Monday, April 10, 2006

Election Day

No, not here - but in Hungary, Italy and Peru.

In Hungary, the ruling Socialists (who are in fact quite fond of the free market) are facing a tight race with the conservative Young Democrats under a complicated MMP-style system which adds in runoff voting and regional lists. According to preliminary results posted on European Tribune, the Socialists have a narrow lead but more importantly their current coalition partners the Free Democrats and the new MCF Roma Alliance have made it into Parliament.

In Italy, Silvio Berlusconi is fighting to stay out of jail under a new electoral system he stacked for that very purpose. The election has turned into a flat-out referendum on Berlusconi and Italy's participation in Iraq, and the left-wing Unity bloc has enjoyed a consistent lead over the past few months. The election runs over two days, so there won't be any results till tomorrow, and it remains to be seen whether the new election system will have the intended effect.

In Peru, exit polls show Ollanta Humala leading over his two major rivals, but not by enough to avoid a runoff election. Humala is a leftist candidate akin to Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. Like Chavez, he's a former military officer, and like Chavez, he first tried to gain office through a military coup before turning to the ballot box. Unlike Chavez (at least as far as I know) he has a nasty history of human rights abuses, and was reportedly involved in torture and murder while fighting the Shining Path in the early 90's. While he'll make the Americans scream, I'm not sure that his election lead is really something to celebrate...


His mum wants homosexuals shot, but he says he won't.

Posted by Rob O'Neill : 4/10/2006 07:36:00 PM

Yeah, he's scary all right. And it looks like he has indeed secured a place in the runoff, though who he's up against isn't quite clear yet.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 4/10/2006 07:54:00 PM