Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Nytt politiskt tillstånd i Ukraina

October 1, 2010

Ukrainas konstitutionsdomstol har upphävt den politiska reform under Yuchenko som reducerade presidentens befogenheter, och stärkte det parlamentariska underlaget i Ukraina. Istället kommer nu det mer presidentiella system som tidigare rådde åter upprättas. I grunden gör detta i nuläget ingen skillnad för Ukrainas demokratiska nivå, detta kommer prövas framöver och i samband med val. Dock innebär detta en ny politisk status, och en viss tillbakagång ur ett liberalt perspektiv med högre maktkoncentration och minskat ansvarsutkrävande vilket alltid innebär en viss risk.

September

October 1, 2010

Undantagstillstånd har utlysts i Ecuador sedan armé och polistjänstemän stormat parlamentet, attackerat och tagit president Correa som gisslan. 

Jag har som liberal tidigare ställt mig kritisk till president Correa och dennes reformer i socialistisk riktning som i en del avseenden varit ett hot mot den öppna demokratin i Ecuador. Tydligast syntes detta 2007 när parlamentet upplöstes och ersattes av en provisorisk församling med ytterst marginellt inflytande från oppositionen.  Correa kunde genom detta utöva en särskilt stark makt, rådande fram till dess ordinarie parlamentsval hölls 2009 och det i grunden demokratiska systemet återupprättades.

Trots min kritik mot Correa så företräder han i den nu uppkomna situationen det civila och deokratiska samhället, mot krafter som i ett försvar för sina egna förmåner tar sig rätten att hota det öppna samhället. Det är med lättnad man nås av nyheten att de högre officerarna i kårerna sluter upp bakom presidenten, vilket gör att situationen nog ska kunna återgå till det normala inom kort.

Faran och skräckscenariot ligger dock i att om president Correa står fast vid sina antydningar att oppositionen skulle ligga bakom revolten(vilket är en farlig anklagelse), och att det då skulle förverkliga hotet om att upplösa parlamentet och styra landet genom dekret.

I ett sådant scenario vänds situationen klart till president Correas nackdel och vi kan börja utmåla honom som ”the bad guy” i denna situation. Nej låt oss hoppas att läget nu åter normaliseras och att världssamfundet ändå håller ögonen öppna på utvecklingen.

Sydamerika ska inte åter se auktoritära tendenser, som så ofta förut i historien.

Kosovos president Fatmir Sejdiu har avgått som en följd av att han ska ha brutit mot konstitutionen genom att samtidigt suttit kvar som ledare för sitt politiska parti. Jakup Krasniqi har efterträtt som provisorisk president. Då Kosovo redan som det är, är en genuin parlamentarism där den politiska makten ligger hos regeringen så förändrar detta inte Kosovos politis

Parlamentsval har ägt rum i Venezuela vilket åter normaliserat det i grunden demokratiska styret som tidigare rått. De fem senaste åren med nära nog auktoritärt och enpartistyre som rått sedan oppositionen bojkottade valet 2005, får nu en chans att ersättas med ett mer normaliserat politiskt läge där oppositionen ges en politisk plattform och kan driva politik och obstruera president Chavez på nytt. Hugo Chavez har alltjämt i kraft av sitt ämbee en betydande politisk makt som är särskilt stark och nära gränsen för vad som är ok i ett demokratiskt perspektiv. Trots att oppositionen nu ändå hamnar i minoritet så får man av deras glädjande reaktioner att döma anta att valet i stora drag gått rätt till.

Det kommer nu glädjande nog vara svårt för Chavez att driva igenom långtgående socialistiska reformer som på sikt skulle innebära ett allvarligt hot mot demokratin.

Parlamentsval har ägt rum i Afghanistan, där uppenbara brister i förfarandet har framkommit.

