Nieuws Democracy

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

Early parliamentary elections in Kosovo

Kosovo’s National Assembly agreed on 6 May to dissolve parliament on 7 May. 90 representatives voted to dissolve the 120-seat parliament. The decision to dissolve the national assembly came after Members of Parliament failed to reach agreement on two key issues: the transformation of the existing Kosovo Security Forces into the Kosovo Armed Forces and reserved seats for ethnic minorities in parliament. Parliamentary leaders were unable to reach an agreement about the political deadlock and thus voted to dissolve parliament. Parliamentary elections were scheduled for September 2014 but are now to take places on Sunday 8 June.

Human rights deteriorate in Azerbaijan

On 28 April the head of an election watchdog in Azerbaijan, Anar Mammadli, and two of his associates went on trial and face prison sentences. Besides these three men other critics of the regime - a human rights activist, a journalist and two opposition leaders - faced charges as well in the last two months.

Conservatives win Macedonian dual election

Yesterday 27 April, dual elections were held in Macedonia. The country went to the ballot boxes for the second round of the presidential elections and early parliamentary elections. The ruling conservative coalition, ‘For better Macedonia’ (VMRO-DPMNE and DUI), claims victory as the opposition refuses to accept the results due to irregularities. The preliminary results suggest the ruling coalition retains a government majority.

Mass death sentence in Egypt

A criminal court in the south of Egypt has sentenced 37 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death and recommended the death sentence for 682 others. Amongst the convicted is Muslim Brotherhood supreme guide, Mohamed Badie. Critics claim the mass sentencing is part of a crackdown on the movement that could trigger protests and political violence ahead of the presidential elections next month.

Update: anti-terror operations in eastern Ukraine

Since 15 April the Ukrainian government forces have attempted to clear out pro-Russian separatist strongholds in eastern Ukraine. Ten days later, the anti-terror operations are still continuing and the crisis is yet to deescalate. Today, seven people got injured near Odessa when an explosion occurred at a roadblock. On Thursday 24 April at least two separatists died when Ukrainian commandos raided pro-Russian checkpoints around the town of Sloviansk.

Poetin als “gamechanger” voor de Europese verkiezingen

De Europese verkiezingen staan voor de deur en partijen en media lopen zich warm. Vijf jaar geleden werd een simpele tegenstelling: ‘wil je meer of minder EU’ het centrale thema van de verkiezingen en was er een zoektocht gaande naar een nieuw Europees verhaal. Daar hadden vooral de genuanceerde middenpartijen het moeilijk mee en de flankpartijen profiteerden. Dit keer zal het anders gaan, omdat onze relatie tot de EU veel complexer is geworden en omdat Vladimir Poetin onze aloude motivatie om samen te werken nieuw leven heeft ingeblazen.

Fatah and Hamas unite

On Wednesday 23 April, a meeting of Palestinian leaders resulted in a reconciliation pact between the Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas. Both groups agreed to form a national government under the umbrella of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). The US and Israel fear the new-found unity might derail the peace process.

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