Posts Tagged ‘election’

Bolsonaro, Marina Silva Tied in Brazil Amid Racism, Inciting Hatred Charges

April 16, 2018
  • Accusations against Bolsonaro based in part on 2017 speech
  • Datafolha poll shows lawmaker with 17% of vote intentions
Jair Bolsonaro

Photographer: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg

The first poll since Brazil’s former president was arrested showed environmentalist Marina Silva technically tied as a leading candidate in the next election with Jair Bolsonaro, who is facing accusations of racism and inciting hatred.

A Datafolha poll released by Folha de S.Paulo newspaper showed Bolsonaro with 17 percent of vote intentions and Silva with 15 to 16 percent. The polling scenario didn’t include former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, whose chances of returning to power have likely ended after he was jailed on a conviction for corruption and money laundering.

Lula was a front-runner for October’s presidential race before his arrest a week ago, and the three scenarios in the Datafolha poll with him as a candidate showed the 72-year-old still getting 30 to 31 percent of vote intentions. Bolsonaro was next with 15 to 16 percent, followed by Silva with 10 percent. Members of Lula’s Workers’ Party reaffirmed that he remains a candidate after the poll was released, Folha de S. Paulo reported Sunday.

Bolsonaro, a lawmaker and former Brazilian army captain, was on Friday charged by General Prosecutor Raquel Dodge for, among other incidents, remarks during a speech in Rio de Janeiro in April 2017. The charges, made to the Supreme Court, accused the 63-year-old of prejudice against Brazil’s indigenous population, women, refugees and LGBT people.

Congressman Jair Bolsonaro has made incendiary remarks about blacks, gays, women and indigenous communities. Credit Rodolfo Buhrer/Reuters

‘Sensationalist’ News

Bolsonaro’s adviser and lawyer, Gustavo Bebianno, said in a video shared in message groups that the candidate isn’t a racist, and that this will be “easily proved” in any legal proceeding.

Bolsonaro’s press office said in an emailed statement that the charges were “groundless” and aimed to produce “sensationalist” news — adding that, as a lawmaker, the candidate has the right and duty to discuss controversial topics.

The prosecutor’s office statement quoted Bolsonaro saying in the 2017 speech that he had four male children but that his fifth, a female, was the result of a “moment of weakness.” According to Dodge, his remarks violate constitutional rights of the victims and the rights of the whole society.

If convicted, Bolsonaro could face up to three years in prison and a fine of as much as $117,000.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-15/bolsonaro-marina-silva-tied-in-brazil-amid-racism-charges

See also:

Right-Wing Presidential Contender in Brazil Is Charged With Inciting Hatred

NYT:https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/14/world/americas/brazil-president-candidate-hate.html

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Malaysia vote that could decide Najib’s fate set for May 9

April 10, 2018

The Associated Press

Image may contain: 15 people, people smiling

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (center), who also serves as president of the ruling National Front coalition, prays during a launching event for upcoming general elections in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday. | AP

Malaysian general elections that could determine scandal-plagued Prime Minister Najib Razak’s political survival were set for May 9, with analysts saying the workday polls may reduce voter turnout.

Past Malaysian elections were mostly scheduled on weekends, though workday votes are not unprecedented. National polls in 1995 and 1999 under former strongman Mahathir Mohamad, the opposition leader who is Najib’s strongest challenger, were on a Monday.

The Election Commission also Tuesday set an 11-day campaigning period, shorter than the 15 days in 2013 polls. It said 14.968 million voters will cast their ballot, an increase of 1.7 million new voters.

Analysts say lower turnout could disadvantage the opposition led by Mahathir, Asia’s longest-serving leader for 22 years before he retired in 2003.

“There is a chance for a lower turnout, especially for those who have to travel to vote. A reduced turnout is likely to favor the incumbent,” said Rashaad Ali, research analyst with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.

Najib, 64, is seeking a third term in office and under pressure to improve his National Front coalition’s performance after support eroded in the last two elections. He has been dogged by a massive corruption scandal involving the 1MDB state fund, which is under investigation in the U.S. and other countries for allegations of cross-border embezzlement and money laundering.