Hamid Karzais regering har sedan den tillträdde 2002 varit en hörnsten för att upprätthålla en demokratisk regering som värn mot en alternativ undergång under talibanstyre. Visserligen har Karzais bewfogenheter och i vissa avseenden även politiska innehåll varit värd kritik ur ett MR-perspektiv, men det får ändå vara förståeligt att det handlar om en politik som är anpassad för Afghanistan. 

Grunderna hr ändå varit demokratiska fream till förra höstens presidentval som dessvärre visade upp lite för stora brister för att kunna betraktas som ett helt demokratiskt val. En demokratisk grund existerar dock även om brister finns och oppositionen missgynnas.  Det nu genomförda valet har uppvisat tydliga demokratiska brister, det måste dock avvaktas ytterligare analys av observatörrapporter och valresultat innan vi kan fastställ om det handlar om logistiska brister eller faktiskt politisk påverkan och missgynnande av opposition. Under alla omständigheter så kommer förmodligen inte Afghanistans politiska status att förändras utan vi kommer fortsatt att betrakta landet som en begränsad demokrati under starkt presidentiellt styre.

Europa präglas sensommaren 2010 på flera håll av oklara parlamentariska förhållanden och problem med regeringsbildning, vilket är ett fenomen nära knutet till stabila demokratier och parlamentariska regeringar vid proortionellt valsystem.

Såväl Nederländerna som Belgien har under en längre tid efter respektive lands val misslyckats med att bilda koalitionsregeringar. I Belgiens fall så är detta en fortsättning på flera års politisk instabilitet efter Verhoefstadts avgång. Belgien är genuint parlamentariskt, men skulle det politiska kaoset fortgå än längre är det nog inte långt ifrån ett nyval och övergång till interimsstyre.

Läget i Nederländerna ser nu (1/10) något ljusare ut där en koalitionsregering syns nära förestående mellan VVD och CDA, efter att ha lyckats förhandla sig till ett stöd från radikala PVV genom islamkritiska lagförslag.

Moldavien är ett tredje land där ett visst politiskt dödläge råder. Visserligen existerar en fungerande parlamentarisk regering, men upprepade försök att enas om en president har misslyckats. Och sedan en folkomröstning hållits om att återgå till direktvald president misslyckats pga lågt valdeltagande så är framtiden oviss även om regeringen fungerar.

På hemmaplan i Sverige så har ett nytt politiskt läge uppstått sedan Sverigedemokraterna tagit sig in i riksdagen och formellt hamnat i vågmästarroll. Visserligen tycks grunderna klara för en borgerlig minoritetsregering, vilket i ett historiskt sammanhang inte är unikt. Vad som däremot är nära nog unikt är att en minoritetsregering måste förlita sig på indirekt stöd över blockgränsen, vilket inte behövts vare sig under tidigare S-regeringar eller Bildt-ministären.

För oss som förespråkar ett öppet och liberalt samhälle så känns det nödvändigt att motarbeta SD. Problemet är dock att en blockering och utfrysning i riksdagen riskerar att spä på deras martyrroll och inför nästa val rentav leda till en ännu starkare position. Ny Demokrati som exempel föll stort genom att de fick inflytande och deras sridigheter och ohållbara politik blottades. Hur vi ska agera gentemot SD idag är en svår situation.

I Oktober väntar ett antal val där det är rimligt att förvänta sig att nya politiska förutsättningar uppstår. Till att börja med är det en stark förhoppning att Guinea äntligen ska kunna hålla sin andra valomgång i presidentvalet som sedan juli skjutits upp ett antal gånger. Detta skulle medföra ett betydande steg mot demokrati efter 52 år av auktoritärt styre. Att valet gång på gång skjutits upp behöver i sig inte vara något negativt, det är tvärtom så att i auktoritära stater där val mest är ett spel för gallerierna så hålls dessa som regel punktligt med förutsägbart resultat. Men då man vill försäkra sig om att det ska gå så rätt till som möjligt så är justa spelregler viktigare än faktiskt valdatum. De två kandidater som ska mötas har förutsättningar att lägga en grund för demokrati dsom sedan helt implementeras när parlamentsval hålls. Förhoppningen för oss är att Guinea ska gå samma väg som Mauritanien.

