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WMS
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« Reply #100 on: June 30, 2005, 01:30:31 pm »
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I seem to recall reading that Rafsanjani is a crook

That's my understanding as well. Nothing new - there were (quiet) jokes about Iranian mullah corruption during Khomeni's day as well.

Eh, one of these days the 1905 Iranian Constitutional Movement will come to fruition...I certainly think the Iranian people are ready for it.
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« Reply #101 on: June 30, 2005, 01:36:06 pm »
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Eh, one of these days the 1905 Iranian Constitutional Movement will come to fruition...I certainly think the Iranian people are ready for it.

It got to that point under Mossadegh, but then the US and Britain decided their oil companies' business was more important, and had to screw things up.
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« Reply #102 on: June 30, 2005, 01:45:51 pm »
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Eh, one of these days the 1905 Iranian Constitutional Movement will come to fruition...I certainly think the Iranian people are ready for it.

It got to that point under Mossadegh, but then the US and Britain decided their oil companies' business was more important, and had to screw things up.

Not one of the smarter moves, all things considered. The failure to consider cutting deals with nationalists - certainly possible, look at Tito in Yugoslavia - was a recurrent failure of Dulles. Oh well...
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« Reply #103 on: September 30, 2005, 10:34:41 am »
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I'm not sure...but it sounds like political games by all three main political parties. So much for this entertaining election. Sad

WOOT! Grin
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« Reply #104 on: September 30, 2005, 01:22:25 pm »
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I'm not sure...but it sounds like political games by all three main political parties. So much for this entertaining election. Sad

WOOT! Grin

FINALLY, some party information! From the BBC:
Q: What of parties?

The constitution limits the number of parties to three. It also forbids the creation of parties based on region or clan.

Each party must get at least 20% of the vote in each of the country's six regions to enter parliament.

The United People's Democratic Party (UDUB) is chaired by the president. Most ministers are UDUB members.

The UDUB says it stands for stability, sovereignty, unity and independence. It also backs women's rights.

The Kulmiye or Unity Party is the largest opposition party, founded by Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo, a former planning minister.

It calls for good governance and an expansion of social services.

The Party for Justice and Democracy (UCID) advocates Western-style democracy. Its calls for a welfare system and pledges to fight corruption.

Q: What are the issues?

Most politicians project themselves as above the sectarian and clan divides that have plagued the rest of Somalia.

Thus all parties stress independence and sovereignty, and speak of creating a climate for democracy and economic prosperity.

Often using forceful and derogatory language, they insist they will not rejoin Somalia.

A border row with Puntland, an autonomous region of Somalia, remains a contentious issue.

While parliamentary candidates have not campaigned on terrorism, it is a favourite topic of the president.

The authorities recently arrested four militants, including an internationally known al-Qaeda member.

The arrests came weeks after the authorities put troops on high alert, citing "conspiracies bent on interrupting the polls".
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« Reply #105 on: October 19, 2005, 04:52:21 pm »
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Region         UCID      KULMIYE      UDUB      Regional Total
Awdal             3               3               7                   13
Hargaysa       6               8               6                    20
Saaxil             4               2               4                   10
Togdheer       4               6               5                   15
Sanaag          2               5               5                   12
Sool               2               4               6                    12
Grand Total   21            28              33                  82

Source: Somaliland Electoral Commission.

No one dominating party. Cool, a real election! Cool
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« Reply #106 on: January 11, 2006, 12:28:07 pm »
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Finally, some more information. From the Somaliland Government website: [emphasis mine]

"Two deputy Speakers
Hargiesa, Somaliland
5 December 2005    
        
   The Somaliland president H.E Mr. Dahir Riayle Kahin today congratulated the new speaker of Somaliland parliament Honorable Mr. Abdirihamn Mohamed Abdillahi and two new deputy speakers Honorable Mr. Abdulaziz Mohamed Samale and Honorable Mr. Bashe Mohamed Farah. The speaker of parliament is a member of the UCID party and his deputies are members of the Kulmiye party. The opposition parties of UCID and Kulmiye agreed in a coalition of power sharing in the new parliament. The opposition coalition elected the speaker and the deputies on Tuesday, 29, Novemeber, 2005; but the presidents party UDUB disagreed in the process the speaker and the deputies were elected. The Somaliland Guurti(Upper House) mediated in the dispute and recommended that the election of speaker and the two deputies stand as procliamed on Tuesday, 29 November, 2005. The Guurti recommended the president and his party to agree with the decision of the Guurti. The president and his party UDUB agreed to abide by the decision of the Guurti. The president reiterated that compromise and the interest of the unity of the people Somaliland supersedes any disagreement between the political parties and the presiden will work and cooperate with the new speaker and his deputies."
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hey, an African state with a peaceful transition of power! Well done! ILV, it appears both of our parties are in power. Sorry BRTD, your party isn't. Tongue

Come on already, recognize their government! F the UN, and F the Arab League for opposing this! Angry
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« Reply #107 on: January 11, 2006, 12:30:17 pm »
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And as a bonus: From here, which is actually a Christian Science Monitor article (yes, they attributed it on the site): [emphasis mine]
"U.S. Troops Build Schools In Africa
Christian Science Monitor — Camp Lemonier, DJIBOUTI — 10 January, 2006

Pointing to his computer screen, Maj. Gen. Timothy Ghormley sounds more like a Peace Corps volunteer showing off holiday photos than the shaven-headed U.S. Marine entrusted with defeating Al Qaeda in East Africa.

"That's what it's about right there," he says, stabbing his eyeglasses at the pictures of African children celebrating as water gushes from a new well. "Look at those kids. They're gonna remember this. In 25 years they'll say, 'I remember the West - they were good.' "

In 2002, more than 1,500 U.S. troops were sent to this former French colony in East Africa to hunt followers of Al Qaeda throughout the region. Now, under General Ghormley, their mission has evolved to preempt the broader growth of Islamic militancy among the area's largely Muslim population.

"We are trying to dry up the recruiting pool for Al Qaeda by showing people the way ahead. We are doing this one village, one person at a time," says Ghormley, commander of the joint task force based in Djibouti. "We're waging peace just as hard as we can."

Previously East Africa has hosted an array of Islamic militant groups. In 1998, Al Qaeda bombed the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing more than 220 people. The group has also tried to shoot down an Israeli airliner in Mombasa, Kenya, and sink oil tankers and U.S. Navy vessels in the Red Sea.

Now many analysts worry that trouble is again brewing as rising poverty combines with the anti-Western ideologies of hard-line Islamic missionaries in a region already dogged by porous borders, plentiful weapons, and poor governance.

"There aren't actually that many groups or individuals involved," says Matt Bryden, director of the Horn of Africa project for International Crisis Watch. "But there's a danger that if these groups are not contained it is just a matter of time before they strike at Western targets in Somalia or start reaching out to the region again."

"Some of them did have links with Al Qaeda but for the most part there doesn't seem to be an active Al Qaeda or even an Al Qaeda franchise," says Mr. Bryden. "But the US has discovered that there are actually much fewer targets than they expected." No targets but hearts and minds

Unable to find or strike at any visible Al Qaeda members, U.S. forces based in Camp Lemonier - Djibouti's former French Foreign Legion base - have instead begun to work to tackle the factors that might contribute to the growth of extremism in the future.

Ghormley's men have so far built more than 30 schools and 25 clinics, as well as new wells and bridges. They are focusing particularly on the mainly Muslim areas close to the porous Somali border where poverty and dissatisfaction with pro-Western central governments might make many receptive to extremist teachings.

"Ungoverned spaces are vulnerable. The forces of law and order don't exist there," says Lt. Col. Richard Baillon, of Britain's Parachute Regiment. A small contingent of British troops are working with U.S. forces in a coalition effort. "The people in these areas aren't getting government support."

Planners in Camp Lemonier say that their long-term strategy is to gradually move deeper into these poor and ungoverned areas.

"We're not likely to go where we're not wanted or where there's open hostility," says Baillon, tapping a wall-map like a schoolmaster. "But it's about pushing the boundaries of where we are wanted."

The Coalition's planners hope that by tackling localized dissatisfaction now, they can create long-term goodwill toward the US in the region. "A lot of times when we first show up there's a mixed reaction," says Sgt. Richard Crandall of the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion. "One place we went to they considered the US to be warmongers. But we built a school and when we left they said they considered us friends."

The military is taking time to adapt to its new humanitarian mission too - and this means that there have been some mistakes made along the way.

For example, the task force's military budget only covers the cost of constructing and renovating school buildings. Before the schools can open, soldiers have to pester nongovernmental organizations, charities, and friends back home for donated textbooks. In other cases there has been poor communication between the US and local people. Some villages, thinking that the Americans could only build schools, requested a new school when they needed wells and bridges instead. The mistake was realized too late.

