A powerful Libyan east-based commander says he has suspended his role as leader of a self-styled Libyan army, delegating his duties to his chief of staff for the next three months. The move comes ahead of general elections scheduled on Dec. 24 and indicates the commander, Khalifa Hifter, may be contemplating a run for president. His candidacy would stir controversy in western Libya, the stronghold of his opponents based in the capital of Tripoli. Hifter's forces had besieged Tripoli in a year-long campaign to capture the city. The campaign ultimately failed last year, leading to U.N.-mediated talks and the formation of an interim government.
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The popular mayor of the Philippine capital says he will run for president in next year’s elections, the latest aspirant in what is expected to be a crowded race to succeed controversial leader Rodrigo Duterte. Manila Mayor Isko Moreno was a child scavenger before becoming an actor then entering politics. He told The Associated Press that he would fight the coronavirus and poverty and promote democracy if he triumphs in the May 9 elections. The mayor is expected to bank on his widely praised projects in Manila, including cleaning up its filthy main roads and restoring order in public markets. But he will be up against formidable national politicians and celebrities.
The top US diplomat in El Salvador says she sees “a decline in democracy” the country, where President Nayib Bukele changed his Twitter profile to read “the coolest dictator in the world.” On Monday, the United States put five Supreme Court justices on the U.S. Undemocratic and Corrupt Actors list. Those on the list have their U.S. visas revoked. The U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Jean Manes said Tuesday the action was taken because they voted to allow the president's re-election “which is clearly not allowed under the Constitution.” Bukele, said the called the decision “pure politics and the lowest form of interventionism.”
Election authorities announced Russia’s ruling party will get 324 of the 450 seats in the next national parliament. The number is less than the pro-Kremlin party, United Russia, won in the previous election but still an overwhelming majority. Retaining the party’s dominance in the State Duma was widely seen as crucial for the Kremlin ahead of Russia’s presidential election in 2024. President Vladimir Putin is expected either to seek reelection that year or to choose another strategy to stay in power. Most opposition politicians were excluded from the parliamentary election that concluded Sunday, which was tainted by numerous reports of violations and voter fraud.
Libyan lawmakers have passed a vote of no confidence in the country’s transitional government, a move that will throw long-waited elections late this year into further uncertainty. The vote Tuesday took place in the parliament’s headquarters in the eastern city of Tobruk, said Abdallah Abaihig, a spokesman for the legislature. He said 113 lawmakers attended the session, with 89 of them voting in favor of withdrawing confidence in the government of Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah. Abaihig said Dbeibah’s government would work as a caretaker government without giving a timeframe for the appointment of another government three months before parliamentary and presidential elections on Dec. 24.
The retired conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court justice leading a Republican-ordered investigation into the 2020 presidential election is threatening to subpoena election officials who don’t comply and saying the intent was not to overturn President Joe Biden’s narrow victory in the battleground state. The unusual six-minute video from Michael Gableman comes after election clerks were confused by an email his office sent last week that was flagged in multiple counties as junk and a possible security risk. Gableman said in the Monday video that if the state's 1,900-plus municipal and county election officials did not willfully cooperate, he would “compel” them to comply.
Russia’s dominant Kremlin-backed party appears set to retain the two-thirds majority in the parliament that allows it to change the constitution, according to preliminary results on Monday morning. The election is seen as an important part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to cement his grip on power ahead of the 2024 presidential election. Results from about 85% of the country’s polling stations give the ruling United Russia party 49.7% of the vote for the 225 seats apportioned by party lists, according to the Central Election Commission. Another 225 lawmakers will be chosen by individual races, and the results on Monday morning show United Russia candidates leading in 195 of those single-constituency districts.
Polls in Russia’s Far Eastern and Siberian regions have closed on the third and final day of a nationwide vote for a new parliament. The voting so far has been marked by numerous reports of violations, such as ballot-stuffing, inadequate ballot security and pressure on election monitors. The election Sunday is widely seen as an important part of President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to cement his grip on power ahead of the 2024 presidential vote, in which control of the State Duma, or parliament, will be key. Russian media, opposition politicians and election observers have been reporting voting violations since Friday morning — the first of the three days of voting allowed this year by the government.
Philippine boxing icon and senator Manny Pacquiao says he will run for president in the 2022 elections. Pacquiao accepted the nomination of his PDP-Laban party at its national convention on Sunday, pledging to honestly serve the Filipino people who he said have been waiting for a change of government. The 42-year-old says “I am a fighter, and I will always be a fighter inside and outside the ring." Another faction of the party earlier this month nominated President Rodrigo Duterte to be its vice presidential candidate. Duterte has led a brutal campaign against illegal drugs, and said last week he would rather “die first” before facing an international tribunal, the day after the court said it would investigate crime allegations.
Two Delaware women who confronted supporters of former President Donald Trump and took a “Make America Great Again” hat from them at the 2020 Democratic National Convention have been sentenced to probation. In a video viewed millions of times on social media, Olivia Winslow and Camryn Amy were seen ripping apart a Trump poster and taking a red MAGA hat from Trump supporters who were protesting Joe Biden’s victory as the Democratic nominee for president. The News Journal of Wilmington reports that Winslow and Amy were each sentenced Friday on misdemeanor charges of theft, child endangerment and hate crimes. Neither will serve time in jail.