Samma dag som de inplanerade valet i Guinea så hålls parlamentsval i Kyrgyzstan, detta för att ge demokratisk legitimitet efter att den tidigare presidenten Bakiyev tvingats från makten i våras.  Bakiyev själv framstod som demokratins förkämpe mot tidigare ledaren Akayev, men kom under den efterföljande perioden själv att korrumperas av makten. Det är nu en förhoppning om att Roza Otunbayeva ska kunna lägga grunden för ett mer stabilt demokratiskt styre, en god förutsättning för detta är de konstitutionella förändringar som beslutats om som ger parlamentet mer makt på bekostnad av presidenten. Otunbayeva själv kommer sitta kvar till 2011, och även om vi med en parlamentarisk regering kanske snart kan betrakta Kyrgyzstan som återigen demokratiskt, så implementeras inte detta till fullo förrän efter presidentvalet.

Övriga intressanta val under oktober med möjlig men kanske inte sannolik politisk förändring äger rum i Bahrain, Tanzania och Elfenbenskusten. Närmare redogörelse kring dessa följer då vi närmar oss.

Därutöver hålls en rad andra val i mer eller mindre stabila och genuina demokratier där det i huvudsak handlar om regeringsfråga och politiska sakfrågor.

Dessutom ska Ecuador följas upp och ögon ständigt hållas öppna inför oförväntade händelser

October 1, 2010

Efter att ha sammanställt mitt projekt över världspolitisk utveckling retroaktivt, så återupptar jag nu mitt bloggande över aktueliteter och ämnar skriva omväxlande på svenska och engelska.

Kyrgyz election not satisfactory

July 24, 2009

The presidential election in Kyrgyzstan has resulted in a victory and re-election of President Bakiyev. Opposition candidates as well as monitors from OSCE has declared the election not satisfactory according to international democratic standards. The result showing a support of 90% to Bakiyev does also indicate unfair conditions.  Hence there is no democratic improvement in Kyrgyzstan, rather a continuation of a very much Semi-Authoritarian system actually in force since the disputed parliamentarian elections 2007.

Once more we must regret the development in Kyrgyzstan, where so much hope of a democratic breakthrough arose after the 2005 popular uprising forcing then authoritarian president Akayev to resign. Bakiyev has obviously failed to establish a democratic political standards, and rather turned it into yet another example of authoritarianism so common in far Caucasus.  Ahead of the election  a number of candidates decided to boycott, claiming the election to be rigged.  Unlike nearest neighbouring states Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan there is a more pluralistic political society with existing and active political parties and opposition. Increasing domination by the government and followers of the president are however strong elements of some political repression.

This election does however not change the status or situation in Kyrgyzstan much, instead the semi-Authoritarian rule running since 2007 continues very much unchanged.

African elections, and more:

July 20, 2009

African elections

The Republic of Congo has held presidential elections, resulting in a strong but much disputed win by incumbent president Sassou-Nguesso. The president came out with an official backing of 78,6 per cent of the votes. The vote was however held with a relatively low turnout and partial boycott by opposition. Although observers from the African Union did not report any systematic fraud, we have good reasons to doubt the democratic legality of this election. The political status of The Republic of Congo has not changed following this election, to the better nor to the worse. The political situation is very much unchanged in a Semi-Authoritarian presidential system.

In neighbouring Gabon, the ruling party has decided to nominate the son of late president Omar Bongo, Ali Ben Bongo to the presidency and elections held in late august. This does most certainly reduce the chances of a radical democratic breakthrough in Gabon at this point, as Bongo most certainly will be elected in an election predicted to be dominated by the ruling party. Further on we could still hope for a more open and liberal rule in Gabon, during a rule of a hopefully reform-minded president. Earlier experiences has shown both good and less good examples of political reforms following the death of a long-serving father figure. A better example is Togo, less fortunate Syria and Azerbaijan to mention a few. There will however be a political normalisation as a new president is installed, from the present provisional government in Gabon. What this will be remains to be seen and analysed.