Meanwhile, the US increasingly depends on local governments to use their cultural and linguistic knowledge to track and tackle Islamic extremists.

"The information sharing is not ideal; not up to the point that we would like," admits Nabeel Khoury, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Sanaa, Yemen.

And although there are handfuls of up-armored Humvees parked alongside rusting French artillery pieces throughout Camp Lemonier, the US increasingly seeks to delegate its military operations.

"We're doing military-to-military training with five countries in the region," says Col. Doug Carroll, director of operations for the Horn of Africa task force. The US has trained Yemeni special forces in counter-terrorism while officers from Mauritius and the Comoros Islands in the Indian Ocean have been taught how to train their own soldiers once they return home.

"In Ethiopia we've taught border security, we've taught basic counter-terrorism, what they call advanced map reading and also defensive operations," says Carroll, who denies that the training will upset the region's delicate balance of power. "We're not teaching them anything that would be applicable to the Ethiopian-Eritrean border war," he says of the training of Ethiopian border guards, while also denying that U.S.-trained troops have been used to crush recent uprisings in Yemen. Somalia remains a clear blind spot

But although the lack of recent Al Qaeda attacks in the region points to the mission's success so far, there remains a clear blind spot at the heart of the U.S. deployment.

"It's a bit of a paradox," says Bryden. "The threat that the US perceives in the region comes from Somalia, but that is the only place where they can't operate."

Senior officers in Djibouti refuse to even discuss Somalia, although one officer privately admitted having contact with high-level members of the government of Somaliland - a breakaway republic in the north of the war-torn country that recently arrested one Al Qaeda team linked to extremist groups in Mogadishu.

"The US has had to develop a much more nuanced approach and it shows that they are dealing with the problem," says Bryden. "They've had to discover the difference between terrorism and a domestic insurgency."

As the US gradually increases its understanding of the region there is no sign of the mission winding down. Instead, as more British troops also prepare to deploy to the region, the operation seems to have become entirely open-ended.

"It's important that we share what we have to allow all nations to advance," says General Ghormley. "We didn't earn being born in America - the Good Lord put us there and with that came responsibility." An area five times larger than Iraq

Standing in his office, Ghormley, surrounded by maps where arrow-straight borders drawn by European colonialists cut across mountains, deserts, and complex ethnic groups, provides more than an echo of a Victorian soldier-missionary.

"You can win a heart and mind today and lose it tomorrow," Ghormley continues. "We see no spread of radical ideology. We see a lot of people who would like it to spread."

But with Camp Lemonier boasting less than 1 percent of the troops currently deployed in Iraq and responsible for an area five times larger, Ghormley is aware that there is a limit to what the US can achieve in the region.

"I could use more money, more people, but I've got the resources I need to carry on," he says, taking a last look at the pictures on his computer screen. "They're good people and it breaks your heart that you can't do more for them.""
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Somaliland even cooperates against Al Qaeda. But they're not recognized. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #108 on: January 13, 2006, 04:02:52 pm »
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Hey, an African state with a peaceful transition of power! Well done! ILV, it appears both of our parties are in power. Sorry BRTD, your party isn't. Tongue

Come on already, recognize their government! F the UN, and F the Arab League for opposing this! Angry

Most of the time, I'm an internationalist dove, but in this case I'll make an exception Grin

Hooray for UCID and Kulmiye!
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« Reply #109 on: January 23, 2006, 12:40:35 pm »
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Hey, an African state with a peaceful transition of power! Well done! ILV, it appears both of our parties are in power. Sorry BRTD, your party isn't. Tongue

Come on already, recognize their government! F the UN, and F the Arab League for opposing this! Angry

Most of the time, I'm an internationalist dove, but in this case I'll make an exception Grin

Hooray for UCID and Kulmiye!

Good to hear. Cheesy

Hooray! Woot! Grin
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« Reply #110 on: February 23, 2006, 10:52:10 pm »
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Important ones this year.

12 March: Colombia legislative election
28 March: Israel legislative election
9 April: Italy legislative election
9 April: Hungary legislative election (first round)
9 April: Peru presidential and legislative elections
23 April: Hungary legislative election (second round)
28 May: Colombia presidential election
2 July: Mexico presidential and legislative elections
17 September: Sweden legislative election
7 November: United States legislative election
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« Reply #111 on: February 24, 2006, 08:30:17 pm »
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Important ones this year.

