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Ecuador: Muerte Cruzada Keeps President Guillermo Lasso in Office

By using the controversial but constitutional tool of muerte cruzada, President Lasso avoids imminent impeachment and provokes dissolution of Ecuador's National Assembly.

In the early morning of 17 May 2023, shortly before the end of his second year in office and in the context of impeachment proceedings against him for alleged involvement in an embezzlement scandal, President Guillermo Lasso dissolved the Ecuadorian National Assembly by Executive Decree No. 741 due to "a serious political crisis and internal unrest". In the background is a power struggle between the executive and the legislature that has been raging since he took office and which severely limits the governability of the country. The National Electoral Council (CNE) must now set a date for new elections for the presidency and the National Assembly, which must be within a maximum period of six months.


G7 in Hiroshima

A critical Juncture

In light of Russia’s war in Ukraine and an increasingly tense international environment, Japan and its fellow G7 nations hope to characterize this year’s summit in the name of peace. Hiroshima, Prime Minister Kishida’s constituency, being the target of the first offensive nuclear weapon on August 6, 1945, in history, serves to remind all G7 nations of their commitment to peace and unity in times of international uncertainties. This year’s meeting is characterized by a more inclusive approach by inviting seven non-member countries as observers in addition to shifting the G7’s gaze toward the Global South to formulate a more comprehensive political and economic approach that includes developing and middle-income nations in future policy drafts. Despite the united stance of G7 member states, each nation brings forward a specific focus of interest to the discussion. For Japan, topics of nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation as well as energy security and strengthening the Indo-Pacific are of primary importance, whereas Germany’s emphasis lies on the global impact of the Russo-Ukrainian war and the continuous support of the global community for Ukraine.


Turkey after the first round of elections

On 14 May 2023, the Turkish elections took place

Turkey held election on May 14, 2023. Neither President Erdoğan nor opposition candidate Kılıçdaroğlu received more than 50% of the vote. Thus, a runoff election will take place on May 28. For now, the two alliances have to mobilize everything again so that their candidate can ultimately prevail. Many observers assume that the People's Alliance around incumbent president Erdoğan is better prepared. Especially, since the AK Party won the majority in the parliamentary elections. The results are itself cause for enormous disappointment on the side of the opposition which came together as the National Alliance. It remains to be seen how deep this disappointment runs and the extent to which the opposition alliance is weakened. Given the circumstances, the AK Party and its partners are very confident. The election on May 14th can certainly be described as a victory for secular nationalism. Not least because after the runoff election, nationalist leaning parties can cooperate and find solutions yet to be seen, though not anticipates at the moment.

Xlionheartx / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

Spiral of violence in Costa Rica

No end in sight?

2022 was the most violent year in Costa Rica's history. The number of homicides reached a record 656, which corresponds to a murder rate of 12.6 per 100,000 inhabitants, twelve percent higher than the previous year. In comparison, Germany recorded a homicide rate of 0.25 in 2022. It is to be feared that the increase in violent crimes is a longer-term trend that is far from having reached its peak. This year, the number of killings is already 43 per cent higher than last year. Experts fear that homicides will rise to 900 by the end of 2023. What is the reason for this surprising development in the Central American showcase country Costa Rica?

Jordanian Foreign Minister at the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

Ayman Safadi in conversation with members of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the German Bundestag

On May 11, Jordanian Foreign Minister H.E. Ayman Safadi visited the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Berlin. Minister Safadi had come to Berlin within the framework of the "Munich Format" between Germany, Jordan, Egypt and France on the Middle East conflict. At KAS he discussed with leading members of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group about current developments in the Middle East.

IMAGO / NurPhoto

Clear shift to the right in Chile's constitutional council election

Another setback for the government of Gabriel Boric

Last Sunday, Chileans were once again called to the polls. Fifty representatives of the people were elected, who will spend the next five months revising the draft constitution prepared in advance by the commission of experts and then vote on it.

EneasMx / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Mexico Update 2023

Election campaign temperature rises, political debate comes to a head

One year before the 2024 presidential elections, campaign fever is rising dramatically in Mexico, while at the same time democratic institutions and the rule of law are coming under increasing pressure. At the centre of the political discussion in the country is the question of the succession to the incumbent Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), who continues to be very popular with the people, and the potential candidates from his party MORENA as well as from the opposition and the positioning associated with them. In the process, political polarisation continues to increase and the democratic rules and principles of democracy are increasingly being undermined or openly disregarded.

Government formations in Bosnia and Herzegovina through new coalitions

New parties taking responsibilty in the government

208 days after the elections on October 2, 2022, the governments in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) are in office at the state level and in the entities Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and Republika Srpska (RS). While the process of forming a government in the state as a whole and in the RS ran smoothly, the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina Christian Schmidt had to make use of the so-called "Bonn Powers" again, after using them for the electoral law change on election night, to break the blockade in the appointment of the Prime Minister of the FBiH and end his government.

On October 02, 2022, the voters elected the three-member state presidency, a chamber of the state parliament (House of Representatives), the president and the national assembly of the entity Republika Srpska and the second chamber of the entity parliament as well as the assemblies of the ten cantons in the entity FBiH and in the self-governing district of Brčko. From now on Denis Bećirović (SDP), Željko Komšić (DF) and Željka Cvijanović (SNSD) form the state presidency. Bećirović and Cvijanović were elected to the state presidency for the first time. The formation and election of the members of the second chamber (House of Nations) of the parliament of the FBiH took place only after the elections by the parliaments of the 10 cantons. This is what the electoral law change implemented by the High Representative referred to. The Central Election Commission (CIK) provides a detailed overview of all election results on the Internet.

IMAGO / NurPhoto

Why Charles III will not also be Charles the Last for Canada

Despite Canadians' discomfort with the monarchy and their British king: for now, the crown is not replaceable

On May 2, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau became the target of an unusual attack. During Question Period of the Canadian House of Commons, Rhéal Éloi Fortin, a member of the opposition Bloc Québécois (BC) from the French-speaking part of Canada, expressed his disapproval of the Prime Minister's participation in the coronation of Charles III on May 6 in London. Trudeau had therefore specially adjusted his schedule and left the concurrent party convention of his governing Liberals only after the first day, May 4, in order to arrive in Europe on time. "He could have sent someone in his place, such as a minister, but his priority is to prostrate himself before the king," Fortin shouted loudly into the chamber. By then, however, Trudeau had already left it, and his Canadian Heritage Minister had to fend off the attack. True, as a regional party, the BC has traditionally been anti-British and anti-monarchist - as early as the 18th century, France had to cede large parts of its Canadian possessions to Great Britain. But Fortin's contribution, placed specifically at the start of Coronation Week in Great Britain, tapped into a currently quite measurable antipathy throughout Canada toward the British monarchy and its still authoritative role in the country.

KAS / Carmen Ramírez

Paraguay's political power machine keeps on running

In the elections, the "Colorados" maintain their political dominance in the South American landlocked country

Paraguay's voters have given the clietelistic-conservative Colorado Party an outright victory. Its candidate Santiago Peña was not only newly elected to the presidency with a clear majority, but can also count on an absolute majority in both chambers of parliament in the future. While a right-wing anti-establishment candidate performed surprisingly well, the political left and also the center are the big losers of these elections. The most important challenge facing the young new head of state will be to fulfill his promise of political renewal. His closeness to the former head of state Horacio Cartés, who has been accused of corruption, is his blind spot in this regard.

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