Rising number of uncontested races undermines regional polls
The number of sole candidates running in Indonesia’s regional elections has steadily increased in the past five years, election data has shown, leading to growing concerns that the upcoming polls might ruin the electoral system.A total of 28 out of the 270 regions holding elections this December are likely to see a single candidate pair run for the top seats, according to recent General Elections Commission (KPU) data.This is more than nine times as many as when sole candidacies were first allowed in the 2015 elections, which were held in a similar number of regions as this year’s polls. Read also: KPU records sharp decline in independent candidates for year-end pollsBased on regulations, independent candidates must be able to show proof that there is enough support for an eventual election campaign.In the 2015 polls, prospective candidates were required to gather the identity card numbers of 3 to 6.5 percent of voters on the final voters list in their respective regions, as per Government Regulation in Lieu of Law (Perppu) No. 1/2014 on regional elections.But the threshold for public support was later raised to 6.5 to 10 percent of voters on the final voters list when the 2015 Regional Elections Law was passed, which was then enforced for the 2017 and 2018 regional polls.“I believe that there might be individuals who are capable and willing to be regional leaders, but they just weren’t able to amass enough public support due to the higher bar set,” Khoirunnisa said during a webinar on Thursday.A lone candidate pair contesting rarely loses to the “blank box”, a space on the ballot paper provided to voters who wish to reject the sole candidate pair.Read also: ‘Blank box’ to compete with sole candidatesSole candidates have only been allowed since 2015, after the Constitutional Court struck down a clause in the Regional Elections Law requiring the KPU to confirm at least two candidate pairs in every provincial, regency or municipal election. But the new provisions have instead exposed the failings of the current political party system.Critics have long pointed to the failure of so-called regeneration among political parties as a possible driver for the lack of competent candidates running for office, resulting in a surge in one-horse races.Read also: Expert links sole candidacies to poor party regenerationKhoirunnisa said that instead of backing their own members as candidates, political parties tended to partner up in big-tent coalitions and support the candidate pair that was most likely to win, such as incumbent leaders or members of existing political cliques.According to KPU data, 16 out of 28 prospective sole candidates are incumbents, while the remaining few are either members of regional councils or relatives of prominent figures in the country.The list includes Hanindhito Himawan Pramono, a sole candidate running for Kediri regency in East Java from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P). He is the son of Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, a former lawmaker and respected senior PDI-P politician.Read also: One political dynasty makes way for another as Kediri prepares to voteThere were bound to be a lot of “grand coalitions” if all the political parties had the same mindset, said Khoirunnisa.“This is the sort of situation that will lead candidates running for office to focus only on canvassing support from coalitions rather than the public,” she said. “But it won’t be a healthy democracy because, when it comes to the elections, the public – not the parties – should be the main attraction.”Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) political researcher Arya Fernandes said that any regional election featuring a candidate running uncontested with backing from a big-tent coalition would likely produce leaders of poor quality.Such candidates are prone to misusing their power, whether embezzling regional funds or political horse-trading for positions in the administration, he said.Both Arya and Khoirunnisa suggested revising the threshold for public support of independent candidates in order to pave the way for more healthy competition in future elections.Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) member Ratna Dewi Pettalolo said that her agency had found several cases of vote buying in elections where only a sole candidate pair was running.She said, however, that Bawaslu was unable to report the alleged perpetrators to the police due to a lack of supporting evidence.“Most transactions involving ‘political dowry’ are carried out in the dark. But now we are committed to tracing any information on such practices and will gather as much evidence as possible,” Ratna said.Offering a “political dowry” – that is, depositing a sum of money to political parties in the hopes of securing their support – violates articles 47 and 187 of the 2016 revision of the Regional Elections Law.Topics : The data shows that the number of sole candidates has steadily increased in every election year: From only three sole candidate pairs in the 2015 elections, the number rose to nine in 2017, 16 in 2018 and now 28.The trend has critics raising concerns over the possibility that the elections are becoming more unfair with each passing year, while also limiting the chances of independent candidates to succeed.Khoirunnisa Nur Agustyati, the executive director of elections watchdog the Association for Elections and Democracy (Perludem), said many factors were to blame for the rising number of sole candidate pairs.However, the biggest sticking point may be the tougher requirements that independent candidates have to meet prior to even registering their intent to run.