Today presidential elections are held in Mauritania, in a move to restore a civil and possibly democratically legal rule. Current military leader Abdelaziz is standing for office as the likely front-runner, but is challenged by several candidates in a rather open and so far fair electoral campaign. Together with a functioning parliament Mauritania will, if the election is considered fair return to a democratic rule once the president is installed. The hopes of a democratic breakthrough were high following the constitutional revolution in 2006-2007, but the popularly elected leader was overthrown in a military coup and for the past year a military leadership has been in power. An earlier election date was postponed to include oppositional candidates and fairer conditions. Mauritania has been authoritarian and ruled by dictatorial regimes for most of its independence, the recent democratic landmarks are of great importance to keep for a healthy political development of Mauritania. Abdelaziz may be legitime as president, and further must allow an opposition to be active and allow the freedom of speech and critic against the government. The opposition on the other hand has an important role to function as a watchguard on the government and promote a vital political debate in Mauritania. Still, in a democratic system the opposition while being critical against the government, it must recognise the governments legitimacy and right to rule. Therefore it may be a risk to accuse the president to have fabricated and won the election in a disputed way. The restoration of a functioning democrtatic system depends on the government and the opposition’s relation towards each other. The government must allow political plurality and debate, aswell as the opposition must recognise the governments legitimacy. What the actual situation is or will be in Mauritania is at this point to early to determine. If Abdelaziz is found to have won by fraud, the rule loses much of it’s legitimacy and shall be criticised. But we do have a clear normalisation and a basically democratic system with political plurality restored in Mauritania after all.

 Honduras: The mediators between the provisional government and the ousted president Zelaya is struggling to find a political situation, making it possible to form a new provisional government including Zelaya. This should then rule the country until the holding of presidential elections early 2010.

To summarise this, possible/likely political changes ahead are: Interim, and later normalised status in Mauritania, Normalisation in Guinea-Bissau, normalisation in Gabon(august), possible change of interim rule in Honduras.

The semi-autonomous chinese province of Xinjiang has recently been under a grave internal situation, characterized by massive protests and strong force by the authorities.  Whether there has been a state of emergency(martial law) is unclear.

Second round in Guinea-Bissau

July 3, 2009

The presidential election held in Guinea-Bissau is set for a second round between main contenders Malam Bacai Sanha of the ruling party and former president Kumba Yala.

 The first round was held in a much orderly way and no or few reports of irregularities was reported by observers. This will most likely define Guinea-Bissau as a functioning democratic state. The second round is to be held 2 August

Once the president is installed shortly after the second round in august, the political situation will be normalised and the current interim status will be changed to a constitutional Semi-Presidential form.

Sudanese election postponed

July 3, 2009

The sudanese general elections due in 2010 has been further postponed, by another two months and are now planned for april 2010. The elections initially planned for 2009 is now delayed much because of disagreements on the results of the census, providing for registration of voters. South Sudan claims to represent a larger share of the countrys population and hence legitimising a larger share of seats.

 

Salva Kiir of the SPLM(Sudan People Liberation Army) has announced his candidacy to the elections and gained support from several tribes. The chances of Kiir(also Vice-President today) to succeed in gaining the highest ranking office are to be honest not that big, much because of the religious differences between mainly christian SPLM and the more muslim dominated north surrounding Khartoum.  The main contenders are likely to be the governing and yet dominant National Congress Party, SPLM traditionally opposing NCP and National Democratic Alliance. NDA has a long history in Sudan, several times in power but has been marginalised after al-Bashirs coup in 1989, the last elections held in 2000 were boycotted by NDA.

