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Posts Tagged ‘ elections ’

News in Brief – Bins, Ming and the Taoiseach’s Things

Ming Campainging for BOI to Keep our Fur!

Ming campaigning for BOI to Keep our Fur!

A 90-year-old woman is being pursued by debt collectors for a €14 bin fine. That’s right, while the world crumbles and Ming Flanagan seems our most viable option for Europe, Dublin City Council want their €14 back! The woman, who has not been named, lives alone in inner-city Dublin and became the subject of the debt collectors interest over an unpaid bill dating back to the privatisation of Dublin’s waste collection services. Four letters were sent threatening aggressive legal action and publication in Stubbs Gazette. Well done lads, what a lovely bunch you are, can NIB point you in the direction of a Mr Shatter who owes us €70k?

A painting by Michael Flatley tops the list of the Taoiseach’s most expensive gifts. The painting title ‘The Irish Potato Famine’ was created by Flatley daubing his feet in paint and dancing on a canvas (and you can tell) and has been valued at €5000. Other gifts include a golden replica of the Mecca Royal Hotel Clock Tower (Enda’s a bingo fan), a bust of JFK, a bottle of booze from the Queen and a boat. So that’s nice isn’t it? Good old Enda. NIB got three pairs of tights last Christmas . . . Continue reading

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Egyptians Flock to Their First Free Election in Eight Decades

Voters queue at a polling station in the wealthy Cairo suburb of Zamalak

Egyptians flocked to the polls in their droves yesterday as Cairo played host to the country’s first free parliamentary election in over 80 years. A tentative sense of hope is evident in a nation who hopes the ballot will enable them to finally move forward following the collapse of Hosni Mubarak’s three-decade-long dictatorship in February of this year.

Despite predictions to the contrary, the election was a largely peaceful event. This was in stark contrast to the violent protests which took place in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in the ten days preceding the vote. Many of the demonstrators had urged a boycott of the vote as they felt it was a stunt aimed at merely appeasing the electorate. These calls were largely ignored.

Journalist and public speaker, Mona Eltahawy – who was arrested and beaten by Egyptian security forces during last week’s protests – voted in Zamalek. She said, “For 30 years my parents’ generation said they were denied a voice. So I’ve come here on behalf of my family. If we don’t vote we lose.” Ms Eltahawy has been extremely outspoken regarding her dissatisfaction with the current political and social situation in her country, particularly via her Twitter account.

The social media website has provided a platform for protesters during the recent uprising. However, in a case of poor timing in the extreme, the company that provided free mobile phone encryption to dissidents in Egypt, Whisper Systems, suddenly suspended its services on Monday so that Twitter could update some of its privacy enabling technology. As a result of this, many protestors who relied on the service to encrypt phone calls abruptly lost the ability to protect their identity from government-controlled eavesdroppers.

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest political group, is expected to poll well when the election’s preliminary results are announced later this week. However, a number of rival liberal candidates including Amr Hamzawy, founder of the liberal Egypt Freedom party, alleged several irregularities were evident at voting booths, which they fear will boost votes for the religious organisation.

Two further rounds of voting will take place in other areas of Egypt, the last on 3 January, before a 498-member lower house of parliament is elected. Their main order of business will be to form a committee and draft Egypt’s new constitution. The country is currently being governed by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

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