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Short political reports of the KAS offices abroad

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IMAGO / IP3press

Constituent session of the National Assembly

Left-wing shift in the presidency and agreements

Thirty-nine days after the dissolution of the National Assembly, eleven days after the second round of the parliamentary elections, in which the presidential camp (Ensemble) suffered a defeat, the former Speaker of the National Assembly Yaël Braun-Pivet (Renaissance) was re-elected on 18 July. She prevailed in the third round of voting against the candidate of the left-wing electoral alliance New Popular Front, André Chassaigne (Parti communiste) and the candidate of the Rassemblement National, Sébastien Chenu. Although the election is secret, it is considered certain that Braun-Pivet was able to hold on thanks to the votes from the conservative centre-right camp. The left-wing populists of La France Insoumise described the election as stolen. In the meantime, they filed a complaint with the Constitutional Council against the fact that 17 former ministers who were still part of the caretaker government were also elected. However, one day after the defeat of the communist André Chassaigne in the election of the President of the National Assembly, the New Popular Front surprisingly won 12 out of 22 seats on the National Assembly's presidium. Rassemblement National, on the other hand, came away empty-handed: Marine Le Pen and the deputies of her parliamentary group were excluded from filling the posts in the Assembly's presidium; they were unable to provide any of the six vice-presidents, any of the three quaestor posts or even any of the twelve secretaries. The agreement between the presidential majority Ensemble and the conservative bourgeois camp also appears to have paid off when it came to filling the committee posts. Ensemble was able to retain the chairmanship of 6 of the 8 standing committees. However, the fact that the Macron camp no longer holds any of the key positions for budgetary decisions is considered a bitter setback: it lost the strategically important post of general rapporteur for the budget; the chairmanship of the finance committee remained in the hands of the left-wing camp. A new government is not expected to be formed before the end of the Olympic Games.

IMAGO / ABACAPRESS

Sudden surprises: Biden's withdrawal and the US election campaign

President Biden's withdrawal fundamentally changes the race for the White House

For a long time, it seemed that the U.S. presidential election would resemble the one from four years ago: Joe Biden versus Donald Trump. That has changed now: After a weak performance in a televised debate and an increasingly intense debate within the Democratic Party, President Biden has bowed out of the race.

IMAGO / Scanpix

Michal for Kallas

A win-win for Kallas and Estonia

In the wake of the 2024 European elections, the Estonian government is not only still facing ongoing discussions about its budget, but is also changing its leadership.

U.S. Mission / Eric Bridiers / flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

Geneva Telegram on the 10th meeting of the negotiating body on the pandemic agreement

The "Geneva Telegram" deals with events in Geneva's multilateral organizations on a current topic, this time the 10th meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body on the Pandemic Agreement (INB10), which met in Geneva on 16 and 17 July 2024.

After the international community failed to agree on a binding pandemic agreement by the 77th World Health Assembly (WHA) from May 26 to June 1, 2024, a decision was made to continue the negotiation process beyond the May 2024 deadline. On July 16 and 17, 2024, the intergovernmental negotiating body, comprising all member states, reconvened. This two-day meeting had been planned as a purely organizational session back in May, so the focus was on further work planning to conclude the negotiations.

KAS

Gateway to Armenia, key to peace?

The history of the South Caucasus could be rewritten from Meghri in southern Armenia - a political travel report

In October 2023, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan presented his government's ‘Crossroads of Peace’ initiative at a conference in Tbilisi. This envisages the opening of borders, the restoration of transport routes - road and rail - and the revitalisation of political and cultural connections in the South Caucasus. The initiative is a positive vision for a region that has been characterised by wars and conflicts for three decades. In Meghri, on Armenia's border with Iran, there are glimpses of what a peaceful South Caucasus could look like. But there is still a long way to go, and political will is needed above all. Europe could play a constructive role here.

