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Russia's 2018 presidential election: Six more years of Putin

08-03-2018

On 18 March 2018, Russians will elect the president who will govern their country for the next six years. Incumbent, Vladimir Putin is firmly on track to win, with approval ratings that have stayed above 80 % since Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014. Russians see him as a strong president, who has brought order to the country and restored its great power status. They are worried about the economy, poverty and corruption, but these problems, though partly blamed on Putin, have barely dented ...

On 18 March 2018, Russians will elect the president who will govern their country for the next six years. Incumbent, Vladimir Putin is firmly on track to win, with approval ratings that have stayed above 80 % since Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014. Russians see him as a strong president, who has brought order to the country and restored its great power status. They are worried about the economy, poverty and corruption, but these problems, though partly blamed on Putin, have barely dented his popularity. Reportedly, Putin's campaign has set a twin target of a 70 % vote in his favour and a 70 % turnout. Polls suggest that Putin will indeed win by a record margin, but also that a low turnout will tarnish his victory, denying him a ringing endorsement at the start of his fourth and probably final term in office. Apathy will probably be the main reason for voters staying at home, but some will heed an election boycott called by Alexey Navalny, Putin's most vocal opponent, who has been barred from the race. Vying for second place are seven other candidates. The most likely runners-up are veteran Vladimir Zhirinovsky and newcomer Pavel Grudinin. Reality TV star Xenia Sobchak adds colour to an otherwise lacklustre campaign, but few see her as a credible candidate. Widespread electoral fraud on the day of the vote is not expected. Nevertheless, the exclusion of Alexey Navalny and the lack of any real alternative to Putin raise questions about the democratic legitimacy of the election.

Cuba: Political situation

22-09-2015

Although Raúl Castro has introduced some (mainly economic) reforms, the Communist Party remains in control and the political system seems unlikely to change substantially until he retires in 2018. However, the latest developments may facilitate a gradual transformation in the longer term.

Although Raúl Castro has introduced some (mainly economic) reforms, the Communist Party remains in control and the political system seems unlikely to change substantially until he retires in 2018. However, the latest developments may facilitate a gradual transformation in the longer term.

Continuing Protests in Ukraine Strain the President and His Party

05-12-2013

Several dozen protestors were arrested on Kyiv’s Independence Square. A number of protestors and journalist were injured. With the crackdown, pro-EU protests morphed into a wider demonstration of political frustration. While Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and his government survived a no-confidence vote, divisions have grown among members of Ukraine's ruling political class. President Viktor Yanukovych and Prime Minister Azarov have distanced themselves from the crackdown, while continuing to ignore ...

Several dozen protestors were arrested on Kyiv’s Independence Square. A number of protestors and journalist were injured. With the crackdown, pro-EU protests morphed into a wider demonstration of political frustration. While Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and his government survived a no-confidence vote, divisions have grown among members of Ukraine's ruling political class. President Viktor Yanukovych and Prime Minister Azarov have distanced themselves from the crackdown, while continuing to ignore demonstrators’ demands. The EU, its Member States and the US unanimously condemned the use force against peaceful demonstrators. A number of non-governmental organisations and NATO also offered their criticism. Yanukovych has asked that Russia participate in EU-Ukraine bilateral talks and that the EU offer greater financial assistance. Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Yanukovych have agreed that a Ukrainian delegation might come to Brussels. The EU has a number of options to weigh, including acting as a mediator and adopting measures. The EP should focus on the implications of the crackdown for Ukraine's democracy.

The European Union and rights of LGBT people

27-11-2013

The prohibition of discri­mination and the protection of human rights are important elements of the EU legal order. Nevertheless, discrimination against lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons persists throughout the EU, taking various forms including verbal abuse and physical violence. Sexual orientation is now recognised by EU law as grounds of discrimination; the scope of protection is however limited and does not cover social protection, healthcare education and access to goods ...

The prohibition of discri­mination and the protection of human rights are important elements of the EU legal order. Nevertheless, discrimination against lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons persists throughout the EU, taking various forms including verbal abuse and physical violence. Sexual orientation is now recognised by EU law as grounds of discrimination; the scope of protection is however limited and does not cover social protection, healthcare education and access to goods and services – areas where LGBT people are often discriminated against.

The Social, Economic, Political and Geo-Strategic Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

21-12-2011

The Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) is an exceptional case study in that the Palestinians inhabit an occupied territory and the project of state-building is still in the making1. One cannot appreciate the extent of the dire situation in the OPT without bearing this in mind. Since the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 and the Arab-Israeli war of 1967, Palestinians have undergone massively destabilising and profound uncertainties about their political identities.2 The Palestinian dilemma ...

The Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) is an exceptional case study in that the Palestinians inhabit an occupied territory and the project of state-building is still in the making1. One cannot appreciate the extent of the dire situation in the OPT without bearing this in mind. Since the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 and the Arab-Israeli war of 1967, Palestinians have undergone massively destabilising and profound uncertainties about their political identities.2 The Palestinian dilemma goes back to 1945 when Zionist leaders initiated a campaign for a homeland of their own, demanding all of historic Palestine. Ignoring Arab protests, Washington and Moscow backed a UN resolution calling for Palestine to be divided between Palestinians and Israelis. A war ensured between Israeli and Arab forces (the Arab League threw its support behind the Palestinian resistance). As a nation-in-the-making, Palestine was erased from the map and Israel was created. Many Palestinians were forced out of their homes to make way for the new state of Israel. The six-day war of 1967 drove another wave of Palestinian refugees from their land. These lost lands of Palestine fuelled Palestinian nationalism.3 The Palestinian struggle against the occupation has been considered as a key explanatory factor behind the emergence of the Islamistsecularist dialectic in the Occupied Territory.4 The two most significant political factions in the Palestinian arena are Fatah (meaning ‘Opening’ or ‘Conquest’ and a reverse acronym from the Arabic name Harakat al-Tahrir al-Watani al-Filastini, literally: Palestinian National Liberation Movement), a secular movement and Hamas (Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiyya, meaning ‘zeal’), the Islamic Resistance Movement.

Ārējais autors

Michelle PACE (Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham, the UK)

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