Archive for April, 2009

Late April

April 28, 2009

Late April has witnessed some events of political significance around the world, that are at least worth evaluate from my perspective.

 

Massuive protests in Thailand erupted earlier this month, putting the nation into a serious state and even briefly forcing the Prime minister to flee his residence. One may very well consider this a state of emergency in Thailand and martial law was also declared in Bangkok.  In my view the situation was very close to a changed status (to Uni-Revolutionary), but since the government formally did not change its role over the legislature and that the event was too brief and concentrated to Bangkok, I did not find reason to change Thailands status.

 

Furthermore in Ecuador Rafael Correa has much expected been re-elected president. This does not at this point change the political status, due to his continued position. The legislative election held at the same time, will. One may actually recognise this as a step towards restored normalisation, even though continued socialist dominance. Shortly following Correas installation in 2007 the national assembly was dissolved and replaced by a constituent assembly with stronger loyalty to the president and less powers. Rafael Correa has governed with dominance since. With the election and convening of a new assembly, the opposition will likely regain some of its political influence. Even though the president has been given stronger powers in constitution, the political accountability and hence democracy will be stronger with the official parliament restored.

 

The elections in South Africa was as expected dominated by ANC. The dominance is clear and has raised doubts about the state of South Africas democracy. Nearly 2/3 majority is often seen as an indication of some political injustice. South Africa will despite this still be considered a genuine democratic state, thanks to a slight reduction in the ANC dominance and the absence of complaints about the electoral procedure. One should however be aware of the responsibility ANC got to keep its democratic credibility in the future, aswell as  defend and respect opposition in media, Democratic Alliance or COPE.

Still South Africa will change its political status as Jacob Zuma is installed as official president. This due to its present interim status, held since Kgalema Mothlanthe took over from Thabo Mbeki last fall.

 

 

The re-election of Abdelaziz Bouteflika in Algeria was sadly a sign of reduced democratic state in that country. The dominance of the incumbent president was so strong that one can no longer consider Algeria a limited democracy, but rather a Semi-Authoritarian state.

Easter news

April 11, 2009

The easter 2009 has shown significant events of interest around the world, with a few reasons to alter the political status.

 

More than two years has passed now since the military took power in Fiji, in these last days there has been a change of government which is of significant interest. President Ilola was reinstated shortly after the coup and has held office together with a military government. Days ago the supreme court of Fiji declared the government unlawful, demanded democratic restoration and resignation of military leader and PM Bainimarana.

President Ilolio has today responded to this by virtually declaring martial law as the verdict is rejected and Bainimarana is reinstalled as Prime minister. The military regime of Fiji is by this restored and consolidated at the moment and the situation can definitely be considered a setback in the process towards democracy.

Supreme power is still vested in the president and military junta, the parliament still legally in force has not been convened since the coup. Even though  no fundamental change in political power, we see a new political status in a martial law where the government claims no longer responsible to law.

 

Furthermore the elections in Algeria has shown how dominated this country still is by president Bouteflika. The presidential elections was strongly controlled by the incumbent president and can not be seen as fair.  The opposition is by this further weakened than following the 2007 parliamentary elections. A new status is likely as Algeria shifts from a limited democracy to a semi-authoritarian government.

 

A new and provisional government is appointed in Czech Republic following the fall of Topolaneks government. This provisional government will be in office until fresh elections are held later this year.  Whether this shall affect the political status of the country or not is uncertain. A parliamentary and democratic system does also involve temporary provisional governments around the holding of elections. Generally though this follows the dissolution of the parliament.  Following Topolaneks resignation a provisional government will be in office from may to October, as long as this government takes office with the approval of the parliament or in accordance to the constitution, the parliamentarian system of Czech Republic will not be affected.

 

Forthcoming change of status in Mayotte

April 1, 2009

The french dominion of Mayotte has voted in a referendum to become an overseas department of France by the year 2011. This will in effect scrap Mayotte of its present much limited autonomy. It is in some way remarkable as this decision came from the people of Mayotte themselves, the actual cause is probably the poor economy of Mayotte.