Domestic Politics

Stories related to the internal politics of states and various domestic issues. 

Editorial: the parallel struggles in Georgian politics
At the moment in Georgia, "on the one hand there is the struggle for power between elements of the government and elements of the opposition. There have been plenty of examples in the past of these elements being willing to sacrifice anything to hold on to this power," writes in this editorial. "There is also however a parallel struggle, that is based on values and foreign policy orientation [...] The prospect is now emerging that the next political struggle will be about values. The quicker Georgian politicians understand this, the better. And for their own sake, as well as that of their country, they should make sure they position themselves on the right side of history."
patrickn97 Thu, 03/23/2023 - 12:09 Ruling Amanat party wins Kazakh parliamentary vote after election reforms
Six parties have been elected to the Mazhilis, Kazakhstan's national parliament after elections were held on Sunday (19 March). The six parties are the ruling Amanat party, who won 53.9% of the vote; the Auyl People's Democratic Patriotic Party (10.9%); Respublica Party (8.59%); Aq Jol Democratic Party of Kazakhstan (8.41%); People's Party of Kazakhstan (6.8%); National Social Democratic Party (5.2%). The Baytaq party won only 2.3% of the vote, and, with a 5% threshold necessary to win seats in parliament, will not be represented. 3.9% voted against all parties. The Astana Times reports that over 6.3 million people out of more than 12 million eligible voters cast their ballots in the elections to the parliament and local representative bodies on Sunday, representing a turnout of over 54%.
patrickn97 Tue, 03/21/2023 - 12:10

Filter archive

Turmoil in Tbilisi as thousands protest against foreign agent law
Tbilisi's central Rustaveli Avenue was in turmoil last night (7-8 March) as thousands came out to protest against a proposed foreign agent law that had been backed in parliament earlier on 7 March. It was the second day of large protests in the Georgian capital over the proposed law, with a large group having gathered at the back of the parliament building on Monday (6 March) as the law was debated in parliamentary committee meetings, which themselves led to scuffles between parliamentarians. Yesterday's protests in Tbilisi grew in size as the sun set, and riot police were deployed to control the protesters whereupon scuffles between them began. Protesters waved EU and Georgian flags, the EU and Ukrainian national anthems were also heard, and protesters chanted anti-government slogans. Riot police employed increasing force to disperse the protesters, including using water cannon and large amounts of tear gas. Some protesters were seen falling on the ground and coughing, and journalists on the ground also reported choking and being unable to breathe because of the quantity of tear gas used against the protesters. The government says several policemen were hurt and police gear was damaged.
patrickn97 Wed, 03/08/2023 - 08:00
Turkish opposition nominate Kemal Kilicdaroglu to challenge Erdogan
After weeks of fierce negotiations between an alliance of six opposition parties from across the political spectrum, the so-called "Table of Six" officially nominated Kemal Kilicdaroglu on Monday (6 March) as their candidate to challenge incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May's presidential elections. Kilicdaroglu, who has led the center-left Republican People's Party for over a decade, is an understated 74-year-old former bureaucrat from the country's social security authority. There has been some criticism that he lacks the flair and charisma needed to topple Erdogan's populism after 20 years of rule. In speech in Ankara announcing his nomination, Kilicdaroglu said that the opposition coalition would "run the country in consultation and agreement with one another". The group has pledged to reverse many of the changes that Erdogan has brought about since becoming prime minister in 2003, including returning the country to a parliamentary system.
patrickn97 Tue, 03/07/2023 - 09:19
Editor's choice
Georgian MPs resume discussions on foreign agent law amid protests and scuffles

Georgian MPs resume discussions on foreign agent law amid protests and scuffles

Georgian MPs have resumed discussing a draft law on "foreign agents" amid large protests in Tbilisi and even scuffles between politicians inside the committee room. The draft law was introduced on 14 February by a group of pro-government MPs who formally left the ruling Georgian Dream party last year. During discussions on Monday (6 March), a large crowd gathered at the back of the Georgian parliament to protest against the proposed law. According to OC Media journalist Mariam Nikuradze who was at the protest, protesters chanted "Russians", waved EU and Georgian flags, some taped their mouths shut, and one threw eggs at the building. Inside parliament, some opposition MPs were removed from the sitting of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs after physical confrontation between lawmakers. The chairman of the committee, Anri Okhanashvili, requested the removal of several deputies from the hall due to shouting from their seats. This then led to the chairman of the United National Movement Levan Khabeishvili physically confronting Orkhanashvili, leading to larger scuffles. Later, Salome Samadashvili, Khatuna Samnidze and Tamar Kordzaia were also removed from the sitting, having previously been warned about disruption by the chairman, according to reports.
Kazakh parties outline priorities in TV debate ahead of 19 March election
Representatives of seven political parties in Kazakhstan debated live on TV on Wednesday (1 March) ahead of the country's 19 March elections to the lower house of parliament, the Mazhilis. The debate lasted 70 minutes and consisted of four rounds. The first round focused on the main priorities of the parties’ election programmes. In the second round, participants asked and responded to each other’s questions. In the third round, debate moderator Armangul Toktamurat challenged the participants to identify three issues they would try to resolve first if elected to the Mazhilis. And finally, in the fourth round, each party leader made a personal address to the audience.
patrickn97 Fri, 03/03/2023 - 11:30
Azerbaijani theologian and imam dies aged 48

Leading Azerbaijani theologian and imam, Haji Shahin Hasanli, has died aged 48, reportedly of a heart attack. His death was announced early Thursday morning on his Facebook page.

Hasanli was one of the most influential religious figures in the country. He had served as imam at the Mashadi Dadash mosque in Baku since 2001, and his funeral took place there later on Thursday.

patrickn97 Thu, 03/02/2023 - 13:19
US "deeply concerned about implications" of proposed Georgia foreign agent law

The US Government is "deeply concerned" about the implications of a proposed law on so-called foreign agents "for freedom of speech and democracy in Georgia", said Spokesperson for the US Department of State Ned Price said in a press briefing on Monday (27 February).

Replying to a question from a journalist, Price said that the US has expressed their concerns "directly to the Government of Georgia now repeatedly".

patrickn97 Tue, 02/28/2023 - 11:42
A new sense of purpose in Central Asia as leaders seek better relations between their countries and with the rest of the world
For more than three decades after the collapse of the USSR the five Central Asia Republics continued to live largely in the shadow of Moscow.  Neighbouring China made headway, particularly in the economic sphere, largely with Moscow’s acquiescence, and there were a few moments when the west appeared to be making a mark on the region too, especially after the 9/11 attacks, when the US was allowed facilities to help with its invasion of Afghanistan. But this moment did not last long. On everything else that mattered, and for most of the time, Moscow continued to call the shots. The last five years have seen a seismic change in the region. A new generation of leaders are seeking better relations with the rest of the world: connectivity has become a buzzword, and there is a genuine effort to engage with the EU and the US, in most if not all the capitals. Ukraine, and the implications of the Russian invasion on future relations with all the post Soviet states, has focused minds, particularly in Tashkent and Astana.
patrickn97 Tue, 02/07/2023 - 17:32