TIME 2016 Election

GOP Seeks Pledge to Avert Trump Third-Party Run

Donald Trump
Richard Shiro—AP Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets supporters after speaking at the TD Convention Center in Greenville, S.C., on Aug. 27, 2015

Candidates asked to pledge "that I will not seek to run as an independent"

(WASHINGTON) — Seeking to avert a 2016 disaster, the Republican National Committee on Wednesday challenged every GOP presidential candidate to sign a pledge not to undertake a third-party bid under any circumstances.

The challenge, confirmed by multiple campaigns, is aimed squarely at Donald Trump. And the timing of the pledge suggests an agreement has been reached.

While he is leading the packed Republican field in early polls, the billionaire businessman last month repeatedly threatened to launch a third-party bid — leaving open the possibility even at the GOP’s first presidential debate last month — should he fail to claim the Republican presidential nomination. Such a decision would make it all but impossible for the Republican Party to win the White House in 2016.

RNC officials have been working privately with Trump’s campaign for several weeks to avert such a scenario.

While neither side would publicly confirm late Wednesday that an agreement had been reached, Trump has hinted in recent days the GOP lobbying was beginning to work.

The Trump campaign did not respond to questions about the pledge late Wednesday. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is set to meet privately with Trump at his campaign headquarters in New York City shortly before Trump is scheduled to address reporters. The meeting was confirmed by two RNC officials who weren’t authorized to discuss the plan publicly and requested anonymity.

In recent days, Trump has suggested he would soon decide whether to rule out a third-party bid.

“I think a lot of people are going to be very happy,” he said Saturday in Nashville.

Several candidates contacted late Wednesday confirmed that they would sign the pledge, among them Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, although few doubted the intentions of the vast majority of the GOP’s 17 presidential contenders.

The Republican National Committee’s pledge asks candidates to promise to “endorse the 2016 Republican presidential nominee regardless of who it is.”

Further, it asks them to pledge “that I will not seek to run as an independent or write-in candidate, nor will I seek or accept the nomination for president of any other party.”

An RNC spokesman declined to comment.

TIME Singapore

Singapore to Hold an Election on Sept. 11

Lee Hsien Loong
Koji Sasahara—AP Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivers a keynote speech at the 20th International Conference on the Future of Asia in Tokyo on May 22, 2014

On election day, 16 areas in Singapore will be contested in groups

(SINGAPORE) — Singapore will hold a general election on Sept. 11, the government announced Tuesday, in what is expected to be a tight contest for the ruling party, which has dominated politics in the city-state for 50 years but is now facing growing disaffection among citizens.

The People’s Action Party, whose founder and Singapore’s first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, died in March at age 91, currently holds 80 out of 87 seats in Parliament.

Although that number implies massive popularity for the PAP, the party has been aided by an electoral system in which some constituencies are represented by a group of four to six lawmakers, boosting the winning party’s numbers.

The party usually fields groups led by senior, popular members of Parliament. The system has helped the PAP maintain a commanding majority, even though it received just 60 percent of all votes in the 2011 general election, in its worst electoral performance. It has lost two by-elections since then.

The decline in popularity results from growing resentment over political restrictions, an influx of foreigners and a high cost of living.

For the younger generation, Singapore’s economic success “does not have that much resonance compared with their parents or grandparents,” said Eugene Tan, an associate professor of law at Singapore Management University.

“They are less enamored of a one-party dominant system and are inclined to more political diversity and contestation. The results will signal whether we are incrementally moving away from a one-party dominant system,” he said.

The virtual one-party dominance was led by Lee, who is widely credited with setting the country on the path of economic success and was lauded at the nation’s 50th birthday celebrations on Aug. 9 for his achievements.

Lee’s son, current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, recounted at the rally the country’s progress in the last 50 years and urged Singaporeans to think about the next 50.

“If you are proud of what we have achieved together, if you support what we want to do ahead, the future that we are building, then please support me, please support my team,” he said.

“We have to do it together, so that we can keep Singapore special for many years to come. Another 50 years. And Singapore has to stay special because if we are just a dull little spot on the map, a smudge, we are going to count for nothing. We have to be a shining red dot,” he added.

