politicalevent:democratic elections

  • Assad will remain in power ’for a while’, says Jeremy Hunt | World news | The Guardian

    The British foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has admitted for the first time that Russian support for the Syrian regime means Bashar al-Assad will remain in power for some time.

    The UK has been at the forefront of calls for the Syrian president to leave office as part of a transition to a new government, but over the past year British diplomats have acknowledged that Assad would have to be allowed to stand in any UN-supervised democratic elections in Syria.

    Messieurs les Anglais, tirez les premiers ! aurait dit le ministère des Affaires étrangères français !...

    #syrie #tout_ça_pour_ça #normalisation

  • ‘Let them occupy!’

    In 1991, South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) convened a housing policy conference in Johannesburg. The organization had only been unbanned by the apartheid government the year before. Alongside negotiations for democratic elections and a new constitution, the ANC and its allies were deep in the throes of policy deliberations to prepare to take power. Thozamile Botha, a previously exiled trade unionist, was the…

  • As violence intensifies, Israel continues to arm Myanmar’s military junta
    Responding to a petition filed by human rights activists, Defense Ministry says matter is ’clearly diplomatic’
    By John Brown Sep. 3, 2017 | 5:58 PM

    The violence directed at Myanmar’s Rohingya minority by the country’s regime has intensified. United Nations data show that about 60,000 members of the minority group have recently fled Myanmar’s Rahine state, driven out by the increasing violence and the burning of their villages, information that has been confirmed by satellite images. But none of this has led to a change in the policy of the Israeli Defense Ministry, which is refusing to halt weapons sales to the regime in Myanmar, the southeast Asian country formerly known as Burma.

    On Thursday, the bodies of 26 refugees, including 12 children, were removed from the Naf River, which runs along the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh. Of the refugees who managed to reach Bangladesh, many had been shot. There were also reports of rapes, shootings and fatal beatings directed at the Rohingya minority, which is denied human rights in Myanmar. The country’s army has been in the middle of a military campaign since October that intensified following the recent killing of 12 Myanmar soldiers by Muslim rebels.

    Since Burma received its independence from Britain in 1948, civil war has been waged continuously in various parts of the country. In November 2015, democratic elections were held in the country that were won by Nobel Prize-winning human rights activist Aung San Suu Kyi. But her government doesn’t exert real control over the country’s security forces, since private militias are beholden to the junta that controlled Myanmar prior to the election.

    Militia members continue to commit crimes against humanity, war crimes and other serious violations of human rights around the country, particularly against minority groups that are not even accorded citizenship. Since Myanmar’s military launched operations in Rahine last October, a number of sources have described scenes of slaughter of civilians, unexplained disappearances, and the rape of women and girls, as well as entire villages going up in flames. The military has continued to commit war crimes and violations of international law up to the present.

    Advanced Israeli weapons

    Despite what is known at this point from the report of the United Nations envoy to the country and a report by Harvard University researchers that said the commission of crimes of this kind is continuing, the Israeli government persists in supplying weapons to the regime there.

    One of the heads of the junta, Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, visited Israel in September 2015 on a “shopping trip” of Israeli military manufacturers. His delegation met with President Reuven Rivlin as well as military officials including the army’s chief of staff. It visited military bases and defense contractors Elbit Systems and Elta Systems.

    The head of the Defense Ministry’s International Defense Cooperation Directorate — better known by its Hebrew acronym, SIBAT — is Michel Ben-Baruch, who went to Myanmar in the summer of 2015. In the course of the visit, which attracted little media coverage, the heads of the junta disclosed that they purchased Super Dvora patrol boats from Israel, and there was talk of additional purchases.

    In August 2016, images were posted on the website of TAR Ideal Concepts, an Israeli company that specializes in providing military training and equipment, showing training with Israeli-made Corner Shot rifles, along with the statement that Myanmar had begun operational use of the weapons. The website said the company was headed by former Israel Police Commissioner Shlomo Aharonishki. Currently the site makes no specific reference to Myanmar, referring only more generally to Asia.

    Who will supervise the supervisors?

    Israel’s High Court of Justice is scheduled to hear, in late September, a petition from human rights activists against the continued arms sales to Myanmar.

    In a preliminary response issued in March, the Defense Ministry argued that the court has no standing in the matter, which it called “clearly diplomatic.”

    On June 5, in answer to a parliamentary question by Knesset member Tamar Zandberg on weapons sales to Myanmar, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel “subordinates [itself] to the entire enlightened world, that is the Western states, and first of all the United States, the largest arms exporter. We subordinate ourselves to them and maintain the same policy.”

