Nieuws Democracy

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

Russian winter starts in Moldova

On 13 November the run-off Presidential elections took place in Moldova. An openly pro-Russian socialist candidate Igor Dodon assumed presidency with 99.9% of votes counted. Dodon (Socialist Party and former economy minister in a communist 2006-2009 government) acquired 52.29% of votes against the pro-European candidate Maia Sandu (Action and Solidarity Party and former World Bank official and education minister in 2012-2015), who received 47.71%. The voters turnout was 53.3%, only 4% higher than in the first round on 30 October, while abroad it doubled. Such a result could influence the ongoing EU integration efforts of Moldova. Dodon has said during his campaign that he plans to conduct a referendum on withdrawing from the Association Agreement with the EU and joining the Eurasian Customs Union instead. Good relations with Romania and Ukraine have been claimed to be of interest to Dodon as well, even though he has said recently that Crimea is a ‘factual’ part of Russia, which caused outrage in Ukraine. Sandu, in her turn, supported the withdrawal of several thousands of Russian “peacekeeping” troops from the separatist Trans-Dniester region, which broke away in early 1990s. It was unusual that 9,000 people came to vote in Trans-Dniester this time, where they usually do not participate in Moldovan elections.

Gendertraining in Servië!

In het weekend van 4 tot 6 november organiseerde Foundation Max van der Stoel (FMS) in samenwerking met het Servische Center of Modern Skills (CMV) een gender training voor drie sociaaldemocratische partijen in Servië: Democratische Partij (DS), Sociaal Democratische Unie (SDU) en Liga van Sociaaldemocraten uit Vojvodina (LSV). FMS trainers Sanneke Snuverink en Janny De Boer reisden naar het mooie Zrenjanin in de provincie Vojvodina af om de training te verzorgen.

GDDG gains a Constitutional majority in parliament

On 30 October the ruling party Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia (GDDG) won the second round of parliamentary elections that took place in 50 single-mandate constituencies and gained a 116-seat majority required to change the Constitution (it won 67 seats in the first round and 49 in the second). The opposition United National Movement (UNM) will remain with 27 seats and the pro-Russian Alliance of Patriots - with 6 seats. Now GDDG will be able to introduce its candidate for the post of a Prime Minister, who has more authority than the President and will form the new government. GDDG won in 48 out of 49 districts where it nominated its candidates. In Mtatsminda district of Tbilisi GDDG supported an independent candidate, Salome Zourabichvili, who won. In all 44 districts, where GDDG’s main rival was UNM, GDDG candidates won with a significant margin (e. g. 79.27% against 20.73 in Saburtalo district), including two districts (Marneuli and Akhaltsikhe/Adigeni), where UNM candidates won the first rounds. The only district, where GDDG candidate was defeated, is Khashuri, where a candidate from the Industrialists party managed to gain victory.

The time of social democracy in Ukraine will come in three years

Social democracy in Ukraine is often surrounded by misconception. Ukrainians tend to confuse social democracy with socialism, bolshevism, communism, fascism or Nazism. Not many pay due attention to the main ideas of social democracy, such as workers’ well-being, equal opportunities, lessening the gap between rich and poor, freedom and solidarity. Social democracy’s spirit has a lot in common with the French Revolution motto “Liberté, égalité, fraternité!”. Social democracy stands against nationalistic hatred, intolerance, racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia. Social democracy could be the way to stop war in Donbas and fight corruption and oligarchy in post-Soviet states. If everybody is free, equal and solidary – there is simply no reason to fight a war or give a bribe.

