Posts Tagged ‘Rigged Election’

EU’s Juncker under fire for ‘nauseating’ Putin letter

March 20, 2018


© AFP/File / by Damon WAKE | EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker is under fire over a “nauseating” letter congratulating Russian President Vladimir Putin on his re-election even as Britain blames Moscow for a deadly toxin attack

BRUSSELS (AFP) – EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker came under fire Tuesday over a “nauseating” letter congratulating Russian President Vladimir Putin on his re-election even as Britain blames Moscow for a deadly toxin attack.Juncker wrote to Putin, returned for another six years in power on Sunday with a record vote share, pledging to “always be a partner” in improving security cooperation with the Kremlin.

Russia is currently under a punishing regime of sanctions for its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and is accused of running a sustained campaign of disinformation and cyber attacks against several EU members.

“I have always argued that positive relations between the European Union and Russian Federation are crucial to security of our continent,” Juncker said in the letter, which he shared on Twitter.

“Our common objective should be to re-establish a cooperative pan-European security order.”

Juncker added: “I hope that you will use your fourth term in office to pursue this goal. I will always be a partner in this endeavour.”

Juncker’s letter came just a day after EU foreign ministers offered Britain “unqualified solidarity” in a dispute with Russia and despite the EU’s own diplomatic service voicing concern about “violations and shortcomings” in the election.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said her government believes that Moscow was behind the March 4 poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal in the English city of Salisbury using a Soviet-designed nerve agent.

– ‘Disgraceful’ –

The head of May’s Conservative Party group in the European Parliament said that with his letter Juncker was effectively “appeasing a man who poses a clear threat to western security”.

“This is a disgraceful letter from Jean-Claude Juncker,” MEP Ashley Fox said in a statement.

“His failure to mention Russia’s responsibility for a military nerve agent attack on innocent people in my constituency is nauseating.”

The European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt joined the criticism, saying on Twitter “this is no time for congratulations”.

The former Belgian premier insisted that ties with Russia “must be conditional on respect for the rules based international order”.

European Council President Donald Tusk — a former Polish premier who often takes a tough stance on Russia — had not congratulated Putin, an EU official said.

“President Tusk has not sent such a letter and I would not be surprised if he doesn’t send it at all,” the official added.

May will brief fellow EU leaders on the Salisbury investigation at a summit in Brussels starting on Thursday, where they are to issue a joint statement pledging to “coordinate on the consequences” for Russia.

The 28 leaders will wait to see what answers Moscow provides on the nerve agent attack on Skripal and his daughter, according to a draft text seen by AFP.

A senior EU official said leaders would debate “attribution of the attack” and see if there was “room for improvement” in the wording of the statement.

“Until now, nobody is talking about additional sanctions,” the source said,

EU sources say some states, including Greece, have been reluctant to put pressure on Moscow over the incident.

The Kremlin has denied London’s charge over the poisoning — the first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since World War II — demanding London either come up with proof of Russia’s involvement or apologise.

The EU has been increasingly concerned with a more assertive Russia in the past few years, especially after Moscow annexed Ukraine in 2014, triggering the first in a series of European sanctions.

by Damon WAKE

Kenyan TV stations to stay shut after covering opposition `inauguration’

January 31, 2018

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Three Kenyan TV stations will stay off the air indefinitely as the government investigates a “swearing in” of opposition leader Raila Odinga, the interior minister said on Wednesday, following the symbolic but direct challenge to President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling

Raila Odinga holds up the Bible as he swears-in himself as the ‘people’s president’ at Uhuru Park, Nairobi. AFP PHOTO

Independently owned Citizen TV and Radio, KTN and NTV were switched off on Tuesday after they transmitted live coverage of an opposition ceremony to “swear in” Odinga into office.

Fred Matiang‘i, who is also the minister in charge of security, accused some elements in the media of facilitating the “illegal act”, putting lives of thousands of Kenyans at risk.

“The government took a decision to shut down the concerned media houses, until further notice, as it launches a full investigation,” he told a news conference.

Odinga, whose supporters say he is Kenya’s legitimate leader and Kenyatta’s election was neither free nor fair, took a symbolic presidential oath at the ceremony.

Matiang‘i said the opposition event was an attempt to subvert and overthrow the legally constituted government, adding they were also investigating the “swearing in”.

“The investigations will extend to co-conspirators and facilitators,” he said, promising appropriate legal action against those found culpable.

Police later arrested Tom Kajwang, an opposition lawmaker who administered Odinga’s “oath of office”, James Orengo, an opposition senator, told Reuters.

Kajwang, who represents a constituency in Nairobi and is a lawyer by profession, turned up at the opposition gathering in a white wig and a black robe, mimicking the official robes the chief justice wears when inaugurating a president.


Earlier, executives in the media industry accused the government of keeping them in the dark over the switch-off of their broadcast stations.

“There was no comment from the government when the action was taken, and there’s been none since,” said Wachira Waruru, managing director of Royal Media Services, which owns Citizen TV and Radio.