    He said the Knesset plenum may not be the appropriate forum for a detailed discussion of the matter and reiterated that Israel complies with “all the accepted guidelines in the enlightened world.”

    Lieberman statement was incorrect. The United States and the European Union have imposed an arms embargo on Myanmar. It’s unclear whether the cause was ignorance, and Lieberman is not fully informed about Israel’s arms exports (even though he must approve them), or an attempt at whitewashing.

    In terms of history, as well, Lieberman’s claim is incorrect. Israel supported war crimes in Argentina, for example, even when the country was under a U.S. embargo, and it armed the Serbian forces committing massacres in Bosnia despite a United Nations embargo.


  • How the Nigerian Left imploded

    In the history of democratic transitions in Africa – whether from military, one-party, civilian or multi-party rule – Nigeria’s experience presents an interesting dimension. First, the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida handpicked the parties that would contest the first democratic elections on June 12th, 1993 after many years of dictatorship. Second, with the exception…

  • How will Palestinians resolve internal divisions?
    Adnan Abu Amer Posted June 14, 2016
    _ Khalida Jarrar , a member of the political bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), said in an interview with Al-Monitor that the gateway to resolving the contentious issue of Palestinian reconciliation and electing a new president lies in revitalizing the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and holding democratic elections_

    Al-Monitor: What is your opinion concerning the effort that France is leading to resume negotiations? Can a breakthrough be achieved in light of the political atmosphere that prevails in Israel today?

    Jarrar: I do not think that French efforts will lead to palpable results. On the contrary, I view them as a waste of time and an attempt to circumvent international resolutions. Instead of the French or other similar efforts, it would be better to demand the convening of an international conference endowed with far-reaching powers, in keeping with international resolutions relevant to the Palestinian cause, which, above anything else, affirm the need to end the Israeli occupation.

    Al-Monitor: There are those who posit that Israel decided to punish you due to your strong support for joining the International Criminal Court [ICC]. Do you agree with this assessment, and are you satisfied with the pace of Palestinian efforts to join the court?

    Jarrar: Israeli authorities arrested me for many reasons, among them my membership on the Supreme National Committee for Coordination with the ICC and because I refused to abide by a decision of the Israeli occupation forces to send me to the city of Jericho [as banishment] in August 2014. Add to that the fact that I constantly visited Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails and participated in many of the political and cultural events held in the West Bank. As a result, occupation authorities wanted to distance me from my Palestinian community. As for Palestinian efforts to join the ICC, to date I have not witnessed any serious Palestinian efforts to follow-up on the dossier, which, in my opinion, demonstrates clear laxity on the part of the Palestinians.

    Al-Monitor: What are the latest developments concerning the relationship between the PFLP and the Palestinian Authority [PA] in light of the latest crisis subsequent to their dispute about the PA’s political conduct and [the] April 2016 decision [by Mahmoud Abbas, in his capacity as PLO chairman] to withhold funding to the PFLP, which exacerbated tensions between them to the point where PFLP members burned effigies of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Gaza?

    Jarrar: Irrespective of the details associated with these differences, it is clear that the situation of Palestinian division has preoccupied people with the multitude of its internal conflicts, sometimes between Fatah and Hamas and other times between other Palestinian factions that oppose one another. All these actions and practices emanate from a lack of national responsibility, particularly in light of the fact that Palestinians are passing through a critical historical and political period that requires drafting a unified strategy that transcends internal Palestinian tensions while maintaining the need for Palestinian factions to reassess their espoused political approach.


  • “Al-Qaeda” in Syria fears the settlement and rejects the cease-fire: the next target - Elijah J Magnier

    The Syrian opposition and Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda in Syria, began to understand that the cease-fire is no longer in their best interest, especially since the Syrian army and its allies are turning all guns against the “Islamic State” group (ISIS). Al Qaeda in Syria believes that the cease-fire, a possible settlement, and democratic elections represent an existential threat to its existence. Its objective consists in establishing an Islamic State and certainly not a secular state. This is also the same approach of many within Ahrar al-Sham, the group that represents the largest number of militants in northern Syria. Other hardliner factions fighting under “Jaish al Fateh”, the Army of Conquest, also share the same ideology and objective with al-Qaeda.


    What Al-Qaeda and its allies in Syria believe is that the Syrian Army and the Russian are going to direct their guns toward it when ISIS will be encircled in Raqqa. This conviction is reinforced by the determination of the U.S. to support any Russian military action against any Syrian group, willing to seriously break the cease-fire and interrupt the peace negotiation. Al-Qaeda is not wrong. It would be naïve to think it is going to accept any resolution or agreement against its ideology, with at least 10.000 militants among its ranks, of which at least a third of strongly ideological foreign fighters.

