In an age of fast thoughts, we should pause to reset our ideas of democracy

Anti-government protesters holding Turkish flags stand at the entrance of Gezi park on the landmark Taksim square in central Istanbul. Photo: AFP

Ugly scenes of tear gas and violence being used to remove protesters from the heart of one of the most historic cities in the world, which is a classic bridge between Asia and Europe, as well as between Christianity and Islam, are distressing enough.

Saturday, 15 June, 2013, 1:53am

How they see it

Supporters of Anwar Ibrahim fill a stadium. Photo: EPA

Malaysia's governing coalition extended its unchallenged success in the national elections ever since our neighbouring country's independence from Britain in 1957.

12 May 2013 - 4:00am

A vote to decide Islam's role in Pakistani politics

Prime Minister and head of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz Nawaz Sharif (left) speaks to supporters during an election campaign in Liaquat Bagh. Photo: EPA

Pakistan's moment of political truth is fast approaching. On Saturday, some 40-50 million voters will elect a new national assembly. The outcome is likely to reverberate far and wide.

8 May 2013 - 3:19am

New AFC chief denies allegations of human rights abuses after election

Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa of Bahrain, new president of the Asian Football Confederation, speaks after the vote. Photo: AP

Bahrain's Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa fought back against allegations of human rights abuses yesterday as he became Asian soccer's new leader with a landslide election win.

3 May 2013 - 5:23am

Japan court rules some election results ‘invalid’

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Photo: AFP

Japan’s politicians were grappling with possible implications on Tuesday after a high court said some general election results were invalid, with other rulings expected later in the day.

Judges in Hiroshima, western Japan, on Monday declared the ballot in two constituencies in last December’s poll were unconstitutional and invalid, the first time a court has said a result was void.

26 Mar 2013 - 1:56pm

Wukan's new leaders losing steam amid reality of politics a year later

A ballot box used last year during Wukan's first free and fair election is now a make-shift table for playing mahjong and gambling in an elderly centre. Photo: Dickson Lee

A year ago last week, the tiny Guangdong fishing village of Wukan made history with a democratic election to choose its local leaders. The election was the villagers' reward for months of tenacious protest against illegal land grabs by corrupt officials. The demonstrations saw them kick out their old leaders and effectively cut themselves off from the outside world.

7 Mar 2013 - 4:43am

Opposition candidate Sukhumbhand Paribatra wins Bangkok governor poll

Sukhumbhand Paribatra took almost half the vote. Photo: AP

Thailand's main opposition party triumphed in an election for Bangkok governor yesterday, dealing a surprise blow to exiled former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's ruling party, which had hoped to win the city and cement its supremacy.

4 Mar 2013 - 4:56am

A year after free election, grass-roots democracy in Wukan withers

A woman watches her husband fill out his ballot paper in the remote Guangdong fishing village of Wukan in March last year. Photo: AFP

Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of the fair election in Wukan, a remote Guangdong fishing village known for its remarkable civil resistance that won "real democracy" in the form of a direct, grass-roots election for its government.

However, it's doubtful that villagers will be celebrating their success on the anniversary.

2 Mar 2013 - 4:38am

Bitter power struggle as election looms for Wo On Lok triad

Arrests after an attack which saw a policeman shoot dead a thug. Photo: SMP

In an eerie echo of the storyline of director Johnnie To Kei-fung 's hit 2005 movie Election, about a power struggle at the top of a triad gang, one of the city's most active triad groups - the Wo On Lok - has been locked in a bloody succession war as past and present leaders prepare to gather in a secret location to "vote" in a new leadership.

24 Feb 2013 - 3:51pm 12 comments

Top ministers caught up in graft probe

Two senior Australian ministers have been dragged into a snowballing Labor Party corruption scandal, admitting accepting hospitality from a former power broker at the centre of an inquiry.

7 Feb 2013 - 4:16am

Australia’s Gillard reshuffles cabinet ahead of poll

Julia Gillard. Photo: Reuters

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Saturday denied that her government was in chaos, after the resignation of two of her most senior ministers prompted a cabinet reshuffle ahead of a national election.

2 Feb 2013 - 4:19pm

Australian PM plays down marathon campaign fears

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Photo: Reuters

Prime Minister Julia Gillard Thursday told Australians to “relax” after giving them eight months’ notice of elections, insisting they will not be put through a marathon, bitter campaign.

31 Jan 2013 - 11:37am

Government says it is down to its last US$217

Finance Minster Tendai Biti. Photo: AFP

The paltry amount cast doubt over claims of a slow economic recovery and raised fresh questions about the fate of the country's diamond revenues - officials say almost US$685 million worth were sold last year.

31 Jan 2013 - 4:39am

Singapore government faces test in by-election

Presiding officers check the particulars of voters at the entrance to a polling station in Singapore on Saturday. Photo: AFP

Voters in a Singapore suburb began casting ballots on Saturday in a by-election that tests the public mood two years after the ruling party suffered its worst ever poll performance.

26 Jan 2013 - 2:48pm

Islamic party PAS holding Malaysia's election key

A protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask waves the flag of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) flag. Photo: AFP

In downtown Kuala Lumpur earlier this month, the charismatic opposition figure Anwar Ibrahim led tens of thousands of people at a rally to call for the toppling of the ruling coalition that has been in power since Malaysia's independence in 1957.

Many turned out for what effectively was the start of the opposition's campaign for elections expected to be called by March.

21 Jan 2013 - 4:30am