Arsenal ready to make transfer offer for Armando Izzo
Advertisement Arsenal ready to make transfer offer for Armando Izzo Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 25 Jun 2019 8:02 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link358Shares Arsenal are poised to make an offer for Torino centre-back Armando Izzo (Picture: Getty)Arsenal are preparing a bid to sign Torino star Armando Izzo, according to reports in Italy.Izzo, 27, has shone in central defence for Torino after completing a switch from Genoa last summer, notching up 37 appearances as Walter Mazzarri’s side secured a seventh-place finish in Serie A.Unai Emery, who only has around £40million to spend on reinforcements, is prioritising a move for a centre-back and the Spaniard has been alerted to Izzo’s recent performances in Italy.According to Gianluca Di Marzio, both Arsenal and Everton are ready to test Torino’s resolve with €25m (£22m) offers for the highly-rated Italy international.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityHowever, Torino president Urbano Cairo has told Izzo’s agent, Paolo Palermo, that the defender will not be sold in this transfer window.The Serie A outfit are even looking to renew Izzo’s terms on his contract. He is tied into his current deal until 2022. Comment Unai Emery is looking to bolster his options in central defence (Picture: Getty)Earlier this week, Izzo insisted he was ‘happy’ at Torino amid rumours of an impending move to the Premier League.Asked about speculation linking him with Arsenal, United and Everton, Izzo told Gazzetta dello Sport: ‘For now I’m happy. Everyone likes to be courted.‘I have four years left on my contract at Torino, and I want to show my worth: I don’t like just being called a good player. I’m worth more.’‘Among Italian defenders, other than [Giorgio] Chiellini, I don’t see others stronger or more determined than I am.‘I’m honoured to wear Torino’s shirt and I will spill blood until the last day I wear it.’ Izzo is attracted strong interest from the Premier League (Picture: Getty)Izzo has ambitions to represent Italy at Euro 2020 after making his international debut against Liechtenstein back in March.‘It’s my one big objective: I’d like to be a leading light in it after having had another great season,’ he said.‘The European Championship would be the culmination of a dream.’MORE: Arsenal keen on Dortmund centre-back Dan-Axel Zagadou after impressing at Under-20 World Cup
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang let Nicolas Pepe take Arsenal’s penalty against Aston Villa, says Unai Emery
Comment Pepe took the penalty ahead of Aubameyang (Picture: Getty)Unai Emery revealed it was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s decision to hand over penalties duties to Nicolas Pepe during Arsenal’s thrilling 3-2 win over Aston Villa.Pepe scored his first goal for Arsenal from the spot in the second half of a pulsating game with Villa, but fans were surprised to see the summer signing step up to take the penalty.Aubameyang is Arsenal’s usual penalty taker and Emery confirmed after the game his top goalscorer handed over the responsibility to Pepe.He said: ‘Today it was a very big decision from Aubameyang to let [Pepe] shoot.’ADVERTISEMENT Advertisement Advertisement Coral BarrySunday 22 Sep 2019 8:09 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link5.2kShares Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang let Nicolas Pepe take Arsenal’s penalty against Aston Villa, says Unai Emery Arsenal staged an amazing comeback in the final ten minutes (Picture: Getty)‘When we could attack and get the ball in the box we weren’t bad really.‘We were also creating chances to score. After the goal we could be calm and improve and the red card changed the idea.‘For the second half we needed to play first with the head but also with our heart. We needed supporters pushing us and us to take some risks.‘The team spirit was amazing. We need to continue working and improving things.’MORE: Arsenal boss Unai Emery insists Ainsley Maitland-Niles wrongly sent off against Aston VillaMore: FootballBruno Fernandes responds to Man Utd bust-up rumours with Ole Gunnar SolskjaerNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira moves Pepe scored to make 1-1 (Picture: Getty)Arsenal played the entire second half with ten men after Ainsley Maitland-Niles was sent off and Villa restored their lead just 89 seconds after Pepe’s spot-kick.AdvertisementAdvertisementEmery praised his side’s resilience after a dramatic game at the Emirates.‘When it was 11 v 11 we didn’t control the match how we wanted because we lost a lot of balls in the middle and gave them chances in the transition,’ he said.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City