  • Book: ‘South Africa’s Agrarian Question’ by Ward Anseeuw - Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation

    South Africa’s Agrarian Question, by Hubert Cochet, Ward Anseeuw and Sandrine Fréguin-Gresh, to be published by HSRC Press this month:

    Based on an in-depth analysis of several contrasting agricultural regions, this book aims to assess South Africa’s ongoing agrarian reform and the country’s agrarian dynamics.

    The conclusion is without doubt: 20 years after the first democratic elections, the country’s land pattern remains almost unchanged, and primary agriculture and its broader value-chains are more concentrated than ever. Without fundamentally questioning the highly specialised, fossil energy and synthetic input dependent, oligopolistic entrepreneurial agricultural production model, which is presently structuring the sector and is guiding the reforms, a more equitable redistribution of resources and value-addition will by no means be possible.

    The answers provided in this book will be of interest not only to all those interested in the South African experiment, but also to those who, in all regions, are questioning the mainstream agrifood regime and asking how it can be transformed – Olivier De Schutter

    This book examines and contributes to the structural questions that underpin the current stagnation of South Africa’s agrarian reform. Presenting fresh approaches in analysing agrarian issues and tools to assess farming systems and agricultural development, this incisive study will be an important resource to policy makers, academics and those with an interest in agrarian reform.

    #Afrique_du_sud #foncier #terres #agriculture et #livre

  • German, French leaders press Poroshenko on Ukraine truce - Yahoo News India

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Friday that his French counterpart Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angel Merkel had pressed him to ensure partial self-rule for the pro-Russian separatist east.
    The rare admission by Ukraine’s Western-backed leader marked another sign of European impatience with the fighting that still engulfs the former Soviet republic five months after the signing of a broad truce deal.
    Poroshenko’s office said Merkel and Hollande — two of Ukraine’s strongest backers and key initiators of the Minsk deal — had “recommended that the president of Ukraine continue with (his) constitutional reforms”.
    The two “placed especial stress that the draft constitution of Ukraine reflects special self-rule for certain districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions”.

    A. Merkel et F. Hollande incitent P. Porochenko à « continuer » la mise en place d’une autonomie locale pour les régions « séparatistes ». « Impatience with the fighting » ou devant le blocage complet par le gouvernement ukrainien de la concertation politique prévue par les accords de Minsk ?

    Une reprise dans la presse mainstream ?

  • 20 Years of Freedom: #Zackie_Achmat on South Africa’s 5th democratic #elections

    Throughout the 2000s, Zackie Achmat led what was probably the most recognizable multi-class, mass social movement in South Africa, outside of the wide support enjoyed by the ANC or its trade union ally. Though the Treatment Action Campaign openly clashed with the government led by then ANC President, Thabo Mbeki, and adopted a number of activist […]

    #POLITICS #Jacob_Zuma #South_Africans

  • Conclusions préliminaires de la mission d’observation des élections présidentielles en #Azerbaïdjan de l’#OSCE
    http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/106901 (pdf) (10/10/2013)
    sur la page http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/103589

    The 9 October election was undermined by limitations on the freedoms of expression, assembly, and association that did not guarantee a level playing field for candidates. Continued allegations of candidate and voter intimidation and a restrictive media environment marred the campaign. Significant problems were observed throughout all stages of election day processes and underscored the serious nature of the shortcomings that need to be addressed in order for Azerbaijan to fully meet its OSCE commitments for genuine and democratic elections.

    Ce n’est que le début…
    • manque d’impartialité de la Commission électorale
    • limitation de la liberté de rassemblement
    • déséquilibre dans l’accès aux médias
    • pas d’explication sur la taille de la liste électorale : 1,8 millions de personnes de moins que la population en âge de voter (soit environ 1/3 du total)
    • problèmes à l’ouverture des urnes dans 20% des observations réalisées
    • les observateurs ont relevé du bourrage d’urnes dans 37 des points
    • le dépouillement s’est passé mal ou très mal dans 58% des bureaux observés. Dans 15 d’entre eux, il a été observé des manipulations sur la liste des électeurs, sur les résultats y compris la réattribution de votes à un candidat différent

    • Évidemment, ça ne plait pas…

      OSCE/ODIHR statement is serious damage to organization’s authority : Ali Hasanov - AzerNews
      http://www.azernews.az/azerbaijan/60589.html (11/10/2013 16:24)

      The opinion, announced by the observation mission of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), on law violations at the presidential election in Azerbaijan is based not on any serious fact, but on false information spread by the opposition, head of the Public and Political Issues Department of Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan, Ali Hasanov said on October 11 commenting on the statement of the OSCE/ODIHR mission.

