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2014: A year of electoral fireworks

A big year ahead for Dilma, Modi, Jokowi and Barry, too.
NEW YORK — Some of the largest nations on Earth — including Afghanistan, Brazil and India, not to mention the United States — will hold important elections in the coming year, any of which could affect the global political landscape profoundly.

Chris Christie wins re-election in New Jersey

New Jersey governor Chris Christie was re-elected Tuesday by a large margin, in a victory likely to bolster the spirits of a Republican party still smarting from the government shutdown.

Back to the future: Communist Party may gain power in the Czech Republic

PRAGUE — After a quarter century in the political wilderness, the unreformed Communist Party has a real chance of regaining a measure of political power for the first time since the Velvet Revolution ended its 40-year dictatorship in 1989 thanks to voters’ deep disenchantment with the established political parties.

Why Iran's elections are so important

Far from merely an internal affair, the international community, from diplomats to investors, are on the sidelines, scrambling to decipher the complexities of the country's political process.

Kenya: Officials deny vote fraud claims

  NAIROBI, Kenya — The election commission has dismissed claims the results of Monday’s election were “doctored” as the slow, manual tallying of votes continued after a series of electronic systems designed to prevent fraud failed. The count’s perceived slowness has raised tensions as political leaders alleged fraud and bias and voters were left questioning the election commission’s ability to complete the process fairly and accurately.

Italy’s danger man

BRUSSELS — Debates on Italian television during the campaign for last week's election fell into a familiar pattern. Two or three male politicians in immaculate suits would answer questions about bond yields or labor market liberalization from similarly attired journalists. If the presenter wasn’t a beautiful woman in a short skirt, there would be one on the panel. The elections’ big winner approached the campaign differently.

Kenya election prompts fears of new violence

KIAMBAA, Kenya — Of all the terrible things that took place after Kenya’s last election, the worst was the burning to death of 35 people in this town’s small Pentecostal church. After members of the majority Kikuyu ethnic group sought shelter there, hundreds of machete-wielding men from the rival minority Kalenjin tribe laid gasoline-soaked mattresses against the walls and set them alight. Kenyans are still recovering from the violence that killed more than 1,100 people and forced 600,000 from their homes. And there are fears of fresh clashes as the country prepares for a new election on Monday.

South Africa: Jacob Zuma fights off challenger at ANC conference

CAPE TOWN – While Nelson Mandela remains in hospital, his successors are squabbling over the leadership of his old political party, the African National Congress. Thousands of ANC delegates will gather Sunday to elect the party’s top brass in the city of Bloemfontein, also known by its African name, “Mangaung.” Held once every five years, the ANC conference will likely be a raucous affair.

Pranab Mukherjee named India's 13th president in Congress party victory

Pranab Mukherjee was named India's 13th president on Sunday, signaling victory for the ruling Congress party, whose collective reputation is suffering from graft allegations and the nation's slowing economic growth.

Women to the rescue in Iceland

If Thora Arnorsdottir wins this weekend’s presidential vote, both of Iceland’s top jobs will be held by women — after men drove the country into bankruptcy.
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