On Saturday, he unveiled a lavish, 220-page election manifesto with cash benefits targeting rural ethnic Malays, his key voting bloc.

His campaign slogan “Make my country great with BN” — the Malay acronym for the National Front — has similarities with President Donald Trump’s 2016 election motto “Make America great again.”

Najib faces a strong challenge from 92-year-old Mahathir, who returned to politics two years ago amid anger over the fiasco at 1MDB, which was set up and previously led by Najib, but which accumulated billions in debt. Mahathir now leads a four-party opposition alliance to oust Najib.

The U.S. Justice Department says at least $4.5 billion was stolen from 1MDB by associates of Najib and it is working to seize $1.7 billion allegedly taken from the fund to buy assets in the U.S.

Analysts expect Najib to win due to recent electoral boundary changes, a buoyant economy and strong support from rural Malays, the bedrock of support for his coalition in a multiracial nation that also includes ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities.

The opposition has not managed to gain much ground in eastern Sabah and Sarawak states on Borneo island, which account for a quarter of parliamentary seats. It’s also unclear how much influence Mahathir has among rural Malays.

Related:

Egyptian voters head to polls for presidential election (Russian-Style — There is really only one choice)

March 26, 2018

Polls have opened in Egypt for a presidential election in which voters will choose between the current president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, and a little-known challenger. Some 60 million people are eligible to vote.

El-Sissi gestures at a 2015 press conference in Germany (Getty Images/A. Berry)

Polls opened on Monday morning in Egypt for a three-day vote where Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is virtually guaranteed to win his second term.  El-Sissi voted in Cairo just minutes after the polls opened at 0700 GMT, according to the state TV.

Observers have slammed the vote for the lack of competition for el-Sissi, whose only rival on the ballot is his long-time supporter, Moussa Mustafa Moussa.

Moussa stepped in as a presidential candidate just as the deadline for submitting applications was set to expire. He has publically denied being a “puppet” of the regime.

Previously, several more serious challengers were either detained or decided to bow out of the race under the apparent pressure from the el-Sissi government.

Read more:‘El-Sissi is on the side of the autocratic rulers’

Ex-general Sami Annan was arrested in January just days after announcing his intention to run for president. The Egyptian Armed Forces claimed Annan forged official documents that would allow him to take part in the election. His chief aide, Hisham Genena, was also attacked and beaten by unknown assailants. Abdel-Moneim Abul Fotouh, who ran in 2012, was arrested on suspicion of joining the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and incitement against government institutions.

Prominent human rights lawyer Khaled Ali also dropped out in January, saying the authorities harassed and intimidated his supporters. Former lawmaker Mohammed Anwar Sadat and former air force general and 2012 presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq have also withdrawn their candidacies.

‘We are just not ready’

In a televised interview, president and former military leader el-Sissi said the lack of serious rivals was “completely not my fault.”

“Really, I swear, I wish there were one or two or even 10 of the best people and you would get to choose whoever you want,” he said. “We are just not ready.”

With some opposition leaders calling for a boycott, the government has stepped up effort to motivate people to go out and vote. Banners and billboards praising el-Sissi were ubiquitous in Cairo and across Egypt, with advertising for his rival Moussa much less noticeable.

El-Sissi hopes for a clear mandate to continue his austerity reforms and tough security measures he claims are necessary in the nation often targeted by terror groups.

Once widely popular, el-Sissi won nearly 97 percent of votes in his 2014 run against left-wing politician Hamdeen Sabbahi. However, turnout was only 37 percent for the planned two-day vote, prompting authorities to add an additional day to the election. The final participation rate was just over 47 percent.

Analysts believe a much smaller percentage of Egypt’s nearly 60 million voters would take part in this week’s three-day ballot. The final results are expected next Monday.

dj/kms (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)

Italy’s Election: Voters delivered a hung parliament Voters flocking to anti-establishment and far-right groups in record numbers — Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia may have to form government

March 5, 2018

Reuters

ROME (Reuters) – Italy faces a prolonged period of political instability after voters delivered a hung parliament in Sunday’s election, spurning traditional parties and flocking to anti-establishment and far-right groups in record numbers.

