Results haven’t been officially announced yet in Zimbabwe’s just-completed presidential election, but President Robert Mugabe’s main challenger is already decrying the entire affair as a “huge farce” and declaring the outcome “null and void,” the BBC reports. “It’s a sham election that does not reflect the will of the people,… …read more
Cambodia’s opposition is insisting that an independent committee to investigate allegations of cheating in the recent election be established before it holds talks with Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling party on establishing a new government. …read more
India’s Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said despite the tough outlook for government finances, and an election coming up, New Delhi has no plans to overspend to win the hearts and minds of the electorate. …read more
It’s tough to figure out what’s more interesting: that Karamba Diaby hopes to become Germany’s first black member of parliament, or the very fact that Germany has never had a black member of parliament. Either way, the 51-year-old immigrant from Senegal wants to make history in September’s general election, reports… …read more
Zimbabweans are voting in elections that will determine the future of longtime President Robert Mugabe, who has denied allegations of vote-rigging despite concerns about the credibility of the polls. …read more
A Malian official says early results show veteran politician and former prime minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has a wide lead in the country’s presidential election, potentially allowing him to avoid a runoff next month. …read more
Zimbabwe’s July 31 elections show the determination of Robert Mugabe to extend his 33 year rule of the southern African country and the challenge from former trade union leader Morgan Tsvangirai. …read more
After nearly three decades of autocratic rule, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen may be facing his biggest political dilemma in years, with his party’s parliamentary majority vastly eroded in weekend elections by a burgeoning opposition that could block his forming a government. …read more
BONN, Germany – With the federal election season in full swing in Germany, social entrepreneur and Ashoka Fellow Gregor Hackmack is busy preparing his online portal, ParliamentWatch, to host a variety of special online forums with German media partners and to connect citizen’s questions to candidates. …read more
Pakistani lawmakers have begun voting for the country’s new president in an election that has been marred by controversy over procedures despite widespread agreement that the ruling party’s candidate will likely win. …read more
In its 2013 Expense IQ Report, Concur, a developer of expense report software, has found that business travel expenses fell off dramatically at the end of 2012.
The average travel and entertainment expense report fell 4.5 percent from 2011 to 2012. The decline dramatically accelerated in the last quarter of the year, when a huge 21 percent drop in T&E expenses was measured.
The report notes that, “While 2012 was overall a year of tighter budgets for U.S. travelers, the sudden and extreme decline in Q4 T&E spend in particular is a bit of an outlier. The dip is likely due to a set of exogenous macro-economic events, such as the impact of Hurricane Sandy, uncertainty about the U.S. presidential election in November, and the ‘fiscal cliff’ negotiations that extended into the first days of 2013.”
Curiously, Concur notes that small businesses are spending considerably more on travel than their large-company counterparts. On a quarterly, per traveler basis, SMBs pay more for airfare (13.6%), lodging (21.0%), car rentals (56.7%), and even dining out (17.8%). Partly this is because small-business employees are traveling more than large ones, but also because they are often subject to higher rates. In explaining this, Concur notes that private rate agreements with hotel chains, for example, are responsible for offsetting many of the costs that large businesses pay.