By Robert A. Vella
Two important election stories from around the world:
From The Guardian – Front National wins opening round in France’s regional elections:
The far-right Front National has made a significant breakthrough in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, winning the opening round of regional elections and coming top in half of France’s regions.
The spectacular showing is the highest ever performance for the anti-immigration, anti-European party and, if it maintains the strong lead in in next week’s second round, it could reshape France’s political landscape.
The final result will be decided in a second-round vote on 13 December. Whether FN can transform its first-round score into winning control of regions depends in part on how far other parties are prepared to team up to stop the far right.
From the Huffington Post – Venezuela’s Opposition Wins Resounding Election Victory:
CARACAS, Dec 7 (Reuters) – Ecstatic opposition leaders vowed on Monday to use their new majority in Venezuela’s legislature to free jailed opponents of the Socialist government but also said they would not move to dismantle popular welfare policies.
The opposition Democratic Unity coalition won more than twice the number of National Assembly seats as the Socialists in elections on Sunday that punished President Nicolas Maduro’s government for the country’s deep economic and social crisis.
It was the first time in 16 years the “Chavismo” movement, named for former socialist President Hugo Chavez, lost its majority in the 167-member assembly, and gives the opposition a platform to further erode Maduro’s power in the OPEC nation.