On the 16th of February general elections were supposed to occur in Nigeria. The last time elections were held was in 2015, where voters could choose between Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari. People hoped this election would bring a new start. This year, Nigerian voters are choosing between the sitting president Buhari (76) and a new candidate, Atiku Abubakar (72). Both are known for being corrupt. The majority of voters in Nigeria do not feel represented by these men, especially the younger part of the population. On top of that, Nigerians never even got a chance to vote this past weekend: the elections were postponed. How did Africa’s largest democracy end up here?
After a nine-month deadlock it was announced on January 31 by Prime Minister Saad Hariri that Lebanon formed a new government. Hariri has been negotiating with Lebanon’s rival parties since the parliamentary elections last May. The political system that is based on a power-sharing agreement between religious groups lies at the heart of this long process. The main obstacles concerned the Iran-backed Hezbollah group gaining ground in the government and therefore appointing key ministries which would enlarge their sphere of influence.
In the past few weeks multiple protests have sparked in the South African country Zimbabwe, bringing a lot of violence and resulting in arrests. The direct cause for these protest was the rise of fuel prices by 150 percent. This meant that petrol now costs 3,31 US dollars per litre, the highest fuel price in the world. The bigger picture shows a general unrest in the country, where corruption and poverty are still very present. When President Robert Mugabe resigned under pressure of his party, the people were very happy. However, the new president Emmerson Mnangagwa has not brought the changes people hoped for.
After spending four weeks in Accra, Ghana, it’s time for my next field trip. I'm going to Tunisia! Will there be a big difference with Ghana when discussing migration? Or do both countries have a relatively similar perspectives on migration? This, I want to find out in the coming month.
Geen betere plek dan het PvdA Congres op 19 januari in Den Bosch – waar de lijst en programma voor de Europese verkiezingen werden vastgesteld – om onze aandacht te vestigen op de buurlanden van de EU. Foundation Max van der Stoel organiseerde dan ook twee workshops in Den Bosch over de veiligheidssituatie in Oost Europa en over EU uitbreiding richting de Westelijke Balkan. Bert Koenders, Jan Marinus Wiersma en de Albanese Ambassadeur Adia Sakiqi waren onze gastsprekers!
Een aantal jaren heeft het Roemeense anti-corruptieparket voor klinkende veroordelingen kunnen zorgen. De regering heeft die dynamiek gestopt, probeert het OM te muilkorven en negeert het onafhankelijke bestuursorgaan van de rechtspraak. Dit vertaalt zich echter nog niet in een lagere score op de Corruption Perception Index van Transparency International.
Interview met Amsterdams-Ethiopisch journalist Kibret Mekonnen
We gingen op de koffie bij journalist en documentairemaker Kibret Mekonnen, een van de workshoporganisatoren van de Afrikadag 2019. Twintig jaar geleden kwam hij van Ethiopië naar Nederland. De omstandigheden om de journalistiek daar uit te oefenen waren ondragelijk geworden. “Een week voor vertrek naar Nederland zat ik nog in de gevangenis”, vertelt Kibret ons in zijn kantoor in Amsterdam.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, Serbian Progressive Party (SNS), is under pressure as the protests against him and his government are continuing. Every Saturday, since the 8th of December 2018, thousands of people are marching peacefully throughout Belgrade to protest against violence in the society and Vučić’s repressive regime. The protests are supported by the opposition Alliance for Serbia which was created last September. More and more parties are joining the alliance. The Democratic Party (DS) is one of the founding members of the Alliance and we interviewed DS member and director of our partner Center of Modern Skills (CMV), Miloš Djajić,to tell us more about the background of the protests and possible outcomes.