Besides the main political parties a much influential organisation will be the Muslim Brotherhood, so far influential to and supporting the present government. As an important part of the muslim community among the population the brotherhood´s position will most likely be important to the outcome of the election.

There is a possible risk of polarisation and conflicts should the political campaigning be to hard. Since the 2005 Peace agreement Sudan has been governed by a coalition government between NCP and SPLM paving the way for increased stability in South Sudan and a transition to stronger autonomy and possible independence of South Sudan.

Even though Omar al-Bashir should and must be criticised for his actions, he is still an important player in the stability of the area and for the peace and well-being of the region

If a conviction and arrest of al-Bashir is not successful or if he stays in power after the elections, it should be in the interest of SPLM and others to keep good ties with the government if South Sudan will increase its stability and possible independence.

 

By candidating to the presidency of Sudan Salva Kiir will most likely abandon his current position as president of South Sudan, this due to the elections to its presidency held simultaneously. Recently the SPLM has faced a challenge in the election following a breakaway fraction of the party, causing a political crisis. Still this must be seen as a welcoming development as SPLM has been strongly dominating in the south and real political opposition has been marginalised. The dominance of liberation movements, and their positions as saviours of the country is a strong risk of authoritarianism. In the region the most striking example is Eritrea where the liberation movement is now the foundation of a dictatorial regime.  If Salva Kiir abandons his current presidency it should be a welcomed move that the next candidate of the SPLM would be challenged by an opponent representing either a new political grouping or a break-away fraction of SPLM.

 

Even though strongly criticised by the international community and under a political domination of Omar al-Bashir, Sudan is not a dictatorship in its institutional form. This is a result much because of the 2005 peace agreement where NDC gave up much of its fully dominating political power. The transitional parliament appointed at this time has a form of political plurality and NDC can not rule without opposition, despite its actual majority in the house.  The political parties has not yet faced accountability from the population which will be the task of the 2010 elections.  Even though we should not have too high hopes of a democratic breakthrough in either Sudan or Southern Sudan following the upcoming elections, Still there is a chance of increased political plurality . The dominance of NDC and SPLM has not been accountable to the will of the population yet. 

Even though not considered a democratic state, Sudan is still probably the most successful example in the region. Neighbouring countries such as Chad, Libya, Egypt, Ethiopia and farther away Eritrea are by far more dictatorial.

Coup d’etat in Honduras. Political crisis in Niger

June 29, 2009

For about a month Niger has been in a political crisis where the president has tried to seek a constitutional amendment enabling him to stand for a third term.  This move has been criticised by the opposition and obstructed by the supreme court. In a response to this President Mamadou Tandja has dissolved the parliament, called for new elections and in a recent move taken extraordinary powers to rule the country by decree.

This is a serious blow to the democratic rule, in function for 10 years in Niger. What the outcome of the election will be is uncertain but there is an obvious risk that the president will try to consolidate his power with a strong and perhaps disputed support in the chamber.

 

Similar to the situation in Niger but with a different outcome president Manuel Zelaya has been deposed in a coup d’etat in Honduras. Also seeking a new term in office by holding a referendum on constitutional changes, Zelaya met fierce opposition from both army, opposition and in his own party. The coup has allegedly taken place on the initiative of the supreme court, as the referendum was seen as illegitimate.

Both Niger and Honduras has resolved a political deadlock by an unconstitutional and from a democratically unacceptable way. Both actions shall be responded by criticism from the international community. But if these would be the only possible solutions from such a deadlock, what WOULD be the most acceptable one?

My personal view is that the situation in Honduras proves more likely to maintain constitution and democracy in the long run than Niger.  Both presidents has in violation to the constitution or court ruling seek a new term, if the proposed referendums wouldn’t be in accordance with the constitution, to keep the constitutional order the president must resign.

