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Short political reports of the KAS offices abroad


IMAGO / Pond5 Images

New geopolitical alliances in the Sahel region

The geopolitical balances are shifting in the Sahel region.

Europe and France are losing massive support from Niger to Mali via Chad, while Russia, Iran, Turkey and Arab countries are filling the vacuum left involuntarily by the West. Now Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso are also withdrawing from the West African community of states ECOWAS.


Ukraine policy in Rome

Italy top, Vatican flop?

The first war of aggression in Europe since 1945 is keeping two global players busy in Rome: the Italian government and Vatican diplomacy. While under the leadership of President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni there is no doubt about Italy's unbroken solidarity with Ukraine, criticism of the Holy See's course to date is growing, and not just in Catholic circles. Is Pope Francis' longed-for reconciliation with the Russian Orthodox Church more important than the future fate of Ukraine?


Municipal elections in Costa Rica under new auspices

PLN remains the strongest force but is still considered the loser - Unidos Podemos and PUSC make significant gains

Costa Rica is still one of the most stable and best-developed democracies in Latin America. However, the growing disenchantment with politics is reflected in the falling voter turnout. Only 31.96 per cent of all voters exercised their right to vote. In 2020, this figure was still 36.4 per cent. Verbal attacks against the renowned Supreme Electoral Court by supporters of the government, whose parties were excluded from the mayoral election for formal reasons, also caused controversy in the run-up to the elections. Despite this, the international election observers were once again able to certify that the country met the highest democratic standards. According to the election observers from the Organisation of American States (OAS), the election took place without incident. There were 6,212 local politicians up for election. Costa Rica is divided into seven provinces and 84 cantons. Each canton consists of several districts (distrito). There are 84 elected mayors who head a canton (alcalde) and two deputy mayors (vicealcalde). Each canton has a parliament (concejo municipal), which is roughly equivalent to a district council and whose members are called 'regidores'. In addition to the district councillors with voting rights, each district elects a district representative (síndico), who represents the interests of the district in the district assemblies at cantonal level, and four district councillors (concejales), who support the district representative.

Democracy and Climate Change: Lessons Learned from 3 “Flawed Democracies’’

India, Indonesia, and South Africa

What are the challenges in flawed democracies, and what approaches work? What are the practical lessons for climate actors in these and similar countries? A study for the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and the European Network of Political Foundations.

Between Aspiration and Reality: European Diplomacy towards the Indo-Pacific

Ministerial Meeting of EU-ASEAN and EU-Indo-Pacific Forum in Brussels

While the public was captivated by the Special European Council on 1st February, important meetings between representatives of the Indo-Pacific and the EU took place almost simultaneously: Following a 'Pacific Day' in the European Parliament, representatives of the 27 EU member states met with their counterparts from the region on the morning of 2nd February as part of the ministerial meeting of the EU-Indo-Pacific Forum. Approximately 70 delegations from the eastern and southern coasts of Africa, across the Arabian Peninsula and Asia, to the island states of the Pacific Ocean participated in the negotiations.


Super election year starts super boring

At the beginning of February, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev will be re-elected for a further seven years in office

One of the first votes in the “super election year” of 2024 will take place in the South Caucasus: Early presidential elections are scheduled for 7 February in Azerbaijan. In early December, President Ilham Aliyev, who has been in office since 2003, surprisingly signed a decree bringing forward the vote by 14 months. There was initially no official justification for this decision, which led to intense speculation. The leading opposition parties announced that they would again boycott the ballot. Nevertheless, there are a total of seven candidates, all of whom (have to) praise the incumbent.

Auslandsbüro Mongolei

Steinmeier in Mongolia: More than an anniversary

50 years of German-Mongolian diplomatic relations

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will visit Mongolia on 7 February 2024. The occasion is the 50th anniversary of German-Mongolian diplomatic relations. For Mongolia, the visit is part of a foreign policy strategy aimed not least at securing its own sovereignty and independence. The country also hopes that the visit will intensify and enhance bilateral cooperation. It remains to be seen whether the German President can fulfil the high expectations of the Mongolians.


No surprises?

US election campaign heading for another Biden-Trump duel

The first primaries have taken place, in which Democrats and Republicans determine their presidential candidates. So far there has been little surprise: Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Donald Trump are heading for the presidential nomination of their respective parties.

IMAGO / Xinhua

East Africa: When it rains, it pours

What influence do current floods have on the socio-political development of the region?

In East Africa, record droughts are being followed by floods that have displaced 1.5 million people so far. This is exacerbating the multiple crises in the region. Food security is deteriorating further and exacerbating the already high rate of urban growth. At the same time, the region's govern-ments are grappling with massive over-indebtedness, further complicating the necessary invest-ments in climate-resilient measures.

IMAGO / Eastnews

Difficult change: From the PiS state back to the rule of law

Fifty turbulent days for the new coalition

The parliamentary elections on October 15, 2023 have fundamentally changed the face of the Polish political scene. With a record voter turnout of over 73%, the national-conservative government, formed by the Law and Justice party (PiS), was deposed and the four liberal democratic coalition parties (Civic Platform - PO, Polska 2050, Polish People's Party - PSL and the New Left) won overall 248 mandates in the 460-seat Sejm. Nevertheless, the PiS remains the strongest faction in parliament with 194 seats. In his first government statement in December, new Prime Minister Donald Tusk announced his cabinet's priorities, which are to restore the rule of law and return Poland to the European family.

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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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