On election day, 16 areas in Singapore will be contested in groups, while 13 others will be contested individually, amounting to a total of 89 seats. Parliament was dissolved by the president earlier Tuesday and nomination Day is Sept. 1.

There are around 2.46 million eligible voters, up from 2.35 million in 2011, with an increased number of voters born post-independence.

The opposition Workers’ Party currently holds the other seven seats. It rose in popularity, particularly among the younger generation, after campaigning on the back of providing credible voices to keep the PAP in check.

In the 2011 election, the party snatched the five-member ward of Aljunied in Eastern Singapore, ousting a PAP team led by a former foreign minister.

TIME Sri Lanka

Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa Defeated in Parliamentary Elections

Final Day Of Campaigning In Sri Lanka Ahead Of General Election 2015
Buddhika Weerasinghe—Getty Images Former Sri Lankan president and parliamentary candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa attends his party's rally on the final day of the election campaign on August 14, 2015 in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

This is the second defeat in an election this year for the authoritarian former president

Former Sri Lanka president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s bid to become the country’s next prime minister appeared to have failed as the results of this week’s parliamentary election continue to be counted Tuesday evening, with the ruling United National Party (UNP) leading by a one-seat margin with 18 out of 22 districts having been declared.

The UNP is unlikely to gain a full majority, however, and will have to form a coalition government with support from other parties, Reuters reported.

Rajapaksa appeared to have thrown in the towel early Tuesday, telling Agence France-Presse that he was conceding defeat a few hours before the official results were set to be declared, and saying he would continue to work as an opposition member of the South Asian island nation’s legislature, reported the French news wire.

“We have won eight districts and the UNP (ruling United National Party) has 11 (out of a total of 22),” Rajapaksa told AFP. “This means we have lost. It was a difficult fight.”

However, the 69-year-old politician soon backtracked through his official Twitter account, saying he was waiting for the official result. Rajapaksa did, however, tell Reuters that it was “unlikely” he would lead the government through the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) led by his Sri Lanka Freedom Party.

Political analysts and sources within the UNP say their party, represented by incumbent prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, will fall just short of the 113 out of 196 seats needed to secure a majority, but should be able to align with other political parties. The Sri Lankan legislature contains 225 seats, with the remaining 29 allocated by proportional representation.

Rajapaksa had been plotting a political comeback ever since he was dealt a shock defeat in the midterm presidential election he called earlier this year, losing to former ally Maithripala Sirisena to end to his decade-long tenure at the country’s helm.

Sirisena decided soon after to dissolve the parliament and hold fresh elections — the conduct of which on Monday was hailed as one of the most peaceful that the island nation has seen in recent years — with Rajapaksa eying a return to political power as Prime Minister even as an investigation into alleged corruption during his tenure as president as well as murder allegations against his son continue to swirl.

Sirisena, who as president has the power to appoint the prime minister from the winning party, had sent a sharp letter to Rajapaksa last week saying he would not allow him to take up the top post even if his party won. A possible return to political office by the former president has been treated with significant consternation by many Sri Lankans, with the head of the country’s central bank saying he would resign if the strongman was elected.

But that possibility is becoming increasingly unlikely as the results trickle in, and Rajapaksa, in all probability, has been dealt a second consecutive defeat.

“I invite all of you to join hands,” current prime minister Wickremesinghe said in a statement as the results continued to accumulate. “Let us together build a civilised society, build a consensual government and create a new country.”

TIME politics

Coming Soon to a Primary Season Near You: 1968, Take 2

Kennedy Campaigns In Detroit
Andrew Sacks—Getty Images Robert F. Kennedy campaigns in Detroit, May 1968.

Don't be fooled into thinking the Republican race is the only one that's interesting

Correction appended, Aug. 15, 2015

The primary season that looked so predictable just a few months ago has been disrupted by extraordinary events. The expected battle of the dynasties between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush no longer seems inevitable. Thanks to a crowded field that includes Donald Trump and the GOP’s early debate kick-off, the Republicans are getting more attention—but equally dramatic shifts are beginning on the Democratic side. In fact, the Democrats may be facing a replay of the election that put an end to their 36 years of political hegemony in the middle of the last century: the election of 1968.

