Democracy

‘Germany in three days and France in one hour’ Shock threat to EU from Erdogan backers

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WARMONGERING rhetoric is being spewed by Turkey towards Europe after a newspaper close to the Turkish regime declared the country could overrun Germany in three… REBECCA FLOOD Express Newspaper Yeni Söz, closely aligned to the government, made the outlandish claim on the front page of its daily newspaper. Carrying the provocative headline “Turkey can occupy Europe within 3 days”, the move is the latest in a political spat between Ankara and Berlin. Turkey has been vying to join the EU for more than a ... Read More »

Trump’s Base of Support Is Collapsing

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The president never had a proper mandate, but the resistance is no longer a voice of opposition. It now speaks for the great American majority. John Nichols The Nation Donald Trump did not win the presidency by the standard measures of democracy. Fifty-four percent of the Americans who cast ballots on November 8, 2016 favored someone else, and Hillary Clinton won almost 3 million more votes than Trump. Only an antiquated remnant of an 18th-century instinct toward oligarchy—an Electoral College designed by Trump’s Base ... Read More »

GOP clash looms over raising the debt ceiling

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Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are planning to push for a hike without accompanying spending cuts — a position at odds with GOP orthodoxy. SEUNG MIN KIM and RACHAEL BADE Politico Republican congressional leaders are quietly preparing to pass a “clean” debt ceiling increase, according to multiple senior GOP sources — setting the stage for a high-risk showdown with rank-and-file Republicans this… Trump administration officials, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, are imploring Congress to raise the $19.8 trillion debt limit with ... Read More »

Australia’s Prime Minister Slowly Realizes Trump Is a Complete Idiot

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The transcript of Donald Trump’s discussion with Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull obtained by the Washington Post reveals many things, but the most significant may be that Trump in his private negotiations is every bit as mentally limited as… Jonathan Chait New York At issue in the conversation is a deal to settle 1,250 refugees who have been detained by Australia in the United States. I did not pay any attention to the details of this agreement before reading the transcript. By the ... Read More »

Venezuela’s Last Flickers of Democracy

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Venezuela’s political crisis took another fateful turn on Sunday 30 July with the rigged election of an all-powerful assembly mandated to rewrite the constitution. Phil Gunson ICG In this Q&A, Senior Analyst for the Andes Phil Gunson says Sunday’s vote represents the end of what little democratic space still existed and takes the country on the path to dictatorship. Can you explain what Sunday’s vote was about? On Sunday, the chavista government led by President Nicolás Maduro held a one-sided “election” to ... Read More »

Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis at the Crossroads

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Since October 2016, protests and strikes related to sectoral demands have escalated into a crisis over the economic and political marginalisation of Cameroon’s Anglophone minority. ICG Although the government has made some concessions, it must rebuild mutual trust with Anglophone actors in order to avoid instability ahead of the 2018 general elections. Executive Summary The Anglophones of Cameroon, 20 per cent of the population, feel marginalised. Their frustrations surfaced dramatically at the end of 2016 when a series of sectoral ... Read More »

Essential Guide to Kenya’s High Stakes Election on 8 August

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Kenya’s 8 August elections are rapidly approaching and concerns continue to mount over the prospect of electoral violence. Murithi Mutiga ICG In this Q&A, Senior Kenya Analyst Murithi Mutiga looks at what is at stake and assesses efforts to prevent another violent fallout from the balloting. Kenya is scheduled to hold a general election on 8 August. The vote comes ten years after a disputed presidential poll brought the key East African country to the brink of civil war. Hundreds ... Read More »

Pakistan could be moving toward new era of accountability

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There was nearly complete silence in Pakistan on Friday morning, as it was Judgment Day, not only for Nawaz Sharif, but also for his dynasty. TUBA ATHAR HASNAIN Asia Times Pakistanis around the world were glued to their television screens, and this time it was not because their very own Shahid Afridi was holding the bat on the cricket pitch to hit a six, but instead, the sitting prime minister was doing the batting. As soon as the clock ticked to 12:10, the ... Read More »

Pakistani democracy: is the cup half empty or half full?

