Today, Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul signed into law a widely contested bill tightening the governments hold on the judiciary. The new law gives the minister of Justice greater control over the independent Supreme board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) responsible for appointing and overseeing the members of the judiciary. Critics of Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan say the new law is designed to tighten Erdogan’s grip over the country.
On 24 February the Egyptian government of interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi handed in its resignation to President Mansour. President Mansour asked El-Beblawi to run the government’s affairs until an new prime minister is selected. El-Beblawi gave no clear reason for his decision, but it is widely believed the cabinet made way for Army Chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to declare his candidacy for president, who was till now minister of defense.
After a ten month political stalemate, Lebanon’s designated Prime Minister, Tammam Salam, announced the formation of a government of national unity. The announcement was made on Saturday 15 February and on 18 February the newly formed government met for the first time. The 24-member government unites the Shia Hezbollah party, the Sunni Future Movement and the Christian Kataeb party.
De verkiezingen in Irak zijn gepland voor 30 april 2014. Het opnieuw oplaaiende geweld in de Anbar provincie is een risico en zou tot uitstel kunnen leiden, maar vooralsnog gaat iedereen ervan uit dat het doorgaat. De huidige premier al-Maliki van de Dawa partij is na acht jaar toe aan zijn laatste termijn. Al-Maliki heeft er alles aan gedaan om ook een derde termijn mogelijk te maken, maar de grondwet is helder: 8 jaar is het maximaal aantal jaren en ook zijn eigen partij wil geen uitzondering maken. Ik was door de Foundation Max van der Stoel gevraagd om trainers op te leiden.
The European Union has made clear that its role as Israel's biggest trade partner and the Palestinians' largest donor should not be taken for granted. The EU Ambassador to Israel said on January 22 that both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks risk paying a high price in losing European Union trade and aid if negotiations collapse.
From 29 November to 1 December the European Forum, in cooperation with the Foundation Max van der Stoel (FMS), the UK Labour Party and the Unified Socialist Party in Morocco organized the third and final seminar of the Future Leaders Training. The young and promising future politicians came from social democratic and left progressive parties from Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan.
On 8 November Egypt´s Foreign Minister, Nabil Fahmy, said Egypt will hold parliamentary elections "between February and March", to be followed by presidential elections in early summer. The elections will replace the leaders appointed after the army ousted elected president Mohamed Mursi in July. Fahmy said in an interview with international media that the Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of Mursi's outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, "is still legal in Egypt" and free to participate in the parliamentary election.
The Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) together with SOLIDAR is organising a new research programme focussed on Women Rights in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and now they have launched a call for academic papers on this issue. The call is open for independent thinkers, journalists, academics and researchers from the MENA region and the aim is to define the challenges in the promotion of women’s rights and gender equality and enhancing equal participation of women in social, democratic, economic, political and cultural life.
From 6 to 8 September the European Forum, in cooperation with the Foundation Max van der Stoel (FMS), the UK Labour Party and the Ettakatol party organized the second seminar of the Future Leaders Training. The young and promising future politicians came from social democratic and left progressive parties from Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan.