Country Reports

Short political reports of the KAS offices abroad

Voting Day by HelenOnline CC by NC-ND 2.0

South Africa has voted

ANC loses support – Ramaphosa does not

Despite a significant loss in votes, the African National Congress (ANC) is the clear winner of the 8 May national and provincial elections. President Ramaphosa receives a five-year mandate to pull the country out its economic doldrums. The next months will show whether the 57.5% of votes cast in favour of the ANC grant Ramaphosa enough power to marginalize his party opponents, many of which have an undesirable and corrupt reputation even within their own party. With regards to opposition parties, the radical left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) managed to win over many of the lost ANC voters, while electoral support for the liberal Democratic Alliance (DA) slightly declined for the first time. A low voter turnout of only 66 percent can be read as an expression of voter dissatisfaction in both ruling and opposition parties. Over the longer term, the country will transition to coalition governments, as indicated by the election result in the economic heartland of Gauteng: here, the ANC scraped into a position of absolute majority by only the thinnest of margins.

The “Miracle” Election - A Result that Stunned the Nation

Australian Federal Election 2019

Defying the opinion polls of the last weeks that placed Labor clearly ahead of the Liberal Party, the Coalition delivered an unexpected election victory that stunned the nation and even resulted in a majority government. Described as a ‘shock’ or ‘miracle’ victory (after Morrison proclaimed “he believed in miracles” in his election night speech), the result has given way to much reflection, analysis and political soul-searching. This includes the baffling question of how the polls got the results so wrong, and examinations are underway of the manner in which opinion polls are conducted, the technology that drives them, and how results are interpreted – drawing attention to possible blinkers and selection biases that have hindered a more astute understanding.

Research Report: The Kenyan Digital Economy

The research report on Kenya’s digital economy presents a brief history of the events and technological developments that lead to and shaped the digital revolution in Kenya since the 1990s until today. What follows is a collection of different measures of the digital economy in Kenya. Despite greatly varying estimates depending on data source and methodology, the general picture that emerges is that Kenya’s ICT sector is smaller than in most developed but larger than in many developing countries and has accounted for a substantial share of Kenya’s economic growth in the last 15 years, outperforming all other sectors in terms of GDP growth. The sub-sectoral analysis reveals that the internet access, mobile money, IT hardware and audio and video content (incl. broadcasting) markets are the largest sub-sectors.

Vietnam Quarterly Macroeconomic Report

Quarter I - 2019

In the first quarter of 2019, Viet Nam's economy grew at 6.79% (yoy), which is 0.66% lower than that figure in 2018. The growth in the agriculture, forestry, fishery and service sectors remained at acceptable levels despite of being much lower than that in 2018. The FDI sector played crucial role in economic growth by contributing 41.46 billion USD the total export value.

Vietnam Quarterly Macroeconomic Report

Quarter 4 - 2018

Viet Nam's economy in 2018 saw the highest growth in 10 years, at 7.08% (yoy). Growth came from the robust recovery of the agriculture, forestry, fisheries and service sectors, along with the breakthrough of the manufacturing industry. The FDI sector continued to be the main contributor to growth through exports. This sector in 2018 saw an export surplus of 32.81 billion USD (equal to nearly 14% of GDP).

UK Parliament / flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

The Disregarded European Question and the British Party System

A Crucial Test for Tories and Labour

The vote by the British people to leave the European Union is not only the manifestation of an economically weak and discontented class. Rather, it reflects a British – and in particular English – handling of the European continent. Since the EU cleavage lays across the conflict lines of the big parties, neither Tories nor Labour can organise majorities capable of acting. Specificities of the political system, political culture and historical factors all serve to tighten the current deadlock. Furthermore, the European question is not only a matter of Britain’s relations with the continent; indeed, it risks threatening the unity of the United Kingdom itself.

Christopher Jahn / IFRC / flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The migration challenge in Greece

Three years after the EU-Turkey Deal

Migration has been a way of life for many Greeks for many decades, as in Greece itself. But in 2015 everything changed with the influx of close to one million migrants heading for Western Europe. Greece and Europe were not prepared. Today, the migration pressure persists for hundreds of thousands of people in Africa and the Near and Middle East to seek safety and a better life in the European Union. Is Greece, having just gone through its deepest economic crisis, better prepared for the next wave?

Government in Contravention of National Unity

What are the challenges facing the new Palestinian Authority Cabinet?

The Palestinian Authority has a new Prime Minister

Mohammad Shtayyeh follows Rami Hamdallah

On the 29th of January, President Mahmoud Abbas accepted the resignation of his Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. However, the change of power in favor of Mohammad Shtayyeh on 10 March 2019 aggravates the political situation. As challenges increase, Ramallah's will to consolidate power dominates.

ASEAN and the US.Perspectives of Southeast Asia on Relations with the US since Donald Trump

Since the beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency, US foreign relations with many countries and regions of the world have significantly altered. Examples of this include the escalating trade conflict with China and the marked departure from the policies of the Obama administration. This is despite the fact that the US under Trump recognizes the importance of Southeast Asia, especially regarding China. How have US relations with ASEAN developed since Trump, and how are US priorities shaping up in times of weakened multilateralism, impending arms races, and escalating tensions in ASEAN and its individual member states? The following is an illustration of the US’ ambivalent role in the region.

About this series

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung is a political foundation. Our offices abroad are in charge of over 200 projects in more than 120 countries. The country reports offer current analyses, exclusive evaluations, background information and forecasts - provided by our international staff.

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