Just as President Lyndon Johnson, whom everyone expected to run for re-election, symbolized the Democratic establishment then, Hillary Clinton does now. While Johnson controlled the party apparatus (which in 1968 still chose most of the delegates), Clinton has locked up most of the Democratic donors. Both of them, too, have already lost a nomination battle to a younger, more attractive candidate: LBJ to JFK in 1960, and Clinton to Barack Obama in 2008. And both have serious vulnerabilities that pundits initially underestimated: the Vietnam War for Johnson, and the ongoing email scandal for Clinton. Both of them seem to struggle to appeal to a huge new generation of voters: Boomers in 1968, Millennials now. And like Johnson, Clinton has been challenged by an insurgent Senator with unusual views. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has cast himself in the role of Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota, whom no one gave a snowball’s chance in hell when he announced for President late in 1967. When McCarthy nearly beat Johnson in New Hampshire, the President shocked America by dropping out of the race. Bernie Sanders has just surged ahead of Clinton in New Hampshire in at least one poll, and like McCarthy, will likely command the support of an army of young volunteers there.

This, however, is only the beginning of the parallels between the two years. When Johnson dropped out, Vice President Hubert Humphrey stepped in as the establishment candidate. Our current Vice President, Joe Biden, has so far resisted entreaties from friends and family to enter the race against Clinton, but were she to withdraw, he could very naturally step into the role that Humphrey filled. Their strengths and weaknesses are remarkably similar. They are both warm, hearty traditional liberals with a reputation for talking too freely and sometimes erratically. Biden’s road to the nomination, however, would be much more difficult than Humphrey’s. Humphrey did not enter a single primary, but thanks to the party organization, he arrived at the Chicago convention in August with a solid majority of delegates behind him. Biden would have to win primaries against Sanders—but would Sanders be his only major rival?

There was, of course, another major actor in the race in 1968: Robert Kennedy, who had been elected as a Senator from New York four years earlier. In the fall of 1967 he had resisted the pleas of numerous staffers and supporters when he decided not to enter the race against Johnson. He was still only 42 that year, he had good relations with Democratic bosses in various parts of the country and he did not want to risk his future by tearing the party apart. But when McCarthy nearly beat Johnson in New Hampshire, he “reassessed” his position and entered the race. That split the Democratic Party yet again, between loyal McCarthy supporters who damned RFK as an opportunist, and those who regarded him as a serious candidate and felt the magic of the Kennedy name. On the last day of his life, Kennedy surged ahead of McCarthy by winning the California primary. (I personally have never believed that he could have won the nomination, but a Humphrey-Kennedy ticket would probably have beaten Richard Nixon.) His entry into the race proved that a contest that had once looked like it had only one possible outcome could remain unsettled to the end.

The obvious candidate to fill RFK’s role as the one to shake things up would be another four-year Senator with a national following, who has resisted numerous urgings to get into the race earlier this year: Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Warren insists that she is not going to run, but it’s always possible that she might feel very differently about a race against Sanders and Biden, should Clinton’s campaign founder. She is surely more electable than Sanders. She has impeccable credentials as an economic liberal, and she would be fighting to become the first woman in the White House. Sure, it’s a long shot, but—while the Republicans are getting most of the attention now—history proves that the Democrats are still worth watching.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the year when Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. It was 2008.

The Long ViewHistorians explain how the past informs the present

David Kaiser, a historian, has taught at Harvard, Carnegie Mellon, Williams College, and the Naval War College. He is the author of seven books, including, most recently, No End Save Victory: How FDR Led the Nation into War. He lives in Watertown, Mass.

TIME marketing

5 Reasons Donald Trump’s Brand Is So Wildly Powerful

Branding experts try to explain why people love Donald Trump

People can’t seem to get enough Donald Trump. The real estate tycoon turned reality TV star turned presidential hopeful is leading recent polls among Republican candidates, despite an ongoing litany of controversial comments that would likely have torpedoed a traditional campaign.

