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Global Left Midweek – Big Election News

From France, Iran, Ireland, UK and Venezuela

Front page of the Communist daily l'Humanité, July 8, 2024: "Hope reborn"
  1. Victory in France!
  2. Beating the Tories
  3. Sinn Féin On Top in Northern Ireland
  4. Venezuela: Power and Democracy
  5. Upset in Iran Election
  6. Kenya’s Grassroots Fury
  7. Peace Conference in Tel Aviv
  8. Cuba: Cold War Shadows
  9. Lumumba at 99
  10. Tony Benn on Democracy


Victory in France!

Nessim Achouche / Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung (Berlin)

With 183 seats won, the new left-wing alliance Nouveau Front Populaire is the strongest group in the French National Assembly by number of seats won. If the 13 elected unaligned “Divers Gauche” deputies are added, the left-wing bloc will lead the parliament with 196 deputies. The far-right Rassemblement National is in third place behind Emmanuel Macron’s presidential majority Ensemble.

Beating the Tories

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Sinn Féin On Top in Northern Ireland

Kim Sengupta / The Independent (London)

One of the most significant successes in the general election is of a party that will not be represented in the House of Commons. The historic achievement, instead, will be used by Sinn Féin in its campaign to get Northern Ireland out of the United Kingdom.

Venezuela: Power and Democracy

Upset in Iran Election

Pezhman Tahavori / IranWire (London)

Reform candidate Masoud Pezeshkian became the president with 16,384,000 votes, while Saeed Jalili won 13,538,000 votes. The increase in voter turnout in the second phase was unprecedented, as typically participation in the second phase is lower than in the first. Electing Pezeshkian indicates popular displeasure with the hardline Islamic Revolution Front.

Kenya’s Grassroots Fury

Lena Gutheil / The Conversation (Waltham MA)

The dramatic scenes unfolding in Nairobi on 25 and 26 June 2024 are the latest episode in Kenya’s tumultuous protest history. [Kenyan President William Ruto on July 5 ordered significant cuts in the federal budget along with other government reforms to pay off a crushing debt burden in a move seen as a concession to popular disapproval of a tax bill that sparked the violent protests.]

Report: Peace Conference in Tel Aviv

Haggai Matar / +972 (Tel Aviv)

With around 6,000 attendees, the event was the country’s largest anti-war gathering since October 7, outside of street protests. It brought together Jewish and Palestinian survivors, displaced persons, hostages, former prisoners, bereaved families, activists, security officials, religious and cultural figures, intellectuals, and current and former parliamentarians to echo a common commitment. 

Cuba: Cold War Shadows

Rafael Hernández / OnCuba News (Miami)

Even today some academics talk about U.S. Cuba policy as if they were “sanctions” aimed at promoting democracy and freedom. That is, to cause “changes on the island.” These “sanctions”, corrected and increased to the maximum possible, have been maintained for more than sixty years, having rather counterproductive effects concerning their declared objectives.

Lumumba at 99

Mohamed Kheir Omer / African Arguments (London)

The Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly the Belgian Congo, celebrated its 64th Independence Day on June 30. On this occasion we look back at the life and times of Patrice Lumumba through Stuart Reid’s The Lumumba Plot, which uncovers the intricate and brutal assassination of Patrice Lumumba, the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Congo. 

Tony Benn on Democracy

Interview by Matt Kennard / Tribune (London)

When we began to get democracy in the nineteenth century, what happened was that power was transferred from the market to the polling station, from the wallet to the ballot, and people who were poor could vote for hospitals and schools and museums and art galleries which previously were the prerogative of the rich. And I think democracy is what really frightens the guys at the top.