Public lecture of Erlan Abdyldaev, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic

On 7 October Foreign Minister of Kyrgyzstan Erlan Abdyldaev gave a lecture at The Hague Clingendael Institute. Abdyldaev referred to the 25th anniversary of Kyrgyzstan’s independence and the importance of developing democratic institutes and civil society. He mentioned that in 2017 Kyrgyzstan will elect a new President. Abdyldaev stressed the importance of successful transition to a market economy, stable economic development and restoring destroyed economic relations. The priority sectors for Kyrgyzstan are: mining, energy, transport infrastructure and tourism. Abdyldaev emphasized that Kyrgyzstan’s main partner in foreign policy is the United Nations and that it fully adheres to its principles. He also mentioned the challenges Kyrgyzstan faces, such as international terrorism, extremism, illicit weapons and drugs trafficking, as well as money laundering.

Montenegro chose NATO in the recent parliamentary elections

The Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) of the current Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic won the parliamentary elections in Montenegro on 16 October. DPS has been in power since 1991 and this time received 41% of the votes. Djukanovic labeled these elections as a choice between NATO and Russia. Out of 81 seats in the parliament DPS will now receive 36. The party of Social Democrats of Montenegro (SD), which has close ties with DPS, won two seats. The opposition parties have 39 seats in total and might try to form an anti-coalition. In particular, the pro-Serb and pro-Russian Democratic Front coalition (DF) won 18 seats, the Grand Kljuc Coalition has 9 seats, the centre-left Democratic Montenegro got 8 seats and Social Democratic Party (SDP) gained four seats. National minority parties, Bosnian, Albanian and Croatian, also have four seats. The recent election results are weaker for DPS this time and it is expected to form a coalition with SD and national minorities. Coalition negotiations will be decisive for the future course of Montenegro: whether it will move closer to the West or turn back to its traditional partners Serbia and Russia. The voters turnout on 16 October was 71% despite the actively spread through the social media flashmob of ‘staying lazy’ on elections day.

Campagne en leiderschapstraining aan Oekraïense jongeren

Afgelopen weekend organiseerden we een training voor jonge sociaaldemocraten in Oekraïne, over campagnevoeren en leiderschap. De training vond plaats in Kharkiv, de 2e stad van Oekraïne, en bekend om het feit dat het een studentenstad is. De groep bestond dus uit jonge, actieve leden van de Sociaaldemocratische Platform, die niet alleen uit Kharkiv kwamen maar uit meerdere regio’s van Oekraïne.

Update Westelijke Balkan

De landen van de Westelijke Balkan hebben belangrijke stappen gezet in het EU integratieproces: Slovenië (2004) en Kroatië (2013) zijn EU-lid terwijl Albanië, Macedonië, Montenegro en Servië kandidaat-lid zijn. Bosnië-Herzegovina en Kosovo, waar de oorlogen de diepste wonden hebben achtergelaten, hopen zich op korte termijn bij de laatste groep aan te sluiten. Hoe staan de landen er politiek voor? Wat heeft EU integratie de landen gebracht in termen van vrede, stabiliteit, rechtstaat en democratie? Ondanks dat de EU zelf voor grote uitdagingen staat, zoals de Brexit, migratiecrisis en opkomst van populistische partijen die aan de basiswaarden van de EU schudden, moet het toetredingsperspectief een belangrijke impuls zijn voor hervormingen die de economische en politieke situatie zullen verbeteren en een leegloop van hoogopgeleide jongeren zullen tegenhouden.

Verkiezingswaarneming: De magie van Mongolië

Het zal je maar meezitten. Begin juni word ik door Buitenlandse Zaken uitgenodigd om mee te doen aan het waarnemen van de nieuwe parlementsverkiezingen in het verre Oosterse land. Tweeënhalf jaar geleden mocht ik nog meedoen aan een OVSE-missie in Azerbeidzjan en tot nu toe waren de tussenliggende periodes langer geweest. Na het waarnemen van de eerste democratische verkiezingen van Zuid-Afrika in 1994 was ik in een waarneem-pool van belangstellenden terechtgekomen. Bij tijd en wijle komt er een uitnodiging en bij positieve reactie word je voorgedragen bij de EU of de OVSE en dan is het van geen-nieuws-is-slecht-nieuws. Maar dit keer was het dus wel bingo.

Sorteer op: