elections and referenda

Celebrations as Australians back same-sex marriage

Nov 15, 2017 - 2:54 PM

Thousands of marriage equality supporters take to parks and squares across the vast continent, hugging, dancing and singing under clouds of glitter when the results of the two-month-long postal survey are announced

JUST LOVE. Supporters of the same-sex marriage 'Yes' vote gather to celebrate the announcement in a Sydney park on November 15, 2017. William West/AFP

Australians say 'yes' to gay marriage

Nov 15, 2017 - 7:28 AM

(UPDATED) Same-sex couples could be able to marry by Christmas, but first parliament must adopt legislation giving the non-binding vote result the force of law

FOR EQUALITY. Protesters at a pro same-sex marriage rally hold up banners at a protest in Sydney on September 23, 2017. Peter Parks/AFP

'Instagram president' wins Slovenia runoff election

Nov 13, 2017 - 6:10 AM

Slovenia's internet-savvy President Borut Pahor wins a second term in a runoff vote that is marred by an abysmally low turnout

RUNOFF WINNER. Re-elected Slovenian President Borut Pahor addresses the media after after the release of the first results for the second round of the presidential elections in Ljubljana on November 12, 2017.  Jure Makovec/AFP

Breakaway Somaliland to elect new president

Nov 11, 2017 - 8:40 PM

Incumbent Ahmed Mohamud Silaanyo is not seeking reelection in Somaliland, which has been striving to attain international recognition ever since it broke away from Somalia

Woman becomes first transgender elected official in Virginia

Nov 08, 2017 - 1:52 PM

Democrat Danica Roem prevails in her race against Republican Robert Marshall, who once referred to himself as Virginia's 'chief homophobe'

WINNER. This file photo taken on September 22, 2017 shows Danica Roem, a Democrat for Delegate in Virginia's district 13, a transgender, at her campaign office on September 22, 2017 in Manassas, Virginia. Paul J. Richards/AFP

Democratic election sweep is lousy anniversary gift for Trump

Nov 08, 2017 - 1:09 PM

The results amount to a sweeping repudiation of what critics have called Trump's politics of division, and a test of his influence ahead of electoral battles looming on the state and national level

BIGGEST WINNER. Virginia Gov.-elect Ralph Northam greets supporters at an election night rally November 7, 2017 in Fairfax, Virginia. Win McNamee/Getty Images/AFP

Democrat Phil Murphy wins NJ governor race, vows to push back vs Trump

Nov 08, 2017 - 10:23 AM

Phil Murphy will succeed Chris Christie as governor of New Jersey

NEXT GOVERNOR. NJ governor elect Phil Murphy says he'll 'push back against the mean winds blowing at us from Washington DC.' Photo by Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images/AFP

Virginia elects Democrat governor, in rejection of Trumpism

Nov 08, 2017 - 7:36 AM

(UPDATED) A handful of US states held elections Tuesday, November 7, one year after Donald Trump's shock presidential victory

VOTE. Karina Smith holds her 2-year-old son Kyler as she fills out her ballot at the polling place at Washington Mill Elementary School November 7, 2017 in Alexandria, Virginia.  Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP

Kenya waits for an end to presidential election re-run

Oct 30, 2017 - 1:04 PM

The results remain on hold as officials mull what to do about the 25 constituencies in 4 western counties where voting was blocked

In this photo, residents of Kawangware district of Nairobi erect a burning barricade on October 27, 2017 during post electoral violence. Marco Longari/AFP

Icelanders vote as left hopes to rattle scandal-hit establishment

Oct 28, 2017 - 8:55 PM

(UPDATED) Saturday's election is Iceland's fourth since 2008

ELECTION EVE. Bjarni Benediktsson, leader of The Independence Party, arrives to take part in the final debate televised by the RUV, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service on the eve of snap parliamentary election on October 27, 2017 in Reykjavik. Halldor Kolbeins/AFP

Rome to negotiate with regions after autonomy victory

Oct 25, 2017 - 6:42 AM

Over 95% of those who took part in referendums on Sunday, October 22, in the northern regions of Veneto and Lombardy, home to Venice and Milan respectively, supported more powers being devolved from the Italian capital

REFERENDUM. A citizen casts his ballot at a polling station during an autonomy referendum in Venice, on October 22, 2017.  Andrea Pattaro/AFP

