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Free Elections

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NEWS
November 29, 1989 | Daily News Wire Services
A senior Czechoslovak Communist Party official today promised that free elections could be held in the country within a year. Politburo member Vasil Mohorita told a news conference "Free and democratic elections . . . will be held on a date which will be declared by the Federal Assembly. " Asked whether the Communists would allow another party to govern if it won the election, Mohorita replied: "It will not be up to our party to allow it. " Despite repeated questions, Mohorita did not say specifically that the Communists would relinquish power if they lost in free elections.
NEWS
February 11, 1986 | Daily News Wire Services
The head of the interim government pledged yesterday to share wealth fairly in Haiti, where people were ground into poverty in the three decades that made the Duvaliers and their friends fabulously rich. Lt. Gen. Henri Namphy, president of the six-man interim government council, said at swearing-in ceremonies for the new cabinet that there will be free elections and a new, "liberal" constitution to create a "real and working democracy. " He did not set a date for the elections or elaborate on the new constitution.
NEWS
May 20, 2002 | By Ron Hutcheson INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
President Bush will retain the bans on trade and most travel to Cuba but he will hold out the promise of private humanitarian assistance to the island in a policy speech planned for today. He also intends to challenge Cuban leader Fidel Castro to hold free elections next year, which few observers believe will happen. Bush's hard-line stance is likely to please Florida's 830,000 Cuban American voters, a powerful voting bloc in a state that is expected to be nearly as important in the next presidential election as it was in the last one. One sign that the speech has as much to do with domestic politics as it does with foreign policy is this: Bush will deliver his pointed criticism of Castro at the White House before traveling to Miami for a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Cuba's independence from Spain.
NEWS
June 19, 1991
FREE PRESS OR FREE ELECTIONS? It is more important for democratizing societies to have a free press than free elections. Today in most Islamic countries, free elections would produce fundamentalist victories and validate the imposition of theocracy. Today in most Soviet republics, free elections would result in nationalist control and may legitimize secular tyranny. That is why the mullahs and many Soviet republic nationalists want elections, and why they equate elections and democracy.
NEWS
December 17, 1986
Amid all the flood of verbiage which is being cranked out by all the media about the Nicaraguan situation, the most important points in the welter of irrelevancies and contradictions are being overlooked. The present Nicaraguan government came to power under false pretenses. After the overthrow of Anastasio Somoza (with U.S. help) the Sandinistas promised to set up a real democratic government with all its privileges and rights like freedom of speech, freedom of the press, free elections, etc. What Daniel Ortega and his associates did however (and here they followed the examples of Lenin and Castro)
NEWS
January 11, 2005
TO EVERY God-fearing Bush-lover out there: Stop telling me to leave my country because I don't agree with the government. I'm allowed to stick around as much as you are. The fact that I don't support this "war" doesn't mean I have to leave, or want to leave. Democracy allows for differing opinions, out of which come free elections. As soon as you tell me to get out for disagreeing, you cross the line into another form of government - facism - the kind that Hitler employed.
NEWS
June 19, 1987 | By David Hess, Inquirer Washington Bureau
President Reagan, responding to South Korea's escalating turmoil, has sent a message to President Chun Doo Hwan urging him to move swiftly to adopt democratic reforms and to release a leading opponent from house arrest, according to U.S. and Korean officials. In the letter, officials said, Reagan asked Chun to resume talks with his political opponents regarding constitutional revisions and to permit free and fair presidential elections. Reagan also urged Chun to "do all in your power" to avoid bloodshed in the violent street demonstrations that have pitted police against students and other protesters, said one high-ranking U.S. official.
NEWS
June 15, 2010 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Anglo-American polemicist, literary critic, and political wag Christopher Hitchens has been called, usually to his great dismay, America's last public intellectual, a contrarian who philosophizes with a hammer, and a political gadfly. Hitchens, whose books include Thomas Jefferson: Author of America and God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything , will discuss his new tome, Hitch-22: A Memoir , Tuesday night at 7:30 at the Free Library of Philadelphia's Central Library, 1901 Vine St. On Monday, while waiting for a flight to Miami at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va., Hitchens, 61, talked by cell phone about his life, his politics, and his distaste for religion.
NEWS
November 21, 1989 | From Inquirer Wire Services
A top West German official met with East German leaders yesterday and said the East German Communist Party might lose its constitutionally guaranteed monopoly on power as early as next year. Rudolf Seiters, Chancellor Helmut Kohl's chief of staff, also said he expected a law on free elections to be approved in 1990. East Germany's Communist Party chief, Egon Krenz, stood beside Seiters, looking impassive as the West German official predicted abolition of the communists' guaranteed "leading role" in government and politics.
NEWS
October 16, 1989 | From Inquirer Wire Services
East Germany's mushrooming opposition group, New Forum, held a major meeting in East Berlin yesterday even though it has not been recognized by the communist regime. Baerbel Bohley, a New Forum founder whose apartment in East Berlin serves as a kind of headquarters, said that members from 14 different East German areas met in the capital to talk about a firmer direction for the movement. The gathering came amid growing speculation that a meeting of the ruling Politburo later this week could determine the political future of hard-line communist leader Erich Honecker.
