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Myanmar: The return of the junta

Oversigt 16-02-2021

On 1 February 2021, the Myanmar armed forces seized power and imprisoned Aung San Suu Kyi, de facto leader of the country since 2016. The coup threatens to derail Myanmar’s progress towards democracy, which began in 2008 after five decades of brutal military rule. Huge protests have broken out in Myanmar, calling for the restoration of the elected civilian government. The EU is considering additional sanctions against the country.

At a time when authoritarianism is rising, the Sakharov Prize draws attention to the situation of those who resist the repression of human rights and fundamental freedoms. This year, the prize is to be awarded to the democratic opposition in Belarus, represented by the Coordination Council. It rewards its courageous and peaceful role in opposing the falsification of the August 2020 elections, despite a brutal crackdown by the authorities. The Sakharov Prize will be presented in a ceremony during ...

Support to democracy in Belarus

Oversigt 14-10-2020

Presidential elections in Belarus in August 2020 were conducted in flagrant violation of all internationally recognised standards, democratic principles and European values. The European Union stands with millions of Belarusians who decided to oppose Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s regime. The European Parliament is expected to vote on a draft recommendation on relations with Belarus, during the October II plenary session.

Belarus on the brink

Oversigt 25-08-2020

As usual in Belarus, the 9 August presidential election was marred by fraud, repression and state violence against the opposition. As expected, the long-standing President, Aleksander Lukashenko, claimed a landslide victory. What was unusual this time, however, was the scale of Belarusians' disappointment: peaceful protests and strikes spread throughout the entire country in response to the stolen election, despite brutal crackdowns. What started as a national crisis now represents a wider struggle ...

The European Council video-conference meeting of 19 August 2020 was called by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, due to the increasingly worrying situation in Belarus after the recent national elections. As Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, summarised, the European Council decided to convey three clear messages from the meeting: i) the EU stands with the Belarussian people; ii) the EU will place sanctions on all those responsible for violence, repression ...

Among the Western Balkan countries aspiring to EU membership, Serbia is seen as a frontrunner in terms of its democratic institutions, level of economic development and overall readiness for accession. However, in November 2018 opposition politician, Borko Stefanović, was beaten up by thugs, triggering a wave of protests that has spread across the country. Week after week, thousands have taken to the streets, accusing Serbian president, Aleksandar Vučić, and his Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) of ...

Indonesia's April 2019 elections

Oversigt 09-04-2019

On 17 April 2019, Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country and third largest democracy (190 million voters), will hold presidential, parliamentary, regional and local elections. Incumbent President, Joko Widodo, is expected to win comfortably and retain a parliamentary majority. The only other presidential candidate is 2014 runner-up Prabowo Subianto, forecast to lose by a bigger margin than in 2014.

Since the Republic of Moldova joined the Eastern Partnership regional initiative 10 years ago, its ties with the EU have grown closer. In recent years, however, the country's political, economic and societal stability has become increasingly wobbly, and public trust in institutions and even NGOs remains low. The EU is working to strengthen the role of civil society organisations in public life.

The election impasse in Haiti

Oversigt 27-04-2016

The run-off in the 2015 presidential elections in Haiti has been suspended repeatedly, after the opposition contested the first round in October 2015. Just before the end of President Martelly´s mandate on 7 February 2016, an agreement was reached to appoint an interim President and a new Provisional Electoral Council, fixing new elections for 24 April 2016. Although most of the agreement has been respected , the second round was in the end not held on the scheduled date.

A dangerous political crisis ignited in Afghanistan this year – just months before the International Security Assistance Force was to be replaced by a reduced US and NATO force. Both presidential candidates, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, alleged that the second, June round of the presidential elections had been marred by fraud. A power-sharing agreement was finally reached between President Ghani and 'CEO' Abdullah in September, following intense international pressure. The outcome has frustrated ...