UK regulator warns insurers over illiquid assets and alternatives
PRA estimates suggest that illiquid fixed income assets – defined as those “other than traded debt securities” – currently account for “more than 25% of the assets backing annuities across UK insurers”. Life insurers seeking higher returns from illiquid assets such as equity release mortgages or student housing must properly understand the underlying risks, the UK’s insurance supervisor has warned.In the face of low interest rates and declining yields, many insurers have sought to back their annuity books with increasingly risky forms of investments, said David Rule, executive director of insurance supervision at the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), said in a speech last week.“Illiquid assets can be a good match for annuities,” he said. “Diversification may lower overall portfolio risks. And long-term infrastructure investment has wider economic benefits.“But these assets bring a wider range of risks than those familiar to bond investors. Insurers need to ensure they have the skills to understand and manage them.” David Rule, executive director of insurance supervision, Prudential Regulation Authority“Insurers’ business plans suggest this proportion might increase to around 40% by 2020,” Rule added.Issues have arisen following a spate of high-profile bankruptcies in the UK, including the January collapse of Carillion, formerly the UK’s second-largest construction company.“The failure of Carillion left some insurers needing to replace a contractor on construction projects,” said Rule.He also cited other recent investment trends and their associated risks: “Financing student accommodation exposes insurers to the risk of changing UK student numbers; and financing railway stock creates a risk at the point when a new train operator wins a franchise.”Alternative strategies have risen in popularity in recent years as falling bond yields and low interest rates in many developed countries have led investors – both institutional and retail – to seek higher returns elsewhere.According to Preqin, the data provider: “The proportion of investors with a preference for higher-risk strategies such as special situations and distressed debt vehicles has increased from Q1 2017 to Q1 2018, with the largest share (52%) of investors now showing a preference for distressed debt.”Sourcing the best and most appropriate assets was critical, said Duncan Hale, portfolio manager of Willis Towers Watsons’ Secure Income Fund.“Good sourcing not only means that you can access assets to generate strong returns, but good sourcing is critical to managing the risk as a well,” he said. “Liquid assets can be bought or sold, but a poorly-structured illiquid project is likely to be a big drag on returns.”Hale added: “You want significant diversification to manage the idiosyncratic risks seen across the spectrum, but you want to be selective and work with the best partners in each area. It is hard to do, but the benefits for those willing to do the hard work are quite attractive.”For Andrew Epsom, principal at Mercer’s insurance investment team, more illiquid types of assets “do seem like a good fit”.“In terms of understanding the risk, there is definitely lots of due diligence that insurers would go through before they invest in these types of instruments,” he said.“Given the size of the life insurers – their high profile, and the fundamental [role] they play within the UK economy – the [PRA] is paying close attention,” Epsom added.“A lot of life insurers have upgraded their internal processes to be able to cope with this fact.”
