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Europe Politics

Rutte for Fourth Term? Splintered Dutch Political Landscape

Approaching 7 months since the last Dutch general election, new cabinet formations have been marred by internal struggles, ministerial scandals, and political betrayals hampering party leaders from partaking in constructive discussions. The current and now demissionary Rutte III cabinet holds the record for the longest cabinet formation in Dutch history: a whopping 225 days, a situation politicians hoped they would never encounter again. However, Rutte’s aspirations to become the Netherlands longest-serving Prime Minister, in combination with the country’s fragmented political landscape, means Dutch citizens must brace themselves for a long formation if not new elections. Recent breakthroughs to restart the current coalition have signaled a possible end to formations, but if it falls through, new elections are inevitable.

Asia Pacific Politics

Japanese Politics Heats Up: the Contest for the Next LDP Leader

Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the country’s dominant political party, is set for a leadership election on 29th September. The outcome of the election will be significant as the winner will become Japan’s new Prime Minister and head the party in Japan’s general election, scheduled for late November this year. Competition is likely to be fierce for the LDP’s top spot. Presuming that the LDP wins this year’s general election, the victor of the leadership election will have the opportunity to shape Japan’s national trajectory.

Latin America Politics

A New Left Turn in Latin America? COVID-19, Populism and Polarization

The apparent victory of socialist candidate Pedro Castillo in Peru’s general election this year hints at a leftward political trend in Latin America. COVID-19 has played a role in this, but the key driver of the shift is more fundamental. However, looking beyond the left-right paradigm, recent developments are indicative of worsening populism and political polarization in the region.

Europe Politics

“There Are Such People” in Bulgaria’s Parliament

The new Bulagrian party There are Such People (ITN), led by the former late-night TV show host Slavi Trifonov and his screenwriters, entered the political scene with a bang. It secured more than 17 percent of the vote in the last parliamentary elections, but curiously refused to form a government when given the mandate. The party also did not participate in any traditional media campaigns instead choosing to utilise social media platforms. It is important to understand the rise of ITN as well as what this political phenomenon means for political life in Bulgaria, given the upcoming snap parliamentary elections in July.

Africa Politics

Chad – Death of Chad’s President Leaves Vacuum in the Heart of the Sahel

On 20th April Chad’s President, Idriss Déby Itno, was killed inspecting troops fighting a rebel insurgency in the North of the country. A close ally of Western powers, his death has left a vacuum at the center of power in Chad, potentially threatening security in the wider Sahel region. In the wake of a swift military transition, Chad now stands at a crossroads as protesters call for democratic elections and international allies appear to flounder in their policy towards the country.

Africa Politics

Are COVID-19 Measures Being Used to Stifle Democracy in Africa?

The global pandemic presents a unique challenge to democracy in sub-Saharan Africa. Aside from making it more difficult and more expensive to carry out elections, there is an emerging worry that democratic activity will be suppressed in the name of ‘stopping the spread’. 

Europe Politics

Italy’s Five Star Movement: From Rising Star to Shooting Star?

The Five Star Movement’s unclear ideological identity ensured its success in Italy’s 2018 election. Today, the Movement faces dismal regional election results, growing unpopularity, and a government crisis. Will the party acknowledge its mainstream conversion, or will it resume its anti-establishment narrative?

International Politics The Week Ahead

The Week Ahead: 26-31 March 2018

Egyptian President likely to be reelected. Presidential election tensions heat up in Sierra Leone. Negotiations to form a government in Italy drag out. All in the Week Ahead.