Niger is at this point without a doubt in a changed political status as President Tandja has dissolved the parliament following both opposition and the judiciary have refused the president to seek a third term or try a change in the constitution in a referendum. Niger, a country with a long history of military rule made the democratic transition ten years ago with the election and installation of Tandja. Claiming to have the people’s support he now says he has the right to stay on. The refusal made Tandja dissolve the parliament and is therefore now in strong control of Niger. However with a democratic legitimacy we should perhaps not consider this a transition to a dictatorship, instead an alarming event to observe and to call for restored political order. Ultimately Tandja should not have the right to act outside his jurisdiction and should respect the constitution and resign when the term is over, as he too earlier has promised. In the end the continuation of democracy and constitutional rule shall be the most inportanrt thing for Niger ahead.
Archive for May, 2009
A deal to solve the political crisis in Madagascar is apparently near, as the current leadership of Rajoelina and former president Ravalomanana is preparing for a coalition government ahead of fresh elections. According to the projected deal Ravalomanana as well as previous political leaders in Madagascar shall have the right to contest.
Concluding this deal Madagascar will develop into an Interim status with a new form of provisional government. The current government took power in a military backed revolt earlier this year. Even though not fully “revolutionary” in form, the act has been condemned as a coup. In some aspects the status has rather been Interim or possibly a “Semi-Revolutionary” one, with some form of retained political activity.
A setback to the agreement has arised last days as the party loyal to former president Ratsiraka has withdrawn from the deal, leaving the future of this agreement a bit uncertain.
Results from the presidential and parliamentarian elections in Malawi is coming. Unfortunently, the outcome does not prove to qualify the country as a genuine democracy, this mainly due to unfair conditions in campaign and media coverage. Malawi is by this unchanged as a limited democracy, which according to its presidential form of government is marked here as **Presidential**-. Still there are no reports or previous signs of systematic repression of the opposition, which saves the country from any form of authoritarian status. Opposition leader and former President Bakili Muluzi has reportedly accepted defeat to incumbent Bingu va Mutharika. Even though not fully satisfactory, the political life in Malawi will hopefully continue in an orderly and rather fair and constitutional way.
Besides this, longtime Gabonese leader Omar Bongo is reportedly ill and under medical treatment. Following nearly 50 years of authoritarian rule under Bongo and prior to that Leon Mba, one could at least wish for a democratisation the dasy Omar Bongo is away. Still there seems to be another case of family succession as the son of the President is seen as the designated leader. WEhat changes to find in Gabon is very much still to see.
A possible new status is in progress in Gaza following negotiations between Hamas and Fatah held in Egypt. Ahead of the upcoming elections in Palestina early 2010, rthe two parties have allegedly agreed on a joint security force comprising of both parties, to control the territory from July to the elections. Further negotiations also involves the setup of a coalition government and electoral procedures. Should these negotiations be fortunate, one shall consider Gaza, today a strongly Hamas-dominated territory to develop into a provisional/interim status.
A referendum has taken place in the Comoros with the outcome of extending the presidents term and centralising the government more to the president. Strongly(and possibly disputed) backed the proposal was approved by the electorate. Federal stateComoros will by this probably change from a rotating presidency to a more traditional presidential form.
The long-lasting civil war in Sri Lanka seems to have ceased as government forces have crushed the Tamil LTTE movement. Even though dramatic this does not immediately change the political situation in Sri Lanka as the fightings has been concentrated to the north-east area in control of the Tamils. A generally and stable democratic country Sri Lanka has functioned since independence 1947. Still the foreign critiscism of the military campaign of the government recently is much justified, and one should watch closely the coming development.
Islamist forces are approaching Mogadishu in Somalia putting the sitting provisional government at risk. The recent agreement forming the current government has not proved to calm the situation with the remaining rebel forces.
Presidential and parliamentarian elections are tomorrow held in Malawi, with a hope of genuinely democratic and peaceful outcome. Since the end of Hastings Banda some 15 years ago Malawi has been generally democratic, and can be seen as a limited democracy during the last term following slight criticism of the 2004 elections. Still there is an active and well functioning opposition, bringing hope to a transition to a genuinely democratic status.
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