13 December 2018   Leave a comment

The US Senate passed a resolution, 56-41, to end US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.  The resolution will not be acted upon by the House of Representatives this year, but will likely be considered by the House when the new Democratic leadership is empowered on 3 January.  The resolution is not veto-proof, but is an important statement repudiating the stance of the Trump Administration on Saudi Arabia.  The Senate also passed a resolution holding Crown Prince Salman as responsible for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.  The resolution ending US support for the war in Yemen is the first time the Congress has ever invoked its powers under the War Powers Act of 1973, a law that was passed in order to prevent other undeclared wars such as the Vietnam War.

 

 

British Prime Minister Teresa May survived a vote of no confidence in Parliament, securing 63% of the votes of her Conservative party members.  The vote gives May a year’s breathing space but was secured by her promise to not stand for re-election in the next scheduled election in 2022.  The vote gives May another chance to negotiate with the European Commission about the terms of the British exit from the European Union even though the Commissioners had said that they were not willing to renegotiate.  The vote did not clarify in the slightest degree what possible terms nor renegotiation exist, and suggest that no deal is likely before the scheduled departure date of 29 March 2019.   The absence of a deal will be very unsettling for the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

 

 

Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary moved Hungary further away from a liberal democracy by getting Parliament to pass a new law creating a parallel judiciary system over which the executive will have the power of appointment.  The new judiciary system will handle matters of corruption, electoral issues, and political protest.  The move effectively neuters the existing judiciary system and prevents it from monitoring the actions of the executive.  Another law was passed which gives employers the right to demand greater overtime hours from employees and was described by the opposition as a “slave law”.  Orban’s Fidesz Party commands a two-thirds majority in the Parliament and can essentially change the constitution whenever it desires.

Posted December 13, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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