12 March: Colombia legislative election

28 May: Colombia presidential election

Go Uribe and his Congressional Allies! WOOT for his communitarianism! And F-U-C-K the FARC! Grin
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« Reply #112 on: February 25, 2006, 01:35:23 am »
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WMS, I hate to say it, but R-NM is a good looking avatar. Doesn't suit you whatsoever, but it looks good.

---------------------------

South Australia is voting on the 18th of March, as is Tasmania; Victoria will be having an election in November.
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« Reply #113 on: February 27, 2006, 11:59:30 pm »
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WMS, I hate to say it, but R-NM is a good looking avatar. Doesn't suit you whatsoever, but it looks good.

---------------------------

South Australia is voting on the 18th of March, as is Tasmania; Victoria will be having an election in November.

True, it is, isn't it? Smiley I may take it for a spin every now and again...

Ah! Local Politics! They can be a lot of fun, if you know what's going on...
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« Reply #114 on: February 28, 2006, 01:08:08 am »
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WMS, I hate to say it, but R-NM is a good looking avatar. Doesn't suit you whatsoever, but it looks good.

---------------------------

South Australia is voting on the 18th of March, as is Tasmania; Victoria will be having an election in November.

True, it is, isn't it? Smiley I may take it for a spin every now and again...

Ah! Local Politics! They can be a lot of fun, if you know what's going on...

You are welcome to contribute to the discussions. My lack of knowledge about American politics hasn't really held me back-although the more I know, the less I discuss US politics :p

Certainly in the early days, I discussed it quite a lot more...and knew very significantly less. Wink
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« Reply #115 on: February 28, 2006, 01:31:59 am »
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WMS, I hate to say it, but R-NM is a good looking avatar. Doesn't suit you whatsoever, but it looks good.

---------------------------

South Australia is voting on the 18th of March, as is Tasmania; Victoria will be having an election in November.

True, it is, isn't it? Smiley I may take it for a spin every now and again...

Ah! Local Politics! They can be a lot of fun, if you know what's going on...

You are welcome to contribute to the discussions. My lack of knowledge about American politics hasn't really held me back-although the more I know, the less I discuss US politics :p

Certainly in the early days, I discussed it quite a lot more...and knew very significantly less. Wink

If I knew anything about those elections I'd contribute Wink It's so hard to get the right kind of info - my knowledge of American politics went up a ton when my parents bought me the 2000 Alamanac of American Politics. I need something like that for other countries Cheesy
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« Reply #116 on: March 01, 2006, 09:51:54 pm »
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SBS world guide is a great 'primer' as you say over there. It's reasonably cheap too-well, it isn't, but the value of the aussie dollar makes it pretty reasonable for you even with shipping. There is a scaled-back version available online; I think it's better then the CIA world factbook but maybe that's just me.

SBS World Guide

Australia
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« Reply #117 on: March 02, 2006, 01:52:17 pm »
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SBS world guide is a great 'primer' as you say over there. It's reasonably cheap too-well, it isn't, but the value of the aussie dollar makes it pretty reasonable for you even with shipping. There is a scaled-back version available online; I think it's better then the CIA world factbook but maybe that's just me.

SBS World Guide

Australia

I'll have to take a look at that when I have time. Smiley
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« Reply #118 on: March 06, 2006, 12:41:48 pm »
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Tomorrow local elections in the Netherlands.

Four years ago these elections were the breakthrough of Pim Fortuyn. His party Liveable Rotterdam won a third of the vote for Rotterdam municipal council, which resulted in Rotterdam Labour Party (PvdA) going in opposition for the first time since 1945.

Later that evening a debate on national television between the leaders of the large political parties and Fortuyn was won by Fortuyn in a glorious way. If Fortuyn wouldn't have been murdered two months later, he would have bedome our prime minister.

In Fortuyn's slipstream other local parties named Livable [municipality] (unconnected with Fortuyn's party) also won the election for their councils, usually causing huge upsets. In general, many of these parties fell apart in more than one fraction after huge infighting. Many Livable-aldermen had to resign because of their inexperience.

For this election, it is expected that PvdA, SP and VVD will win, especially the PvdA suffered great defeats in 2002. Local parties and D66 will lose a lot. Polls suggest that CDA will also lose, but I don't believe that.

This map shows the largest party in the council, usually three or four parties form a coalition, since only in 8 municipalities a party has 50+% of the seats. A traditional coalition is CDA/PvdA/VVD, sometimes local parties, CU or GreenLeft are part of it. In orthodox calvinist municipalities SGP may take part, the SP is only in Oss and Nijmegen municipality in the coalition:




Geen verkiezingen = no elections in 2002 (early elections because of municipal reorganisations)
Leefbaar = Liveable ...
Overige lokale partijen = Other local parties, not named Liveable ...
Overige partijen = Other parties, this is the New Communist Party of the Netherlands NCPN, they still have a stronghold in the outer northeastern corner, on the German border.

