(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
The Greeks have decided to stay the course with the center right and have given a victory to the New Democracy Party headed by Antonis Samaras:
New Democracy narrowly beat Syriza, an alliance of radical leftists, winning 29.53% of the vote against 27.12% for the coalition led by Alexis Tsipras. Samaras called the result a victory for Europe.
“The Greek people today voted for the European course of Greece and that we remain in the euro,” Samaras declared in a victory speech. “This is an important moment for Greece and the rest of Europe,” he insisted, saying that Athens would honour the commitments it made in exchange for rescue loans from the EU and IMF. [..]
Across Greece’s divisive political spectrum there was speculation that Samaras would be able to form a viable coalition with the socialist Pasok and the small Democratic left – parties that have also agreed to accept the onerous terms of bailout funds even if they, too, want to renegotiate the package. [..]
Pro-bailout parties now constitute 50% of the electorate. But with the other half also vehemently opposed to the austerity policies dictated by foreign lenders, Greece’s rollercoaster ride is unlikely to end soon. It is now well into its fifth year of recession, with unemployment at a record 22% and worsening levels of poverty leaving thousands of Greeks destitute and homeless. Resistance to further austerity measures is only going to grow.
In France, exit polls indicate that Socialist Party of François Hollande has won a solid majority in both houses of the Parliament, eliminating the lead for a coalition government. The conservative National Front has won four seats. The party leader, Marine Le Pen lost her bid for a seat but her 22 year old niece, Marion Marechal-Le Pen is believed to have been elected in the southern region of Carpentras. Former presidential candidate and M. Hollande’s ex-partner, Ségolène Royal has lost her bid for a seat in the National Assembly.
The Socialists and other left-wing parties came out on top in last Sunday’s first round of the vote, winning 46 per cent to 34 per cent for (former president Nicholas) Sarkozy’s UMP party and its allies. [..]
The polls showed France’s Socialists winning between 287 and 330 seats in Sunday’s runoff vote – almost certainly enough to secure a majority in the 577-seat Assembly. [..]
The Greens, who are close allies of the Socialists and already in government, were expected to win up to 20 seats.
The vote was also a key test for Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigrant and anti-EU National Front (FN), which took 13.6 per cent in the first round; far above the four per cent it won in the last parliamentary election in 2007.
There are no results yet for Egypt. But there is news and it is not good for the Egyptian people no matter who wins. This is the report by Leila Fadel and Ernesto Londoño in the Washington Post:
CAIRO – Shortly after polls in Egypt’s landmark presidential vote closed Sunday night, Egypt’s military leaders issued a constitutional decree that gave the armed forces vast powers and appeared to give the presidency a subservient role.
The declaration, published in the official state gazette, establishes that the president will have no control over the military’s budget or leadership and will not be authorized to declare war without the consent of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
The document said the military would soon appoint a body to draft a new constitution, which would be put to a public referendum within three months. Once a new charter is in place, an election will be held to chose a parliament that will replace the Islamist-dominated one dissolved Thursday by the country’s top court.
Currently, exit polls show Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi, ahead of former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq in the presidential runoff vote.