Nigeria’s Presidential Candidates Sign ‘Peace Agreement,’ Promise Not To Fight After Election

The top contenders in the forthcoming March 28 Presidential election, President Goodluck Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Genenral Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), have signed another peace accord in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Less than 48 hours before Nigeria holds its Presidential elections, the top candidates President Goodluck Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and General Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), have signed a peace accord in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), according to

Some 800 people were killed after the disputed 2011 elections, states GBC.

The meeting was put together Thursday by the National Peace Committee for the 2015 General Elections, led by Nigeria’s former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar.

The Peace Committee raised concerns on Monday that campaigning had been marred by hate speech.

This is the second Peace accord both candidates are signing in a bid to ensure the March 28 Presidential elections are violence-free.

The agreement, just like one they signed on January 14, contained provisions by the parties to avoid actions that could promote violence during and after the polls.

The highly-contested election will take place on Saturday.

Mr Jonathan is facing a strong challenge from Gen Buhari, with some analysts predicting a photo-finish.

In 2011, official figures said Mr Jonathan won by a wide margin.  Gen Buhari said those results were fraudulent, and violence broke out in certain areas of the country.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wins?

Most news outlets are now claiming that Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party won the recent Israeli elections.  With nearly all votes counted on Wednesday, Likud had won 30 seats in the 120-member Knesset, comfortably defeating the center-left Zionist Union opposition on 24 seats. A united list of Israeli Arab parties came in third.

The New York Times:

“After a bruising campaign focused on his failings, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel won a clear victory in Tuesday’s elections and seemed all but certain to form a new government and serve a fourth term, though he offended many voters and alienated allies in the process.

“With 99.5 percent of the ballots counted, the YNet news site reported Wednesday morning that Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud Party had captured 29 or 30 of the 120 seats in Parliament, sweeping past his chief rival, the center-left Zionist Union alliance, which got 24 seats.”

Israeli Prime Minster Netanyahu pledged on Wednesday to form a new governing coalition quickly after an upset election victory that was built on a shift to the right and is likely to worsen a troubled relationship with the White House, according to Yahoo News.

In the final days of campaigning, Netanyahu abandoned a commitment to negotiate a Palestinian state – the basis of more than two decades of Middle East peacemaking – and promised to go on bulldozing areas and building settlements on occupied land.

Such policies defy the vision of a peace treaty for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is embraced by President Barack Obama and his Republican and Democratic predecessors, states Yahoo News.

The result was in some ways an unexpected victory for Netanyahu:  opinion polls published four days before the vote had shown Likud trailing the Zionist Union by four seats.

More here

(Updated article)

Al Jazeera: Israeli Elections Too Close To Call For Benjamin Netanyahu

Today Israel is having an election, which was called last december by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

To the surprise of many, Netanyahu is “fighting for his political life” against once implausible challenger Isaac Herzog, states the publication Haaretz.

Ballots are being cast at 10,372 polling stations throughout Israel, and will remain open until 10 P.M. There are 5,881,696 Israelis (citizens over the age of 18) who are eligible to vote today for the 20th Knesset, states Haaretz.

Israel’s right-wing Likud and the center-left Zionist Union parties are neck and neck in the polls, and are getting the most votes, claims the news organization Al Jazeera.

Experts say the electoral campaigns reflect the country’s growing divisions towards Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governance.

Netanyahu’s Likud had for weeks been tied with the Zionist Union coalition at a projected 23 seats each.

A poll conducted one week before the elections by Israel’s Channel 2 claims that the Zionist Union will gain 25 seats to Likud’s 21.

The elections were announced when Netanyahu “sacked” Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Finance Minister Yair Lapid over disagreements stemming from the controversial Jewish-state bill, a proposed law that defines Israel as “the nation-state of the Jewish people”.

During a recent visit to Jerusalem, where tensions have soared between Jewish Israelis and Palestinian residents since last summer, Netanyahu vowed to quash unrest and continue building Jewish-only settlements if he wins the elections.

“Unlike Tzipi Livni, who condemns our building in Jerusalem, and unlike [Zionist Union co-leader Isaac] Herzog, who will allow the establishment of a second terrorist state in Judea and Samaria, we will preserve a secure and united Jerusalem forever,” he proclaimed.

