30 December 2018   Leave a comment

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina seems to be headed for a fourth term in office although the opposition claims that the election was a farce.
Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League has ruled in Bangladesh since 2009. The leader of the opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP), Khaleda Zia, is in jail on corruption charges which she claims were politically motivated. At least 15 people were killed in election violence and human rights groups have raised questions about the conduct of the elections. Hasina’s son, Sajeeb Wajed, told the media that he considers the Western charges of authoritarianism to be a “badge of honor.”

Sheikh Hasina Wajed

Two years after they were scheduled, elections are being held in Democratic Republic of Congo to find a replacement for President Joseph Kabila. Kabila came to power in 2001 when his father was assassinated and has delayed the elections which were required by the constitution. The elections are being held in a very tense atmosphere as many citizens fear that the vote will be manipulated. In addition, the outbreak of the Ebola virus in the eastern parts of the country have made the movements of voters highly problematic. The voters in three provinces which have affected by Ebola are not being allowed to vote until later in the month, but all three provinces are strongholds of the opposition to Kabila’s party.
Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary is Kabila’s anointed successor and we will have to wait until mid-January to find out the results of the election.

There have been four weeks of protests against Aleksandar Vučić, the President of Serbia. Vučić is a nationalist leader and the protesters believe that he is moving toward authoritarian rule. Protests have been rare in Serbia since the ouster of President Milosevic, a convicted war criminal, in 2000. But Reuters suggests that Vučić enjoys strong support in the country and that the opposition to him is quite divided.

“According to a poll by the Belgrade-based CESID election watchdog in October, Vučić’s SNS (Serbian Progressive Party) enjoys the backing of 53.3 percent of electorate while other parties are trailing far behind.

“If the opposition ran as an alliance, rather than individual parties, they could count on around 15 percent of the vote. Their joint participation in a vote has yet to be agreed and so far they are only united in their animosity to Vučić and his party.”

Vučić has kept open relations with the European Union, Russia, and China as his top foreign policy priorities.

Posted December 30, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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