 

Italy becomes the next European country to fall to a populist, anti-migrant wave, this one featuring Silvio Berlusconi
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of the Forza Italia party arrives at a polling station in Milan on March 4, 2018. (Antonio Calanni / Associated Press)

A man casts his vote at a polling station in Milan, Italy March 4, 2018. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

With half the ballot counted, it looked almost certain that none of Italy’s three main factions would be able to rule alone and there was little prospect of a return to mainstream government, giving the European Union a new headache to handle.

Scenarios now include the creation of a more euro-skeptic coalition, which would likely challenge EU budget restrictions and be little interested in further European integration, or swift new elections to try to break the deadlock.

A rightist alliance including former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia (Go Italy!) emerged with the biggest bloc of votes, ahead of the anti-system 5-Star Movement, which saw its support soar to become Italy’s largest single party.

Despite overseeing a modest economic recovery, the ruling centre-left coalition came a distant third, hit by widespread anger over persistent poverty, high unemployment and an influx of more than 600,000 migrants over the past four years.

The full result is not due until much later on Monday.

A prolonged political stalemate could make heavily indebted Italy the focus of market concern in Europe, now that the threat of German instability has receded after the revival on Sunday of a grand coalition under Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The euro dipped in Asia early on Monday and remained prone to volatility as investors awaited final results.

“Italy is far from having sorted its long-standing problems, and now it will have new ones. Be prepared for long and complex negotiations that will take months,” said Lorenzo Codogno, a former chief economist at the Italian Treasury.

Berlusconi’s centre-right alliance was seen taking around 37 percent of the vote and in a bitter personal defeat for the billionaire media magnate, his Forza Italia party was overtaken by its ally, the far-right, anti-immigrant League.

“My first words: THANK YOU,” League leader Matteo Salvini tweeted. His party, which campaigned on a fiercely anti-migrant ticket, looked set to win more than 17 percent of the vote against just 4 percent at the last national election in 2013.

But the biggest winner on Sunday was the 5-Star Movement, which was predicted to have won a third of all votes cast, up from 25 percent last time around, putting it in the driving seat in any future coalition talks.

“Nobody will be able to govern without the 5-Star Movement,” said senior party member Riccardo Fraccaro.“We will assume the responsibility to build this government, but in a different way, talking with all the parties about what this country needs.”

A man casts his vote at a polling station in Rome, Italy March 4, 2018. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

The ruling centre-left bloc was seen on around 22 percent.

“ITALY UNGOVERNABLE”

During two months of election campaigning, party leaders repeatedly ruled out any post-election tie-ups with their rivals. However, Italy has a long history of finding a way out of apparently intractable political stalemate.

The 5-Star once rejected talk of any power sharing, but it has since modified its position and says it is willing to discuss common policies but not negotiate over cabinet posts.

Led by 31-year-old Luigi Di Maio, the movement was formed in 2009 and has fed off public fury over corruption in the Italian establishment and economic hardship. But some analysts have questioned whether other parties would be able to work with it.

“Di Maio wins, Italy ungovernable,” was the front page headline on the first edition of La Stampa newspaper.

Parliament will meet for the first time on March 23 and President Sergio Mattarella is not expected to open formal talks on forming a government until early April.

Pollster Federico Benini, head of the Winpoll agency, said vote projections suggested that 5-Star and the League would be the largest two parties in parliament and would comfortably have enough seats to govern together if they wanted.

They once shared strong anti-euro views. But while the League still says it wants to leave the single currency at the earliest feasible moment, the 5-Star has since softened its tone, saying the time for quitting the euro has passed.

Its flagship proposal in the election campaign was a promise to introduce a minimum monthly income of up to 780 euros ($963) for the poor. This so-called“Universal Wage” has helped the party draw massive support in the underdeveloped south.

