Nieuws Democracy

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

Crackdown on protests against candidature Bouteflika for Algerian presidential elections

On April 17th presidential elections are scheduled in Algeria. The current president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who has been in power for the last fifteen years, will run again. His candidature has caused a lot of resistance by opponents, which have staged several protests. Next to the current president, eleven candidates have registered for the elections. The Constitutional Council have examined all applications and approved those of six candidates. Despite this number, changes that Bouteflika will win again are huge.

Serbian Progressive Party wins parliamentary elections

Exit polls predict a landslide victory for the centre-right Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) in the parliamentary elections of Sunday 16 March. Winning almost half of all votes, the SNS will gain an overall majority in the Serbian parliament. SNS leader, Alexander Vucic, is widely believed to become Serbia’s new prime minister. The turnout was 50.3 percent, 3.3 percent less than the last elections in 2012.

Tensions and clashes in Turkey during Berkin Elvan’s funeral

In Turkey, tensions soared on 11 and 12 March when tens of thousands of people took to the streets and gathered to mourn the death of Berkin Elvan. He died after being in a coma for nine months. Last June he was hit on the head by a tear-gas canister while going to buy bread during the protests against the prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He was a symbol for the police brutality that, among others, caused the Gezi-protests of last year to escalate. These protests started as a relatively small environmentalist movement to save Istanbul's central Gezi Park but evolved into a nationwide wave of protests against Erdoğan, who is seen as increasingly authoritarian.

Prime minister Libya ousted by parliament

Libya’s Prime Minster, Ali Zeidan, was ousted by parliament, the General National Congress, after a vote of no confidence on Tuesday 11 March. Zeidan was blamed for letting an oil tanker, laden with rebel sold oil, escape naval forces. Zeidan will be temporarily replaced by Defence Minister Abdallah al-Thinni.

Upcoming elections Serbia

On 30 January Serbia president Tomislav Nikolic called early parliamentary elections for 16 March. According to the president Serbia “shall certainly get a government with more energy and enthusiasm and released from problems that this government has solved.” The coalition government, in which the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) is the main party, explained its request for early elections by the need to ensure ‘as wide as possible support for accelerated reforms and modernization of Serbia’. However, the fact that SNS is skyrocketing in all polls (above 40%) is considered as crucial factor for SNS to go to the polls and having its leader Aleksandar Vucic as prime minister.

Erdogan warns of a possible ban on social media Facebook and YouTube

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has given a warning that his government will block social media networks YouTube and Facebook, which feature in the growing corruption scandal. “If necessary” he would ban them, suggesting that “he would not sacrifice the Turkish people” to the two websites. Both platforms were used to spread the leaks of alleged phone calls between Erdoğan and his son in which they discuss how to hide vast sums of money. The Prime Minister dismisses those phone calls as being a fake montage by his rivals, which he deems ‘vile’ and ‘immoral’. After the local elections on 30th of March, he warned, new steps will therefore be taken to tighten the government’s grip over the internet.

Crimean parliament votes to join Russia

The parliament of Ukraine’s southern region, Crimea, has voted unanimously in favor of joining Russia. The vote coincided with an announcement that a referendum on Crimea's status was being brought forward to March 16. The question to be put to voters will be whether their region should enjoy autonomy within Ukraine or join Russia.

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