Back to the Future in Iran's Election
As the field of candidates for Iran’s presidential election takes shape, the most intriguing entry into the race is Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. His candidacy is a threat to all other candidates—and more critically, it presents a major challenge to Iran’s most powerful man, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Despite the generational changes that have shaped the Iranian system in recent years, Rafsanjani’s challenge to Khamenei may take this election back to the future.
BJP needs to get its message right
In his autobiography which, unfortunately, has never received the importance it deserved, former British Prime Minister (a man who never lost an election) Tony Blair made a distinction between “activists” and “normal people”. He was alluding to the tendency of committed political workers who take an active interest in the inner workings of a political party having agendas and priorities that are far removed from everyday concerns of ordinary voters who troop to the polling booth once every four or five years.
PTI and PPP: What went wrong?
I must admit one thing: I had never expected around two years ago that Imran Khan’s Facebook supporters will actually come out on the polling day and vote. In fact not only they came out but they actually instilled passion and enthusiasm in the entire election campaign. Imran has motivated them and touched the raw visceral nerve of the class which previously has largely been apolitical. His appeal also influenced many of the youngsters from major urban cities who all came out during the campaign filling huge venues like Minar-e-Pakistan.
Social engineering formula helped Congress win Karnataka elections
If the three-way division in the Bharatiya Janata Party vote was clearly the single biggest reason for the Congress’ convincing victory in the recent Karnataka Assembly elections, perhaps the most significant element in the latter’s electoral strategy was “social engineering.” The party, senior Congress functionaries say, taking inspiration from the late Devraj Urs, adopted a formula that shifted the spotlight away...
Pakistan election: Nawaz Sharif 'set for victory'
Former Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif is celebrating with his supporters, amid early signs that his party will be the largest after parliamentary elections. Media projections based on partial results suggest a big lead for Mr Sharif's Muslim League, and he has already claimed victory. The election should lead to the country's first transition from one elected government to another. The turnout was huge but the poll was marred by violence. In Karachi, the Pakistan Taliban said they planted a bomb which killed 11 people and wounded 40 others.
The road to 272
The 2014 general election will mark 30 years since a political party won a clear majority of 272 seats on its own in the Lok Sabha. Rajiv Gandhi achieved that for the Congress with over 400 seats in 1984. Since then, in 1989, 1991, 1996 and the four general elections that followed, no party has crossed 272 seats in parliament. For 2014, most parties’ ambitions are modest. The Congress thinks 140 Lok Sabha seats will be enough to stitch together a “secular” UPA-3 coalition. The BJP reckons it needs 180 seats to do the same for NDA-3.
Karnataka results analysis: BJPís mistake was removing Yeddy from Delhi
The real issue thrown up by the Karnataka election results is one of leadership and governance. The Congress won because the BJP could not solve the issue of its state leadership. Let’s be clear: this is not about whether BS Yeddyurappa should have been kept back or if the party was right in removing him. The issue is who decides this? Did the Karnataka BJP legislative party decide this or the BJP High Command sitting in the rarefied atmosphere of Delhi?