By contrast, Berlusconi and his far-right, populist allies were expected to dominate in the wealthier north, with the centre-left squeezed into a narrow stretch of territory across central Italy, including Tuscany.

“We did not anticipate this radicalization of the electorate who have turned for solutions to the 5-Star and League. We are going to have to reflect on this and find a response,” said senior PD politician Ettore Rosato.

None of the major party leaders spoke in public on Sunday night as they awaited the final results. There was much speculation that the PD leader, former prime minister Matteo Renzi, would step down.

Populist parties have been on the rise across Europe since the 2008 financial crisis. Italy’s mainstream parties have found it especially hard to contain voter anger, with the economy still 6 percent smaller than a decade ago and unemployment stuck at about 11 percent.

Additional reporting by Gavin Jones, Francesca Piscioneri and Giselda Vagnoni

Sweden warns of ‘foreign meddling’ in election

February 22, 2018

AFP

© AFP/File | Sweden’s security service said the country’s electoral system is not immune to “attempts by foreign powers to influence elections in other countries”

STOCKHOLM (AFP) – Sweden’s intelligence service on Thursday warned “foreign powers” could try and meddle in the Nordic nation’s upcoming general election, singling out Russia in light of alleged interference in the last US vote.However, the Swedish Security Service (Sapo), which is responsible for tackling espionage and terrorism, said in an annual report that Sweden’s “robust” and “decentralised” electoral system was tough to influence.

“It cannot be ruled out that certain foreign powers will take advantage of the Swedish election campaign to enhance conflicts in Swedish society and attempt to weaken the democratic system,” said Sapo head Anders Thornberg in the document, which was written last year.

“Russian espionage constitutes the greatest security threat” against non-NATO member Sweden, Sapo warned, adding that a third of Russian diplomats in the country were spies.

“Russia is in Sweden’s vicinity and could be linked to a potential military conflict,” Johan Olsson, a Sapo chief for countering security threats, said in the report.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven told a January security conference that a new agency would be formed to protect citizens from “external influence” for the September 9 general election.

“To those who are considering to try to influence the election outcome in our country: stay away!” Lofven said.

“We won’t hesitate to recklessly expose those who will try… Russia has been pointed out in many reports,” he added.

In a January 10 report, the US Senate accused Russia of spreading “disinformation” and “propaganda” to interfere in the elections of other countries to undermine Western sanctions against Moscow.

Russia’s government on Monday insisted there was no evidence that it meddled in the US elections, after Washington indicted 13 Russians for alleged covert efforts to sway voters.

Thai ex-PM Thaksin calls for party unity ahead of promised election

February 19, 2018

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BANGKOK (Reuters) – Fugitive former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra met lawmakers from his Puea Thai Party in Hong Kong where he called for party unity ahead of an approaching general election, party members said on Monday.

Image result for Thaksin Shinawatra, photos, 2018

Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra — February 23, 2016. Photo: Reuters

Many are watching to see how Puea Thai Party performs in a vote which the military government has promised to hold in November but which could be delayed.

Thaksin, who founded Advance Info Service Pcl, Thailand’s largest mobile phone operator, was prime minister from 2001 to 2006 when he was overthrown in a military coup supported by the Bangkok-based establishment.

Thaksin, who is based in Dubai, continues to loom large over Thai politics and remains popular in the northeast ‘Isaan’ region which, along with the north, forms the stronghold of parties aligned with Thaksin which have won every election since 2001 by appealing to poorer voters.

His sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, was elected prime minister in 2011. She was overthrown in a 2014 military coup.

Yingluck fled Thailand last August, weeks before the Supreme Court found her guilty of negligence in mismanaging a rice subsidy scheme and sentenced her to five years in prison.

Sources in the Puea Thai Party say she is currently based in England.

Thaksin was convicted in absentia in 2006 on conflict of interest charges.

The siblings have been in Asia since the start of the month, said party members, and have visited China, Japan and Hong Kong before traveling to Singapore on Monday.