Attempts by Reuters to reach Kenya’s Communications Authority for comment by telephone on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

“We’re trying to reach out informally to government officials, but we are not getting any answers,” Waruru said. “Our business is advertising-based so we are making huge losses,” he said, declining to give a figure.

The stations are considering filing a petition to the Kenyan courts in the hope of having their broadcasts restored by court order, he said. “We are trying to resolve through dialogue, but if it doesn’t work we will go to the courts,” he said.

“It’s shocking that the stations are still shut down,” said Isaac Okero, president of the Law Society of Kenya.

“This sets a very worrying tone for the country and really reveals to us that the state’s supposed commitment to constitutional order is very brittle if there at all.”

On Tuesday security forces made no move to stop an opposition gathering in downtown Nairobi attended by more than 15,000 people, which authorities had said would be illegal.

But the government later declared the opposition “National Resistance Movement” a criminal group, paving the way for potential arrests.

On Monday, Linus Kaikai, chairman of the Kenya Editors’ Guild, said editors had been warned by authorities that they could be shut down if they covered the event.

Additional reporting by Humphrey Malalo; Writing by Duncan Miriri; Editing by William Maclean

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.
In a statement, they also called on Egyptians not to recognize the presidential vote’s outcome if it goes ahead.
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.
All potentially serious challengers to him have been arrested, forced out or quit the race.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
Issam Heggy, a scientist and former presidential adviser, also signed the statement.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

Liberal Media Covered-Up Hillary Clinton’s Health Problems — Donna Brazile’s Book Fills In The Details

November 8, 2017

By Michael Goodwin
New York Post

Silly, silly Donna Brazile. She’s publishing a book detailing turmoil in the Democratic Party during the 2016 campaign, highlighted by her concern that Hillary Clinton was seriously ill and might need to be replaced by Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders.

What’s the big deal? There’s no news here because all this was well-known and covered at the time by the big national newspapers and networks, right?

Wrong. If Brazile were rehashing things we knew, there would be no book and no bombshell headlines now.

Hillary Clinton leaves 9/11 event early RS _00005305

 Hillary Clinton collapse

Video shows Clinton stumble leaving 9/11 event 01:51

Instead, she has thrown open a new and very big window on 2016 — and exposed yet again the consequences of the political biases of the Democratic media.

The missed stories are not merely the result of mistakes or sloppy reporting. Brazile’s book is a revelation in that it shows that many left-leaning journalists didn’t so much cover Clinton as cover up for her.

Put it this way: How is it possible that the leader of the Democratic Party was talking to colleagues about trying to replace its nominee during the general election because of health concerns, and none of the thousands of journalists covering the campaign got wind of it?

It’s not possible — if the media had been playing it down the middle and holding both candidates to the same standard of scrutiny. But big media missed a big story because so much campaign “news” coverage was tilted toward defeating Donald Trump and electing Clinton.

Anything that could possibly suggest Trump was unfit for the Oval Office — bingo, front page, top of the broadcast.

On the other hand, anything that could hurt Clinton was downplayed or ignored. Nothing to see here, move along.

The coverage of Clinton’s health was a prime example of the tilt. Her coughing fits, especially a long one on Labor Day, and a history of falling were pointed out by the popular Drudge Report, some Republicans and smaller, conservative-leaning sites to suggest she was not being honest about her health.

But her campaign always denied anything was wrong — allergies, the candidate and her flacks insisted, caused the persistent coughs, and major news organizations mostly nodded their heads and stayed mum, accepting the official denials without skepticism.

The dam cracked a bit on Labor Day, when an NBC reporter filed a 91-word, four-paragraph story that said Clinton had been unable to finish her speech in Ohio because of a coughing fit.

The truth was dangerous, so the Praetorian Guard sprang to Clinton’s defense. The NBC reporter, Andrew Rafferty, was mocked and insulted, first by the campaign, and then by journalists, including some MSNBC commentators who turned on their colleague as if he had violated a secret oath.

CNN joined the Clinton amen chorus, and at the Washington Post, political writer Chris Cillizza denounced the topic of Clinton’s health as “a totally ridiculous issue” and declared it a “sure-fire loser” for Trump.

“It’s hard to plausibly insist, based on the available data, that Clinton is ill,” insisted Cillizza, who is now at CNN.

Five days later, Clinton was unable to walk on her own and collapsed at the 9/11 ceremony in Manhattan as she tried to get into a van. The campaign insisted she was just “dehydrated” until a short video of the incident aired, then admitted the candidate had been diagnosed with pneumonia days earlier.

In other words, the claim of allergies was a big fat lie. That prompted Brazile to contemplate starting the process of replacing Clinton, writing in her book that the campaign also was “anemic” and had “the odor of failure.” She says she considered numerous tickets to replace Clinton and Sen. Tim Kane, and decided that Biden and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) would be the best.

It’s not clear how long she deliberated or how many people she talked to, but Brazile writes that Biden called her on Sept. 12. In the end, she says, she made no move because she couldn’t disappoint Clinton’s supporters.