Abe targets North Korea after 'super-majority' vote win

Oct 23, 2017 - 9:56 AM

(UPDATED) While local media acknowledge what is described as a 'landslide' victory, many chalk up Abe's win to a weak and ineffective opposition and urges caution

NOW WITH 'SUPER-MAJORITY' Japan's Prime Minister and ruling Liberal Democratic Party leader Shinzo Abe answers questions at the party headquarters in Tokyo on October 22, 2017. Toru Yamanaka/AFP

Freed Russia opposition leader Navalny back on campaign trail

Oct 23, 2017 - 1:20 AM

Alexei Navalny says he is 'ready to work' as the Kremlin race heats up

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny looks on at the Domodedovo airport hall shortly after being released in Moscow on October 22, 2017. Alexei Navalny was released after a 20-day jail term for organising protests against Russian President. / AFP PHOTO / Vasily MAXIMOV

Abe cruises to 'super-majority' win in Japan vote

Oct 22, 2017 - 7:15 PM

(4th UPDATE) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling conservative coalition is on track to win more than 310 seats in the 465-seat parliament

Japan's Prime Minister and President of ruling Liberal Democratic Party Shinzo Abe gestures as he answers questions during a political debate ahead of the general elections at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo on October 8, 2017. Photo by Toru Yamanaka/AFP

Abe eyes big win as Japan votes under North Korea threats

Oct 22, 2017 - 7:24 AM

(UPDATED) If pre-election surveys are correct, Abe's conservative coalition will cruise to a crushing majority to win a fresh term at the helm of the key US regional ally and Asian economic powerhouse

ABE. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers a speech in Fukuoka on July 27, 2016. AFP PHOTO / JIJI PRESS / STR / Japan OUT

Japan braces for super typhoon ahead of election

Oct 21, 2017 - 3:59 PM

Super typhoon Lan, described as 'very large' and 'very strong' by Japan's Meteorological Agency, is packing gusts up to 252 kilometers (157 miles) per hour

Kremlin bids to sex up 2018 polls with 'It Girl' – analysts

Oct 19, 2017 - 9:39 PM

Ksenia Sobchak's campaign, observers say, is meant to steal Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny's thunder and further split the country's embattled opposition

SOCIALITE TO CANDIDATE. A journalist looks at a computer screen displaying Ksenia Sobchak's campaign web page, in Moscow on October 19, 2017. Mladen Antonov/AFP

Kenya election chief casts doubt on 'free, fair' poll

Oct 19, 2017 - 7:36 AM

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chief Wafula Chebukati lays bare internal divisions and accuses both major parties of interference

IN DOUBT? In this file photo, a Kenyan man casts his ballot at a polling station in Gatundu, Kiambu county, during the August 8, 2017 general election. Simon Maina/AFP

Venezuela faces more isolation, sanctions after contested vote

Oct 17, 2017 - 10:53 AM

Experts say Venezuela's punishing political and economic crisis will only deepen

CLAIMING VICTORY. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (R) speaks beside First lady Cilia Flores (R) and Diosdado Cabello (L), a member of the Constituent Assembly, in Caracas on October 15, 2017. Presidencia/AFP

Austria far-right eyes power in 'whizz-kid' government

Oct 16, 2017 - 5:23 PM

The expected rightward shift in the wealthy European Union member state will pose a fresh headache for Brussels as it struggles with Brexit and the rise of nationalists in Germany, Hungary, Poland and elsewhere

NEXT CHANCELLOR? Austria's Foreign Minister and leader of Austria's center-right People's Party (OeVP) Sebastian Kurz waves to supporters during the party's election event following the general elections in Vienna, Austria, on October 15, 2017. Robert Jaeger/APA/AFP

Maduro claims landslide win in disputed Venezuela elections

Oct 16, 2017 - 11:52 AM

(UPDATED) Maduro's socialist party won governorships of 17 of the 23 states with the opposition Democratic Union Roundtable (MUD) coalition taking only 5

VOTE CAST. A Venezuelan votes during regional elections in Caracas' municipality of Chacao, where people choose the governor for the state of Miranda, on October 15, 2017. Federico Parra/AFP

Abe on course for landslide win in Japan vote – poll

Oct 16, 2017 - 10:34 AM

After an initial burst of support for the media-savvy Yuriko Koike, critics say the Tokyo governor has suffered by not running herself in the election, meaning voters for her party are not sure who they are electing as PM