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The Supreme Court’s decision to disqualify Nawaz Sharif as Prime Minister does not chart a clear path for Pakistan, or for the evolution of its democracy. So what exactly does this decision mean for Pakistan? Cyril Almeida TRTworld Politics in Pakistan is the proverbial glass of water – depending on the political perspective of the observer, it is usually a glass half full or half empty. But the judicially forced exit of Nawaz Sharif is without a doubt an inflection point in ... Read More »

3 human rights defenders transferred to Silivri Prison

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Amnesty International (AI) Turkey Director İdil Eser and two other human rights activists, Özlem Dalkıran and Nalan Erkem, were transferred from Bakırköy to Silivri Prison on Monday. TM Six human rights activists, including Eser and German human rights consultant Peter Steudtner, who were detained on July 5 during a workshop at a hotel on İstanbul’s Büyükada, were put in pretrial detention by an… Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy Selina Doğan, who went to visit the three human rights defenders ... Read More »

The Final Humiliation of Reince Priebus

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Like his party, the former White House chief of staff swallowed his principles in the name of power. He was repaid in savage indignity. Molly Ball The Atlantic Six years ago, a humble party hack from Kenosha, Wisconsin, took on the thankless job of turning around the Republican Party. As he exits the White House—battered, bruised, and humiliated—Reince Priebus argues he accomplished just what he set out to do. “We won,” Priebus told me in an interview. Calling from the ... Read More »

US Senate looks to have ended Trump’s honeymoon with Russia

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Russia’s tit-for-tat retaliation against Senate vote to impose new sanctions on Moscow may herald the beginning of a new downward spiral in relations. Arshad Mohammed Reuters Asia Times Russian President Vladimir Putin tossed President-elect Donald Trump a bouquet in December when he chose not to retaliate over the US expulsion of Russian diplomats and seizure of Russian diplomatic compounds. The honeymoon is over. Russia’s tit-for-tat decision now to expel hundreds of US diplomats and seize two US compounds may be ... Read More »

Turkey’s top judicial body reshuffles 110 judges, prosecutors

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Turkey’s top judicial authority, the Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK), has transferred 110 judges and prosecutors working in military and other courts in Turkey. Turkish Minute According to HSK decrees numbered 1037 and 1038, published on Friday night, 65 judges in military courts were transferred to positions as judges and prosecutors in civil and administrative courts. The HSK also reshuffled 40 judges and prosecutors in civil and criminal courts and five in administrative courts. The reorganization took place after ... Read More »

Pakistan’s Court Sets a Dangerous Precedent

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Pakistan’s Supreme Court disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday from holding public office for life in a corruption inquiry linked to the Panama Papers, which had named three of his children as owners of offshore companies suspected of laundering money. Aqil Shah The New York Times The court also ordered the National Accountability Bureau, the country’s top anticorruption agency, to file corruption cases against Mr. Sharif and his family members based on the evidence collected by the court appointed ... Read More »

What lessons can Nicola Sturgeon learn from Catalonian Indyref plans?

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Once again, it looks like voters in Catalonia are headed to the polls to vote on whether to declare independence from Spain. Ross McCafferty The Scotsman Readers in Scotland, especially those weary of talk over another plebiscite, will have a feeling of solidarity with those in the area that includes Barcelona, as this is the second time in three years the Spanish region will have its say on constitutional matters. The poll, tentatively scheduled for October 1, comes just over ... Read More »

Pakistani court removes PM Nawaz Sharif from office in Panama Papers case

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Disqualification from office over corruption allegations is the most serious political ramification yet of 2016 leak Sune Engel Rasmussen The Guardian Pakistan’s supreme court has removed the prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, from office in a unanimous verdict over corruption allegations that will further upset the country’s unstable political landscape. The verdict by the five-member court caps a year of political controversy over corruption allegations unleashed by the Pakistani court removes… Read More »