First Past the Post: February 26


East and South Asia

Haruhiko Kuroda is Shinzō Abe’s nominee to become the next Bank of Japan governor.  The New York Times reacts here.

Philippine president Benigno Aquino’s government has passed a law compensating the victims of former president Ferdinand Marcos.

Outgoing South Korean president Lee Myung-bak will become a consultant to developing countries.

The Korea Times examines South Korean president Park Guen-hye’s ‘simple’ fashion statement for inauguration (pictured above).

Burmese president Thein Sein will visit Europe.

On China’s Poly Group.

North America

Chicken Justin won’t debate.

Latin America / Caribbean

Raúl Castro is set to step down as Cuban president in 2018.

Mexico’s new president Enrique Peña Nieto has enacted a major education reform.  [Spanish]

The opposition Barbados Labor Party has chosen Mia Mottley as its new leader.

A week later, and no one in Venezuela has yet seen ailing president Hugo Chávez.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Guinea’s opposition will not participate in the expected May elections.

Djibouti’s ruling party has declared victory in last week’s election.

Stephen W. Smith is not happy about Mali.

Another review of Kenya’s final presidential debate.

Did you know former longtime Kenyan president Daniel arap Moi has endorsed Musalia Mudavadi?


Malta, which goes to the polls on March 9, worries about fallout from Italy’s political tumult.

British chancellor George Osborne came out defiant Monday in light of his country’s loss of its ‘AAA’ credit rating.

Pope Benedict XVI has cleared the way for a minor rules change, allowing for a quicker conclave to elect his successor.

Mining and Chinese influence have become key issues in the Greenlandic election campaign.

How same-sex marriage is splintering Germany’s ruling Christian Democrats.

Germany is ready to launch EU talks with Turkey.

Nicos Anastasiades faces bailout talks after winning the Cypriot presidential race on Sunday.

Russia and Former Soviet Union

Former Armenian president Levon Ter-Petrosyan claims his ally Raffi Hovannisian has won Armenia’s presidential vote.

Moscow writes off $30 billion in Cuban debt.

Pessimism over EU-Ukraine talks this week.

Middle East and North Africa

Syria’s opposition will now join peace talks in Rome.

Mohamed ElBaradei calls for a boycott of Egypt’s upcoming parliamentary elections.

Sectarian killings are on the rise in Iraq.

Iran simply does not care for ‘Argo.’

Tunisia’s Ali Larayedh, formerly interior minister, will form the new government.

Australia and Oceania

Labor’s Julia Gillard would lose this autumn’s Australian elections by 55% to 45%, according to a new Newspoll survey.

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