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Latin America Politics

Colombia’s Democracy Under Threat? Legislative Elections End in Chaos

Colombia’s governing right was defeated in March’s legislative elections. However, significant discrepancies between the preliminary and the final vote count have led to  allegations of fraud and calls for a nation-wide recount. Ahead of crucial presidential elections this month, this crisis is likely to foster further distrust and popular disenchantment with Colombian politicians and the state more generally.

Latin America Politics

A Major Shift? The Significance of Colombia’s Upcoming Presidential Election

The results of Colombia’s 13th March presidential primary elections have shed light on who the leading candidates are for the country’s approaching presidential election on 29th May. Leader of the Historic Pact (Pacto Histórico) coalition and ex-guerrilla fighter Gustavo Petro stood out among his competitors by receiving 3 million votes, the largest number of votes received by any candidate during the primaries. Federico Gutiérrez, former mayor of Medellín, emerged as his closest competitor, netting around 1.4 million votes.

Insights Latin America Politics

Opinion: Colombia’s Violent Start to 2022: A Key Electoral Cycle

The New Year has not had a happy start for many Colombians: An already alarming security situation is currently escalating into new record levels of violence in several parts of the country. Although the perpetrators vary regionally, the main affected are the same: the civilian population in general, and social leaders and human rights defenders in particular. In addition to the weak response of the Colombian state so far, observers expect a further deterioration linked to the upcoming legislative and presidential elections. 

Debate Corner Europe Politics

Does Scotland Need the EU?

Scottish independence is trusted back into the spotlight after the Brexit referendum, and EU membership is key to that dream. However, Britain does not oppose Scottish independence alone, as Scotland leaving the UK and joining the EU helps Catalonia argue for their own independence from Spain.

Europe Politics

Opinion: Leveling Up Britain: Long-awaited White Paper Details Promised Post-Brexit Economic Policy

In the first week of February 2022, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities published a long-awaited White Paper. The White Paper details a series of promised policies espoused by the Conservative Party aimed at helping grow the UK’s economy, while balancing regional inequalities.

Europe Insights Politics

Italy’s Presidential Election: What Comes Next?

On 29 January 2022, after eight rounds of voting, Italy re-elected Sergio Mattarella as President of the Republic. To many, this result came as a surprise, because Mattarella himself had clearly expressed his intention to step down based on moral grounds: while not expressly forbidden by the Constitution, the re-election of an incumbent head of state should be avoided–as then President Antonio Segni put it in a speech delivered in 1963 and recently cited by Mattarella–because the sheer possibility of it may create incentives for the incumbent to engage in acts meant to favor his or her re-election, de facto calling into question the impartiality of the President.

Europe Politics

Opinion: Valerie Pecresse: France’s new Challenger for the Elysée

2022 is a significant year for France. France starts the year with the Council of the European Union presidency. France’s agenda for the next six months is ambitious and could begin a new era in Europe if successful. But, more critically, France is holding it’s presidential election.

China Politics

Concerns over Chinese Data Traps in the Global South

In December 2021 Richard Moore, the MI6 Chief, gave an extremely rare interview to the media. During a broadly focused conversation, he raised concerns around China’s actions, particularly its ability to “harvest data from around the world” focusing on the creation of “Data traps”. 

Europe Politics

The Georgian Dream, Saakashvili, and the E.U.

In November 2020, Georgia’s incumbent Georgian Dream party won a third term in parliamentary elections with 48% of the vote. The country’s main opposition party, the United National Movement (UNM), condemned the result as “illegitimate.” Georgia has since been gripped by a political crisis: a democratic retreat, the return of controversial former prime minister Mikheil Saakashvili, and disputes with the EU have all fanned the flames of political tension. Yet as Georgia’s young democracy comes under pressure, it remains a country with favourable conditions for a prosperous and open future.

Europe Politics Security

Opinion: Germany’s Influence on European Unity

In the build up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Western nations were clear on where they stood on the issue. Between funneling weapons into Ukraine to threatening severe economic sanctions, many EU and NATO members vowed to punish Russia. One country that has been largely absent from this strong and clear response is Germany, who seeks to mitigate the domestic risks that punishing Russia entails. This self-interested position risks harming EU unity at a time when it’s needed most.