Senderos joins Villa
Senderos, who has won 52 caps, made more than 100 appearances for Arsenal and joined Fulham in 2010 following loan spells with AC Milan and Everton. He moved to Valencia on loan from Fulham in January this year. “I am really delighted to be joining Aston Villa, a great club with such a big history, and for me this is a great step in my career,” Senderos told Villa’s official website. “There will be a lot of competition for places with Ron Vlaar, Ciaran Clark, Nathan Baker and Jores Okore also very capable Premier League defenders, so it will be up to me to fight for and to earn my place in the team. “This is a team and a club which wants to do better, I know this, and hopefully we can all develop together and create something special. “My goal is to help the team keep as many clean sheets as we can and to help drive Villa where we deserve to be and want to be. “I have come to an age where I’ve learnt a lot under some great managers such as Arsene Wenger at Arsenal and Ottmar Hitzfeld with the Swiss national team, and I’ve built up a lot of experience. “I can develop further and continue to get better and this will be my goal – to continue to grow as a player, to help the team to grow and to contribute everything I can through the season.” Lambert, meanwhile, highlighted Senderos’ mental strength and experience with top clubs as being key ingredients behind Villa’s move for him. “He’s played for some top sides and was a big influence in Arsenal’s run to the Champions League final in 2006, so we’re bringing in a really experienced player who’s been there and done it, and that will be important for the team,” Lambert said. “I went to Switzerland not long ago to watch the national team train, and I could see he has a good, strong mentality for the game. “Ottmar knows players, and for him to say that Philippe has never disappointed him on the pitch, that’s no small commendation. “This will be Philippe’s third World Cup finals, and there aren’t too many players who compete at that level over that stretch of time. He will be a great addition to the group.” Aston Villa have announced the signing of former Arsenal and Fulham defender Philippe Senderos. Senderos, 29, has agreed a two-year deal that will take effect from July 1. He becomes Villa manager Paul Lambert’s first signing of the summer, with the move announced prior to Senderos’ departure to the World Cup with Switzerland on Friday. Press Association
Third round of Hand-in-Hand U-19 3-Day Inter-county begins today
… Demerara vs Berbice to determine championsTHE third round of the Hand-in-Hand-sponsored U-19 3-day Inter-county tournament bowls off today with Demerara facing Berbice while Essequibo take on the Select U-17 side.The clash between Demerara and Berbice will decide the 2019 champions as Berbice currently lead the table with 17 points while Demerara are close behind on 16.3.That matchup will be played at the Lusignan Centre ground, East Coast Demerara.Berbice are the defending champions and will be led by the likes of opening batsman Alex Algoo, Junior Sinclair and Kevlon Anderson while Demerara’s talismanic skipper Ashmeade Nedd will look for support from Joel Spooner, Sachin Singh and Qumar Torrington.Meanwhile the Select U-17s who have represented themselves with distinction are on 10.4 points and will look to continue their good showing against Essequibo (0.2 points) at the Everest Cricket Club ground.
Dillon, Lewis throw hat into political arena
MERVYN Dillon, a fast bowler for West Indies from 1997-2005, is a nominee for the Toco/Sangre Grande seat for the PNM in the next general election, expected to be held this year.Dillon’s contract as head coach of the TT Red Force team came to an end on April 30. Dillon was born in Toco and has a street named after him in the area.Dillon, 45, declined comment when asked about his political aspirations on Saturday and said Newsday should call him this week.Lewis, who has been president of the TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) since 2013, is a nominee for Port of Spain South. Lewis, the president of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC), was secretary of the TTOC from 2005-2013.Lewis grew up close to the area he is hoping to contest, having spent his childhood in Belmont.He also chose not to comment on Saturday.(Reprinted from Trinidad Newsday)
SU edges Georgia Tech in overtime, will face Virginia on Saturday
When Elashier Hall’s 3-point attempt clanged off the rim as time expired, Syracuse’s grueling two-day stretch got a bit more difficult. The Orange and Georgia Tech headed to overtime tied at 63 in the opener of the San Juan Shootout.SU (5-0) and the Yellow Jackets (2-2) battled back and forth in the extra frame, but Hall knocked down three of four free throw attempts in the final 21 seconds to clinch Syracuse’s 75-72 victory in Puerto Rico and propel the Orange into the second half of two games in a 26-and-a-half hour stretch on a positive note.SU faces Virginia (3-0) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.Hall was in command all day for Syracuse, logging nearly 34 minutes and leading the team with 15 points. The guard also grabbed 11 rebounds for her first double-double of the season and fifth of her career.Still, GT, which trailed by as much as 10 in the second half, was able to battle back and take a lead on a Brittany Jackson bucket with four minutes remaining.