Prayuth Siripanich, a Puea Thai Party member and its former representative for the northeastern province of Maha Sarakham, said ten lawmakers flew to Hong Kong on Saturday and returned on Monday.

“Thaksin asked lawmakers to be united and not to break that unity,” Prayuth told Reuters. “He asked that lawmakers meet their constituents because the election is fast approaching.”

Piyapong Klinpan, a spokesman for the junta, or National Council for Peace and Order as it is formally known, told reporters in Bangkok that “relevant agencies”, including police, were following Yingluck and Thaksin.

He did not give further details.

Supporters of the Shinawatras say the family are victims of political persecution. Their critics accuse them of widespread corruption, which they deny.

Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat; Additional reporting by Aukkarapon Niyomyat; Writing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Editing by Nick Macfie

Egyptian opposition figures say boycott presidential vote

January 29, 2018

Mohammed Anwar Sadat, nephew of Egypt’s late leader Anwar Sadat and the leader of Reform and Development Party speaks during a press conference at the party headquarters, in Cairo, Egypt. He was among five opposition figures who called for a boycott of the March vote. (AP)
CAIRO: Five opposition figures, including a 2012 presidential candidate and two top campaign aides for now-arrested presidential hopeful Sami Annan, called on Sunday for a boycott of the March vote, saying it has lost all credibility.
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In a statement, they also called on Egyptians not to recognize the presidential vote’s outcome if it goes ahead.
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The incumbent general-turned-president Abdel-fattah el-Sisi is so far the only candidate in the race for the March 26-28 vote. He can win a second, four-year term if he secures the support of five percent of registered voters, about 60 million people.
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All potentially serious challengers to him have been arrested, forced out or quit the race.
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Sunday’s statement by the five opposition figures is a bold move that could be perceived as an attempt to derail the electoral process by authorities that have shown little tolerance for dissent under el-Sisi. It is also likely to encourage more expressions of discontent over what critics see as the president’s increasingly authoritarian traits.
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El-Sisi led the 2013 ouster of a freely elected but divisive president, Muhammad Mursi, and has since overseen what is perhaps the largest crackdown in the country’s living memory. Thousands of Mursi supporters have been jailed, along with secular activists. Most critics in the media have been silenced, the work of rights groups restricted and scores of online news sites blocked.
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“We call on our glorious people to entirely boycott these elections and not to recognize whatever outcome they produce,” said the statement. “This is not only in response to the absence of an electoral contest, but rather out of concern that this policy clearly paves the way for amending the constitution to remove the limit on presidential terms,” it said, alluding to the constitutional ban on presidents serving more than two terms. The statement also called on “active opposition forces” to form a coalition to study the “next choices and steps.”
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The signatories of Sunday’s statement include 2012 presidential candidate Abdel-Moneim Aboul Fotouh, former lawmaker Mohammed Anwar Sadat, who quit the race saying he feared for the safety of his supporters, and Annan’s top campaign aides Hazem Hosny and Hisham Genena. The military arrested Annan last week, accusing him of incitement against the military and forgery.
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Issam Heggy, a scientist and former presidential adviser, also signed the statement.
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Earlier on Sunday, eight local rights groups expressed their “extreme denunciation” of an attack on Genena, saying it was part of a pattern of retaliations against would-be presidential candidates and their supporters.
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Lawyers for Genena said he suffered serious injuries to the face and leg during an apparent kidnapping attempt outside his suburban Cairo home Saturday. They said three men armed with knives tried to force him into one of their two cars when passers-by rushed to his rescue.
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Police say the incident began when Genena hit a pedestrian while driving his car. A brawl then ensued between Genena and the victim’s friends, who allege in a complaint that the 63-year-old former judge, his wife and daughter assaulted them.
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The statement by the eight groups, which include the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms and the anti-torture and rehabilitation Nadim Center, said “revenge acts” have targeted anyone daring to challenge el-Sisi in the upcoming elections.
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In 2015, Genena claimed that corruption was costing the country billions of dollars. A pro-government daily quoted him as saying that Egypt lost 600 billion pounds or ($67.6 billion) in corruption in 2015 alone.
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He later said he was misquoted and that his remarks referred to the last four-year period. El-Sisi dismissed him in 2016, following an investigation that hurriedly concluded that he had misled the public.