IMAGO / ZUMA Press Wire

Presidential elections in Venezuela

Anything is possible

Presidential elections will be held in Venezuela on July 28, 2024. The country with the world's largest oil reserves has been in an economic and humanitarian crisis for years. President Nicolás Maduro is running for a third consecutive term in office. Edmundo González, a former diplomat who was hardly known until three months ago, is running as the candidate of the Democratic Unity Platform (Plataforma Unitaria Democrática, PUD) - the majority bloc within the opposition. His candidacy is supported by María Corina Machado, leader of the liberal party Vente Venezuela, who clearly won the opposition primaries in October 2023. However, her candidacy was not approved. While the opposition is demanding fair conditions for the elections as it is returning to the polls under difficult conditions, the government is demanding the lifting of international economic and financial sanctions. Negotiations have been resumed since the beginning of July. “Uncertainty” is a term that can be heard everywhere. Anything seems possible. In its pastoral letter of July 11, the Venezuelan Bishops' Conference calls on the electorate to participate and the institutions to take responsibility.

IMAGO / Petr Stojanovski

Presidential and parliamentary elections in North Macedonia: victory for the opposition VMRO-DPMNE

VMRO-DPMNE returns to government after seven years

This may in the Republic of North Macedonia presidential- and parliamentary elections took place. The EPP-party VMRO-DPMNE could celebrate an outstanding victory in both elections. The president of VMRO-DPMNE Hristijan Mickoski becomes new primeminister and Gordana Siljanovska Davkova was elected as first woman as president of the country. The main topics of the elections were the dysfunctionality of the state, corruption and the dramatic situation in the healthcare and education system. The EU accession was not an important topic during the electoral campaigns. The ruling social democrats suffered a devastating defeat. The future government will be coalition of VMRO-DPMNE, Albania opposition alliance and the small party ZNAM of former social democrats. The new government will face a lot of challenges in the country but also on international level. The unsolved identity issues with Bulgaria and new discussions about the Prespes-agreement may continue to obstacle the path towards EU. The new government has to act wisely and less emotionally. Indeed at the moment there are more opposite moves. Domestically the new government will focus on economic development and attract foreign investments.

KAS RP Parteiendialog und Demokratie in LA

Primaries in Uruguay

Starting signal for the hot election campaign phase

The primaries on June 30 marked the beginning of an intense campaign season leading up to the parliamentary and presidential elections in Uruguay this autumn. As anticipated, Alvaro Delgado secured a decisive victory in the Partido Nacional. However, the unexpected selection of Valeria Ripoll as his running mate sparked considerable discontent within the party. Meanwhile, the Partido Colorado witnessed a generational shift with the election of Andrés Ojeda. Although, the opposition left-wing Frente Amplio has started strongly with a united front, early signs of fractures are already apparent. The race in October promises to be thrilling.

i.Law TH

Thailand's Quest for Democracy and the Rule of Law

Trials and setbacks since the formation of the government in 2023

After a decade under a military junta (2014-2019) and a military-dominated government (2019-2023), Thailand held a successful general election in May 2023. The results signaled a rejection of pro-military and conservative factions. The Pheu Thai Party (PTP), which came second in the election, formed a coalition government with eleven other parties, including conservative and military-aligned factions such as the United Thai Nation (UTN) led by former Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who had ousted a PTP government in the 2014 coup. Meanwhile, the election winner, the progressive and reform-oriented Move Forward Party (MFP), remains in opposition despite winning 14 million out of around 39 million votes nationwide, making it the largest faction in the National Assembly with 151 MPs. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and his ministers have emphasized Thailand’s commitment to democratic principles. However, in its annual report on political rights and civil liberties published in March 2024, Freedom House rated Thailand as only "partly free", giving the country a score of 36 out of 100.1 This Country Report presents Thailand’s challenges and efforts in pursuing democracy, human rights, and the rule of law since the 2023 government formation.

CANVA Ai Image Generator / Elias Marini-Schäfer

End of Hindu nationalism or return of caste politics?

Lessons from the Indian parliamentary elections

In the wake of the Indian parliamentary elections, a number of German media outlets saw the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) loss of its parliamentary majority as a victory for democracy and a sign of the Indian population's resistance to Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalism. Headlines included slogans such as: "India decides against Hindu nationalism and authoritarian tendencies” and “Democracy won instead of Modi”. But did the voters really turn against the Hindutva ideology of the BJP? Has the BJP overplayed its Hindu nationalist card? This article attempts to find answers to these questions and explain why the general election result was much more than a vote against Hindutva and perceived authoritarian tendencies.

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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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