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NEWS
November 3, 2012 | By Amy Worden and Bob Warner, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG - Word that a United Nations-affiliated elections monitoring team may be headed to Pennsylvania to observe Tuesday's elections set off fireworks in the Capitol, where a leading Republican urged state officials to bar the group, along with others seeking "to exercise fraudulent or corrupt influence" at the polls. Earlier last month, the NAACP and other civil rights groups asked the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to monitor polling places in states "most impacted by voter-restriction efforts.
NEWS
May 17, 2012 | By Sarah El Deeb, Associated Press
CAIRO - Egypt's military ruler said Wednesday he hopes that a "great leader" will emerge from the country's presidential election, and said it will be a free and fair vote that will reflect the will of the people. The remarks by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi appeared intended to assuage fears among many Egyptians that the ruling military council may be pushing a preferred candidate of its own, and reassure them that the pervasive rigging that was routine under ousted president Hosni Mubarak will not take place.
NEWS
May 6, 2012 | By Lynn Berry, Associated Press
MOSCOW - Vladimir V. Putin's return to the Russian presidency on Monday will technically give him greater powers than he wielded as prime minister. The irony is that his position will be arguably weaker than at any time since he first came to power more than 12 years ago. In part because of the heavy-handed way in which he reclaimed the presidency, Putin finds himself the leader of a changed country, where a growing portion of society is no longer willing to silently tolerate a government that denies its citizens a political voice.
NEWS
June 15, 2010 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Anglo-American polemicist, literary critic, and political wag Christopher Hitchens has been called, usually to his great dismay, America's last public intellectual, a contrarian who philosophizes with a hammer, and a political gadfly. Hitchens, whose books include Thomas Jefferson: Author of America and God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything , will discuss his new tome, Hitch-22: A Memoir , Tuesday night at 7:30 at the Free Library of Philadelphia's Central Library, 1901 Vine St. On Monday, while waiting for a flight to Miami at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va., Hitchens, 61, talked by cell phone about his life, his politics, and his distaste for religion.
NEWS
February 12, 2009
NOW THAT Mr. Bush is gone and the Iraq war is winding down, a panel is tracking the waste, errors, poor judgment, fraud and greed involved. Since the war began, contractors were paid more than $100 billion. The deputy inspector general has at least 154 open criminal investigations for fraud, bribery, deceit, theft, deception and defective products. Most notably, the faulty wiring that electrocuted a U.S. soldier. Mr. Bush dropped the ball. For instance, a $2.4 billion project wound up to costing taxpayers $51 billion.
NEWS
January 20, 2009 | By Edward McCann
Let's take a moment to reflect on how far Philadelphia has come in its fight against prejudice and racism. Let's commemorate Octavius Catto, one of the founding fathers of the free elections that ultimately led to today's inauguration of our first African American president. Catto was the voice and persona behind African Americans' gathering for the first time ever to effect change by voting in a Philadelphia election. And he was the first Philadelphia civil rights leader killed for his efforts.
NEWS
January 7, 2008 | By Charles Krauthammer
"My mother always said democracy is the best revenge. " - Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, son of the late Benazir Bhutto Of all the understandings of the democratic idea, none could be more wrong than this one. Democracy at its very core is an antidote to the kind of dynastic revenge young Bhutto was suggesting. For the Bhuttos, elections are a means for the family to regain power. Benazir was always avenging the death of her father, the former prime minister hanged two years after a coup.
NEWS
November 7, 2007
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf calls his decision to suspend the constitution a state of emergency. Critics call it martial law by a dictator desperate to hang onto power. The Bush administration, if it were to make a frank assessment, could call Musharraf's crackdown on democratic institutions cause for reducing the huge amount of aid - about $10 billion since 2001 - the United States is giving Pakistan. Pakistan has been a fickle friend. A resurgence of the Taliban and al-Qaeda, operating from Pakistan, near the Afghan border, makes Musharraf look as much like an enabler as an ally.
NEWS
May 4, 2007
Political disgrace "Judicial hopefuls treading the line," by Emilie Lounsberry, April 28, correctly points out the atrocious turn our electoral processes have taken. How could the public and our elected officials allow a beautifully designed democratic system to become something akin to a banana republic? Judicial candidates accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from interest groups? Presidential candidates spending hundreds of millions? Partisan gerrymandering of districts to create permanent safe seats instead of fair representation?
NEWS
August 31, 2006
IT'S THE PRESIDENT'S job to uphold democracy. That's why we're disturbed by City Council President Anna Verna's decision to call a special election to fill three vacancies on Council. An "election" is one of the fundamental tools of democracy. But this "special election," which will allow ward leaders to put forth their handpicked choices for the vacant seats, is one of the fundamental tools of a political machine intent on grinding the same old gears. Anyone who values democracy ought to be outraged.
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