Donald Trump looking forward to speaking with Mueller — Trump said he would be willing to be interviewed under oath by Special Counsel Robert Mueller,

January 25, 2018

Reuters

President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would be willing to be interviewed under oath by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

Image result for robert mueller, photos

Special Counsel Robert Mueller

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would be willing to be interviewed under oath by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

“I‘m looking forward to it, actually,” Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House, said of an interview with Mueller, a former FBI director. “I would do it under oath.”

Although Trump has pledged cooperation with Mueller’s probe before, Trump made his assertion as the White House and allies in Congress have stepped up attacks on the investigation’s credibility and Trump himself has hedged on whether he would answer questions.

Trump’s attorneys have been talking to Mueller’s team about an interview, according to sources with knowledge of the investigation. “I would like to do it as soon as possible,” Trump said.

Trump said, however, that setting a date certain for an interview would be “subject to my lawyers and all of that.” Asked whether he thought Mueller would treat him fairly, Trump replied: “We’re going to find out.”

Ty Cobb, the lawyer in charge of the White House response to Mueller’s probe, said in a statement that Trump was speaking hurriedly to reporters before departing on his trip to Davos, Switzerland. Cobb said Trump emphasized that he remained committed to cooperating with the investigation and looked forward to speaking with Mueller.

Cobb said Mueller’s team and Trump’s personal lawyers were working out the arrangements for a meeting.

Sources told Reuters earlier on Wednesday that senior U.S. intelligence officers including CIA Director Mike Pompeo had been questioned by the special counsel’s team about whether Trump tried to obstruct justice in the Russia probe.

Such questioning is further indication that Mueller’s criminal investigation into purported Russian interference in the election and potential collusion by Trump’s campaign includes examining the president’s actions around the probe.

In his remarks to reporters on Wednesday, Trump repeated past statements that there was no collusion between the campaign and Russia and “there’s no obstruction whatsoever.” The Kremlin has denied conclusions by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the election campaign using hacking and propaganda to try to tilt the race in Trump’s favor.

Trump on Wednesday denied a Washington Post report that last year he had asked then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe whom he had voted for in 2016, which according to reports, left McCabe concerned about civil servants being interrogated about their political leanings.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a working session with mayors at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas“I don’t think so. I don’t think I did. I don’t know what’s the big deal with that, because I would ask you,” Trump said to reporters.

COMEY FIRING

In interviews last year with Pompeo, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Admiral Mike Rogers, the sources said Mueller’s team focused on whether Trump had asked them to lean on James Comey, the Federal Bureau of Investigation director until Trump fired him in May.

Comey said Trump dismissed him to try to undermine the agency’s Russia investigation. His firing led to Mueller’s appointment to take over the FBI probe and is central to whether Trump may have committed obstruction of justice.

Mueller also asked the officials if Trump tried to shut down intelligence investigations into Russian election meddling and into contacts between Russian officials connected with President Vladimir Putin’s government and associates of Trump or his campaign, the sources said on condition of anonymity.

Representatives for the CIA declined to comment on whether Pompeo had been interviewed.

More than 20 White House personnel have voluntarily given interviews to Mueller’s team, Fox News reported on Wednesday.

It is unusual for FBI interviews to be conducted under oath, but even if Trump is not interviewed by Mueller’s team under oath, it would still be a crime for him to lie to federal agents, said Andrew Wright, a professor at Savannah Law School and a former associate counsel to President Barack Obama.

That is the charge to which former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos have both pleaded guilty.

An oath would be administered if Mueller issues a subpoena for Trump to testify before a grand jury as opposed to a private interview, Wright said.

In 1998, charges that then-President Bill Clinton lied under oath to a federal grand jury about his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky help lead to his impeachment by the U.S. House of Representatives. Clinton was acquitted by the U.S. Senate.

