Nieuws over politieke trainingen en ontwikkelingen in Oost- en Zuidoost Europa, de Kaukasus, Afrika en het Midden Oosten
On Tuesday 13 May the Secretary-General of the United Nation, Ban Ki-moon, announced that the Special Envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, will step down by the end of May. Brahimi expressed his regret for his inability to forge an international response to the violence in Syria. The 80-year-old Brahimi threatened to resign almost from the start of his mission in 2012. He succeeded Kofi Annan, who quit after six months and slammed the UN Security Council for failing to unite behind his efforts.
On 27 April dual elections took place in Macedonia. The opposition does not accept the results and refuses to take seat in parliament. These parties further boycotted the inauguration of president Gjorge Ivanov on 12 May and were absent at the ceremonial handing of Members of Parliament certificates on 7 May.
In het weekend van 9 tot 11 mei organiseerde Foundation Max van der Stoel in samenwerking met Centre of Modern Skills (CMV) – NGO verbonden aan de Democratische Partij (DS) – een training gericht op het bevorderen van de positie van etnische minderheden binnen de partij. FMS trainers Samir Španja en Brahim Abid reisden naar Servië af om de training te verzorgen.
In the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhanks separatists organized a referendum on independence on Sunday 11 May. Rebel organizers claim 89 percent of the votes in Donetsk, and 96 percent of votes in Luhanks, favor independence. The self-rule vote was highly controversial and has been called illegal by the EU, NATO and the US.
On 5 May the head of Libya's parliament has confirmed that businessman Ahmed Maiteeq will be the country's new prime minister. Ahmed Maiteeq is Libya's fifth prime minister to be appointed in the past two and a half years. Maiteeq tried hard to win over sceptics by stressing his business credentials and his non-party background.
In a country gripped by political deadlock, politicians of the Bosniak-Croat Federation (FBiH) entity adopted a set of anti-corruption laws, aimed at establishing specific law-enforcement bodies to tackle organized crime. Some critics say the new law shows Bosnia and Herzegovina is starting to overcome its political difficulties, others say the law is a show of decisiveness for the October general elections.
On 6 May the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, convened an emergency session behind closed doors to discuss the escalating crisis in the country. Security forces have been trying to regain control over eastern parts of the country after pro-Russian separatists started occupying government buildings since 15 April. After days of intense fighting the situation remains volatile and there seems to be no end in sight.
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.
On 5 May around 100 activists representing several Kyrgyz nongovernmental organisations held a protest against Kyrgyzstan joining the Russian-led Customs Union. It is not the first time that groups in (potential) member state countries have doubts about this Union.
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.