Her book is called “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House,” and it’s got lots of other juicy bits, including evidence that the party rigged the primaries to help Clinton beat Sanders and that Clinton possibly broke federal campaign finance laws by scooping money donated by big donors to state parties, far in excess of individual federal limits.

Brazile also writes that the Clinton team treated her like “a slave,” and she accuses its male hierarchy of sexism.

Kenya to charge opposition leader’s sister with incitement to violence

October 23, 2017


Image may contain: 8 people, people smiling, crowd

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses a Jubilee Party campaign caravan rally in Nairobi, Kenya October 23, 2017. REUTERS/Baz Ratner Reuters

By Duncan Miriri

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenyan authorities will arrest and charge the sister of opposition leader Raila Odinga with incitement to violence after attacks on the election board, the chief prosecutor’s office said on Monday.

Image result for Raila Odinga, Kenya, photos

Raila Odinga

Odinga has pulled out of the re-run of an election he was due to contest on Thursday against President Uhuru Kenyatta, saying problems with the election board meant the vote would not be fair. He has called for protests and a boycott and on Sunday said on Twitter there would be “no election”.

“We resume our picketing at IEBC (election board) offices countrywide on Tuesday and Wednesday. We maintain that there will be no election on Thursday,” he said, without giving details.

Kenya is East Africa’s richest economy and a trade and transport gateway as well as a hub for diplomacy and security, so its stability is considered vital for the region.

Odinga’s supporters disrupted a training session for election officials last week in the western city of Kisumu, which is his political stronghold. They attacked election staff and destroyed tents and polling material, witnesses said.

Ruth Odinga, who is the opposition leader’s sister and a former deputy governor of Kisumu county, was present at the protest, according to Reuters witnesses. Prosecutors instructed police to arrest her, opposition Senator Fred Outa and others.

Image result for Ruth Odinga, Kenya, photos

Ruth Odinga

She will be charged with incitement, destruction of property, obstructing election officers and trespassing in an electoral center, according to a letter that the director of public prosecution’s office posted online.

“The suspects should immediately be charged,” the letter said. Neither Ruth Odinga nor Outa could immediately be contacted for comment.

The arrests could anger Odinga’s supporters and escalate tension over an election season that has divided the country and led to the deaths of at least 37 people since the first election was held on Aug. 8 including four in the last two weeks.

Odinga says the election board had made insufficient reforms to prevent a repeat of the same mistakes that marred the previous presidential polls on Aug. 8.

Kenyatta won that election but the Supreme Court last nullified the result, saying there had been procedural irregularities and a repeat must be held.

The election board and Kenyatta say the poll will be held regardless of whether Odinga participates.

(additional reporting by George Obulutsa; editing by Katharine Houreld and Matthew Mpoke Bigg)

Maduro foes in Venezuela seek to block new assembly

August 4, 2017


© HO / Venezuelan Presidency / AFP | Handout picture released by the Venezuelan presidency showing President Nicolas Maduro (L) talking during a meeting with constitutionalists in Caracas on August 2, 2017


Latest update : 2017-08-04

Venezuela is headed for a fresh showdown as President Nicolas Maduro prepares to inaugurate a powerful new “Constituent Assembly” on Friday, with his opponents vowing massive protests and state prosecutors seeking to block him in court.

Maduro faces accusations at home and abroad of trampling on democracy with the election last weekend of the assembly in a vote boycotted by the opposition and allegedly marred by fraud.

Attorney General Luisa Ortega’s office said on Twitter that state prosecutors had filed a case to block Friday’s inauguration, “based on suspected crimes committed” during the election.

Ortega, one of Maduro’s most vocal critics, has ordered an investigation into “scandalous” electoral fraud, after a British-based technology firm contracted for the vote, Smartmatic, said Maduro had exaggerated the turnout.

Since all candidates for the assembly were Maduro allies, turnout was the key gauge of public support.

The 545-member assembly — whose members include Maduro’s wife and son — will have sweeping powers to dissolve the opposition-majority congress, pass laws and write a new constitution.

It was initially due to start work Thursday against a backdrop of opposition protests.

But Maduro rescheduled the inauguration to Friday, vowing the assembly would open “in peace and calm.”

His opponents responded by pushing back their protest, calling on Venezuelans to “defend the constitution.”

Denial of tampering

For four months Venezuela has been in the grip of violent protests that have left more than 125 people dead as opposition demonstrators battle security forces and armed motorcycle gangs of Maduro supporters.

On Thursday, two people on motorbikes threw Molotov cocktails at the Spanish embassy in Caracas, causing no casualties. Prosecutors did not link the attack to the political tensions, though Madrid is a fierce critic of Maduro’s moves in recent days.

Maduro insists the new assembly is the solution to a drawn-out economic and political crisis gripping Venezuela, whose 18-year-old, oil-fueled socialist economic model has been driven to the brink of collapse by a plunge in global crude prices.

