Billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ended his presidential campaign on Wednesday and said he was backing Joe Biden for the Democratic Party’s nomination to challenge President Donald Trump in the November election.”A viable path to the nomination no longer exists,” Bloomberg said in a statement, having failed to deliver convincing wins in his electoral debut onSuper Tuesday despite lavish spending on campaign ads across the United States.Endorsing Biden, Bloomberg said: “I will work to make him the next president of the United States.” Since entering the race on Nov. 24, Bloomberg spent more than $500 million of the fortune he built on his eponymous media company on an ad campaign that vaulted him into the top tier of the Democratic field.After blanketing the airwaves with promises that he could defeat the Republican Trump in the Nov. 3 election, his support among Democrats and independents in public opinion polls rose to around 15% from about 5% when he entered.He hired thousands of staff and mounted a vigorous national tour focused on the 14 states that voted on March 3.But Bloomberg was dogged along the way by criticism over his past support of policies seen as racially discriminatory, including stop-and-frisk policing, which ensnared a disproportionate number of African-Americans and Latinos, as well as past sexist remarks.WARREN STILL IN RACEHis Democratic rivals attacked him in his first presidential debate on Feb. 19 in Nevada. US Senator Elizabeth Warren lambasted him for making crude jokes about women and Sanders accused him of trying to buy the election.Outside his rallies – which were often smaller than those of his rivals – protesters regularly waved signs echoing Sanders’ claim. Inside them, Bloomberg detractors and enthusiasts alike ate from tables stocked with free food.Bloomberg was assailed for his spending despite his pledge to use his personal fortune to support the eventual Democratic nominee, whoever it was. Bloomberg apologized for stop-and-frisk a few days before he announced his candidacy.When Bloomberg got into the race many months after other leading candidates, he said he was worried none of the other candidates could beat Trump.”Trump would eat ’em up,” he told CBS’s “This Morning” on Dec. 6. He increasingly pitched himself as the centrist alternative to Sanders. In the Feb. 19 debate, he described Sanders’ policies as “communism.”Bloomberg’s political fortunes initially rose after Biden, who led in public opinion polls during much of 2019, performed poorly in the first three nomination contests: Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.Bloomberg did not compete in those races, nor in the fourth contest in South Carolina, saying his late entry made it impossible to assemble a competitive election staff in those states.Bloomberg heavily criticized Trump, and the two New York billionaires traded insults, with Trump mocking Bloomberg’s short stature on Twitter, nicknaming him “mini-Mike.”Bloomberg earned his estimated $60 billion fortune by founding Bloomberg News, a leading purveyor of financial information for Wall Street firms.After spending much of his life as a Democrat, he switched to the Republican party in 2001 to run for mayor of New York. He became an independent in 2007, and switched back to the Democratic Party in 2018.His past as a Republican also dogged him during his presidential run. Warren attacked Bloomberg at the Democrats’ Feb. 25 debate for giving money in 2012 to support the election campaign of South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican and a key ally of Trump.Topics : His exit ended a novel electoral strategy, a vast experiment in political advertising, as Bloomberg, 78, skipped the four early-voting states and instead focused on the 14-state Super Tuesday contest.His only victory on Tuesday came in the US territory of American Samoa.Biden, 77, the former vice president, accomplished his Super Tuesday goal of muscling Bloomberg aside and consolidating support of moderates to turn the race into a one-on-one contest against the democratic socialist, US Senator Bernie Sanders.Bloomberg was winning more than 15% of the vote, enough to pick up some delegates, in Tennessee, Texas, Colorado, Utah, California and Arkansas.
Read also: Candidates narrowed down for KPK enforcement deputy director, other positionsThe position of KPK law enforcement deputy, responsible for all legal efforts against graft suspects, has been vacant since then-deputy Firli Bahuri left the post in June 2019 to return to the National Police. He now serves as the antigraft body chairman after being selected by the House of Representatives in September 2019.“Any work on eradicating corruption carried out by the KPK must be accountable to the public,” the watchdogs wrote in a statement on Wednesday.“This selection process has increased our concern that the KPK leaders are eliminating public involvement in the battle against corruption,” the coalition went on to say, adding that such practices could violate the principle of openness and accountability stipulated in the KPK Law and Public Information Law. A coalition of civil society organizations has urged the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to start over its selection process for a key position within the commission, citing a lack of transparency regarding the whole process.The coalition — comprising Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), West Sumatra’s Andalas University’s Constitution Study Center (PUSaKO), the Indonesia Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI) and the Indonesian legal Aid and Human Rights Association (PBHI) – pointed out that the antigraft body had yet to announce the names of law enforcement candidates despite the selection process nearing completion.The watchdogs were concerned about a hidden agenda by KPK leaders in the selection process to place certain individuals in key positions. The ICW previously also slammed the antigraft body, highlighting the lack of participation by the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center’s (PPATK) in checking each candidate’s background. It said the high number of law enforcers applying for the deputy position would present a potential conflict of interest, especially when the KPK investigated suspected graft cases in law enforcement institutions.KPK spokesperson Ali Fikri said on Monday that the commission had narrowed down the number of candidates for the deputy position to three individuals. It had also selected candidates for other key positions, including investigation director and legal bureau head.Ali said the antigraft body had been inviting members of the general public to participate in the selection process by providing insights on each candidate. However, the antigraft body had yet to reveal the names of the candidates.Since Firli was inaugurated as the KPK chairman last December, the antigraft body has only carried out two arrests of high-profile graft suspects, namely Sidoarjo Regent Saiful Ilah and General Elections Commission (KPU) commissioner Wahyu Setiawan.However, the investigations in both cases had been launched when the antigraft body was led by the previous chairman Agus Rahardjo.Topics :
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