It may not exactly be Trump’s platform that is attracting voters. He’s been purposefully vague on the campaign trail about how he’ll fix the many problems he sees in America. His campaign website appears to talk more about his success as a businessman than his specific plans for the White House.

That’s likely all by design, according to marketing and advertising experts. The very things Trump is doing that look like political suicide are only reinforcing his brand as a no-nonsense boss who does whatever he wants. It’s an image he’s been cultivating for decades and which now seems to be resonating with a large number of American voters.

Here are five Trump attributes that brand experts say define his personal brand:

He’s an ‘Outlaw’

Marketing experts can categorize pretty much any brand (and politicians are certainly brands) into one of 12 archetypes based on research by the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung: Sage, Innocent, Explorer, Ruler, Creator, Caregiver, Magician, Hero, Outlaw, Lover, Jester, and Regular Guy/Girl. Most politicians are either all-knowing Rulers or spread-the-wealth Caregivers.

MORE: Here’s Roughly Every Controversial Thing Donald Trump Has Ever Said Out Loud

Trump is better categorized as an Outlaw, according to Edward Boches, professor of advertising at Boston University. He doesn’t operate according to the traditional rules of politics and is openly hostile to his adversaries, much like the freewheeling boss character he plays on his reality TV show The Apprentice. “A lot of people wish they could be that egotistical and get away with it,” Boches says. “We’re not necessarily envious but enamored by that, the fact that someone can pull that off.”

…but he’s also a “Creator” of wealth

Trump’s brashness would get him nowhere if he didn’t have a track record to back it up. With no political record to speak of, Trump uses his wealth as proof of his credentials. That also makes him a “Creator” as a brand archetype and could make him seem like a more accomplished figure in some voters’ eyes compared to lifetime politicians. “Being a creator–building things out of nothing–and doing it on your own terms, are inherently American,” says Boches. “They represent independence and a desire to get ahead. I think people really gravitate to that aspect about him.”

He’s a symbol of success

In everything from reality TV to rap songs, Trump’s name and face have become a kind of shorthand for wealth and success. He’s created a sense, real or not, that there’s no sector he can’t conquer, including the political arena. “As a brand, the fact that he has success at such a high level, people probably think that that can translate into any endeavor that he takes on,” says Tor Myhren, worldwide chief creative officer of the ad agency Grey. “That’s very attractive to people.”

He speaks his mind

Trump has called Mexican immigrants rapists, mocked prisoners of war and made disparaging remarks toward women during his campaign. Those are the kinds of incendiary faux pas that would sink a regular campaign. But Trump hasn’t backed down from any of his statements, which may make him even more appealing to a certain sect of voters. “Middle America abhors the idea of political correctness,” says Mike Sheldon, North American CEO for Deutsch. “They feel victimized by all the victims out there. In a way, I think he’s like their secret microphone.”

He feels authentic

In an age of ongoing Washington gridlock and high partisanship, there’s a sense among many that every high-level politician has compromised their ideals at some point or another. Trump has no political record so opponents can’t say he’s flip-flopped on issues. And since he’s funding his campaign himself, voters may perceive him to be separate from the typical moneyed interests that control Washington. “We’re attracted to his lack of sponsors,” says Sheldon. “It’s like a NASCAR vehicle with no logos on it.”

TIME Haiti

Disorder Plagues Long-Delayed Haiti Elections

APTOPIX Haiti Elections
Dieu Nalio Chery—AP People stand in line to vote during parliamentary elections in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Aug. 9, 2015

The legislative elections had been postponed for nearly four years

(PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti) — Delays, disorder and sporadic violence troubled Haitian legislative elections on Sunday as voters chose lawmakers for the next Parliament after a yearslong wait.

The legislative elections had been postponed for nearly four years due to a political showdown between Haiti’s executive and opposition, and they have been billed as a crucial test of the country’s electoral system ahead of a presidential vote in late October.

Sunday’s first round sought to fill two-thirds of the 30-member Senate and the entire 119-member Chamber of Deputies in the nation still struggling to recover from a 2010 earthquake that devastated the capital and surrounding areas.