POLITICAL LEADERS. Leaders of Japan's political parties, from L-R: head of Komeito, Natsuo Yamaguchi; ruling Liberal Democratic Party President and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe; head of Party of Hope and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike; and Japanese Communist Party Chairman Kazuo Shii pose for photographers before their debate ahead of general elections at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo on October 8, 2017. Toru Yamanaka/AFP

Austrian 'whizz-kid' in election triumph

Oct 16, 2017 - 6:58 AM

Austria's political 'whizz-kid' Sebastian Kurz is on course to become Europe's youngest leader, potentially in coalition with the far-right

SUCCESSION LINE? Austrian Chancellor and leader of the Social Democrats (SPOe) Christian Kern (L) and Austria's Foreign Minister and leader of Austria's center-right People's Party (OeVP) Sebastian Kurz, attend a television debate about the Austrian general elections in Vienna on October 15, 2017. Alex Halada/AFP

Austria set to elect youngest EU leader in right-wing push

Oct 15, 2017 - 9:56 AM

A rightward shift in the wealthy European Union member of 8.75 million people would be a fresh headache for Brussels

NEXT P.M.? Chairman of Austrian People's Party (OeVP), Sebastian Kurz arrives for a TV debate on October 12, 2017 in Vienna ahead of Austrian Parliamentary elections on October 15. Georg Hochmuth/APA/AFP

Gloves off as Japan election campaign starts

Oct 10, 2017 - 2:25 PM

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faces an unexpected and fierce challenge from Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike's 'Party of Hope'

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike waves to the audience during an election campaign appearance at an entrance of a train station in Tokyo on October 10, 2017. Tokyo's popular governor Yuriko Koike launched a bitter attack on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on October 10 as the gloves came off for the official start of a snap election campaign in the world's third-largest economy. / AFP PHOTO / Kazuhiro NOGI

Abe vows to tackle North Korea threat ahead of Japan election

Oct 08, 2017 - 9:10 PM

'We will protect our country under stable politics,' Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says in a televised debate

Japan's Prime Minister and President of ruling Liberal Democratic Party Shinzo Abe gestures as he answers questions during a political debate ahead of the general elections at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo on October 8, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Toru YAMANAKA

Spain rejects mediation as Catalans plan to declare independence

Oct 05, 2017 - 10:00 AM

(UPDATED) Catalan leaders say they could unilaterally declare independence as early as Monday, October 9

A man holds a Catalan pro-independence 'Estelada' flag during a demonstration in support of the referendum in Catalonia on October 01, 2017, in Granada. / AFP PHOTO / JORGE GUERRERO

Catalan crisis worsens after Spanish king slams independence bid

Oct 04, 2017 - 7:39 AM

(UPDATED) Spain braces for further political upheaval as a crisis over Catalan demands for independence deepened after King Felipe VI urges authorities to defend 'constitutional order'

THE KING SPEAKS. This handout picture released on October 3, 2017 by the Spanish Royal House (Casa Real) shows Spain's King Felipe VI addressing the nation on October 3, 2017 in Madrid, as the country grapples with its biggest political crisis in decades over an independence drive in Catalonia. Francisco Gomez/Casa Real/Handout/AFP

Big early response in Australia gay marriage vote

Oct 03, 2017 - 3:14 PM

The result will not be published until November 15, a week after the poll closes, but campaigners from both the 'yes' and 'no' camps welcome the high response

YES OR NO. A photo taken in Sydney on September 20, 2017, shows the voting form in the contentious postal survey on same-sex marriage. William West/AFP

Catalan leader threatens independence from Spain after chaotic vote

Oct 02, 2017 - 7:16 AM

Catalonia's leader Carles Puigdemont says the region won the right to break away from Spain after 'millions' turned out to vote in an independence referendum banned by Madrid

SI. A man waves an 'Estelada' (Pro-independence Catalan flag) from a balcony after the closing of the 'Espai Jove La Fontana' (La Fontana youth center) polling station, on October 1, 2017 in Barcelona. Pau Barrena/AFP

Clashes as riot police crack down on banned Catalan vote

Oct 01, 2017 - 4:13 PM

(4th UPDATE) At least 92 people are confirmed injured in clashes with police during the independence referendum in Catalonia

