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United States: An election disputed, but who notices?

Following a caucus vote that will help decide who is the Republican presidential candidate, the Washington state Republican party decides to quit counting votes with only 87 percent of precincts reporting, calling the race for Senator John McCain. His margin of victory? Only 242 votes. But who’s counting? For context, you have to consider that…

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The Resource Curse Revisited

Susan Aaronson examines prospects for trade and accountable government in light of a new initiative to increase transparency around extractive resources. Might the Resource Curse be exorcised? The promise of free trade to elevate living standards in poor countries has driven international development policy since WWII. Countries rich in oil, gas or minerals sell them…

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Tanzania: Procurement Scandal Takes Down Prime Minister

Prime Minister Edward Lowassa has resigned Friday, following the completion Wednesday of a Parliamentary investigation into his dealings with the supposedly U.S.-based Richmond Development Company (RDC). The company turned out to be non-existent, with assets barely more than a post-office box. The government’s ill-fated hiring of RDC to provide badly needed electrical power plants was…

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Russia: Election Monitors Pulling Out

Europe’s primary election watchdog, ODIHR, is withdrawing its Russian election monitoring mission, citing unacceptable government restrictions. The press release here. Media coverage here. The press release begins: WARSAW, 7 February 2008 – The OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) regrets that restrictions imposed on its planned election observation mission will not allow…

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Will the Real Yemen Please Stand Up?

An email from one of Global Integrity’s contributors — apparently censored by government email servers — prompts us to reexamine the “progress” in Yemen’s movement towards open political discourse.Yemen is a fascinating country when it comes to governance and corruption issues. A 2006 Global Integrity assessment for the country (published in January 2007) rated Yemen…

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