The United States imposed direct sanctions on Maduro, calling him a “dictator,” while the European Union joined the United States, Mexico, Colombia and Argentina in saying it would not recognize the new assembly.

Maduro has denied the accusation of an inflated turnout figure, dismissing it as a “reaction by the international enemy.”

Venezuela’s pro-government electoral authority had claimed more than eight million voters took part — 40 percent of the electorate.

The opposition says turnout was closer to 3.5 million, mostly state employees fearful for their jobs.

More than 70 percent of Venezuelans oppose the new assembly, according to polling firm Datanalisis.

Consolidating power

Maduro moved swiftly to consolidate his authority after the election.

Two prominent opposition leaders were hustled off to jail in the middle of the night by armed members of the Venezuelan intelligence services.

Security forces and pro-government motorbike gangs actively stamped out public signs of dissent.

Delcy Rodriguez, a former foreign minister who is now part of the new body, said the Constituent Assembly will kick the lawmakers out of the chamber they occupy in the legislative palace, take it over and “never leave.”

Faced with mounting international outcry, Maduro on Wednesday named a new foreign minister to fill the newly elected Rodriguez’s shoes: former vice president Jorge Arreaza.

Arreaza is married to the eldest daughter of late president Hugo Chavez — Maduro’s mentor, the father of Venezuela’s socialist “revolution,” and the architect of the 1999 constitution the new assembly will rewrite.

Several major Latin American nations have underlined their wariness over the direction they believed Venezuela was heading.

On Thursday, Argentina called on its citizens to not take non-essential trips to Venezuela.

The Argentina foreign ministry said “cases of insecurity and violence perpetrated by governmental forces and confrontations with the civilian population” prompted its appeal.

Chile, meanwhile, said six Venezuelan opposition figures were taking refuge in its embassy in Caracas. Four of them were judges named by the opposition to sit on a parallel supreme court, to counter the high tribunal stacked with pro-Maduro magistrates.

The six were seeking diplomatic protection but no requests for asylum had been received, according to Chilean officials.

Hong Kong activist jailed over Umbrella Movement protest

March 30, 2017


© AFP/File | Benny Tai (L) is co-founder of Occupy Central, one of the groups behind the 2014 Umbrella Movement rallies
HONG KONG (AFP) – A Hong Kong democracy activist was jailed Thursday over Umbrella Movement mass protests while nine more campaigners face charges, as fears grow that freedoms are under threat in the semi-autonomous city.

The cases come days after pro-Beijing leader Carrie Lam was selected as city leader by a committee skewed towards the mainland camp.

They also precede an expected visit by China’s president Xi Jinping in July to mark the 20th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong back to China by Britain in 1997.

Activist Alvin Cheng, 28, who has in the past advocated the idea of Hong Kong’s independence from China, was sentenced to three months in prison for criminal contempt of court.

The charge related to defying an injunction order for activists to clear a sprawling protest camp in the commercial area of Mong Kong in November 2014 during the Umbrella Movement rallies, which called for fully free leadership elections but failed to win concessions from Beijing.

Mong Kok saw some of the most violent clashes during the demonstrations and some activists refused to leave the site despite the order from authorities.

Judge Andrew Chan said Cheng had shown “little remorse” and also chastised him for being late to hearings, and playing with his mobile phone.

Another protester, Au Yuk-kwan, was fined HK$10,000 ($1,287), also for defying the clearance injunction, and given a suspended one-month jail sentence.

Separately Thursday, nine other campaigners accused of causing a public nuisance or inciting others to do so during the 2014 rallies appeared at magistrates’ court, in a case they have criticised as political persecution.

The group, ranging from 22 to 73-years-old and including students, professors and lawmakers, were charged one day pro-Beijing Lam won the leadership.

They could face up to seven years in prison.

Their case was adjourned to May 25 after a brief hearing, during which the defence requested a High Court jury trial so that the public could participate in the decision.

They have yet to enter a plea.

– ‘Sustained attack’ –

Rival protesters from the pro-democracy and pro-China camps faced off outside the court where the nine activists’ case was being heard, chanting at each other.

Some pro-China supporters slapped a picture of democracy campaigner Benny Tai with a pink plastic slipper, mimicking a local custom practised by some where a shoe is used to beat an image of an enemy.

Speaking outside court, Tai told reporters the activists would not give up on the fight for democracy in Hong Kong.

“I believe our society is steeped with the spirit of civil disobedience,” said Tai, co-founder of Occupy Central, one of the groups behind the Umbrella Movement rallies.

“We won’t give up until Hong Kong has real democracy and real universal suffrage,” he added.

Rights group Amnesty International condemned the charges, saying the case showed the city’s freedom of expression and right to peaceful assembly was “under a sustained attack”.

Activist Ken Tsang started a five-week jail term earlier this month for assaulting police during the 2014 protests.

Tsang was himself attacked the same night by seven police officers who were jailed for two years in February for assault causing actual bodily harm.

New leader Lam has promised to try to unify divided Hong Kong, but opponents said the new crackdown immediately undermined that pledge.