But a number of polling stations across the Caribbean country of 10 million people had to wait for ballots a few hours after voting was supposed to start at 6:00 a.m. (1000 GMT). In sections of Port-au-Prince, voters also grew exasperated after being told they couldn’t cast ballots because their names weren’t on official voting lists.

“This is very frustrating. Are they trying to discourage voting?” gardener Gerald Henry complained after election workers turned him away.

In the crowded capital, at least three voting centers were shut down by authorities after fistfights broke out as partisans attempted to stuff ballot boxes and engage in other visible irregularities. At one voting center in downtown Port-au-Prince, groups of young men ripped up paper ballots as heavily armed police shot into the air to re-establish order. Rocks were thrown in response before authorities closed the polling station.

Local media also reported the closure of numerous polling places in other sections of the country and scattered arrests of people accused of voting more than once. Observers from various political parties complained election officials did not give them access to voting centers.

Still, Haitian Prime Minister Evans Paul said the government was satisfied with how the legislative elections were handled, “despite the incidents that we would like to firmly condemn.” Voting was extended for two hours at some polling stations due to ballot delays earlier in the day.

After voting ended, Pierre-Louis Opont, the head of the country’s Provisional Electoral Council, told reporters that 54 polling stations, roughly 5 percent of the total, were closed Sunday amid violence and other disruptions. He also disclosed that a council staffer stole some of the elections material and vanished, but Oponte declined to provide more specifics other than the police were looking for him.

“We still don’t know what his intention was,” Oponte told reporters.

Authorities were also trying to confirm reports of one election-related fatality. “We know that there were instances of violence throughout the country,” Oponte said.

The vote took place roughly eight months after Haiti’s legislature was dissolved because the terms of lawmakers expired before new elections could be held.

It’s the first election Haiti has held under President Michel Martelly, who took office in May 2011 and is in the final year of a five-year term. He has governed by decree since Parliament dissolved in January and cannot run for a consecutive term. In the absence of elections, Martelly has been accused of stacking the deck in his favor by appointing mayors and other municipal officials to replace those whose terms expired.

Roughly 5.8 million people were registered to vote and over 1,850 candidates from nearly 130 political parties competed.

Elections in Haiti are never easy and the Provisional Electoral Council has long been criticized for votes plagued by disorganization, ballot irregularities and fraud allegations.

Final results were not expected for several days and a significant amount of work will be needed to get the next Parliament up and running after it is installed. The first round of Haiti’s presidential election and the second round of local elections are set for Oct. 25.

After voting at a heavily secured polling station, Martelly was asked what he thought of Sunday’s disorder. He told reporters: “I hope that the election officials are better organized for the presidential elections in October.”


AP writer David McFadden contributed to this report from Kingston, Jamaica.

TIME Donald Trump

Here Are the Odds that Donald Trump Will Actually Become President

Donald Trump
Ross D. Franklin—AP Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

People are betting on The Donald

14-1 — those are the odds that Donald Trump will win the presidency, according to William Hill, leading British bookmaker.

One client in particular is rooting for The Donald to win with White House in 2016. He has placed 17 separate bets and, if Trump becomes president and the client wins each individual wager, he stands to win almost $70,000.

Those 14-1 odds are pretty surprising, considering how controversial this candidate is. William Hill executives are surprised as well; they had him as a long shot with 150-1 odds when they first started taking bets.

It seems almost every time the real estate tycoon opens his mouth, he has something outrageous to say. Despite his severe case of foot-in-mouth disease, a Trump presidency seems more realistic everyday as he continues to crush his GOP rivals in the polls.

He hasn’t locked in the win quite yet, according to William Hill’s reports of the other candidates’ odds. Hillary Clinton is the favorite, with even odds. Jeb Bush stands at 7-2, Marco Rubio at 7-1, Scott Walker at 10-1, and Bernie Sanders is just ahead of Trump with 12-1.

TIME Soccer

France’s Michel Platini Is Hot Favorite to Become the Next President of FIFA

UEFA President Michel Platini holds a news conference a year before the start of Euro 2016, in Paris
Charles Platiau—Reuters UEFA President Michel Platini holds a news conference a year before the start of Euro 2016, in Paris, France, June 10, 2015.