      D’ailleurs tous les (très nombreux) autres observateurs ont trouvé que ça c’était passé normalement

      According to [Hasanov], the representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the CIS, BSEC Parliamentary Assembly and the NGO Forum, TURKPA and other organizations noted at the press conferences held on Wednesday and Thursday that the election in Azerbaijan was free, transparent, democratic and just, and underlined that the election fully meet international standards. These observation missions included MPs, public and political leaders, representatives of NGOs, experienced professional experts of election observation.

      “Therefore, we can confidently say that ODIHR’s position absolutely doesn’t reflect the position of countries which enter the OSCE area. Thus, a subjective opinion, made by the current monitoring mission, is not only a disrespect for the will of Azerbaijani voters, but also counteracts the OSCE commitments on impartiality, objectivity, and collegiality to member countries,” Hasanov said.

      D’ailleurs, aucun Azerbaïdjanais n’a plus confiance dans la mission de l’OSCE depuis que celle ci a conclu que les élections présidentielles s’étaient déroulées normalement en Arménie.

      “The OSCE has caused Azerbaijani citizens’ serious distrust to objectivity a while ago with its subjective assessment of the presidential election held in Armenia. So, it was ODIHR which deliberately turned a blind eye to the fact that the pre-election situation during the presidential election in Armenia was fully criminalized, opposition’s election campaign in all regions was fully limited, one of the presidential candidates was shot, false information was spread about 3 million voters in a country with a population of 2 million people, as well as ballots were thrown in the boxes in batches. The organization, by expressing particularly ’fundamental’ and ’warm’ attitude towards the presidential election, positively assessed the poll held in condition of complete oppression of the media outlets and gross violation of human rights,” Hasanov said.

    • Néanmoins, le secrétaire général de l’OSCE félicite l’heureux réélu et le félicite des progrès de la démocratie dans son pays (11/10/2013 17h51 locales)

      OSCE committed to continue beneficial cooperation with Azerbaijan:Lamberto Zannier - AzerNews

      OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier congratulated Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, who won the October 9 presidential elections with over 84 percent of votes.
      “I would like to convey to you my heartfelt congratulations on your re-election as President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Please allow me to wish you every success in continuing to build a strong and vibrant democracy in your country,” Zannier’s message reads.
      “Please be assured that the OSCE remains ready to continue the long-standing and fruitful cooperation established with the Government of Azerbaijan,” Zannier said.

    • Même son de cloche (un peu plus nuancé) du côté du président de l’OSCE : je prends note du rapport de la mission et je relève qu’il y a eu des progrès sur beaucoup d’aspects

      OSCE top official congratulates Azerbaijani people on democratic election - AzerNews

      OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara congratulated the people and the leadership of Azerbaijan on holding democratic presidential elections that represents an important step forward in the country’s democratic development.
      In his statement , Kozhara welcomed the fact that the presidential election in Azerbaijan was monitored by a large number of observers from authoritative international organizations, including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Council of Europe, the European Union (EU), Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and others, as well as by many national delegations from the OSCE member countries.
      I take note of the statement of preliminary findings and conclusions made by the OSCE International Observation Mission as well as the comments of the Special Coordinator. I also take note of the Joint Statement made by the election observation delegations of the Council of Europe and the European Parliament, as well as the statements by other international observers,” he said. “In these statements the international observers conclude that a number of aspects of the conduct of the Presidential Election in Azerbaijan showed progress towards meeting the OSCE and Council of Europe commitments and other international standards for democratic elections.

  • The Struggle for Egypt
    by Joseph Massad

    sur la trahison de la gauche et des élites intellectuelle en Egypte

    CounterPunch :

    Ever since Muhammad Mursi was elected president of Egypt in democratic elections marred by his Mubarakist opponent Ahmad Shafiq’s electoral corruption and bribes, a coalition of Egyptian liberals, Nasserists, leftists — including socialists and communists of varying stripes –and even Salafist and repentant Muslim Brotherhood (MB) members began to form slowly but steadily, establishing an alliance with Mubarak’s ruling bourgeoisie and holdover politicians from his regime to oust him from power, fearing that he and his party were preparing a “Nazi-like” takeover of the country and destroying its fledgling democracy.

  • A Thousand Kinds of Life: Culture, Nature, and Anthropology | Dissent Magazine

    What are the consequences of attempts to forcefully impose democracy on societies with no such traditions? Especially, how does the imposition of “winner-take-all” democratic elections in ethnically divided societies exacerbate violence, as has happened time and again in many postcolonial societies in recent decades?