Sunday’s vote was dismissed as a sham by democracy campaigners who say Lam will be no different from unpopular current chief executive, Leung Chun-ying.




Hong Kong Pro-democracy protesters gatecrash meeting of leadership hopeful Lam claiming “rigged election”

February 27, 2017


© AFP | Pro-democracy protesters (R) shout slogans against former Hong Kong chief secretary and leadership hopeful Carrie Lam (not seen) before the start of a press conference by Lam in Hong Kong on February 27, 2017

HONG KONG (AFP) – Pro-democracy protesters Monday gatecrashed a press conference by Hong Kong leadership hopeful Carrie Lam, displaying banners criticising a “rigged election” as the woman seen as China’s favourite unveiled her policy.

Around a dozen activists including Joshua Wong, the face of 2014’s mass pro-democracy protests, entered the venue minutes before the start and demanded to be allowed to communicate their messages to Lam.

Protesters chanted slogans and unfurled banners demanding the public get the right to vote for the city’s top post.

They were allowed to stay after campaign manager Bernard Chan said he welcomed them to sit in.

The chief executive of the semi-autonomous Chinese city will be chosen on March 26 by a 1,200-strong committee, most of whose members are broadly pro-Beijing.

Lam, a former deputy leader of the Hong Kong government, was in charge of promoting a Beijing-backed political reform package rejected as a sham by the pro-democracy camp in 2014.

The proposal would for the first time have allowed all Hong Kong voters to elect their leader, but would tightly control those eligible to stand.

Lam said Monday that divisions in society had made it difficult to restart discussions about political reform.

Her platform instead focused on livelihood issues, the city’s housing crisis, the economy and youth development.

After the event Lam approached the protesters and presented her campaign pamphlet. Some demonstrators tore it up and threw pages at her.

Lam and her colleagues eventually left hurriedly while the media and protesters surrounded them.

Lam’s campaign said she had garnered more than 400 nominations from members of the election committee — a minimum of 150 are needed — and would formally submit her candidacy Tuesday.

Former financial secretary John Tsang, who has won support from some members of the pro-democracy camp, and ex-judge Woo Kwok-hing have secured 160 and 180 nominations respectively, local media reported.

Washington Post Says No Need For Election — Hillary Clinton Team and Mainstream Media Say She Can Do Nothing And Still Achieve A Resounding Electoral College Victory

October 17, 2016


By John Wagner, Abby Phillip and Jose A. DelReal
The Washington Post

October 16 at 6:58 PM

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton faces a striking choice in the final three weeks of the campaign: to expand her efforts to states that Democrats haven’t won in a generation, or to stay a current course that, if conditions hold, would deliver her a resounding electoral college victory.

After two tumultuous weeks focused on Donald Trump’s behavior toward women, Clinton is ahead in nearly all of the key battleground states where her campaign has directed the most resources, according to many recent polls. But some once-solidly Republican states — notably Arizona, Georgia and Utah — now also appear to be in play.

Clinton aides said they see advantages to running up the score in the electoral college, where 270 votes wins the White House. Victories in unexpected places could boost that total, handing her more of a mandate come January and decreasing the potency of Trump’s complaints of a “rigged” election.

But victories in core battleground states such as Pennsylvania and New Hampshire would almost assuredly cut off Trump’s path as well. Those states are also home to key down-ballot races that will determine control of the Senate, an important factor in how much support Clinton would have while launching an agenda in January.

“It’s true more and more states are emerging as truly competitive,” Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon said. “We are closely following the situations in those states even as we refuse to take anything for granted in the core battlegrounds, which also happen to be the sites of some of the biggest Senate races.”

What’s in the new Washington Post-ABC News poll Embed Share Play Video1:23

The newest Washington Post-ABC News poll shows Democratic presidential Hillary Clinton with a 4-percentage-point lead over Republican nominee Donald Trump among likely voters. Respondents were also asked about Donald Trump’s lewd comments about women, and how locked-in their votes are. (Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post)

The issue is predominantly about resources. Clinton and the Democratic Party entered October with twice as much money in the bank as Trump and the Republicans, but some in Clinton’s camp have cautioned against any late moves that could jeopardize a victory in states she appears to have nailed down.

“We’ve got to get our win,” said a senior Clinton aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the campaign’s strategy. “We have to make sure we focus on keeping the pressure on and doing the things we need to build up as many electoral votes as we can.”

The campaign is expected to decide in the coming days whether to make a more aggressive play for states such as Georgia, which is being eyed as one of the more promising opportunities for Clinton, and Arizona, where a couple of high-profile surrogates are being deployed this week: Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) on Tuesday and Chelsea Clinton on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign is not willing to concede publicly that any states on the map are lost, maintaining that Clinton’s low favorability ratings and Trump’s anti-establishment message will push undecided voters and independents to break for Trump in the final leg of the campaign.

“We’re seeing a much more competitive contest than you’re analyzing them to be. We’re still playing a very active role in these states and obviously making as big of a play as possible,” said Trump spokesman Jason Miller. “There isn’t anything that’s not a priority. We don’t want to isolate it and say, everything comes down to these states.”

