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

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Opinion: Sweden must re-evaluate its internal and external relations before NATO accession can become reality
Given the increasingly uncertain political climate in which Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson finds himself, Sweden requires an internal and external positional re-evaluation in order to finalise its accession to NATO, writes Alfred Stranne in this op-ed for Meanwhile, Sweden needs to understand the increasing anger coming from Ankara, which is severely hindering its progression towards becoming a member of the alliance. Meanwhile, Sweden must also look within NATO itself to seek support in reassuring Ankara that Sweden will be a significant security provider for the alliance, providing added benefits for Ankara as well. This would repair Sweden’s relations with Turkey and reassure Ankara that despite the ideological and religious differences between Kristersson and Erdogan, Sweden and Turkey have common interests in seeking regional peace and stability.
patrickn97 Fri, 02/03/2023 - 09:33
Ukrainian authorities raid tycoon's home amid corruption crackdown
Ukrainian authorities have raided the home of the prominent business tycoon Ihor Kolomoisky amid a nationwide anti-corruption crackdown. On Wednesday (1 February) the home of the former interior minister Arsen Avakov was also searched, and the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers fired the heads of the customs and tax agencies too. Kolomoisky is an erstwhile ally of President Volodymyr Zelensky, whose TV channel gave Zelensky his break with the comedy series Servant of the People, in which Zelensky played a history teacher who ends up becoming president after a student posts a video online of an expletive-laden rant by Zelensky's character about the state of politics in the country. Kolomoisky also backed the former actor's real-life bid for the presidency. He was also the governor of the wider Dnipropetrovsk region from 2014 to 2015, and played a key role in funding volunteer battalions in response to Russia's initial invasion of Ukraine in 2014.
patrickn97 Wed, 02/01/2023 - 17:21
Editor's choice
Georgian GDP booms by more than 10% in 2022

Georgian GDP booms by more than 10% in 2022

Georgia's GDP boomed by 10.1% in 2022, according to figures released by the National Statistics Office of Georgia, Geostat, on Tuesday (31 January). The country's economic performance was particularly strong towards the end of the year, registering a year-on-year increase of 11% in December 2022. According to the report published by Geostat, growth was registered in construction, manufacturing, transportation and storage, financial and insurance activities, trade, hotels and restaurants. Meanwhile a decline was registered in real estate activities, professional, scientific and technical activities, electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply. Georgia imported US$134.5bn of goods in 2022, 33.2% more than last year. Meanwhile exports also rose by 31.8%, totalling almost US$56bn. Another notable statistic from the report concerns the number of newly registered enterprises, at 6,436 in December alone. This marks a year-on-year increase of 41.4%.
Editor's choice
Five people killed in mass shooting in Sagarejo, Georgia

Five people killed in mass shooting in Sagarejo, Georgia

A retired military veteran has killed five people in the eastern Georgian town of Sagarejo before committing suicide, the country's interior ministry announced on Friday morning (20 January). The offender, according to the Georgian interior ministry, had served in the Georgian Defence Forces between 2006 and 2021, including in the NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan. Among the dead is 38-year-old Otar Gvinashvili, a police officer who sustained fatal injuries while trying to protect another person during the shooting. Five other people were wounded. Vakhtang Gomelauri, the Georgian Interior Minister who arrived at the scene early on Friday, said the offender had been with his adult child who escaped the flat following the incident. The 49-year-old offender is believed to have killed himself as security forces entered his flat. Neighbours told local media the shooter had rented his flat and was reportedly undergoing treatment for psychological problems. There is currently no known motive for the mass shooting.
German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht resigns

The German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht has resigned after months of criticism over her handling of the German response to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

In a resignation statement, Ms Lambrecht said: "Months of media focus on me doesn't allow for fact-based reporting and discussion about soldiers, the army and security policy in the interest of German citizens [...] The valuable work of the soldiers and many motivated people in the defence area needs to be in the foreground."

patrickn97 Mon, 01/16/2023 - 11:51
Repression and executions continue in Iran as regime struggles to contain protests
Iran's clerical dictatorship has unleashed another wave of repression and executions in an effort to contain protests that continue unabbetted across the country. Four men, including two on Saturday, have been executed for killing and wounding security force members in connection with the protests. Twenty-six further prisoners are currently awaiting execution. They were sentenced to death in show trials meant to intimidate the population and put an end to the protests. At least 11 people have been sentenced to death, and another 15 have been accused of crimes that are punishable by death in Iran — including waging "war against God". Writer and illustrator Mehdi Bahman is among them. He was sentenced to death by a court in Tehran after giving an interview with Israeli media. Iran’s judiciary announced on Sunday four people had been jailed for up to 10 years for calling for strikes in support of ongoing nationwide protests against the regime. It is the first time the judiciary has announced prison sentences for such an act during demonstrations triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of the morality police in September. Activists used social media early last month to call for a three-day nationwide strike in support of the protesters. 
dennis2020 Mon, 01/09/2023 - 08:17
Houthis in Yemen abduct social media influencers in a crackdown on dissent
Stories continue to emerge of ongoing gross abuses by the Yemeni Houthi movement against Yemeni civil society activists in the capital Sanaa, and in other areas under their control. This week, three well-known Yemeni YouTubers have been kidnapped by Houthis in Sanaa, as the militia steps up its crackdown on online influencers who expose its leaders’ flaws, according to the newspaper Arab News, published on Wednesday,(4 January). Activists reported that Houthis abducted Mustafa Al-Mumari, Hamoud Al-Mesbahi, and Ahmed Elaw for posting videos on social media which support prominent YouTuber Ahmed Hajar, who was seized from a Sanaa street more than 10 days ago. The social media posts also criticized widespread corruption and the failure to address famine. Al-Mumari is a popular social media personality in Yemen with more than 2 million YouTube subscribers and tens of thousands of Facebook fans. The Houthi's, a militant group supported by Iran, seized control of the Yemeni capital Sanaa, and large swaths of the country's territory in 2014 and unseated the legitimate government, resulting in a civil war that neither side appears able to win.
dennis2020 Wed, 01/04/2023 - 06:03