National results for local elections 2002:

Turnout 57.7%

Local parties 29.4%
CDA 20.5%
PvdA 16.0%
VVD 15.8%
GrLinks 6.1%
CU/SGP (often combined lists) 4.8%
D66 4.2%
SP 2.8%
Other 0.5%

edit: I live in Groningen municipality, a city of 150,000 inhabitants in the north of the country.

The council (39 seats) consists of PvdA 9 seats, VVD 6, GrLinks 6, SP 5, CDA 5, D66 2, CU 2, City Party (local) 2 and Student's Party 2.

The coalition consists of PvdA/VVD/GrLinks/CDA. It is expected that VVD will lose its place to SP the next period.

I will vote (by proxy, my room mate will vote on my behalf) VVD tomorrow.
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« Reply #119 on: March 06, 2006, 01:00:56 pm »
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Ooh, nice map! Smiley

*cheers for CDA* Cheesy
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« Reply #120 on: March 11, 2006, 04:34:33 am »
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There's an election in Israel in less than 3 weeks, are we going to have a thread on it, or has it been postponed? From what I can tell its still going to happen, and Kadima will win.

Right now it looks like the results will be:

1st Place- Kadima (Olmert)
2nd Place- Labour (Peretz)
3rd Place- Likud (Netanyahu)
4th Place- ? Shinui maybe, I know they did really good in 2003
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« Reply #121 on: March 13, 2006, 07:34:35 am »
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There's an election in Israel in less than 3 weeks, are we going to have a thread on it, or has it been postponed? From what I can tell its still going to happen, and Kadima will win.

Right now it looks like the results will be:

1st Place- Kadima (Olmert)
2nd Place- Labour (Peretz)
3rd Place- Likud (Netanyahu)
4th Place- ? Shinui maybe, I know they did really good in 2003

Yes, there was a thread about the Israeli election somewhere. Shinui basically collapsed a few weeks ago and currently polls between 0 and 1 seat (!).

A good summary of the most recent opinion polls can be found in the Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_legislative_election%2C_2006#Most_Recent_Opinion_Polling
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« Reply #122 on: March 20, 2006, 04:08:16 pm »
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I can't believe I and others missed this one. Smiley

March 12 - Colombia legislative elections. Uribe's supporters do very well. Grin

Senate and Chamber of Deputies. I note that there certainly isn't a two-party system in place any more due to the offshoots and fragments from the original two parties (Liberal and Conservative, and no, they don't mean what you probably think they do Wink ).

Trying to find just who is in Uribe's coalition is a bit tricky (please, just SAY it, you damn Internet sources *grumble* ) but...from something tucked away in a StrategyPage.com email..."March 12, 2006: National elections gave president Uribe's seven party alliance 70 percent of the votes."

So, that would mean...check here for the Wiki version...hmm, trickier than expected...dig dig dig...the PSUN, PCC, and CR all are listed as backing Uribe...that's 3 parties, 46.98% of the vote and 53 Senate seats, with 79 seats in the chamber. Now for the other 4 parties in Uribe's coalition...well, if the PL is in opposition, *editeditedit* the BBC seat "government" totals clash with the 70% vot % totals from SP...grr...clearly not the PDA or the CC...maybe the MAEC...

Geez, will one source or another just say who is aligned with who?! Electionworld used to be good at this...and the BBC is guilty of the silly "Uribe is a right-winger!" crap Roll Eyes (you can almost viscerally feel their disappointment that politicians who aren't totally opposed to Bush and the U.S. didn't win Roll Eyes ) but do provide seat totals...61 of 102 Senate seats, 91 of 166 Chamber Seats...

But anyway, Uribe's side won and thus I am happy with the results. Cool

Maybe ag can shed some light on the seven-party coalition (if that is, in fact, correct of course). Smiley
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« Reply #123 on: March 20, 2006, 04:20:11 pm »
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Yes, the BBC's Latin America people aren't brilliant. Good for some other parts of the world though.
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« Reply #124 on: March 20, 2006, 04:43:26 pm »
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Yes, the BBC's Latin America people aren't brilliant. Good for some other parts of the world though.
Thanks for the info Al. Smiley
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