Added Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway: “Every time they get overconfident, we snap back.”

Conway said there may be a need to reallocate resources in the remaining weeks, but she noted that it’s “a little premature” to announce when or where that might happen.

“There’s no shame in saying we’re going to reallocate our resources, dollars, personnel, data operation, ground game, candidate time, both [Indiana Gov. Mike] Pence’s and Trump’s time, in places where we’re more competitive,” she said.

The shifting poll numbers come amid the nastiest stretch of this year’s campaign, in which a videotape emerged showing Trump bragging in lewd terms about forcing himself on women sexually. Following the video’s publication in The Washington Post on Oct. 7, multiple women have accused Trump of kissing or groping them without their consent.

[The growing list of women who have stepped forward to accuse Trump of touching them inappropriately]

Both Trump and his running mate, Pence, have hinted that they recognize the shift. Trump has stepped up his disparagement of a “rigged” election at campaign stops across the country and on social media, urging his supporters to monitor polling places closely on Nov. 8.
On Sunday, Trump noted on Twitter that there are national polls showing him within striking distance of Clinton despite the intense media focus on the accusations against him.

“Polls close, but can you believe I lost large numbers of women voters based on made up events THAT NEVER HAPPENED. Media rigging election!” Trump tweeted.

Pence sought to play down Trump’s rhetoric, saying, “We will absolutely accept the result of the election,” during an appearance Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” But he also appeared to embrace, at least partly, the notion of a “rigged” election.

“The American people are tired of the obvious bias in the national media,”Pence said. “That’s where the sense of a rigged election goes here.”

Even as some polls have shown Clinton with only a modest lead nationally — one published Sunday by The Washington Post had her up four points over Trump — her advantage on the electoral map appears sizable.

One such tally, maintained by The Post’s blog The Fix, projects that Clinton would win 341 electoral votes to Trump’s 197 if the election were held today.

Several states that Trump initially sought to contest, including Colorado and Virginia, have now seemingly slipped out of reach. Clinton was up by 15 points in Virginia, according to a poll released Sunday by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University. And Trump has pulled resources from Virginia.

Trump’s failure to perform in such states, Clinton aides said, will allow her campaign to shift attention even more to North Carolina and Florida — two must-win states for Trump — to choke his path to 270 electoral votes.

Clinton is running television ads tailored to seven states: Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio and Iowa. Because they cost millions of dollars to sustain, such ad purchases are the clearest clue about which states are a campaign’s top priority.

With “smart” technology, cities will be able to address infrastructure challenges, food and water shortages, and constrained budgets.

The vast majority of Clinton’s campaign appearances and those of her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, have been concentrated in those states, and most of the high-profile surrogates dispatched by the campaign have focused their efforts there as well.

Trump’s campaign now appears intent on remaining competitive in four battleground states: Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

He has maintained a far busier travel schedule than Clinton, hitting all four of those states last week, as well as New Hampshire and Maine. Trump appeared in Florida on three consecutive days last week, underscoring how crucial the state is to his strategy.

Trump will spend the early part of this week in Wisconsin and Colorado before heading to Nevada for Wednesday’s debate. His campaign operations in key battlegrounds continue to suffer from ongoing tensions with both state and national GOP establishments and a dearth of on-the-ground investments.

Last week, the campaign fired Trump’s state co-chairman in Virginia, Corey Stewart, after he took part in a protest against the Republican National Committee.

In Ohio, where Trump has fallen behind in the polls, the campaign severed ties with Matt Borges, the chairman of the state Republican Party. In a scathing letter, Trump’s Ohio state director, Robert Paduchik, accused Borges of going on a “self-promotional media tour with state and national outlets to criticize our party’s nominee.”

While the Clinton campaign has begun exploring new opportunities, it has also redoubled its efforts in some of its strongest states. The campaign increased investments recently in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Nevada, according to a Democrat who was familiar with the strategy but was not authorized to speak publicly.

The planned visits to Arizona this week by Sanders and Chelsea Clinton, meanwhile, mark what some Democrats see as a longer-term shift in the state’s electoral politics.

Only one Democrat — Bill Clinton — has carried Arizona since 1948. Bill Clinton lost the state in 1992 but narrowly prevailed in 1996.

Alexis Tameron, the state’s Democratic party chairwoman, said the demographics of the state are trending in the right direction for Democrats, and the state’s voting patterns could resemble Colorado within a few cycles.

Even as it weighs whether to invest heavily in new states, the Clinton campaign is increasingly reaching out to voters in those places through local media, an effort to maintain a presence without reallocating resources to the state.

Kaine spoke to a Salt Lake City television station remotely from New York on Thursday, relaying that the Clinton campaign wants to step up its focus on the state, which Democrats have not won since 1964.

“Hopefully we’ll even have candidates or spouses or high-profile surrogates visit,” Kaine told KTVX. “We’re 3 1/2 weeks out in a state that we didn’t think was in play. Now it is.”

