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Short political reports of the KAS offices abroad


Chuck Moravec / flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Update on German-Cambodian relations?

Did the German president's visit achieve the goal of his trip - to reduce one-sided dependencies and strengthen Germany's relationships in the region?

The first ever visit of the German Federal President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, provides a good incentive for German-Cambodian relations. Building on the intensified relations during the Cambodia´s chairmanship of ASEAN in 2022, in midst of the reforming world order and the resulting insecurities, this visit creates the opportunity to redefine the partnership between the two countries. From an international, regional and domestic perspective, this could mean significant changes within the forthcoming years. In October 2023, Germany and Cambodia will look back on 30 years of diplomatic relations - the high-level visit this year provides an opportunity to take a closer look at relations between the two countries.

Reuters / Irakli Gedenidze

Protests escalate in Georgia against Russian agent law

First the Georgian government introduces the so-called agents law, then it withdraws it after massive protests. But this seems to be a play for time.

In Georgia, 8 March is a holiday on which women in particular are traditionally given flowers. This year it was different in the capital Tbilisi: Instead of flowers, many young Georgian women received tear gas and water cannons. A large, peaceful demonstration, carried mainly by students, was violently broken up during the night by a brutal intervention of special police units. Apparently surprised by the massive pressure from the street, the ruling party withdrew the law, but the "red line" may have already been crossed.

Maurice Koop / flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

Vietnam elects new President

Van Thuong is the youngest head of state to date in the one-party state and is considered a confidante of the Secretary General of the Communist Party of Vietnam

In mid-January, shortly before the traditional Vietnamese New Year festival of Tet, news of the resignation of former President Nguyen Xuan Phuc drew some political attention to the one-party state, which is otherwise characterized by political stability and economic dynamism. The resignation of the president, apparently in the context of an anti-corruption campaign, made it necessary to appoint a new head of state. On March 2, Vietnam's National Assembly confirmed 52-year-old Vo Van Thuong as the new president with 487 out of 488 votes in an extraordinary session. Thuong, a dyed-in-the-wool communist, is said to be a confidant of Nguyen Phu Trong, the 78-year-old general secretary of the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV).

Reuters / Pavel Mikheyev

The disturbingly many facets of Francis

Ten years ago, Francis was elected pope. An interim assessment of the international role of the Holy See in his pontificate.

"Francis the Enigmatic" was the headline of a German weekly magazine a year after his election in 2013. Ten years later, some mysteries have been solved, others remain. At this point, our report expressly does not want to deal with internal church and theological aspects, such as the confrontations on the German "Synodal Way" or the processing of the abuse problem, but rather to draw up an interim balance sheet of the role of the incumbent pope in international politics. And there are many facets to be illuminated in this pontificate. The results are not always flattering for the Argentine Jorge Mario Bergoglio. But some of his initiatives will remain in historical memory.

Reuters / Kim Hong-Ji

Party Convention of the Korean Conservatives

Impressions, results and analysis

On 8 March 2023, the People Power Party (PPP), South Korea's ruling party, held its party congress directly outside Seoul. After years of pandemic, the Conservatives once again celebrated their president, who had won the election a year ago on 9 March 2022. This time they met to elect a new party leadership. As expected, MP Kim Gi Hyeon, the president's preferred candidate, won with a share of 52% of the vote. The new appointments to five offices in the highest party body also reflected the president’s strong political position. The demonstrative show of unity and confidence mirror the challenges in upcoming twelve months till the next parliamentary elections.

Centrul FILIA

On 8 March: Women's Day in Romania

There is still a long way to go for equal opportunities and equal rights

Women's Day is traditionally celebrated in Romania on 8 March. The lack of equal opportunities and equal rights for women in Romanian society is a topic discussed on this day. In addition, this day is also celebrated as Mother's Day. Children paint, do handicrafts and sing for their mothers. There are flowers, chocolates and recognition from family, friends and colleagues. In our report, we focus on the socio-political aspects of Women's Day. Unfortunately, the situation of women in Romania is not rosy.

Reuters / Yves Herman

Parliamentary elections in Estonia 2023: Tailwind for Kaja Kallas - but how stable is the country?

Estonian reform party wins elections with 31.1 percent

At the beginning of March, a new parliament was elected in Estonia. The election campaign was largely determined by the war in Ukraine and security policy issues. The Estonian Reform Party won the elections with 31.1 per cent of the vote. Kaja Kallas, the party's leader and prime minister, was confirmed in office. However, the real winner of the election is Eesti 200, which will enter the Estonian parliament for the first time. Overall, voter turnout increased compared to the 2019 elections. Never before have so many votes been cast online as this year; a new method of calculating votes was also used for the first time. Politically, the result provides a basis for a possible deepening split in Estonian society - especially in the north-east of the country.

Reuters / POOL New

Israel im Schatten der Justizreform - aktuelle Herausforderungen für die Demokratie

Steht die Gewaltenteilung auf dem Spiel?

„We are no longer in a political debate, but on the brink of constitutional and social collapse“ - Israel am Rande eines verfassungsrechtlichen und gesellschaftlichen Zusammenbruchs - so der israelische Staatspräsident Jitzchak Herzog in einer emotionalen Fernsehansprache vom 12. Februar, die die Dramatik der aktuellen innenpolitischen Situation in Israel verdeutlicht. Anlass dieser - für israelische Staatspräsidenten eher ungewöhnlichen - Rede an die Nation war die andauernde Debatte um die von der Regierung Benjamin Netanjahu geplante Justizreform. Diese hat das Land in eine historische Verfassungskrise und Krise der inneren Verfasstheit gleichermaßen gestürzt und stellt die Demokratie vor große Herausforderungen.

REUTERS / Ahmed Saad

100 Days of the New Government in Iraq

A Balancing Act

In his first 100 days in office, the new Iraqi Prime Minister, Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, has demonstrated that he can hold his heterogeneous coalition together and navigate with great skill between the complex interests of the various Iraqi parties as well as Iran and the United States. Sudani's course appears professional and purposeful. Nevertheless, the head of government's balancing act shows how difficult it will be for him to implement sustainable reforms in the country. After more than four months, the government has achieved little, despite far-reaching announcements. The German government should continue to support Sudani on his reform course. Baghdad's rapprochement with Berlin also gives cause for hope. 

Reuters / Damir Sagolj

China's Communists before the 14th National People's Congress

People's Republic appoints new government

Growing international tensions, a dramatic real estate bubble and widespread youth unemployment: in this environment, Xi Jinping will be elected President of the People's Republic for a third term at the National People's Congress, which begins in Beijing on 5 March. After his show of force at the 20th Communist Party Congress in October 2022, Xi will now be able to appoint a group of loyal followers to the government of his designated premier, Li Qiang. China's head of state is cementing his power amid current global political challenges and internal crises. Nevertheless, the first session of the 14th People's Congress marks a historic turning point in several respects.

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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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