Four of six world soccer confederations would reportedly support the current UEFA chief's candidacy

Amid widespread speculation over who will be the next president of soccer’s scandal-hit world governing body FIFA, France’s Michel Platini has emerged as an immensely popular contender among more than half of the organization’s constituent bodies — should he decide to stand for the election next year.

Four out of six continental confederations under FIFA would back Platini — who currently heads the European confederation UEFA — in the election, a source close to UEFA told Reuters.

The confederations representing Asia (AFC), North and Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF), and South America (CONMEBOL) have reportedly declared their support for the legendary midfielder, although none of them were available to confirm. Africa (CAF) and Oceania (OCF) comprise the rest of FIFA’s immediate subdivisions.

The 60-year-old Frenchman, known as one of the world’s best during his playing career in the ’70s and ’80s, has not yet decided whether he will stand for the election to replace FIFA’s disgraced former president Sepp Blatter. Blatter announced his resignation last month as a corruption scandal engulfed world soccer’s apex body, and FIFA has set Feb. 26 for fresh elections.

Read next: Reform Will Top the Agenda at FIFA’s Executive Committee Meeting

TIME Crime

Artist Shepard Fairey Turns Himself In to Face Vandalism Charges in Detroit

MOCA Gala 2015 Presented By Louis Vuitton
Jason LaVeris—FilmMagic/Getty Images Shepard Fairey attends the 2015 MOCA Gala at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA on May 30, 2015 in Los Angeles.

The street artist is best known for his iconic Barack Obama "Hope" poster

Shepard Fairey, the street artist behind the iconic Barack Obama “Hope” poster, turned himself in to authorities in Detroit on Tuesday to face felony vandalism charges.

Detroit police had issued an arrest warrant for Fairey in June after he illegally tagged buildings in the city in May, causing more than $9,000 of damage, according to The Detroit Free Press. The artist, known for geometric, graffiti-style murals, was in Detroit this spring to create artwork that was commissioned by the city, but he also reportedly did some unauthorized projects on the side.

Fairey, who is the executive producer of the MTV series “Rebel Music,” was out of the country when the charges initially were mounted but flew to Detroit on Monday evening. He was arraigned Tuesday in Detroit and his bond was set at $75,000.

The “artist-who-turned-legit” openly admitted to tagging in an interview in May. “I still do stuff on the street without permission,” he told The Detroit Free Press in an interview. “I’ll be doing stuff on the street when I’m in Detroit.”

This is not the first time Fairey has had a brush with the law. In 2012, he was fined $25,000 and sentenced to two years of probation for tampering with evidence in a bitter copyright feud with his “Hope” poster’s original Associated Press photographer.

If he is found guilty in Detroit, Fairey faces a maximum of five years in jail and fines in excess of $10,000; a preliminary hearing will be held July 28.

[Detroit Free Press]

TIME White House

See How Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter Became Presidential Contenders

Watch an exclusive clip from the next episode of CNN's 'The Seventies'

By the summer of 1976, the pool of potential presidential candidates had winnowed to three: incumbent Gerald Ford, his Republican challenger Ronald Reagan and the Democrat Jimmy Carter. It was a situation tailor-made for the post-Watergate world, as shown in this exclusive clip from the upcoming episode of CNN’s The Seventies, which airs on Thursdays at 9:00 pm. Here’s how TIME handicapped the field at the time:

Now the choice is down to three—and they are among the most unusual politicians in the nation’s history. The next President of the U.S. will be either Jimmy Carter, the one-term Georgia Governor who has had the most spectacular political rise since Wendell Willkie in 1940; or Ronald Reagan, the two-term California Governor who staged the most successful challenge against an incumbent since Theodore Roosevelt took on William Howard Taft in 1912; or Gerald Ford, the longtime Michigan Congressman whom fate, Watergate and the 25th Amendment propelled into the Oval Office. Their status as survivors tells much about the changing state of the nation, the political parties and the voters’ mood.

Read the June 21, 1976, issue of TIME, here in the TIME Vault: Our Next President (Pick One)

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