After a tense Monday during which both candidates declared victory and accused the other of fraud, it appears that Jean-François Copé (pictured above) has emerged as the presumptive leader of the French right.
With just a 98-vote margin, Copé won the election for general secretary of the center-right Union pour un mouvement populaire (UMP, Union for a popular movement) of former president Nicolas Sarkozy, after an election held among UMP members on November 18. Copé defeated former prime minister François Fillon by about 50.03% to 49.97%.
Although Copé has served as general secretary since 2010, this election has taken on significant importance as a proxy fight not only for the upper hand to win the UMP’s 2017 presidential nomination, but as a proxy fight for the future of the French right. Fillon, a cosmopolitan and relatively moderate figure, was viewed by the French public as more serious about government than Sarkozy, and it was Fillon who pushed through many of Sarkozy’s reforms as the head of his government. Fillon, generally speaking, is more popular among the French electorate than Copé.
So there’s good cause for the French right to be worried about Copé’s victory. Here are four reasons why. Continue reading Four reasons why Cope’s narrow Sunday win of France’s UMP leadership could be ruinous
It appears that — from provisional results at least — that Sierra Leone’s president Ernest Bai Koroma is leading in the count following the November 17 election.
The provisional results are just that, though, so there’s nothing official and there’s nothing indicating that Koroma has yet cleared the 55% for direct reelection (thereby avoiding a runoff). His chief opponent, Julius Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), who actually served briefly as acting president in 1996 following a coup against Sierra Leone’s increasingly corrupt government, has certainly not conceded the race.
Koroma’s party, the All People’s Congress (APC) is doing much better, accordingly to those results, than it did in the prior 2007 election in the key diamond-rich province of Kono, control of which featured prominently in the decade-long civil war that ended in 2012. As predicted, the APC’s result is strong in the country’s north, home to the Temne ethnic group that has historically supported the APC; the SLPP, meanwhile, has done very well in the south, where the Mende ethnic group predominates.
Official results are required to be announced within 10 days of the vote. The European Union’s monitors issued a report yesterday that claimed the elections were well-conducted in a peaceful environment, despite the SLPP’s accusations of voter fraud.