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Archive for the tag “opposition”

Will Pakistan’s Military Lose Its Grip On Power?

Many Pakistanis see the army as the real power behind Khan and the cause of the country’s political and economic woes. Their anger has occasioned a remarkable shift as major political figures speak out for the first time against the military’s dominance of Pakistan—a shift that could eventually threaten the military’s chokehold on political power.

Read Here | Foreign Affairs

The Battle For Iran

In Iran, the obstacles to success are daunting. Whereas most Middle Eastern countries are ruled by secular autocrats focused on repressing primarily Islamist opposition, Iran is an Islamist autocracy focused on repressing secular opposition. This dynamic—unarmed, unorganized, leaderless citizens seeking economic dignity and pluralism, versus a heavily armed, organized, rapacious ruling theocracy that espouses martyrdom—is not a recipe for success.

Read Here – The Atlantic

Populism On The March: Why The West Is In Trouble

Trump is part of a broad populist upsurge running through the Western world. It can be seen in countries of widely varying circumstances, from prosperous Sweden to crisis-ridden Greece. In most, populism remains an opposition movement, although one that is growing in strength; in others, such as Hungary, it is now the reigning ideology. But almost everywhere, populism has captured the public’s attention.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

Pakistan’s Battle for Democracy

Last week, tens of thousands of protestors descended into the heart of Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, demanding that the federal government make sweeping electoral reforms and then give way to an army and judiciary-endorsed caretaker government that would oversee general elections.

The protestors were dedicated, braving the cold, and, at times, rain, for four nights. They were disciplined, following their leader’s command and not engaging in violence. They were organized, staffing themselves with teams to handle emergency medical care, live tweeting, and music. And they were strategic, alternating between Urdu and English-language chants, with different messaging for domestic and foreign consumption. And yet despite these strengths, they essentially failed.

Read Here – The Diplomat

India’s Ultimate Insider Tries for Outsider Status

Last weekend, India’s Congress Party, which has enjoyed power for almost nine years as the majority party in the current UPA coalition government, set down a roadmap not only for its own future but also for that of the world’s largest democracy. At a party convention in the northern city of Jaipur, it appointed the young parliamentarian Rahul Gandhi, 42, the vice-president of the party. Not coincidentally, Gandhi’s mother, Sonia Gandhi, has been president of the Congress since 1998.

Mr. Gandhi’s closely watched, if largely undistinguished, political career is now eight years old. In this period he has served as a general secretary of the party and as the president of the Young Congress, but has never held a post in government. His accession to second-in-command was widely expected, and brought an end to what one commentator described asone of the longest political gestations in Indian history.” It also set him up to become the next prime minister if the current coalition government is voted back into power in next year’s general elections.

Read Here – Bloomberg

Catherine the Great Ruled Better Than Putin

One year has passed since Russia awakened.

A negative trend had dominated the past 12 years in Russia: The number of freedoms decreased while abuses of the Kremlin‘s power increased. This was largely met by indifference among the people. But in December 2011, that indifference ended with the beginning of the protest movement. The country was set on a new path that will lead to either the overthrow of the regime or a revolution. A peaceful transition of authority is impossible for the simple reason that President Vladimir Putin refuses to relinquish his hold on power. He will eventually go the way of either former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini or Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, but he will never willingly hand over power to anyone.

Read Here – Moscow Times

Egypt’s Opposition Has To Be More Than Anti-Brotherhood

A little less than two years ago, the non-Islamist opposition in Egypt saw two momentous events. The first, of course, was the beginning of the 25th of January revolution. The second was the constitutional referendum in March 2011. Arguably, the latter event was more important than the former, although the opposition has yet to learn from it.

In the aftermath of the 2011 uprising, the opposition did not really understand its base. At that point, opposition groups had few political parties to speak of, let alone political maturity. What they did have after the referendum, however, was an idea of who supported their message and, more importantly, who did not.

Read Here – The National

There’s a New Caliph in Town

For the first time in Egypt’s post-revolutionary political scene, the Muslim Brotherhood‘s ascendancy is under serious threat. But as a diverse array of political players challenges the Islamist movement‘s efforts to centralize power, the Brothers are showing no sign of backing down.

The trouble began last week, when President Mohamed Morsy issued a package of sovereign decrees that sacked the nation’s prosecutor general, appointed a new one with a mandate to re-open cases against deposed autocrat Hosni Mubarak and his inner circle, and — most importantly — declared both his own decisions and the assembly drafting the country’s new constitution immune from judicial oversight. As scholar Nathan Brown put it, Morsy’s edict amounted to a declaration that he was “all powerful … just for a little while.”

Read Here – Foreign Policy

Timing of Egypt Turmoil Couldn’t Be Worse for Economy

Political turmoil in Egypt entered its fourth day Monday, after President Mohammed Morsi’s surprise power-grabbing decree galvanized the opposition and set off rounds of street violence, at a time when the nation needs unity to make difficult economic decisions.

Egypt’s economy was already in trouble, with foreign reserves having fallen 40 percent since the uprising and growth projected to be less than 2 percent this year. Tourism and direct foreign investment have dropped, while unemployment has climbed. Economists say the government needs to tighten spending and devalue the currency—unpopular moves even without angry demonstrators already in the streets.

Read Here – Businessweek

Viewpoint – Time To Push Back Over Sri Lankan Impunity

International attention on Sri Lanka has focused recently on a devastating report from the United Nations reviewing its own failure to protect civilians during the humanitarian catastrophe of the final months of the island nation’s civil war in 2009. Yet as many in the international community have been looking back, a new, quieter crisis is threatening Sri Lanka’s battered democracy – and the chances of lasting peace – with the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa moving to impeach the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Should the impeachment effort succeed, it will complete a constitutional coup begun in September 2010 with the 18th amendment to the constitution, which ended presidential term limits and removed the independence of commissions on the police, human rights, judiciary, bribery and other areas of governance.

What some have framed as a battle for power between the judiciary and executive is in fact a one-sided assault on an already weakened legal system, which has for decades, but particularly under President Rajapaksa, routinely done the executive’s bidding.

Read Here – CNN

The International Crisis Group Report on Sri Lanka

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