Elections

Political corruption scars young voters forever, new research finds

Twenty-five years after the Clean Hands scandal in Italy, those who voted for the first time in 1994 still record less trust in democratic institutions and are more likely to vote for populist parties, according… AAAS and EurekAlert! New research finds that political corruption has a long-term scarring effect on trust in democratic institutions and on voters’ behavior and that such an effect differs according to one’s age cohort, with first-time voters at the… In particular, Bocconi University’s Arnstein Aassve, ... Read More »

Winning Back Trust in Nigeria’s Rescheduled Elections

Only hours before polls were to open, Nigeria’s electoral commission postponed elections scheduled for 16 February by one week. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Nigeria expert Nnamdi Obasi says the commission and other authorities must act now to win back trust and reduce risks of violence. What happened? Nigeria’s 84 million voters were set to vote in presidential and federal legislative elections on 16 February. But at 2.40 am that day, just over five hours before polling stations were to ... Read More »

Much like the UK, Spain’s broken politics are fraught with anxiety and boredom

Locked in a cycle of political infighting and pervasive uncertainty, the Spanish people are now facing their third general election in three-and-a-half years. Dan Hancox The National The UK’s politicians are advancing towards Brexit like wounded beasts – charging ahead falteringly, blindly and panicked. Last week, though, the academic and political writer William Davies summed up the national mood as a “mixture of anxiety and boredom”. It’s a confusing feeling, worrying about the chaos many believe will ensue after the ... Read More »

Turkey’s Erdogan Is Due for Another Rebuke

With municipal elections on the horizon, Turks are likely to note that imprisoning the opposition hasn’t exactly raised living standards. Conn Hallinan Foreign Policy In Focus “Democracy is like a tram; you get off when you have reached your destination.” The comment by Recep Tayyip Erdogan — made more than 20 years ago when he was first elected mayor of Istanbul — sums up the Machiavellian cynicism of Turkey’s authoritarian president. As Turkey gears up for municipal elections on March ... Read More »

German CDU chief: Europe must adapt to survive

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer talks to POLITICO about EU’s future, China, Orbán and elections. By FLORIAN EDER, ANDREW GRAY AND STEPHEN BROWN Politico Europe must change to prosper in a “contest of systems” with China and the United States, according to Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the new leader of Germany’s ruling Christian Democrats. In an interview with POLITICO, Kramp-Karrenbauer sketched out a vision that would mean changing EU competition policy to create “European champion” companies, giving greater weight to industrial policy, and striking a balance between French President Emmanuel ... Read More »

Venezuela crisis explained: a tale of two presidents

Venezuela finds itself with two presidents engaged in a high-stakes game to control the country’s future. Daniel Hellinger The Conversation The country has also had two “national assemblies” and many questions about how the constitution should be applied. So, how did it find itself in this position? President Nicolás Maduro claims to be Venezuela’s constitutional president because he won the presidential election in July 2018. On January 23 2019, Juan Guaidó, one month after becoming president of Venezuela’s National Assembly, ... Read More »

Mexico’s New Neutrality in the Venezuela Crisis

Bucking the U.S. and several large and influential Latin American states, Mexico has not recognised Juan Guaidó’s claim on Venezuela’s presidency, and has instead argued for negotiations to end the country’s crisis. As Crisis Group’s Senior Mexico Analyst Falko Ernst explains, this position is rooted in a new Mexican foreign policy doctrine. What is Mexico’s position on the fast-developing events in Venezuela? Mexico has declined to recognise Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela, and has adopted a… Mexico’s New ... Read More »

Nigerian chief justice’s suspension raises international concerns

International observers have expressed concern about the suspension of Nigeria’s chief justice – just three weeks before a general election. BBC Judge Walter Onnoghen was suspended by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday. He is facing charges for allegedly failing to declare his personal assets before taking office in 2017. But the EU, UK and US have taken serious issue with his removal, suggesting it could “cast a pall over the electoral process”. Mr Buhari’s decision has been called “an act ... Read More »

