Monday, 26 October 2015

Comedians and conservatives

There were three interesting elections round the world yesterday.

In Guatemala, a popular comedian, one of whose most famous comedy roles was that of a useless cowboy who becomes president by accident, won a presidential election by a street. Jimmy Morales put out a sketchy manifesto, but won in a low poll because his opponent was associated with the corruption endemic in government.

The Prawa i Sprawiedliwości (Law and Justice) party was, as predicted, successful in Poland and will be able to govern with an absolute majority. As a previous post indicated, David Cameron will find many points of agreement with the conservative PiS, in particular the assertion of national sovereignty within the EU. However, he will not like the insistence of the new prime minister, Beata Szydło, that free movement of labour across the Union  must remain. (He is also going to have to practise the pronunciation of that surname.)

Daniel Scioli, seen as the natural successor to Cristina Kirchner in Argentina, is not going to have it all his own way after all. He faces a run-off election on November 22nd against the Buenos Aires mayor Mauricio Macri. Macri, who is described as "centre right", only just failed to top the first-round poll. Whichever man wins, it seems that relations with the UK will improve. For the Argentines, he will need to get a grip on the corruption which has dragged down what should be one of the richest countries in South America.

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