SEIZED. Spanish police officers seize ballot-boxes in a polling station in Barcelona, on October 1, 2017, on the day of a referendum on independence for Catalonia banned by Madrid. Pau Barrena/AFP

Thousands rally for unity across Spain ahead of Catalonia vote

Oct 01, 2017 - 8:35 AM

Thousands of flag-waving protesters rallied in cities across Spain in favor of national unity, a day before a banned referendum on independence for Catalonia

FOR UNITY. People hold a giant Spanish flag during a demonstration against independence in Catalonia, on September 30, 2017 in Barcelona. Lluis Gene/AFP

Catalan leader urges 'mediation' in referendum crisis

Oct 01, 2017 - 8:05 AM

The standoff between the central government and Catalan leaders over their plans to hold an independence referendum has morphed into one of the biggest crises to hit Spain in decades

CATALAN LEADER. Catalan president Carles Puigdemont poses before an Agence France-Presse interview in Girona on September 30, 2017. Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP

Police seal off 1,300 polling stations in Catalonia as resistance continues

Sep 30, 2017 - 10:57 PM

Teachers, parents, students and activists have leapt into action to defend the vote slated for Sunday, defying Madrid's warnings of repercussions

CATALONIA VOTE. In this file photo, a man holding a symbolic ballot marked with a 'Yes' attends a protest against a search for propaganda supporting Catalonia's independence referendum by the Spanish Guardia Civil at the private postal service company Unipost in Terrassa on September 19, 2017. Photo by Lluis Gene/AFP

Catalans occupy polling stations ahead of contested vote

Sep 29, 2017 - 11:20 PM

(UPDATED) In one of the biggest crises to hit Spain since democracy was restored after the death of Franco in 1975, the referendum has pitched the wealthy northeastern region against central government and sown divisions among Catalans themselves

PRO-INDEPENDENCE RALLY. People hold Catalan pro-independence 'Estelada' flags as farmers demonstrate with tractors during a pro-referendum protest called by the Union 'Unio de Pagesos' on September 29, 2017 in Barcelona. Photo by Pau Barrena/AFP

Japan's Abe dissolves parliament ahead of tough election battle

Sep 28, 2017 - 11:55 AM

(UPDATED) Voters in the world's third-biggest economy are expected to go to the polls on October 22, as Abe seeks a fresh popular mandate for his hardline stance on North Korea and a new tax plan

MOVING FORWARD. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (C) applauds as the lower house of the parliament approved the snap election in Tokyo on September 28, 2017. Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP

Catalan police warn of public disorder if polling stations closed

Sep 28, 2017 - 9:01 AM

The Catalan government has vowed to press ahead with Sunday's (October 1) plebiscite in the wealthy northeastern region despite a crackdown by Madrid which wants to prevent a vote deemed unconstitutional by the courts

CRY FOR FREEDOM. People raise their fist and wave Esteladas (Pro-independence Catalan flag) during a campaign meeting for a banned independence referendum on September 27, 2017 in Barcelona. Pau Barrena/AFP

Tokyo governor Koike vows break from the past with new party

Sep 27, 2017 - 1:24 PM

Popular Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike vows a break with old-school politics as she officially launches a new party she hopes will shake up the upcoming snap election in Japan

'PARTY OF HOPE' Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike (C) poses with her party members during an inauguration press conference on her new political party, 'Party of Hope', in Tokyo on September 27, 2017. Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP

Trump-backed Republican defeated in US Senate runoff

Sep 27, 2017 - 10:04 AM

(UPDATED) The result is an embarrassing setback for Trump that highlights the deep divisions within his party and raises questions about its future direction as the GOP heads toward mid-term elections in 2018

GOP WINNER. Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Alabama, Roy Moore, greets guests after arriving at an election-night rally on September 26, 2017 in Montgomery, Alabama. Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP

Tensions rise after Iraq Kurds' independence vote

Sep 26, 2017 - 10:25 AM

The vote in the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq and some disputed areas is non-binding and will not lead automatically to independence, but is seen by the Kurds as a major step towards a long-cherished dream of statehood

CELEBRATION. Iraqi Kurds wave the Kurdish flag as they celebrate in the streets of the northern city of Arbil on September 25, 2017 following a referendum on independence. Safin Hamed/AFP

