Egypt vote a two-man race between ex-army chief, leftist

Supporters of Egyptian leftist leader Hamdeen Sabbahi carry boxes loaded with electoral endorsements at the High Presidential Elections Committee on April 19, 2014 in Cairo

Egypt's presidential election has turned into a contest between the ex-army chief lauded by millions for ousting an Islamist government and a leftist who claims to represent the ideals of the 2011 uprising. Former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is the frontrunner in the May 26-27 vote, riding a wave of popularity after deposing Mohamed Morsi, the country's first elected and civilian president. Sisi's sole rival is Hamdeen Sabbahi, who came third in the 2012 election which Morsi won, and is seen by supporters as the only leader representing the aspirations of those who revolted against the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood will not feature in the election. … [Read more...]

Egyptian leftist politician submits bid to run for president

Leftist presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi talks during an interview with Reuters in Cairo

Leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi officially submitted his bid on Saturday to run for Egypt's presidency, making him the second candidate for next month's election alongside former army-chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who is widely expected to win. Sabahi, who heads a political alliance called the Popular Current, was a member of parliament during ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak's years in office and came third in the 2012 election that was won by Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Sisi, who led the army overthrow of Mursi in July after mass protests against his rule, is widely expected to win the election as he is viewed by many in the country as the saviour of the people who can bring stability to Egypt. … [Read more...]

Bespoke shoes scandal claims scalp of Hollande aide

Political advisor of France's President Francois Hollande, Aquilino Morelle, arriving at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris on February 25, 2013

A close advisor to Francois Hollande resigned on Friday after allegations about a conflict of interest and his extravagant lifestyle dealt a fresh blow to the beleaguered French president. In a statement to AFP, senior political advisor Aquilino Morelle, 51, said he was stepping down but denied any wrongdoing in a scandal that has put the spotlight on his collection of 30 pairs of bespoke shoes. … [Read more...]

Labour hires Obama election strategist

Former White House advisor David Axelrod walks into the West Wing of the White House on November 15, 2013 in Washington

David Axelrod, the mastermind behind US President Barack Obama's 2008 and 2012 election victories, is to advise Labour in the run up to next year's general election, the party announced. He will work alongside shadow foreign secretary and election strategist Douglas Alexander until the vote, expected to take place in May 2015. "Mr Axelrod will become an integral part of Labour's team," said a Labour statement. "He will also participate in regular strategic discussions with Mr Miliband and the Labour campaign team." … [Read more...]