Nikki Haley poised to enter 2024 presidential race

Nikki Haley, the former US ambassador to the United Nations and two-term governor of South Carolina, is reportedly poised to announce she is seeking the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. With a campaign kick-off planned for 15 February in Charleston, South Carolina, the 51-year-old would become the second major Republican candidate for the presidency, after her former boss Donald Trump launched his bid in November. Ms Haley would be the third Indian-American to seek a presidential nomination. She follows Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, whose bid in 2015 never gained significant traction, and current Vice-President Kamala Harris, who sought the 2020 nomination. … Continue reading Nikki Haley poised to enter 2024 presidential race

Desperation: And wait continues over US House speakership seat

The Republican leader of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, has failed in his latest bid to get elected speaker in a paralysis of US government not seen since the pre-Civil War era. A cohort of right-wingers in his party derailed an 11th attempt to elect him on the third day of voting. Republicans took over the House in November’s mid-term elections, but the impasse has left the chamber unable to swear in members or pass bills. The House has adjourned until Friday. Not since 1860, when the United States’ union was fraying over the issue of slavery, has the … Continue reading Desperation: And wait continues over US House speakership seat

US House in chaos after Kevin McCarthy loses speaker votes

On a day of political drama not seen in Congress for a century, Republican leader Kevin McCarthy repeatedly failed in his bid to be elected Speaker of the US House of Representatives. The House adjourned without a speaker on Tuesday night – the first time since 1923 they had failed to choose a leader after a first round vote. The start of a new Congress was supposed to be a victory lap for the Republican Party as it took control of the lower chamber following November’s elections. Instead, Mr McCarthy faced a rebellion from within his own ranks and made … Continue reading US House in chaos after Kevin McCarthy loses speaker votes

Trump tax returns will be made public, US House panel votes

A committee in the US House of Representatives has voted to make public six years of Donald Trump’s tax returns. The move caps a nearly four-year legal battle by Democrats to obtain the documents, which was ultimately decided by the US Supreme Court last month. US presidents are not required by law to release their tax returns, but for decades they have done so voluntarily. The former president has fought hard to shield his tax returns. The US House Ways and Means Committee voted 24-16 on Tuesday evening to publish the documents, with all Democrats on the panel in favour … Continue reading Trump tax returns will be made public, US House panel votes

Fiji PM kicked out as opposition parties reaches coalition deal

Fijian opposition parties have reached a deal to form a new coalition government, ending Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama’s nearly 16-year rule. His Fiji First party and the rival People’s Alliance, led by Sitiveni Rabuka, were left in a deadlock following last week’s election. The kingmaking Social Democrat Liberal Party (SODELPA) has now voted 16-14 in favour of backing Mr Rabuka. “[The people] have voted for change and we have given them that,” he said. The decision comes after two days of intense courting of the right-wing SODELPA and its three seats by Fiji First and the People’s Alliance. SOPDELA’s leader, … Continue reading Fiji PM kicked out as opposition parties reaches coalition deal

Democrats consolidate control of Senate in Georgia runoff win

Democrats have cemented their control of the US Senate by winning a bitterly fought seat in Georgia, according to projections. Raphael Warnock fended off Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a race that had been left undecided after last month’s midterm elections. President Joe Biden’s party now holds the upper chamber of Congress by 51-49. The result caps a disappointing round of midterm election results for the Republicans. The party underperformed expectations last month by winning only a slender majority in the US House of Representatives, Congress’ lower chamber. Mr Walker, an American football legend and political newcomer, joins a string … Continue reading Democrats consolidate control of Senate in Georgia runoff win

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen quits as party chair after local elections

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has resigned as head of the governing Democratic Progressive Party after its poor showing in local elections. The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) won several major races on Saturday, including in the capital Taipei. The vote has drawn global attention as Taiwan becomes a bigger geopolitical flashpoint between China and the US. President Tsai had framed the election as a vote for democracy amid rising tensions with China. “The election results were not as expected… I should shoulder all the responsibility and I resign as DPP chairwoman immediately,” Ms Tsai, who will continue as president of the self-ruled … Continue reading Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen quits as party chair after local elections

Supreme Court clears Democrats to see former President Trump tax returns

The US Supreme Court has cleared the way for ex-President Donald Trump’s tax forms to be released to a Democratic-controlled congressional committee. The justices rejected Mr Trump’s bid in October to block a lower court’s ruling that granted the panel’s request for his financial records. The move is a blow to Mr Trump, who has for years kept his returns sealed. Mr Trump became the first president in 40 years not to release his taxes after announcing his first presidential run. The House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee has been seeking access to his records since 2019. Mr Trump, … Continue reading Supreme Court clears Democrats to see former President Trump tax returns

Malaysia elects first ever hung parliament

An inconclusive general election in Malaysia has produced the country’s first ever hung parliament. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim secured the most seats, but his Pakatan Harapan alliance fell well short of a majority. The ruling coalition, led by Ismail Sabri Yaakob, suffered its worst electoral defeat ever, winning just 30 of the 178 seats it ran for. Veteran politician Mahathir Mohamad lost his seat, suffering his first defeat in 53 years. At 97, Mr Mahathir has dominated Malaysian politics for decades, first serving as the country’s prime minister from 1981 to 2003, and he was credited for the country’s rapid … Continue reading Malaysia elects first ever hung parliament

US Republicans nominate Kevin McCarthy for House leadership

With Republicans on the cusp of retaking the House of Representatives majority, Kevin McCarthy has won his party’s nomination to be speaker in the new Congress. In a closed-door vote on Tuesday, he secured 188 votes in his bid for leadership of the House. Mr McCarthy must win a majority vote of the full House – 218 votes – in January to secure the role. If he wins, he would replace Democrat Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House. President Joe Biden’s Democrats have already kept control of the Senate. A native of California, Mr McCarthy has represented a heavily … Continue reading US Republicans nominate Kevin McCarthy for House leadership

Liz Cheney sends perfect revenge tweet as Kari Lake loses Arizona governor’s race: ‘You’re welcome’

Arizona governor candidate Kari Lake has been mocked by her Republican colleague Liz Cheney after multiple news outlets called the race for the Democrats. Ms Lake, a pro-Trump firebrand who has repeatedly spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 US presidential election, had written to Ms Cheney last month sarcastically thanking her for running a TV advert against her, which Ms Lake claimed had actually galvanised support. “Thank you again for the huge boost to our campaign! Enjoy your forced retirement from politics,” Ms Lake had said. Seventeen days later, as NBC News, CNN and The Associated Press declared victory for Ms Lake’s Democratic opponent … Continue reading Liz Cheney sends perfect revenge tweet as Kari Lake loses Arizona governor’s race: ‘You’re welcome’

Italy’s right-wing coalition meets president on forming government

Italy’s far-right leader Giorgia Meloni and her coalition allies hold talks on forming a government on Friday with President Sergio Mattarella. If the parties agree terms, a Meloni-led coalition could be sworn in this weekend, a month after elections. Veteran ex-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is set to join the talks, despite shaking the coalition’s unity with leaked pro-Putin remarks. Ms Meloni vowed to play a key part in Nato – the Western military alliance. “Italy with us in government will never be the weak link in the West,” she said, in attempt to calm concerns about her future foreign policy. … Continue reading Italy’s right-wing coalition meets president on forming government