Election 2016 Brief: Divisive in Feeling and Statistics
Less than two weeks remain until the 2016 presidential election, and the atmosphere surrounding the two candidates is becoming quite heated. At some Trump rallies, there is a growing fear of what will happen if their candidate loses November 8th. Many Trump supporters speak of a violent uprising, or even “a second Revolutionary War,” if Clinton wins.
The New York Times’ polls forecast is reporting that Clinton has over a ninety percent chance of winning the presidency, and Nate Silver’s site FiveThirtyEight is reporting that Clinton is above by double digits in some polls, though others show a more modest two- to three-point lead. It is looking like Clinton will win in a fairly comfortable race, however FiveThirtyEight’s recent update shows much disagreement in the polls, with a standard deviation of 3.6%, which is more than double the 1.5% deviation in the 2012 Obama-Romney race. Certainly this has been a groundbreaking election in both the positive and negative sense, and the divisive feeling among Trump supporters previously noted is seen in the most recent polls.
Montenegrin Prime Minister Resigns
The Prime Minister of the Balkan nation of Montenegro announced his resignation on Tuesday. Milo Đukanović has governed the state for 21 years since 1991, resigning in 2006 and 2010, only to return to power. He led the Democratic Socialist party, widely considered the descendants of the Communist party that ruled over Montenegro when it existed as a part of Yugoslavia. Đukanović’s announcement comes after an attempted coup during the October 16 election. Shortly after the election, Đukanović’s government released a statement that they would be investigating possible Russian interference in Montenegro’s election.
Despite Đukanović’s admittance that there was a “strong connection of a foreign factor” in the attempted coup on Election Day, he has maintained in a statement released a day after his announcement that his resignation was “carefully planned” and “has nothing to do with the alleged coup”.
Some have noted that Đukanović was an extremely controversial figure, occasionally leaning towards autocracy and authoritarianism. He is likely stepping down under pressure from the West rather than from Russia, one observer noted. However, this will likely improve Montenegro’s case for joining NATO, and possibly the European Union, as it points to improvements in the nation’s problems with corruption and organized crime.
Gambia leaves the ICC
This week, Gambia became the third African nation in the past month to leave the International Criminal Court. Burundi and South Africa left earlier in October, citing anger at supposed ICC targeting of solely African crimes. Indeed, a Gambian official said “[T]he ICC, despite being called International Criminal Court, is in fact an International Caucasian Court for the persecution and humiliation of people of color, especially Africans.”
All three of these nations claim that there are heinous Western crimes that have been ignored by the ICC in favor of focusing on the problems in Africa. Gambian Information Minister Sheriff Bojang pointed to British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s involvement in the Iraq war, in which the ICC decided not to indict him for civilian deaths caused by the war.
In Burundi, the ICC began investigating extrajudicial killings of government opposition, which prompted an influx of refugees to more stable nations. In South Africa, the ICC urged the nation to arrest Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir after a 2009 indictment for war crimes. South Africa refused, citing their policy of granting immunity to foreign heads of state, and then moved to leave the treaty that binds member states of the ICC. The nation argued “its obligations with respect to the peaceful resolution of conflicts at times are incompatible with the interpretation given by the International Criminal Court.” Some observers expect more African nations to follow this exodus from the International Criminal Court, with Kenya possibly next to leave.
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