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFrom there, it was a back-and-forth affair. Neither team led by more than a point over the next nearly two-and-a-half minutes until Carmen Tyson-Thomas hit a jumper with 33 seconds remaining. Just 14 seconds later, though, Dawnn Maye answered to force overtime.Maye was dominant in overtime, as she was all day. The guard led all scorers with 26. During a stretch spanning the end of regulation and the beginning of overtime, she scored 10 straight points for Georgia Tech.The 10th point gave the Yellow Jackets a one-point lead with less than four minutes remaining in overtime, but Kayla Alexander and Tyson-Thomas each scored to give the Orange a lead it would not relinquish.After beating its second consecutive opponent receiving votes in the most recent AP Poll, things don’t get any easier for SU. Syracuse has a less-than-24-hour turnaround before facing the Cavaliers – another team that received votes – Saturday in the Orange’s San Juan Shootout finale. Comments Published on November 23, 2012 at 6:14 pm Contact David: email@example.com | @DBWilson2 Facebook Twitter Google+
Brissett’s shot, close calls and Battle’s improvement: Three takeaways from Syracuse’s win over Morehead State
Syracuse (2-0) pulled away from Morehead State (1-2) to win in the Carrier Dome on Saturday night, 84-70. The Orange took a big lead early, let the Eagles back in it, but then found a groove to open the season with a second-straight home win.Here are three takeaways from the Orange’s win.Old-fashioned 3Oshae Brissett worked to fine-tune his 3-point shot last season and into this one. And he showed it on Saturday, opening his scoring with a knockdown from the top of the key. But it was the old-school 3-point play that contributed his next 9 points.On the first, he set up on the left wing and drove past his man right. With a hop step into the lane, he took contact to his chest. Brissett scooped with his right hand up to finish. Then, he set up on the right block before pivoting into the lane and scoring over a smaller defender through a foul. On the third, he drop-stepped on a pass to the right block and finished off glass through contact. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBrissett slowed down in the second half, allowing Elijah Hughes to take over. After having nine points at the half, the East Carolina-transfer finished with 21 points. That included a three-point play of his own as he got to the rim with his right hand and took contact, and another when he went behind the back to get to the hoop.Then, Tyus Battle heated his own game up with two three-point plays where he started on the left and got to his right hand at the front of the rim. Battle finished with 23.Keeping it closeAt one point in the first half, Syracuse led 25-11. Then, Morehead State went on a 16-3 run. The Eagles caused trouble for the Orange on the perimeter, as A.J. Hicks forced Jalen Carey into multiple turnovers. Overall, SU turned it over 11 times in the first half. The Orange also battled through foul trouble for both of their centers. Paschal Chukwu picked up three fouls in the first half, all on the offensive end. Bourama Sidibe also committed three fouls, forcing Syracuse to use Marek Dolezaj at center for stretches. Jordan Walker came out firing in the second half for Morehead State, hitting two 3s and finishing strong at the rim on the right side in the half’s first four minutes. When Syracuse went to the under-16 timeout, the Orange lead was still six, just as it had been at halftime. It was a Buddy Boeheim 3 that started the Orange on its 12-0 run in the middle of the second half to put the Orange in a more comfortable spot, putting Syracuse up 55-40.Battle finds his touchTyus Battle went 3-for-10 in the Syracuse season-opener Tuesday, and after the game, he stayed out on the Carrier Dome floor and shot after everybody had left. He averaged more than 19 points a game last season.But on Saturday, he stayed cold. He started 0-for-6 before making two jumpers in quick succession before the half. As the second half wore on, he simply couldn’t find a rhythm. The Orange stuck with him for long stretches at point guard, even with Carey and Howard Washington, natural point guards, active.Battle, though, had the and-1 that allowed Syracuse to begin to pull away. He drove left and got to the front of the rim with his right hand. He placed the ball in the basket through the contact and made the free throw. That put Syracuse up nine. After that, Hughes made two free throws. Chukwu made two free throws. Hughes made another two free throws.The Orange lead never fell below eight points again. After starting 0-for-6, Battle made five of his next eight shots as part of SU pulling away. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 10, 2018 at 9:10 pm Contact Billy: firstname.lastname@example.org | @Wheyen3
Woman who said she was too ‘pretty’ for jail gets no time behind bars
A woman who said she was too pretty to go to jail will serve no time behind bars!Lauren Cutshaw went viral last year when she said she was too pretty to go to jail after she was arrested for DUI.The judge, in her case, seems to agree as Cutshaw, 34, is being given a sweet deal, including no jail time.She will also get to keep her driver’s license.Cutshaw, a real estate agent from South Carolina, was pulled over after blowing through a stop sign at more than twice the speed limit in August of 2018.Cutshaw recently plead guilty to misdemeanor DUI.She was fined $187 and ordered to perform 24 hours of community service and take alcohol safety classes.