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Japan: Shinzō Abe wins a new mandate

25-10-2017

Shinzō Abe won the snap elections he called for the lower house on 22 October 2017. Despite her popularity, Tokyo's governor Yuriko Koike failed to convince the electorate to oust a prime minister in charge since December 2012. The newly created Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan became the main opposition force in the House of Representatives. In coalition with Kōmeitō, Abe's Liberal Democratic Party holds a two-thirds majority enabling it to pass constitutional amendments.

Shinzō Abe won the snap elections he called for the lower house on 22 October 2017. Despite her popularity, Tokyo's governor Yuriko Koike failed to convince the electorate to oust a prime minister in charge since December 2012. The newly created Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan became the main opposition force in the House of Representatives. In coalition with Kōmeitō, Abe's Liberal Democratic Party holds a two-thirds majority enabling it to pass constitutional amendments.

Israel's 34th government and the new political landscape of its Parliament

06-07-2015

The Israeli Parliament (Knesset) voted on Thursday 14 May 2015 61-59 in favour of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet, which has become Israel's 34th government. Prime Minister Netanyahu's fourth government, predominantly made up of right wing and religious parties, faces many different challenges ranging from socioeconomic issues, which topped the election campaign, to the diplomatic stalemate with the Palestinians. Much scepticism has been expressed regarding the government's ability to ...

The Israeli Parliament (Knesset) voted on Thursday 14 May 2015 61-59 in favour of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet, which has become Israel's 34th government. Prime Minister Netanyahu's fourth government, predominantly made up of right wing and religious parties, faces many different challenges ranging from socioeconomic issues, which topped the election campaign, to the diplomatic stalemate with the Palestinians. Much scepticism has been expressed regarding the government's ability to rule with only a one-seat majority.

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: impasse?

02-03-2015

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia obtained EU candidate status in December 2005. Every year since 2009, the Commission's progress reports have recommended starting accession talks. The European Council has yet to follow these recommendations and approve the launch of negotiations. With the name issue unresolved there is little prospect of a change in the Council.

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia obtained EU candidate status in December 2005. Every year since 2009, the Commission's progress reports have recommended starting accession talks. The European Council has yet to follow these recommendations and approve the launch of negotiations. With the name issue unresolved there is little prospect of a change in the Council.

Japan's Prime Minister wins his electoral bid

29-01-2015

Prime Minister Shinzō Abe dissolved the lower house and called an early election in December 2014. The contest was also regarded as a referendum on his growth strategy, widely known as 'Abenomics'. Taking advantage of opposition parties' weakness and inability to conduct a successful campaign at such short notice, and with the lowest turnout in post-war Japan, Abe's Liberal Democratic Party emerged as the big winner, securing him a third term as premier.

Prime Minister Shinzō Abe dissolved the lower house and called an early election in December 2014. The contest was also regarded as a referendum on his growth strategy, widely known as 'Abenomics'. Taking advantage of opposition parties' weakness and inability to conduct a successful campaign at such short notice, and with the lowest turnout in post-war Japan, Abe's Liberal Democratic Party emerged as the big winner, securing him a third term as premier.

Kingdom of Thailand: A Distressing Standoff

26-02-2014

Snap elections for Thailand’s House of Representatives were held on 2 February 2014 against a backdrop of public demonstrations, violence and political polarisation. Rather than end the crisis, the ballot has further enflamed the tense situation in the country, and re-run elections have yet to be completed in some constituencies. Between the 2011 general elections, won by the Pheu Thai Party (PTP), and November 2013, Thailand experienced a period of superficial calm. Yet, the divisions between PTP ...

Snap elections for Thailand’s House of Representatives were held on 2 February 2014 against a backdrop of public demonstrations, violence and political polarisation. Rather than end the crisis, the ballot has further enflamed the tense situation in the country, and re-run elections have yet to be completed in some constituencies. Between the 2011 general elections, won by the Pheu Thai Party (PTP), and November 2013, Thailand experienced a period of superficial calm. Yet, the divisions between PTP, backed by Thailand’s rural communities, and the opposition, supported mainly by Bangkok's middle class and by constituencies in the south, remained irreconcilable. The fragile political peace was broken when the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's (PTP) introduced an amnesty bill that would have allowed her brother, former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra (deposed in 2006), to return from exile without being imprisoned for corruption. The political stalemate in Thailand, which has continued for eight years in one form or another, highlights the importance of holding a comprehensive debate about the country’s political culture and a thorough re-negotiation of the way in which it is governed. Yet such a prospect appears unlikely in the current situation, as positions are ever more entrenched.

Another Day of Protests in Bangkok, with No Compromise in Sight

15-01-2014

The European Union has called on all parties to seize the opportunity offered by the proposed early elections. Since 2011, Thailand’s government has restored stability and defused tensions… at least on the surface. Yet, the possibility of a new crisis was never excluded. Reforms proposed by the current Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, have proved controversial within her party and among the opposition. Yingluck withdrew support to a controversial amnesty bill after the Senate rejected it, but ...

The European Union has called on all parties to seize the opportunity offered by the proposed early elections. Since 2011, Thailand’s government has restored stability and defused tensions… at least on the surface. Yet, the possibility of a new crisis was never excluded. Reforms proposed by the current Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, have proved controversial within her party and among the opposition. Yingluck withdrew support to a controversial amnesty bill after the Senate rejected it, but failed to stop the brewing conflict. Thailand's Constitutional Court also ruled that the government’s attempts to re-establish a fully elected Senate were unconstitutional. Despite Yingluck's dissolution of the Parliament, protestors have continued to demonstrate, demanding the establishment of an unelected 'people's council'. Even if a short-term solution can be found, stability will be hard to achieve without a broad discussion on the political order.

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