Leadership

Venezuela: Electoral authority rejects President Maduro’s mega-elections

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In a setback to President Nicolas Maduro, the CNE announced it would not be able to organize all the elections on one day. DW The OAS and the US have criticized the vote, set to take place in April. The National Electoral Council (CNE) of Venezuela has ruled out the possibility of carrying out legislative, state and municipal elections, in conjunction with the scheduled presidential elections on April 22, as President Maduro had proposed. Tibisay Lucena, the president of the CNE, ... Read More »

South Africa’s Healthy Democracy

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Why Zuma’s Resignation Is a Good Sign Democracy in South Africa is in tatters. By Daniel de Kadt, Evan Lieberman, and Philip Martin Foreign Affairs Or at least that’s the widespread view following President Jacob Zuma’s forced resignation on February 14, which ended his almost-nine-year tenure in office. Although South Africans are largely united in celebrating Zuma’s departure, a litany of scandals, allegations of corruption, and a perceived hollowing-out of institutions have led many to conclude that the post-apartheid project under the African National Congress (ANC) has ... Read More »

Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics

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Dunder-Mifflin as Troll Farm The Mueller indictment made public on Friday charges 13 Russian nationals with trolling the American electoral process to ‘sow discord’ by falsely representing themselves as American dissident personas. Rob Urie CounterPunch Once the field of presidential aspirants had been narrowed in 2016, their goal became to support Donald Trump’s candidacy while disparaging Hillary Clinton. There is no charge that the outcome of the 2016 election was changed by these actions. The form of the alleged conspiracy ... Read More »

Turkey is following footsteps of Russia and China in policing diaspora

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Erdogan’s purge is a threat to Turks living abroad and, more dangerously, to the rule of law everywhere. Transnational repression is increasingly woven into the fabric of the international order Francis Ghiles The Arab Weekly The globalisation of travel and finance and the spread of instantaneous communication, notably through social media, benefit civil society and woven links that encourage broad dialogue across borders. What is less often commented on is that countries have been handed useful and cheaper ways of ... Read More »

“Turkey is the Standard-Bearer of the Global Fight for Justice”

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Speaking at the AK Party’s Eskişehir Provincial Congress, President Erdoğan said: “Besides its own goals, Turkey is also the standard-bearer of the global fight for justice. Turkey is a safe haven for the oppressed and a nightmare for the oppressors. Therefore, Turkish nation must be stronger, more robust and united than ever.” Presidency of the Republic of Turkey President and AK Party Chairman Recep Tayyip Erdoğan delivered a speech at the Eskişehir Provincial Congress of the Justice and Development (AK) ... Read More »

Turnbull announces sex ban – and signals Joyce should consider his position

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Malcolm Turnbull has announced that, from now, sexual relations between ministers and their staff will be prohibited under a change he has made to the ministerial code of conduct. Michelle Grattan The Conversation Addressing a news conference late on Thursday, Turnbull also strongly hinted he would like to see Barnaby Joyce step down. Joyce had made “a shocking error of judgement in having an affair with a young woman working in his office”. In doing so he had set off ... Read More »

Dutch FM resigns triggering vote of no-confidence

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Dutch Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra resigned on Feb. 13 after admitting lying, triggering a political bombshell and a vote of no-confidence in the country’s prime minister THE HAGUE – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Prime Minister Mark Rutte overwhelmingly survived the vote brought by his arch-foe far-right politician Geert Wilders, with 101 MPs against and only 43 in favor. But the scandal has erupted in just a few days in the Netherlands, and threatens to undermine Rutte’s fledgling and fragile four-party coalition. ... Read More »

Turkey’s ‘New Nationalism’ Amid Shifting Politics

Turkish National flags and CCTV cameras and spikers seen in the main roundabout of Kumluca.
On Wednesday, 11 October 2017, in Kumluka, Turkey. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Further Analysis of Polling Results By Max Hoffman, Michael Werz, and John Halpin  Center for American Progress Introduction and summary From the outside, Turkey has the hallmarks of a consolidating authoritarian regime. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan exercises near absolute control through the parliamentary majority of his Justice and Development Party (AKP), his influence over a politicized judiciary, and a stranglehold on news media and political dissent. President Erdoğan was further granted expansive emergency powers by Turkish Parliament in the wake of the July 15, ... Read More »

