Germany's Social Democrats elect Steinmeier as chancellor candidate
19/ 10/ 2008 http://en.rian.ru/world/20081019/117820540.html
BERLIN, October 19 (RIA Novosti) - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was selected by Social Democrats on Saturday as the candidate to challenge Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel in next year's election.
At its special convention in Berlin, Germany's center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD) endorsed Steinmeier, 52, as its candidate in next year's election to face current Chancellor Merkel of the center-right Christian Democrats (CDU). Steinmeier won 95% of the secret ballots cast by the convention's delegates.
The two parties currently share power in a coalition government, following the elections in 2005, in which neither the CDU nor the SPD won enough seats to govern with their traditional small-party allies.
The SPD congress also elected party veteran Franz Muentefering as the SPD's new chairman
Czech opposition achieves overwhelming victory in regional elections
The main opposition party in the Czech Republic, the Czech Social Democrats (CSSD), claimed a landslide victory in this weekend's regional elections, the Czech Statistical Office (CSU) said Saturday. In all 13 regions of the Czech Republic, the left-wing CSSD secured 280 of the 675 seats in the regional assemblies, adding 175 more to the present number, while the ruling Civic Democrats (ODS) took only 180, losing 111 seats in the new assemblies.
According to the CSU, the CSSD gained 35.85 percent of the vote nationwide. The runner-up ODS won only 23.57 percent.
The junior opposition Communists (KSCM) came after the ODS, gaining 114 seats, losing 43.
The junior ruling Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) gained 43 seats in the regions where they ran independently. They are hoping to grasp 13 more in the regions where they ran within an election coalition. The Greens (SZ) have failed to defend the two seats they had in the outgoing assemblies, suffering a heavy loss.
The remaining 58 of the 675 seats contested were won by small local parties.
Elections ease tensions in Baku over Ankara trip to Armenia
CANSU ÇAMLIBELBAKU - Turkish Daily News
Azerbaijan's presidential election Wednesday resulted in an easy and expected victory for the incumbent candidate of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party, Ilham Aliyev, who begins his second term in office.
Extensive efforts by the central election committee to prove to the world that voting would be democratic, which included measures such as using transparent ballot boxes and the use of cameras in polling stations, resulted in a calm and quiet process.
However, this did not prevent observers from international organizations criticizing the credibility of the election due to an opposition boycott. This came as no surprise in the land of "black gold," where political power is defined and redefined according to a leader's charisma and capability to play the game at home and overseas. Six low-key candidates, who ran against Aliyev, were a long way from winning the hearts and minds of Azerbaijanis, who apparently still believed the son of the founder of the Republic, Haydar Aliyev, remained the right man for the job.