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September 16 2013

ANKARA WHISPERS - Who will elect the president ?

ANKARA WHISPERS - Who will elect the president?

In the political lobbies of Ankara, a different debate is ongoing for some time. This debate focuses on election method of the Presidential elections on August 2014 that will be at the top of our agenda after the local elections. The answer to the following question is being sought: “Will the Parliament or the people elect the President?”

According to Article 101 of the Constitution, the president will be elected by popular vote for the first time. Before October 21, 2007, the president was elected by the Parliament. The reason the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have reached this stage was a major state crisis. In 2007, Prime Minister Erdoğan announced Abdullah Gül’s name for Çankaya in a party group meeting. On April 27, the first round of voting in the Parliament was held. Despite Gül’s receiving 357 votes, as a result of the argument initiated by then the public prosecutor Sabih Kanadoğlu that the quorum must be 367, upon opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) filing an application, the Constitutional Court annulled the voting.

September 13 2013

Georgian politics : Bidzina is not the messiah | The Economist

Georgian politics: Bidzina is not the messiah | The Economist

Bidzina is not the messiah
Sep 10th 2013, 11:56 by G.E. | TBILISI

IT IS a phrase more readily associated with Monty Python’s “The Life of Brian”, a comic film with a cult-like following. On September 2nd, Bidzina Ivanishvili, the Georgian prime minister, released an open letter to explain his decision to leave his position shortly after the presidential elections on October 27th. The main reason, he says, is that he is not the messiah.

Georgia has a complicated relationship with political saviours. All three of Georgia’s previous post-independence leaders, Zviaad Gamsakhurdia, Eduard Shevardnardze and Mikheil Saakashvili, the current president, fitted this mould. Each man courted wildly unrealistic expectations from the Georgian public, but yielded little by way of accountability in return. As Georgians saw reality, their dreams turned to deep disillusionment.

#géorgie #caucase

September 01 2013

The dangers of online criticism in Azerbaijan

The dangers of online criticism in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani journalists, bloggers and activists are facing serious offline consequences for their online activities.

With Azerbaijan’s October 9 presidential elections rapidly approaching, critical journalists, bloggers and activists are facing growing pressure from a government that is becoming increasingly hostile to criticism and dissent that is expressed online.
Websites being hacked
In recent weeks, two organisations have reported a series of cyber attacks against their websites. Azadliq,one of the most critical newspapers with one of the highest circulations in the country, reported that its website had been experiencing DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks since August 13.
Media rights watchdog the Institute for Reporters’ Freedom and Safety (IRFS) has also reported that its website has been experiencing DDoS attacks during the same period. Through its extensive coverage of freedom of expression developments in the country, the IRFS often exposes issues the authorities would prefer to keep hidden.

According to IRFS’s press release, a constant stream of attacks started on August 13 by anonymous hackers using third party computers. The IRFS reported that the hackers have attempted to take the websites down. IRFS Chairman Emin Huseynov stated, “Those are only the attacks that we know about, though. Some media organizations choose not to report incidents, and the majority of cyber attacks go undiscovered.”

Indeed, it is hard to determine the true extent of such pressure against online critics, when going public carries such significant risks. But one thing is clear: the internet has become a dangerous place for government critics in Azerbaijan. The authorities seem determined to keep employing new tactics and finding new means of pressure to silence criticism and dissent, and in the absence of serious pressure from international bodies such as the European Union and the Council of Europe, this crackdown seems destined to continue.

August 08 2013

Egypt : The Officers' War of Terror

#Egypt: The Officers’ War of Terror

This initiative began as an attempt to gather popular support for early presidential elections after Morsi’s failure to deliver on the demands of the January 25 Revolution. That effort is now ceding ground to actors that are even more hostile to the aspirations that the Tamarod petition articulated. It is true that those who took to the streets may have succeeded in overturning one the largest hurdles to revolutionary change in Egypt, namely the uneasy alliance between the Muslim Brotherhood and the entrenched centers of powers known as the “deep state.” The popular mobilization that culminated on 30 June made it impossible for the officers and the security establishment to hide their anti-democratic privileges behind the façade of democratic institutions and civilian punching bags. Yet the fact remains: the murderers of Khaled Said, Sayed Bilal, Mina Danial, and Gaber Salah “Jika” are emerging triumphant in the aftermath of Morsi’s ouster. They are actively exploiting popular disdain for Muslim Brotherhood rule to carve out an equally, if not more, regressive political order than the one that preceded it.

Similar to what they have done after 11 February 2011, the officers today are promoting a narrative in which they have (once again) intervened heroically to save the day and “protect the revolution.” Accordingly, after they helped oust Morsi out of power, the officers are now asking Egyptians for pay back. The people are now to offer a blind, if not supportive, eye to the military practices as it employs deadly force, repression, and xenophobia to force its challengers into submission. The fear mongering discourse that the military has used as part of its “war on terror” initiative has clearly turned into more than just “words,” after security forces killed dozens of Muslim Brotherhood protesters Friday night, and dozens others in previous attacks. Yesterday’s brutal attacks came right after millions of Egyptians rallied in nationwide public gatherings in support of Minister of Defense Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s request for a popular mandate to deal with imminent “terrorist” threats. Many media outlets and opinion shapers in Egypt have uncritically expressed support for this alarming development. This pattern only highlights the extent to which advocates of dignity and justice in the country face an uphill battle in countering the attempts of the military and their allies to liquidate political dissent and dictate the terms of the new political order.

July 18 2013

L'analyse décapatante de l'actualité européenne par la presse irlandaise : ❝Confirmation that the…

L’analyse décapatante de l’actualité européenne par la presse irlandaise :

Confirmation that the talks will be delayed until after the German federal elections will be seen as further evidence of the power Europe’s most populous nation now has over the rest of the EU, and moves Europe closer to the US political system which effectively shuts down ahead of presidential elections there.

Ireland’s strategy for exiting the bailout is not the only item that has been apparently held up by the German political calendar.

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