Therefore it is more acceptable with a short-lived military/provisional government in Honduras awaiting fresh presidential elections than a continued presidency under a presidential coup in violation to all constitutional order which may be the case in Niger.

 

The coup in Honduras has met criticism from both USA, UN and the world community. Still it was taken place in an orderly way and not by any specific interest than keeping the institutional order.  As the order was from the supreme court there is a form of civil and institutional coup. In order with the constitution the speaker of the house has taken office as provisional/interim president. The installation took place in presence of the parliament which determines the restored and continued political order. As the coup obviously has the support of the vast political establishment in Honduras, there are no clear signs of concern about the continued democracy.  On the other hand the new administration has pledged that the planned presidential election will take place in November and a constitutional president will take office from January, thereby conclude the normalisation of the political order in Honduras.

State of emergency in Somalia, post-election protests in Iran.

June 29, 2009

A state of emergency has been declared in Somalia due to the increasing fighting in and around Mogadishu. The provisional government has clearly not enough military power to hold the al-shahab rebels away. Recent developments involves killing of several high rank politicians such as a minister and members of the parliament. The government has introduced stronger elements of sharia law to appeal to the rebels, including the principle of cutting hands and legs for theft. So far this has not made the rebels to halt its fighting.

The government has then called on the international community, AU and Ethiopia to back up for stronger assistance to restore order. AU will probably increase its presence in Somalia, but should also change its mandate to be more effective. Their mandate has so far only been to use force when attacked otherwise standing as a principally peacekeeping force. Stronger capacity is most likely needed to restore order in Somalia. The provisional government has further received arms from US as a support to fight the rebels.  

The declaration of a State of emergency (equals martial law) has made a change of Somalias political status, from the previous Interim/Uni-Revolutionary to a sole Uni-Recvolutionary status.

 

 

For more than a week now massive demonstrations has taken place in Iran as a protest against the official win of Ahmadinejad in the presidential elections. Supporters of opposition candidate Mousavi has staged rallies in a scale not been seen in Iran since the Islamic revolution 1979. There is an obvious miscontent and criticism against the Islamic leadership, especially among the urban, educated and young population. Even though Ahmadinejad has a significant support in the rural districts of Iran and the poorer population, the protests shows a clear division in the country which will make it hard for a continued conservative rule to unite the country again. The demographic of Iran will make the younger generation even more important in the years to come and probably increase the demands for political reforms.

The answer and repression of the Islamic leadership makes international criticism justified. Even though it is clear that some forms of irregularities has taken place in the vote, there has not been any impartial monitors able to determine the election as fraud as a whole. Still the election was monitored and controlled by the Islamic leadership and hence not fully impartial either.

Iran has not been considered either a semi-authoritarian or a limited democratic state. According to the outcome of this election this will probably not change. Unless the protests results in a political change of course.

Omar Bongo reported alive, Election in Lebanon

June 8, 2009

Gabon president Omar Bongo is claimed to be still alive, according to sources in the gabonese government. The truth abourt this is at this point unclear, but the condition of the president is most certainly grave and a political transition to an acting president is likely a fact.  This kind of diversed information was also the case when zambian president Levi Mwanawesa died last year, his actual death was later confirmed.

Yesterday elections were held to the lebanese parliament, in a reportedly close race between the pro-western coalition March 14 led by Saad Harariri, and a Hezbollah dopminated bloc supported by Iran and Syria.  It is with satisfaction we find that the liberal alliance ias reported to have succeeded by taking 71 of 128 seats. A victory for the Hezbollah-bloc(taking 57 seats) would have been a threat to Lebanons friendly ties with the vast part of the world community. Still the opposition represents such a large minority of the population that some form of concilation is wanted to ensure future safety and peace in the country. One must take a firm stand against Syrian and Iranian involvment in lebanese politics, yet at the same time try to establish a lasting peaceful relation for the sake of the lebanese people.Lebanon  remains by this election the democratic state it has been for the past decades, and with no change of its political status