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Africa Covid-19

Could Zambia’s Debt Default Signal a Domino Effect on the African Continent?

In November 2020, news outlets reported that Zambia had become the first African country to default on debt against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, after opting out of a $42.5 million eurobond repayment. Zambia’s external debt payments have increased significantly since 2014, from 4% of government revenue to an estimated 33% in early 2021. As neighbouring countries in Sub-Saharan Africa continue to suffer the economic squeeze of the pandemic, there are fears that others will follow Zambia in defaulting sooner than experts anticipated. 

Europe Politics

Bulgaria’s pre-electoral tensions: From constitutional crisis to institutional trench war

In late summer 2020, people took to the streets of Bulgaria in their thousands to protest against the current cabinet. They shook Bulgaria with demands for the immediate resignation of PM Boyko Borisov and Attorney General Ivan Geshev. Shortly after, the standoff began to slowly but steadily evolve into a constitutional crisis. In 2021, events have morphed even further into an institutional trench war. The upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections hold the keys to the Sofia’s future.

Europe Politics

Zelensky’s fall from grace

After taking the Ukrainian political stage by storm, President Volodymyr Zelensky and his Servant of the People party faced off and lost to “mayoral” parties in the October 2020 local elections. Zelensky, falling short of providing Ukraine with the vigorous reformist policy he promised in his presidential campaign, has been gradually losing support from the public, threatening his and his party’s future in Ukrainian politics.

Africa Politics

Burkina Faso’s Elections to Proceed Without the People

A change to the electoral code for impending elections in Burkina Faso raises concerns over the country’s future, in a region that is seeing a growing trend of incumbent politicians engineering political systems to remain in power.

Latin America Politics

Bolivia’s (re)turn to the left: The significance of Luis Arce’s electoral victory

Candidate Luis Arce of Bolivia’s Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) appears to have claimed an impressive victory of over 54% in the 18th October general election. Arce claimed around 24% more votes than his next closest rival, the centre-left Carlos Mesa of Comunidad Ciudadana (CC). His victory represents a political U-turn for Bolivia, a vote to return to socialism and reject the centre-right politics of interim president Jeanine Áñez. Taking into account Arce’s significant victory and close relationship with controversial former Bolivian president Evo Morales, what can we expect from Bolivia and the President-Elect going forward?

North America Politics

10 reasons why Trump is likely to win re-election

President Trump has been repeatedly reported to be trailing in the polls for this week’s General Election. However, we predict that the incumbent’s re-election is highly likely, and not as improbable as the mainstream media, polls and political risk institutions suggest.

International Politics

Populism, Leadership and Broken Campaign Pledges

Despite their struggle against the spread of the virus, populist leaders should not necessarily be counted out by their opponents. Their failings in the face of COVID-19 means their political opponents should regard them with greater attention than before, as the ensuring political landscape is one easily taken advantage of by populist rhetoric. 

Europe Security

Belarus and Russia: Will Putin Back Lukashenko or Watch his Downfall?

Belarus and Russia have been experiencing a deterioration in their relationship for years now. However, the current protests sweeping Belarus in light of the elections of August 2020, which controversially found President Lukashenko to have secured 80% of the vote, could prove to be a turning point for the already tenuous alliance between the two former Soviet states. President Putin has hitherto been cautiously supportive of Lukashenko to the extent that Moscow is still able to exercise flexibility of action. Examining current and previous developments between the two states in light of the crisis in Ukraine in 2014, the best option for Putin remains to refrain from interference for the time being. 

Africa Insights

Cameroon: Conflict Continues in Lead-up to Elections

On February 7th, parliamentary elections will be held in Cameroon, a nation plagued by internal conflict for the last four year. The prospect of elections has seen a ramping up of tensions, with a significant increase in violence from both the separatists in the country’s west and government forces.

Africa The Security Briefing

Benin’s Democracy: What has happened to it?

The aftermath of April’s legislative elections in Benin laid bare the public’s displeasure with President Patrice Talon’s administration.