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Geopolitics

In France, A Push To Push Out Aging Politicians

A top figure in the Socialist party, Arnaud Montebourg is putting pressure on party leaders to not support candidates over 67, saying that new challenges require new blood. Not surprisingly, the proposal has sparked some heated debate -- and exposed a gen

Jack Lang, 72, says he's holding his ground (LCP)
Jack Lang, 72, says he's holding his ground (LCP)
Chloé Woitier

PARIS – The proposal set some French politicians' teeth on edge. Arnaud Montebourg, a top Socialist Party leader, wrote a letter to party chief Martine Aubry suggesting that any Socialist politicians who was 67-years-old or over be asked not to run for Parliament. Ahead of the next legislative elections in June 2012, Montebourg says he wants to rejuvenate the political class.

"Is it normal that socialist MPs, who maybe were elected in 1978 or 1981, who are approaching the end of their seventh or eighth term, reaching the respectable age of 68, 69, 70, 71, 72 or 73, declare they want to be reelected?" Montebourg writes in his letter to Aubry. "The world is changing so fast that rules that applied as recently as 10 years ago are now obsolete."

The proposal got some grumpy responses – especially MPs targeted by Montebourg like former ministers Laurent Fabius and Jack Lang. The latter, who is 72, and a member of the National Assembly, defiantly declared himself ready to run for a new mandate. "Were we to follow your criteria, (Georges) Clemenceau, who was 76 in 1917, wouldn't have been able to carry France to victory during World War I ... (Charles) de Gaulle, who was 75 in 1965, couldn't have been reelected and François Mitterrand, 71, couldn't have run for president in 1988."

Montebourg brushes the controversy aside. "Jack Lang is a very respectable man, but after all these years, wouldn't it make more sense for him to be a mentor for younger representatives?"

The proposal was studied "in an electric atmosphere" last week at a meeting of the Socialist Party. Martine Aubry for one did not appreciate the way her former rival at the Socialist primary elections shared the proposal with journalists before even discussing it internally. Montebourg is "trying to be popular," Aubry said, regardless of whether it is "in the interests of the party."

Montebourg is holding firm. "One or two people were outraged by it. But new ideas cannot be supported by a generation who was in charge 30 years ago," he declares.

Read the original article in French

Photo – LCP

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Geopolitics

New Probe Finds Pro-Bolsonaro Fake News Dominated Social Media Through Campaign

Ahead of Brazil's national elections Sunday, the most interacted-with posts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Telegram and WhatsApp contradict trustworthy information about the public’s voting intentions.

Jair Bolsonaro bogus claims perform well online

Cris Faga/ZUMA
Laura Scofield and Matheus Santino

SÂO PAULO — If you only got your news from social media, you might be mistaken for thinking that Jair Bolsonaro is leading the polls for Brazil’s upcoming presidential elections, which will take place this Sunday. Such a view flies in the face of what most of the polling institutes registered with the Superior Electoral Court indicate.

An exclusive investigation by the Brazilian investigative journalism agency Agência Pública has revealed how the most interacted-with and shared posts in Brazil on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Telegram and WhatsApp share data and polls that suggest victory is certain for the incumbent Bolsonaro, as well as propagating conspiracy theories based on false allegations that research institutes carrying out polling have been bribed by Bolsonaro’s main rival, former president Luís Inácio Lula da Silva, or by his party, the Workers’ Party.

Agência Pública’s reporters analyzed the most-shared posts containing the phrase “pesquisa eleitoral” [electoral polls] in the period between the official start of the campaigning period, on August 16, to September 6. The analysis revealed that the most interacted-with and shared posts on social media spread false information or predicted victory for Jair Bolsonaro.

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