Nieuws Democracy

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

Pas op voor democratierelativering

Door Arjen Berkvens, directeur Foundation Max van der Stoel

De Amerikaanse invasie in Irak was het” hoogtepunt” van Westerse interventiepolitiek in de afgelopen 25 jaar. De aanwezigheid van massavernietigingswapens was de Amerikaanse rechtvaardiging voor het beginnen van deze oorlog, maar toen die er niet bleken te zijn, werd het brengen van democratie tot hoogste doel verheven. Deze doorzichtige verantwoording achteraf had tot dramatisch gevolg dat alle democratieondersteuning in een kwaad daglicht kwam te staan, zoals we nu zien in Oekraïne. Er zijn echter vele goede manieren om van buitenaf de democratisering van landen te ondersteunen.

Parliamentary elections in Libya

Marking another step in the transition from the Gaddafi-regime, 1.5 million Libyans will go out and vote for a new 200-seat parliament today 25 June. Libya desperately needs a functioning government to bring the heavily armed former rebels, militias and tribes that helped oust former dictator Muammar Gaddafi under control and to secure the oil ports vital for Libya’s government and public budget. The new parliament, which will be called the House of Representatives, will replace the General National Congress as new legislative assembly.

Ethnic Albanians clash with Police in south Mitrovica

Clashes broke out between ethnic Albanians and police in the ethnically divided Kosovo town of Mitrovica, injuring 13 police officers and 21 protesters on Sunday 22 June. The clashes started after ethnic Serbs rebuilt a road barricade over the central bridge, dividing the ethnic Albanian southern part of the town from the ethnically Serbian northern part. Local Serbs removed the barricade on 17 June but they replaced a road barricade, made of sand and flowerpots, on 18 June. The ethnic Albanian’s were outraged by the renewed barricade, saying the barricade stands testament to ethnic Serb refusal to integrate into the independent state of Kosovo.

ISIL has the region on edge

The rapid conquest of large parts of Iraq by the radical Sunny Islamist al-Qaeda splinter group, Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has a destabilizing effect on the entire region. ISIL fighters aim to establish a Sunny caliphate along the Iraqi-Syrian frontier, mirroring the eight century Abbasid caliphate. ISIL fighters pride themselves on their brutality and have massacred hundreds of Shiite troops, who they consider heretics. The emphasis on the Sunny – Shiite divide spikes fears for sectarian violence that could spread across the entire region

Local elections Georgia – Ruling party “force which really has no alternative”?

On 15 June municipal elections took place in Georgia in which the heads of 59 municipalities and 71 new local councils were elected, for a term of three years and four months. Next to this, mayoral elections were held in twelve cities. Despite the fact that Transparency International reported irregularities and filed complaints, they argued that the election day was “generally calm”.

Israeli forces move on Palestine

Tensions between Israel and Palestine rise as Israel deploys around 2,000 troops in southern West Bank on 14 June. Israeli military command has announced its plan to step up its military operations in the region in order to locate three abducted Israeli teens. Troops have sealed of most entrances to the city of Hebron on 15 June and increased its military presence to 2,500 troops. In the city of Ramallah a Palestinian protester was killed as Israeli troops expand their pressure on the Palestinians.

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.

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