Japan's Abe triggers snap election amid North Korea crisis

Sep 25, 2017 - 3:21 PM

(UPDATED) The prime minister did not give a date for the election but it will reportedly be on October 22

In this file photo, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe waits for a meeting with US President Donald Trump at the Palace Hotel during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly September 21, 2017 in New York City. Brendan Smialowski/AFP

Iraq Kurds defy Baghdad in historic independence vote

Sep 25, 2017 - 10:16 AM

(3rd UPDATE) The non-binding vote on the Kurds' long-cherished dream of independence, initiated by veteran leader Massud Barzani, has angered not only the federal government but also neighboring Turkey and Iran

PUSH FOR INDEPENDENCE. Iraqis drive past posters encouraging people to vote in the upcoming independence referendum for the Kurdistan region on September 24, 2017, in central Kirkuk. Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP

New Zealand PM says poll deadlock may last 3 weeks

Sep 25, 2017 - 9:26 AM

Maverick MP Winston Peters emerges as kingmaker after Bill English's conservative National Party and the Jacinda Ardern-led Labour both fail to win an outright majority

ELECTION DEADLOCK. Leader of the National Party Bill English speaks to supporters at the party's election event at SkyCity Convention Centre in Auckland on September 23, 2017. Michael Bradley/AFP

Dismay as Germany's hard-right AfD marches into parliament

Sep 25, 2017 - 8:56 AM

AfD will now send dozens of lawmakers to the Bundestag opposition benches, giving them a platform to spread their views, including challenging Germany's culture of atonement over World War II and the massacre of 6 million Jews and others in the Holocaust

NEW FORCE. Top candidate of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) Alexander Gauland (L) and top candidate of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) Alice Weidel celebrate on stage during an election night event in Berlin during the general election on September 24, 2017. John MacDougall/AFP

Weakened Merkel wins 4th term, hit by nationalist 'earthquake'

Sep 25, 2017 - 1:20 AM

(UPDATED) In a bombshell for the German establishment, the anti-Islam, anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) captures around 13% of the vote, catapulting it to become the country's third biggest political force

FOURTH TERM. German Chancellor and CDU party leader Angela Merkel (C) addresses supporters after exit poll results were broadcasted on public television at an election night event at the party's headquarters in Berlin during the general election on September 24, 2017. Odd Andersen/AFP

Merkel heads for German poll win, hard-right AfD for first seats

Sep 24, 2017 - 10:23 AM

Voting begins at 0600 GMT in Europe's biggest economy and exit polls are announced at 1600 GMT, with few expecting surprises given Merkel's double-digit poll lead

'FOR THE GERMAN PEOPLE' The German national flag is pictured next to the main entrance to the Reichstag building, seat of the German lower house of Parliament Bundestag in Berlin on September 19, 2017. Tobias Schwarz/AFP

Polls open in knife-edge New Zealand election

Sep 23, 2017 - 9:03 AM

The campaign has been the most volatile in recent memory, with momentum swinging from Prime Minister Bill English to Jacinda Ardern and then back again

NZ POLLS. A file combo taken in Wellington on December 5, 2016, shows New Zealand's National Party prime minister Bill English (L) and a file photo of opposition Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern (R) taken in Wellington on August 1, 2017. Marty Melville/AFP

UN Security Council warns against holding Iraqi Kurd vote

Sep 22, 2017 - 10:04 AM

The 15-member council says the planned referendum could hinder efforts to help refugees return home and weaken the military campaign against the Islamic State group

Iraqi Kurds gather in the street flying Kurdish flags as they urge people to vote in the upcoming independence referendum in Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, on September 13, 2017. Photo by Safin Hamed/AFP

New Zealand heads for 'down to the wire' polls

Sep 21, 2017 - 12:50 PM

Conservative Prime Minister Bill English faces a challenge from charismatic young rival Jacinda Ardern

EARLY VOTING. A woman casts her vote for the 2017 general election in Wellington on September 21, 2017. Marty Melville/AFP

FAST FACTS: How Germany's complex electoral system works

Sep 20, 2017 - 12:28 PM

Things are not so simple under Germany's complex election system

'FOR THE GERMAN PEOPLE' The German national flag is pictured next to the main entrance to the Reichstag building, seat of the German lower house of Parliament Bundestag in Berlin on September 19, 2017. Tobias Schwarz/AFP