchs in the UK in the wake of the Skripal poisoning. The Telegraph reported earlier this month that Mr Deripaska was on a list of Russians to be targeted by British intelligence in a campaign to disrupt Vladimir Putin. This newspaper has previously asked about links between Mr Deripaska’s company Rusal and the former GRU officer. A spokesman for the company said at the time that Mr Boyarkin was no longer a Rusal employee. The US Treasury sanctioned Mr Deripaska in April 2016, claiming he “acted or purported to act for” a senior official in the Russian government. It also took action against EN+. Russian President Vladimir Putin (L), Nizhny Novgorod region Governor Valeriy Shantsev (C) and billionaire Oleg Deripaska (R) examine a new Gazon Next vehicle Credit: Getty Images Europe Yesterday, the department announced that it would be dropping sanctions against three companies linked to Mr Deripaska: En+, Rusal and JSC EuroSibEnergo. Steven Mnuchin, the US Treasury secretary, said: “Treasury sanctioned these companies because of their ownership and control by sanctioned Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, not for the conduct of the companies themselves. These companies have committed to significantly diminish Deripaska’s ownership and sever his control. The companies will be subject to ongoing compliance and will face severe consequences if they fail to comply.” The action was taken following fierce lobbying in Washington DC led in part by Lord Barker of Battle, the former Tory climate change minister who is chairman of EN+. Mr Deripaska’s agreement with the US Treasury department includes cutting his direct and indirect share ownership below 50 per cent in each company and overhauling the boards of En+ and Rusal. The sanctions spooked the energy markets, with Rusal seeing its value plummet since being targeted. Congress could yet block the Treasury’s lifting of sanctions and has 30 days in which to call a vote. At the same time as lifting the sanctions on Mr Deripaska’s companies, the US Treasury imposed punishments on several new Russian figures. They included Russian military intelligence operatives over the US election meddling, and Mr Boyarkin, who will have any assets in US financial institutions frozen. Banks dealing in dollars or companies trading in the US will also not be allowed to work with Mr Boyarkin. The Treasury cited an executive order which takes action against those working on behalf of senior Russian government officials in justifying its move. Donald Trump joined Britain in expelling Russian diplomats over the Skripal incident but has repeatedly appeared reluctant to publicly criticise the Russian president, though his administration has pushed ahead with sanctions. The alleged coup plot during Montenegro’s elections in 2016 remains, in the eyes of Kremlin critics, one of the most shocking examples of Russian election meddling. Members of the pro-Russian Montenegrin opposition were accused of planning with factions close to the Kremlin an attack on the country’s parliament and trying to kill Milo Djukanovic, the prime minister. It was seen as a last ditch attempt to stop Montenegro joining Nato. The plot was foiled and its alleged leaders put on trial. Montenegro went on to join Nato. This newspaper approached representatives at En+, Rusal and JSC EuroSibEnergo for a comment from Mr Deripaska or Mr Boyarkin but did not receive a response.     



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Mattis reveals Russian government attempted to interfere in U.S. midterm elections

Mattis reveals Russian government attempted to interfere in U.S. midterm electionsDefense Secretary James Mattis revealed that the Russian government attempted to interfere in the U.S. midterm elections last month during remarks at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, CA.



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