Dutch set out EU goals for 2019

Netherlands ready to fill void of UK’s exit by sending more officials to Brussels. By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN AND ELINE SCHAART Politico The Netherlands sees itself filling the void left by Britain’s departure from the EU — literally — by putting more Dutch civil servants into top positions in Brussels. That goal is among the highlights of a 56-page letter sent by Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok to the parliament in The Hague on Friday, titled: “State of the European Union 2019.” ... Read More »

How political Islam is shifting Indonesia’s relations with us

Jakarta: On paper, the two men couldn’t be much more different. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, widely known as Ahok, is an ethnically-Chinese Christian former governor of Jakarta who was released from jail on Thursday after serving nearly two years for blasphemy. James Massola The Sydney Morning Herald The other man, Abu Bakar Bashir, is an 81-year-old firebrand cleric and spiritual leader of the Bali bombers who is much better known to Australians. Bashir was set for a shock early release from jail ... Read More »

Anti-War Democrats speak out against Donald Trump’s actions in Venezuela

At least three Democratic representatives known for their vocal anti-war positions have spoken out against President Donald Trump’s intervention in Venezuela’s political crisis. Tom O’Connor Newsweek As Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro entered his second term earlier this month, the country became increasingly destabilized by protests against what has been widely seen as government mishandling of economic woes that have led to… On Wednesday, opposition leader and National Assembly President Juan Guaidó declared himself president, a move recognized by the Trump administration, ... Read More »

Half Of Canadians Think The U.S. Is Full Of Nazis: Survey

The study also found our Holocaust knowledge is not very good. Sara Boboltz HuffPost Nearly half of all Canadians believe the United States has a Nazi problem, according to a survey about Holocaust remembrance released Thursday. It’s no mystery where they got that perception. Last year, a group of neo-Nazis received the red-carpet treatment from U.S. law enforcement as they traveled to Washington for a rally. A respected Holocaust scholar seriously comparedcertain American elected officials to those in Germany during the rise of ... Read More »

In Venezuela, a High-stakes Gambit

The Venezuelan National Assembly’s chairman, Juan Guaidó, has declared himself interim president, with the support of several foreign governments. Phil Gunson ICG Unless the Venezuelan military backs his move, it is unlikely to topple incumbent President Nicolás Maduro and could unleash greater repression and even outside military intervention. What is happening in Venezuela? On 23 January, amid a mass opposition demonstration that brought hundreds of thousands onto the streets of the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, opposition politician Juan Guaidó, chairman of ... Read More »

Europe in pieces: Where voters disagree

How a divided Continent faces the 2019 election. By Ryan Heath, Arnau Busquets Guàrdia, Hanne Cokelaere and Hanna Pawelec Politico The European Parliament election in May is expected to produce a major turnover in political power in the EU’s institutions, with populist parties making new gains and voters across the bloc split on what issues to prioritize in the ballot.  But what are voters most concerned about and do they trust the European Union to deliver? Here’s a look at ... Read More »

DR Congo: A Recount and Talks to Find a Way Out of the Crisis

The DR Congo is facing a major political crisis over the 30 December election’s result. ICG A recount would allow subsequent negotiations to take place on the basis of a clear understanding of who won. A dispute over the results of the DR Congo’s 30 December election cast a dark shadow over what should be a historic transition of power but a surprisingly robust reaction by regional actors offers a genuine chance for a course correction. According to official tallies, ... Read More »

Turkey’s new presidential system and a changing west

Implications for Turkish foreign policy and Turkish-West relations Kemal Kirişci and Ilke Toygür Brookings Executive Summary In July 2018, having triumphed in the presidential elections the previous month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan began to formally transform Turkey’s long-standing parliamentary system into a heavily centralized presidential one. The new system entrenched his one-man authoritarian rule at home and is having profound implications for the making and substance of Turkish foreign policy as well as Turkey’s relations with the West. This ... Read More »