Related:

See also:

Trump Says He Is Willing to Testify Under Oath in Mueller Probe

https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-says-he-would-like-to-testify-in-mueller-probe-1516839151

Ex-military chief of staff to run in Egyptian presidential election

January 12, 2018

File photo: Egypt’s former army chief of staff Sami Anan. (Reuters)

CAIRO: Former military chief of staff General Sami Anan will run in Egypt’s upcoming presidential election, the party he leads said on Thursday, days after the most serious potential challenger to President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi pulled out.

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An election commission said on Monday Egypt would hold the vote on March 26-28, with a run-off on April 24-26. Candidates must register between Jan 20 and 29.
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“The party leaders took a decision for General Sami Anan’s candidacy and informed him of the decision and there was no problem at all and no objection,” from him, said Sami Balah, the secretary general of the Arabism Egypt Party.
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Balah said party members and officials across the country had been contacted about collecting the required votes of nomination, starting from Saturday.
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Election regulations stipulate that would-be candidates must obtain the backing of at least 20 members of parliament for their candidacy or be supported by at least 25,000 eligible voters in at least 15 governorates.
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The party will hold a news conference in the next few days for Anan to officially announce his candidacy, said Ragab Helal, a leading member in the party and member of parliament.
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Anan’s candidacy news came days after former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik, and Sissi’s most serious competition, said he was no longer considering running for president in this year’s elections.

State of emergency in Honduras after post-vote violence

December 2, 2017

AFP

© AFP | Violence erupted for the second consecutive day after opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla claimed fraud and urged his supporters to take to the streets in protest

TEGUCIGALPA (AFP) – The Honduran government declared a state of emergency late Friday and imposed a 10-day curfew in an attempt to stop violent demonstrations across the country triggered by claims of presidential election fraud.Police said at least two officers and 12 civilians were injured, some by gunfire, after clashes in several parts of the country between riot police and opposition supporters.

The violence was sparked by opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla claiming election fraud and calling his supporters onto the streets.

 

An executive decree issued by President Juan Orlando Hernandez, who is seeking re-election despite a constitutional ban on a second term, imposes a nighttime curfew from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am.

Representatives of the country’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) and political parties, national and international observers and journalists accredited to cover the elections are exempt.

Thousands of Nasralla supporters blocked roads across the country, and footage of their confrontations with the police — who attempted to disperse demonstrators with tear gas — went viral on social media.

In the capital Tegucigalpa, protesters lit bonfires of sticks and tires on boulevards and on exit routes.

The unrest sparked panic, with people rushing to supermarkets and gas stations to stock up, fearing the riots would prevent them from leaving their homes.

Shops closed by the afternoon and some international flights were suspended at the capital’s airport.

– Cliffhanger vote –

With nearly 95 percent of the ballots counted from last week’s vote, Hernandez had a razor-thin lead of 42.92 percent over Nasralla’s 41.42 percent.

TSE president David Matamoros postponed until Saturday a special count — with officials from both camps present — to review ballots with inconsistencies, blurs and other errors before a result can be declared, following new demands from leftist leader and ex-president Manuel Zelaya.

“Within three days, we will have the result. We accept to recognise the final result if they accept these points,” Zelaya said.

But in an television interview, Nasralla demanded a full recount, warning of possible collusion between the TSE and the government.

“Do not let them steal the presidency,” said activist Juan Barahona of Nasralla’s Alliance of Opposition Against the Dictatorship.

Police said they had arrested 50 people for alleged looting between Thursday and Friday.

Security forces said rioters had damaged businesses and vehicles, some of which had been doused in gasoline and set on fire.

Earlier, Hernandez broadcast a statement calling for calm and predicting “we are going to do very well” in the vote.

The Organization of American States observer mission urged the TSE in a letter Thursday to ensure that 100 percent of the ballots were processed before declaring a result.

“Political parties should be given the opportunity to present challenges. These will have to be dealt with impartially and within a reasonable timeframe and following due process,” it said.

“This is the only way to restore confidence in this election and in the integrity of the popular will.”