Nieuws Democracy

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

Tajikistan blocks YouTube

Access to the move-sharing website YouTube has been partially blocked in Tajikistan on Tuesday 10 June. The Tajik government has been blamed for blocking the website but denies all involvement. In 2013 the Tajik authorities blocked YouTube after a movie of a dancing and singing President Emomallii Rahmon was uploaded onto the Internet.

Oromo Protesten in Ethiopië

Sinds 25 april protesteren duizenden studenten in Oromia tegen de landroof van de Ethiopische regering. Ondanks dat vreedzame protesten grondwettelijk zijn toegestaan, reageert de regering met harde hand. Tientallen jongeren en andere demonstranten vonden al de dood. Het precieze aantal is onduidelijk omdat er weinig informatie over naar buiten mag komen. En ook al trokken ngo’s als Amnesty International en Human Rights Watch aan de bel, berichtten internationale media maar mondjesmaat over het politiek geweld.

Update: Results presidential elections Egypt

On 3 June the Election Commission announced the results of the presidential elections: Abdel Fattah al-Sisi won 96.91% of the votes. On 26 and 27 May Egyptian voters could cast their ballots for the presidential elections. Because the turnout was low on the 26th, the government declared a national holiday on the 27th, which they hope leads to a higher turnout. In the end, 47% of the country’s 54 million people, voted. This percentage is lower than expected.

Syria's President Assad sweeps 'non-election'

This week Syrian President Bashar al-Assad won a new seven-year term with nearly 90 percent of the vote. The elections were only held in the areas that are controlled by the government which are mostly in the north-west of the country, centred around the city of Hama and Damascus. Tens of thousands took to the streets in government-held areas even before the results were announced on 4 June, waving portraits of Assad and the official Syrian flag. The EU has condemned the elections saying that they are “illegitimate and undermine the political efforts to find a solution to this horrific conflict.” They noted people in rebel-held areas could not vote and that state media promoted the incumbent Bashar al-Assad.

General elections to be held in Kosovo

On Sunday 8 June general elections will be held in Kosovo, following an early dissolution of parliament on 7 May. Parliament fell after interethnic bickering let to a legislative stalemate. The Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) of ruling Prime Minister Hashim Thaci is expected to win. The new government faces many challenges; foremost are a haltering economy, the strengthening of the fledgling government and judiciary and the integration of the ethnic Serbs.

New offensive in Ukraine

In order to reclaim control over the country’s eastern regions, Ukrainian security forces have started a new offensive against pro-Russian separatists in the Donbas and Luhansk region. The offensive started on Sunday 1 June as government forces marched on the strategic town of Slavyansk, breaking through several roadside barricades. Separatist forces reacted by besieging a government-controlled border camp near the town of Luhansk on Monday 2 June. Thousands of civilians are on the run to escape the violence

European Forum expert meeting in Belgrade

On Saturday 31 May the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) and the European Forum for Democracy and Solidarity held an expert meeting about the legitimacy of the EU and increasing civil engagement in order to revitalize the EU enlargement process. Researchers, academics and political foundations met in the Serbian capital of Belgrade to discuss these topics as part of the research program ‘Enhancing democracy pre and post EU accession - Citizens’ Europe’.

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