In Georgia, where the last Democrat to carry the state was Bill Clinton in 1992, there’s a clear sense that the contest is more meaningful than in recent cycles, said Michael Smith, communications director for the Georgia Democratic Party.

“Instead of using Georgia to mobilize people to go to North Carolina, they’re staying in our state. It’s night and day,” Smith said.

Democrats are running coordinated campaigns in the battleground states, meaning money is being to spent to promote the entire ticket, not just Clinton.

That stands to benefit Democratic Senate candidates, including Katie McGinty in Pennsylvania, Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire, Deborah Ross in North Carolina and Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada — all of whom are in competitive races.

Priorities USA Action, the pro-Clinton super PAC, is considering devoting television air time to Senate races in four states: Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, according to a person familiar with the discussions. A decision is expected to be made by the middle of the week.

In an effort to help down-ballot candidates across the country, Clinton and her surrogates, especially President Obama, have stepped up their case against Republicans in general, seeking to steer voters away from giving congressional candidates a pass for “enabling” Trump.

“I mean, I know some of them now are walking away, but why did it take you this long?” Obama said at a campaign stop for Clinton in Cleveland on Friday.



Haiti: As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton Was Boss of The U.S. Post-Earthquake Relief and Rebuilding Effort Haiti, And Bill Clinton Was In Charge of The Clinton Foundation Role

August 19, 2016

We at Peace and Freedom have interviewed dozens of Haitians who lived through the 2010 earthquake, the invasion of the United States and the Clinton Foundation that came to “help,” the cholera epidemic, the rigged election and the rest. Not one person spoke fondly of the role played by the Clinton Foundation. The most often heard comment from Haitians was: “The Clinton Foundation made us all sick.”


In this Wednesday, June 13, 2012 photo, a boy rolls a bicycle tire up a ramp near a camp for people displaced by the 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Amid the horrors of Haiti's 2010 earthqua

In this Wednesday, June 13, 2012 photo, a boy rolls a bicycle tire up a ramp near a camp for people displaced by the 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Amid the horrors of Haiti’s 2010 earthquake lay a promise of renewal. With the United States taking the lead, international donors pledged billions of dollars to help it “build back better,” breaking its cycle of dependency. Yet 2 1/2 years later, the fruits of an ambitious $1.8 billion program of pledged donations is way behind in making collections.

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What Are We Missing About Haiti in the Hillary Emails?

By Georgianne Nienaber Writer and author
September 14, 2015

The Fourth Estate is in foreclosure. The “who, what, where, when, and why” of traditional coverage is missing. A thorough analysis of what is redacted or completely missing in the Clinton emails is not forthcoming, and the real scandal resides in politically motivated reporting. It is time that the press wipe themselves clean of political bias and stop shouting about the paper tiger of wiped servers. To steal a quote from Hillary at the initial Benghazi hearing, “What difference does it make?”

The truth is that no one will ever be privy to the complete correspondences, but there is more than enough information available to discuss how the United States conducts corrupt foreign policy in Haiti. Even if a Freedom of Information Request (FOIA) were submitted to obtain every last email on the official State Department server during Secretary Clinton’s term, most would not see the light of day. Clinton’s staff, under the direction of Cheryl Mills, was known for blocking the release of what they deemed “politically sensitive” documents requested under the FOIA law.

I mention Haiti because, after spending a significant amount of time there post-earthquake, I have come to understand that corruption has been a part of our foreign policy for hundreds of years. I am not a Haiti expert, but I have seen firsthand the malfeasance of USAID, NGOs, the United Nations, foreign church groups, and international banking institutions.

Imagine placing printouts of the available 307 Haiti emails end to end. Give it one twist and tape the ends together. You now have a Mobius Strip with no beginning, no end, and only one surface.

It is our fault and our fault alone if we assume a kind of fake innocence that the truth is unavailable or too confusing to pursue. Orientation and interpretation on this infernal Mobius construct depend upon perspective, but we need more than whining fake innocence to justify jettisoning critical thinking.

There is a timeline available to us. It is documented by the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), the Haitian press, by former OAS Ambassador Ricardo Seitenfus, and others. This timeline provides the framework to examine what happened in Haiti in 2010. There is so much more than the “gotcha” moment provided by the Chelsea Clinton email to her parents about policy failures after the January 2010 7.0 earthquake.

In 2010, Haiti faced the triple whammy of an apocalyptic earthquake, a cholera epidemic courtesy of the United Nations, and an election cover-up orchestrated while a good portion of the population was still homeless. Three-hundred-and-seven emails would barely cover it.

According to Ricardo Seitenfus in his book, International Crossroads and Failures in Haiti (L`echec de l`aide internationale a Haiti: Dilemmes et egarements), in April 2009, the State Department, under the leadership of Hillary Clinton, “had decided to completely change the U.S. cooperation strategy with Haiti.” In case you don’t know, Seitenfus was fired from his OAS position in December 2010 for telling the truth to the Swiss newspaper Le Temps about Cholera, NGOs, and a rigged election. His tell-all book lays out a doctrine of intervention.

“Apparently tired with the lack of concrete results, Hillary connected the actions of her government to the smart power doctrine proposed by the Clinton Foundation. From that moment on, the solutions would be based solely on evidence. The idea, according to Cheryl Mills, Hillary’s Chief of Staff, was that if we’re putting in the assistance, we need to know what the outcomes are going to be.” See also “How the World Failed Haiti.”

Now, connect Cheryl Mills’ Haiti Doctrine of orchestrated outcomes with a June 16, 2009 Wiki-Leaks cable, “Deconstructing Preval.” “Managing Preval will remain challenging during the remainder of his term yet doing so is key to our success and that of Haiti.”

The January 2010 earthquake became the “long-awaited opportunity to test this new policy,” Seitenfus says.

Most of the emails discuss the earthquake, and a few mention the emerging cholera epidemic. Two of the “cholera” emails discuss Sarah Palin’s upcoming visit to Haiti, one is an AP report about “Cholera fears sparking an anti-clinic protest in Haiti,” sent via Huma Abedin to Hillary, another is a Reuters report quoting President Rene Preval confirming the outbreak and, one is a press highlight detailing Nepal’s denial that Nepalese soldiers introduced cholera into Haiti by routing raw sewage into the Mirebalais River.

Can it be that only five emails mentioned cholera in the initial stages of an epidemic that would eventually kill 8,972 people and sicken 745,588 since October 2010 (July 2015 numbers).

The lack of emails discussing the November 2010 elections is noteworthy. The search parameter “Martelly” returns one result. An email from Cheryl Mills to Hillary Clinton includes an overnight brief from December 8, 2010.

Announced results conflicted with the EU-backed National Observation Council’s preliminary reports that Michel Martelly led government-backed candidate Jude Celestin in the vote, media report. Embassy Portau-Prince reports civil society representatives took care in announcing early findings, but the information was reported locally as hard fact.

The same email thread has Cheryl Mills providing the unacceptable Haitian CEP results to Hillary. These results would soon change.

This is the statement we released late last night. Election results order Manigault, Celestin, Martielly. May be good to have Tom Adams give you a quick update today.

The original State Department “announced results” were compiled by the CEP, the Haitian Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP). They had Jude Celestin in the runoff and Martelly was out of the next round.

The international observers (CNO) came up with a different outcome. An analysis and timeline can be found here at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) website.

In a heavily redacted email (Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05777664) on Tuesday December 7, 2010, Cheryl Mills instructs a staffer to “print the traffic” on a draft embassy statement that discusses something the “tabulation center” did not show.

The final draft email of the embassy statement (Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05777696), from Cheryl Mills to Hillary, had all the necessary diplomatic ducks in a row to get Martelly into the runoff.

Like others, the Government of the United States is concerned by the Provisional Electoral Council’s announcement of results from the November 28 national elections that are inconsistent with the published results of the National Election Observation Council (CNO)

The “tabulations” of the CEP, tabulations that the State Department announced, were now officially thrown into question.

OAS Ambassador Seitenfus has an explosive charge.


Ballot boxes to bread boxes (Photo: Nienaber Feb. 2011)

The will of the Haitian voter, however, was irrelevant. In this plot, the CNO played a central role in the strategy of electoral sabotage implemented by the international community in the November 2010 elections in Haiti. Choosing the CNO was not because of its expertise, since it had none. In fact, the Council is a union of various purportedly civil society organizations, which in reality form an array of opposition to the government.

In an article published in the Haiti Sentinel, an article that has since been scrubbed from the Internet except in cached form, CEP President Pierre Louis Opont says “that as director general he gave the official recount results to the international observers. He says that Cheryl Mills, the Chief of Staff for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the observers from the Organization of American States then gave results different then what were passed to them.”

The American press has not yet investigated this claim.

The end result was that musician Michel Martelly was declared president-elect after receiving the votes of less than 17 percent of the electorate in the March 2011 second round.

Is it fair to pin all of the blame on Hillary Rodham Clinton when secrecy, duplicity and arrogance have been part of the U.S. policy toward Haiti at least since December 17, 1914 when Citigroup (now Citibank) stole Haiti’s gold reserves? Marines descended upon Haiti to transport a half million dollars in gold to the Wall Street vaults of the National City Bank of New York.

And we’ve hardly seen anything yet. Or maybe, we have seen it all before.

The following quote is taken from Senate hearings that took place from October 4 to November 16, 1921. The Government Printing Office published the official record of the proceedings.

“From 1804 to 1915 Haiti was a sovereign state under a republican form of government. She won her independence from France in 1804. She was deprived of it in 1915 by the United States. Since then we have been in virtual control of her territory, our marines have been in military occupation of the country, and the former republic has been stripped by us of every vestige of her sovereignty.”

There is no beginning and no end to the continuing rape of Haiti by just about everyone.

Note: The Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN) provided valuable tips and leads which have been vetted in this post.