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Whilst the Honduran Presidential elections were already controversial before the vote due to the change of the presidential term limits, tensions have now risen even further as people are still waiting for half of the results and both candidates have already proclaimed victory.
After a highway sit-in paralysed Islamabad for 3 weeks, Pakistan’s army has brokered an agreement between the government and the protesting religious conservatives, acceding to protestors’ demands in ways that threaten democracy, according to some.
Days after 4 UN peacekeepers were killed, Mali’s government has announced they will postpone regional elections scheduled for December to April 2018 due to security concerns, while remaining silent on the date of the Presidential elections in July 2018.
What next for democracy? The Fondation pour l’innovation politique aims to answer that question in a book of analyses of their new data from 26 countries on trust in institutions and support for democratic procedures and values.
Even though India is often praised as the world’s largest democracy, a CIVICUS report reveals India’s vibrant civil society is increasingly being restricted through burdensome legislation on registration and funding since the election of Prime Minister Modi.
In an article in the International Politics and Society Journal, Anchrit Wille and Mark Bovens argue the over-representation of hyper-qualified politicians in governments constitutes a major democratic deficit and creates the conditions that enable populism.
On the evening of 5 December 2017, Carnegie Europe will present their research findings on the widespread corruption in Tunisia and its impact on the country’s fragile democratic transition. The presentation will be followed by a moderated discussion panel on the issue of Tunisia’s corruption contagion. More information and a registration form are available here.
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Even though the Cambodian Supreme Court’s decision to dissolve the country’s main opposition party did not come as a surprise after the party leader’s arrest in September, it is an unprecedented, potentially fatal, blow to democracy in Cambodia.
Zimbabweans have been dancing in the streets these past few days and Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa will be sworn in as the new President on Friday, after the military forced President Robert Mugabe to resign after 37 years in office.
Kenya’s Supreme Court has voted to uphold President Kenyatta’s victory in the controversial election rerun, thereby ending the political impasse that cost 54 lives these last few months, but leaving the country deeply divided.
Current developments in Zimbabwe beg the question, can military coups bring forth democracy? In his new book The Democratic Coup d’Etat, Professor Ozan Varol tackles precisely this question and clarifies why some coups lead to democracy.
In this week’s long read in The Guardian, editor Katharine Viner aptly analyses the current political, economic and social environment, calling upon journalists to take up their responsibility of reporting in a fact-based, citizen-focused, and multi-perspective way.
In an article in the New Yorker, Adrian Chen provides a unique insight into the current state of democracy and human rights in the Philippines, detailing the lived reality of the war on drugs as well as President Duterte’s personal and political background.
From 4 to 8 December 2017, CIVICUS will hold their International Civil Society Week in Suva, Fiji. This global gathering will focus on issues of the global crisis of democracy and clampdown on people’s freedoms, as well as environmental sustainability and the future of civil society.
More information is available here.
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The succession struggle within the Zimbabwean ruling party is escalating, as the army has now seized state TV and has come out in support of Emmerson Mnangagwa, the former Vice President who was ousted last week to pave the way for President Mugabe’s wife.
Somaliland’s Presidential Elections last Monday proceeded without too many disturbances, according to international election observers, although the government did shut down social media during the vote in order to quell rumours of false results.
A large march in Warsaw attracted as many as 60.000 people in celebration of Poland’s Independence Day, amongst whom many far-right groups proclaiming anti-democratic values and messages.
In an article in Perspectives on Politics, Sarah Bush questions the neutrality of the Freedom in the World ratings – widely used as a guideline in political and investment decisions – emphasising the ideological nature and power relations inherent in these ratings.
In an in-depth analysis on Open Democracy, Helen Margetts assesses the different responses to the way social media is changing the democratic landscape, arguing a multifaceted and collaborative response to social media pathologies is needed.
A Discussion Paper by European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) reviews Tunisia’s decentralisation process, arguing they are taking the right steps towards local democracy, but should not postpone municipal elections any further.
On 5 December, Friends of Europe will host a discussion on the future of the Western Balkans. The region is at a crossroads at present, with on the one hand the prospect of accession to the EU, but on the other hand instability, ethnic tensions and insecurity. Which path will the Western Balkans take? The discussion will focus on the prospects of peace, democracy and reconciliation, on private sector reforms, and on the role of local governments in those issues.
A detailed programme and registration information can be found here.
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After months of repressing protests, the Togolese government has now changed tactics by asking for dialogue with the opposition, releasing 42 protesters, dropping charges against the opposition leader and lifting the ban on weekday protests.
Tuesday was a good day for pluralism in Indonesia, as the Indonesian Constitutional Court recognised native religions on official identification cards, thereby protecting adherents of such faiths from prosecution under the blasphemy law.
Over ten thousand Romanians came out to the streets on Sunday to protest a law change that is said to undermine anti-corruption efforts, by weakening the anti-corruption prosecutor’s office and strengthening the position of the justice minister.
Latin American democracy is at a crossroads, risking sliding back into authoritarian populism if politicians do not become more transparent and representative while actively involving citizens, concludes the analysis by Sandra Weiss in International Politics and Society.
The Institute for Economics and Peace has published the 2017 Positive Peace Report, which details levels of positive peace worldwide through governance, corruption and free information indicators, and provides policy advice to strengthen positive peace.
An African Arguments article analyses Zambian President Lungu’s recent threats to the Constitutional Court and argues this marks a shift from publicly supporting democracy to full-out state capture without a democratic façade.
On 30 November 2017, the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD), International IDEA and Enable.ist hold the third edition of Innovating Democracy. The topic of this year’s conference is the transforming political landscape, with a special focus on technological innovations and their impact on democratic processes. More information, a detailed programme and the registration form are available here.
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At a time of international outcry over the Rohingya crisis, tens of thousands of Myanmar citizens came out on the streets last Sunday in support of Myanmar’s army, which is gaining in popularity at the expense of the pro-democracy government.
Just weeks after similar developments in Kenya, the Liberian Supreme Court has now halted preparations for next week’s presidential run-off after both opposition and ruling party candidates have taken to the Supreme Court to challenge the results.
Students and parents from a Muslim private school took to the streets in Asmara on Tuesday to protest restrictions imposed on the school by the autocratic Eritrean government, which forcefully repressed the rare protest, killing 28 citizens.
A publication by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung analyses the role of social movements in processes of democratic renewal in Southeastern Europe, examining country-specific dynamics and providing recommendations for organisations in the field.
International IDEA has published a new edition of the Constitution-Building Primer which focuses on the different government formation and removal mechanisms in parliamentary democracies.
In contrast to initial optimism for Kyrgyzstan’s democratic progress after the recent elections, a comprehensive report by the International Partnership for Human Rights uncovers a list of irregularities, like misuse of public resources and media restrictions.
On 30 May 2018, Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) will hold the Annual Policy Dialogue Day at the Wallenberg Conference Centre in Gothenburg, Sweden. Together with the Quality of Government Institute (QoG), Governance and Local Development (GLD), and the Uppsala Conflict Data Programme (UCDP), V-Dem invites practitioners, policy-makers and academics to exchange views on issues of democracy, governance, conflict and corruption. More information will be made available in due course on the V-Dem website.