Trump’s ‘America First’ meets China’s ‘community of common destiny’

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Just as President Donald Trump has reached back into U.S. history to draw inspiration for his “America First” policy from President Andrew Jackson’s mid-19th century populism, so too is Chinese President Xi Jinping reaching back to the Zhou dynasty 3,000 years ago — which lasted longer than the… Nathan Gardels The Washington Post Xi’s idea of a “new era” of global relations based on a “community of common destiny” is drawn from the concept of tianxia — or “all under heaven,” ... Read More »

Non-Violence Uses Love as Force

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“Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and establish such creative tension that a community that has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored…there is a type of of constructive nonviolent tension that is necessary for growth.…So the purpose of the direct action is to create a… Richard Moser CounterPunch The Civil Rights movements’ primary strategic approach was non-violent mass civil ... Read More »

Macron’s opening European gambit

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French president’s race to reform the EU starts with Pieyre-Alexandre Anglade By MAÏA DE LA BAUME Politico Emmanuel Macron’s point man in his campaign to conquer Brussels is a former European parliamentary assistant who looks like he’s barely out of high school. Pieyre-Alexandre Anglade has been tasked with laying the groundwork for the French president’s next big political test: The European Union’s 2019 changing of the political guard — which starts with the election for European Parliament and culminates with ... Read More »

ICC to probe alleged crimes in Philippines, Venezuela

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The prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) launched initial probes on Feb. 7 into alleged crimes against humanity during the “war on drugs” in the Philippines and political upheaval in Venezuela. THE HAGUE Hurriyet “Since 2016, I have closely followed the situations” in both the Philippines and Venezuela, prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in a statement. After “a careful, independent and impartial review… I have decided to open a preliminary examination into each situation.” In the Philippines, her office would ... Read More »

Rules to ban sex between politicians and staff suggested by independent MP Cathy McGowan

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A ban on sex between politicians and their staff is being suggested by independent Federal MP Cathy McGowan. By political correspondent Louise Yaxley ABC Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has insisted on his right to privacy over his relationship with a former staff member who is now expecting his baby. But his situation has prompted a debate about the appropriateness of relationships between politicians and their staff. “Good workplace practice includes clear expectations about behaviour,” Ms McGowan said. She noted ... Read More »

Shuffling Seats: The Politicians Who Put ‘Person Over Party’… And Democracy

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Winning a seat in the Senate for a political party, then dumping that political party and either going it solo or joining another party, undermines our parliamentary system, writes Ross Hamilton. New Matilda It used to be said that it was harder to get out of the Australian cricket team than it was to get in there. While that may no longer be the case for our cricketers, it is clearly is with our politicians. Once an individual gets their ... Read More »

The truth about political donations: there is so much we don’t know

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The big story about the Australian Electoral Commission’s annual release of political donations disclosures is how little they really tell us Lindy Edwards The Conversation Over the last decade, the major parties have routinely only transparently disclosed 10-20% of their incomes as donations. There is another 20-35% of party incomes that falls into a grey area, where accounting enables them to conceal the source of the money. Then there is another 50-70% of party incomes the public knows absolutely nothing ... Read More »

The State Department Just Lost Its Most Experienced Leader

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Tom Shannon’s departure leaves just one career ambassador at the beleaguered agency. Krishnadev Calamur The Atlantic Tom Shannon is an increasingly rare kind of public servant in Washington—a career diplomat who served administrations of both parties, starting with the Reagan administration, and one of only two people currently at the State Department to have achieved the title of “career ambassador.” (There were five when Obama left office.) “I have had the honor of serving under six presidents and ten secretaries ... Read More »