“President Bashar al-Assad took the oath of office for a fourth term in war-ravaged Syria on Saturday, after officially winning 95% of the vote in an election dismissed abroad,” AFP reports.
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“Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro has begun sowing distrust in next year’s elections, alarming lawmakers and the courts alike,” Axios reports.
“In speeches, Bolsonaro, a former military captain, has been questioning the integrity of an electronic ballot system that’s been in place since 1996 and suggesting he might not even allow elections to happen.”
A prominent critic of Russian president Vladimir Putin was arrested as he tried to file his election candidacy, the Times of London reports.
Politico: “On Monday morning, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said he would resign and, in line with Swedish convention, ask the speaker of the parliament to begin the process of analyzing whether a new governing coalition can be formed and win enough support in the country’s fragmented parliament.”
“Löfven’s alternative was to call a snap election now, an option he rejected.”
“Mainstream candidates delivered a stinging setback to France’s far right in the second round of regional elections on Sunday, thwarting its hopes of winning control of a region for the first time and slowing its momentum ahead of the presidential contest next year,” France 24 reports.
“Marine Le Pen’s far-right RN was soundly defeated in the key southern battleground of Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur, its main hope of winning control of a region. The far-right leader blamed ‘unnatural alliances’ between foes for keeping her party out of power.”
“Nicaraguan police arrested journalist and presidential hopeful Miguel Mora on terrorism charges in a broadening crackdown on government opposition ahead of a November election,” Bloomberg reports.
“Mora, previously arrested in a 2018, is the fifth opposition candidate to be detained in past month.”
“Marine Le Pen, the former head of France’s far-right National Rally, on Sunday blamed poor turnout for her party’s worse-than-expected performance in the first round of the regional vote,” Deutsche Welle reports.
The Guardian: “With 100% of the official vote counted, leftist Pedro Castillo had 50.12% – and advantage of about 44,000 votes over his far-right rival Keiko Fujimori. But Fujimori has claimed fraud, challenging about 500,000 votes, calling for half to be annulled, and obliging officials at Peru’s electoral board to reexamine ballots – despite the lack of evidence of wrongdoing.”
“Two weeks after the election, which national and international observers said was transparent, the stance of Keiko Fujimori – the daughter of jailed 1990s autocrat Alberto Fujimori – has emboldened the far right, who have vowed not to accept the election results…”
“Apparently inspired by Donald Trump’s refusal to accept defeat at the US elections, Fujimori has led a string of marches against ‘fraud’ telling supporters at one rally: ‘The election will be flipped, dear friends.’”
“Iranian Judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi is the favorite to win Friday’s presidential election, a result that would reassert conservative control over all levers of power in Tehran,” Axios reports.
“The latest polls in Iran project a very low turnout of around 42% — a testament to the disillusionment of supporters of the reformist camp who find themselves with no candidate to vote for.”
“Iran’s Guardian Council disqualified all of the reformist candidates, including former parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani, a supporter of outgoing President Hassan Rouhani and his policies.”
New York Times: “Unlike in Washington, there is no set time by which an outgoing Israeli premier must move out and hand the house over to the victor and it can often take weeks, though it’s not as if the Netanyahu family has nowhere to go. Among their private residences is a home in the seaside town of Caesarea.”
Politico: “There’s a Watergate-style wiretapping scandal. There’s an agricultural tycoon accusing the government of former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov of extortion. And there’s a state-owned bank providing hundreds of millions of euros to a small batch of favored companies.”
“The country’s dizzying daily headlines feel more like plotlines from a hit mafia series on Netflix than actual events unfolding in a European Union member country ahead of an election on July 11.”
Bloomberg: “Mr. Netanyahu, unseated after a bruising, two-year battle to hold on to his job, is already plotting a comeback. The once-invincible Israeli leader was voted out of office on Sunday after 12 uninterrupted years in power, replaced by a shaky governing alliance beset by deep internal divisions.”
“When Netanyahu addressed parliament in his waning moments as prime minister, there were no pro forma well wishes for his successor, religious Jewish nationalist Naftali Bennett, but rather a pointed warning, delivered in his U.S-accented English: ‘We’ll be back — soon.’”
“Benjamin Netanyahu’s record-breaking term as prime minister ended on Sunday night, when the Knesset voted to approve the new government formed by Yamina leader Naftali Bennett and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid,” the Jerusalem Post reports.
Axios: “The final vote was 60-59 with one abstention, the smallest possible majority for the new government.”
Foreign Policy: “Nicaragua has been in the throes of Ortega’s dictatorial clampdown since a citizen uprising against him in April 2018, when hundreds of people were killed and thousands of people were injured, making it the worst wave of political violence in Latin America in three decades. More than 100 political prisoners still languish in Nicaragua.”
“Now, as he seeks a fourth straight term in office, Ortega is tightening the screws by removing opposition candidates from the field—one by one. Ortega’s actions slam the door on the (already narrow) electoral route to restoring democracy, contributing to significant uncertainty about the country’s future.”
“A court in Moscow outlawed groups linked to the jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny yesterday in a move intended to silence dissent and bar Kremlin critics from running for parliament in September,” the Times of London reports.
“The apparent electoral win in Peru of Pedro Castillo, a rural union activist from a Marxist party, over conservative rival Keiko Fujimori signals what may be a far-reaching shift to the left in a region ravaged by Covid and filled with fury at ruling elites,” Bloomberg reports.
“Candidates on the left appear poised for victory in Chile, Colombia, and Brazil over the next 16 months. With leftists already running Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, and Bolivia, it could resemble the ‘pink tide’ at the start of this century, kicked off by Venezuela’s election of Hugo Chávez in 1998.”
“On the verge of being replaced after 12 years in power, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is waging a desperate, Trump-style campaign to de-legitimize the incoming government and accuse its leaders of perpetrating ‘the fraud of the century,'” Axios reports.
“The situation has become so tense — with members of the Israeli Knesset facing death threats and demonstrations from angry Netanyahu supporters outside their homes — that the director of Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security agency issued a rare warning of potential political violence.”
Early results show Peru’s presidential runoff is too close to call, increasing the chances of a disputed election and calls for a recount, Bloomberg reports.