Nieuws Democracy

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

Russian Opposition leader Navalny jailed

On July 18 the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been sentenced to five years in a penal colony after a Russian judge found him guilty of embezzlement from a timber firm. Navalny, one of the fiercest critics of the Russian government, says the verdict is politically motivated and claims he will appeal against it.

Egyptian interim government sworn in

On 16 July it was announced on state television that interim President Adly Mansour swore in 33 mostly technocratic or liberal ministers. The interim government was installed after one of the most violent clashes between Morsi supporters and security forces this month. Army chief Gen Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who led the ousting of the former government, is becoming deputy prime minister next to his current position as defense minister. Economist Hazem el-Beblawi, who suspended his membership in the Social Democratic Party, is leading the new government as prime minister. Seven ministers held positions in the former government but none of them are Islamists.

Bosnia criticized over conflict of interest law

On July 15, the state-level Parliament has decided to continue the approval of the amendments to the conflict of interest law in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH). The move has been criticized by the International Community. According to the amendments, authority to investigate conflict of interests will be transferred from a Central Elections Commission (CEC) to a Parliament commission, a move that could open way for corruption.

Syrian rebel forces clash after FSA commander is killed

After the assassination of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) commander Kamal Hamami on July 11 by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), tensions between the two rebel factions have increased. Hamami, a leading rebel commander and member of the FSA’s Supreme Military Council, was assassinated at a checkpoint near Alatakia manned by fighters of the Al Qaida linked ISIL faction, after he had been meeting the Islamist to discuss battle plans.

Update Egypt: arrest Brotherhood leader ordered; El-Beblawi interim PM

On 10 July public prosecutor has ordered the arrest of Mohamed Badie, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood movement. He is accused of inciting the violence during a protest in Cairo that left at least 51 people killed. Other high level Brotherhood officials are already in detention while hundreds arrest warrants for other officials have been issued. The prosecutor’s order comes after violent clashes, and attempts by the newly named prime minster to form a government. On 9 July, namely, Egypt's interim head of state, Adli Mansour, named 76-year old economist and academic Hazem el Beblawi as interim prime minister. In 2011 el Beblawi was appointed deputy prime minister for economic affairs and finance minister in a cabinet reshuffle, after the removal of former president Mubarak. Mohamed el Baradei, who headed the National Salvation Front (NSF) until Morsi was deposed, was named as deputy president.

Zomerschool in Macedonië

Van 6 tot 9 juli organiseerde Foundation Max van der Stoel (FMS) in samenwerking met Progres Institute for Social Democracy en de Friedrich Ebert Stiftinug (FES) een zomerkamp voor 96 jongeren van de Sociaal Democratische Unie van Macedonië (SDSM). FMS trainers Kido Koenig, Gritta Nottelman, Thijs ‘t Hart, Anna van Winden, Ahmed Saijd en Kirsten van den Hul reisden naar het mooie Ohrid af (in 2001 werd mede dankzij de aanbevelingen van Max van der Stoel het Ohrid akkoord getekend tussen de Macedonische regering en de Albanese rebellen die een bloedvergieten voorkwam) om het deel van de zomerkamp dat over campagnevoeren gaat op zich te nemen. Het andere deel, over leiderschap en sociaaldemocratisch beleid, werd verzorgd door de trainers van de Progres Institute, denktank en opleidingsinstituut van de SDSM.

Troubles on the way in implementing Brussels agreement in north Kosovo?

On July 4th, members of Kosovo’s ethnic Serb minority established their own assembly, as a protest against the steps taken by Belgrade which they see as recognition of the government in Pristina. The provisional assembly has not been recognized by Belgrade. Mayor of the Serb municipality Lepasovic, Slavko Stevanovic, has been elected President of the assembly.

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