Israel has more than two parties with seats in Parliament.

The Jewish Home (Habayit Hayehudit), a right-wing Zionist party that supports unilaterally annexing large swaths of the occupied West Bank, is currently projected to gain 12 seats.

The Joint Arab List, a coalition of four Arab-majority parties, is expected to take 13 seats, as is Yesh Atid, the centrist party headed by former Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid.

During the 2013 elections, voter turnout was 67 percent, and pollsters predict that it will be similar this year.

“Israel traditionally has had a high voter turnout,” Dahlia Scheindlin, an independent pollster and writer at 972 Magazine, told Al Jazeera. “The last elections saw one of the higher turnouts in recent years, but it is not that high for Israel. From 1949 till 1999, turnout for national elections was an average of 80 percent.”

Some believe Netanyahu is still favored to win.

“Most Israelis see very little reason to change the incumbent. If he [Netanyahu] wins, and I expect he will, these are the last elections he will win. On the other side of the political map, that means that the Israeli centre-left and left are still nowhere near getting back on their feet,” says Dimi Reider, of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

MK Dov Lipman, a member of the Yesh Atid party, summed up the elections as “a referendum on Netanyahu”, adding that a large percentage of Israelis are still polling as undecided.

More here:

(Updated post)

Should The Democrats Stay More True To Their Core?

WSJ:  “…Republicans emerged from November’s midterm elections with a majority in the Senate and a firmer hold on the House, giving the party control of both chambers of Congress for the first time since 2006.”

Competition such as Joni Ernst of Iowa did not seem serious.

How did the Democrats lose?

TYT looks back at this year’s midterm elections.

TYT video.

McConnell Tweeted PACs Illegally

According to CNN, “Republicans and outside groups used anonymous Twitter accounts to share internal polling data ahead of the midterm elections, CNN has learned, a practice that raises questions about whether they violated campaign finance laws that prohibit coordination.

“…The profiles were publicly available but meaningless without knowledge of how to find them and decode the information, according to a source with knowledge of the activities.”

TYT video.

MSNBC wrote:  “At least two outside groups and a Republican campaign committee had access to the information posted to the accounts, according to the source. They include American Crossroads, the super PAC founded by Karl Rove; American Action Network, a nonprofit advocacy group, and the National Republican Congressional Committee, which is the campaign arm for the House GOP.

“Just minutes after Moody asked the National Republican Congressional Committee about the scheme, the Twitter accounts were quickly deleted.

“And that doesn’t seem suspicious at all.

“The real trouble…is with the cypher. Using our hypothetical, if you’re the operative and I’m the super PAC staffer, and you publish the tweet for me to read, you might plausibly be able to argue that you weren’t deliberately sending me secret info, since your Twitter message was available to literally anyone who knew where to look.”


Quick List Of Senators Up For Re-Election In 2014

Here is a quick list of U.S. senators up for re-election in 2014.

Democrats Republicans
Begich, Mark (D-AK)
Booker, Cory A. (D-NJ)
Coons, Christopher A. (D-DE)
Durbin, Richard J. (D-IL)
Franken, Al (D-MN)
Hagan, Kay R. (D-NC)
Harkin, Tom (D-IA)
Johnson, Tim (D-SD)
Landrieu, Mary L. (D-LA)
Levin, Carl (D-MI)
Markey, Edward J. (D-MA)
Merkley, Jeff (D-OR)
Pryor, Mark L. (D-AR)
Reed, Jack (D-RI)
Rockefeller, John D., IV (D-WV)
Shaheen, Jeanne (D-NH)
Udall, Mark (D-CO)
Udall, Tom (D-NM)
Walsh, John E. (D-MT)
Warner, Mark R. (D-VA)
Alexander, Lamar (R-TN)
Chambliss, Saxby (R-GA)
Cochran, Thad (R-MS)
Collins, Susan M. (R-ME)
Cornyn, John (R-TX)
Enzi, Michael B. (R-WY)
Graham, Lindsey (R-SC)
Inhofe, James M. (R-OK)
Johanns, Mike (R-NE)
McConnell, Mitch (R-KY)
Risch, James E. (R-ID)
Roberts, Pat (R-KS)
Sessions, Jeff (R-AL)