Nieuws Democracy

Nieuws over politieke trainingen en ontwikkelingen in Oost- en Zuidoost Europa, de Kaukasus, Afrika en het Midden Oosten

Nigerian presidential elections postponed

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?

Finally a new government in Lebanon

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.

Zimbabwe after Mugabe: new president Mnangagwa does not bring promised change

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.

Roemenië: Corruptie-index blijft vrijwel gelijk, maar EU bezorgd over rechtsstaat

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.

Mass protests continue in Serbia: interview with activist Miloš Djajić

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.

Outcome Congolese elections claimed to be false: Kabila still in control?

On the 10th of January opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi was announced winner of the Congolese presidential elections. After an extensive ruling period by President Kabila (since 2001), the election of an opposition leader could be a step in the right direction for the Democratic Republic of Congo. However, Martin Fayulu, a second opposition candidate, claims the elections were rigged and that he is the true winner. Several pieces of evidence support his claim. A year ago, Foundation Max van der Stoel talked about this subject during the political café on the (non)sense of elections in Congo. Here we discussed that the result of new democratic elections could be the first peaceful transfer of power since independence in 1960.

Een test voor Georgië

In Georgië woedde in de afgelopen weken een heftige campagne. Gisteren vond de tweede ronde plaats van een presidentsverkiezing die het in de eerste ronde ongekend spannend maakte: het verschil tussen de winnaar en de nummer twee was minder dan 1%. De regerende partij, Georgian Dream (GD), steunt een onafhankelijke kandidaat, Salome Zurabisjvili, tegenover de kandidaat van de oppositiepartij United National Movement (UNM), Grigol Vasjadze. De machtige GD heeft alles in de strijd gegooid met een enorme mobilisatie tot gevolg. Dit was ook zichtbaar: de hele regering voerde campagne en in hoofdstad Tbilisi hingen waar je ook keek gigantische posters van Zurabisjvili. Het heeft gewerkt: zo’n 98% van de stemmen zijn nu geteld en daarvan heeft ze 60% tegenover Vashadze’s 40%.

Tunesië wacht een woelig verkiezingsjaar

Met nog een jaar te gaan voor de parlementsverkiezingen is het politieke krachtenveld in Tunesië al flink aan het veranderen. Terwijl de seculieren in 2014 zich nog wisten te verenigen, valt in de aanloop naar de verkiezingen de partij Nidaa Tounes beetje bij beetje uit elkaar. De premier wisselt zonder toestemming van zijn eigen partij ministers en alweer een aantal parlementariërs besluit de overstap te maken naar een andere fractie. Ondertussen zet de grootste vakbond de verhoudingen nog meer op scherp met een massaprotest tegen het economisch beleid van de regering.

Public meeting: “Young Generations for the New Western Balkans: Beyond Emigration"

Recent research shows that between 25.000 – 40.000 people are annually leaving each of the Western Balkans countries. Not only young people, but increasingly the middle class as well. A group of young scientist from the region has engaged in a project ‘New Horizons for the Young Generations in the Balkans” in order to discuss their visions how to overcome old- fashioned politics and nationalisms and the lack of perspective for younger generations. They will sketch alternative horizons and the look for alternatives for South-Eastern Europe’s way beyond emigration. Den Haag will be the first place in Europe after Vienna where the results of the mentioned initiative will be presented to the public.

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