Democracy

Democracy in Iraq Under Threat Following the Storming of Parliament

The storming of the Iraqi parliament by supporters of Al-Sadr was motivated by years of political impasse — threatening Iraq's democracy and peace

A Safe Haven for Ousted Political Leaders Escaping Executions and Hangings

When world political leaders, mostly presidents and prime ministers, are ousted from power following military coups or street demonstrations, they flee to “safe havens” to avoid being jailed, executed by firing squads or hanged in public. Perhaps one of the secure “safe havens”—and a popular “political retirement home”-- is Saudi Arabia, a traditionally authoritarian regime, which has provided sanctuary for leaders from Uganda, Tunisia, Pakistan, Yemen and Qatar.

Nonagenarian Opposition Backer Contends for Change in Zimbabwe

Idah Hanyani, popularly known as Gogo Chihera, has backed the opposition since Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980. Born in Wedza, a district in Zimbabwe’s Mashonaland East province, the 91-year-old first supported United African National Council (UANC).

The Tragedy of Pakistan: Feudalism Camouflaged as Democracy

In recent days, as Pakistan’s economic woes have intensified, a veritable cottage industry has developed to suggest ways of putting the country back on track.

Time for a UN Human Rights Leader

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights sits at the top of the UN’s human rights system. It’s a crucial role for the victims of violations and the many civil society activists who look to the UN system to set and apply human rights norms, monitor the human rights performance of states and hold rights violators to account.

Unprecedented Threats Against “Right to Protest” on the Rise World-wide

The French writer and philosopher Voltaire (1694-1778), once famously remarked: "I disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend unto death, your right to utter them.” But that political axiom hardly applies to multiple governments in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America—including Greece, UK, Thailand, Hong Kong, India, Myanmar, Chile, France, Democratic Republic of Congo and Cyprus – where the right to protest, along with freedom of speech, are increasingly in jeopardy.

Xenophobia in Mandiba’s Land: Too Black…Or Just Too Poor?

South Africa, the home land of the late giant fighter against Apartheid, racism and discrimination – Nelson Mandela “Mandiba”, is already ‘on the precipice of explosive xenophobic violence’ against migrants, refugees, asylum seekers - and even citizens perceived as outsiders.

A Treasonous President and a Nation in Peril

I am at a loss for words to express my horror as I watched the first segment of the public hearing of the Congressional committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. As long as the Republican Party denies what happened that infamous day and Trump remains free, this country faces unprecedented peril.

Living in Harmony with Nature

Thirty years ago, the Earth Summit, which took place in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, paved the way for the establishment of three major conventions on the environment - specifically on biodiversity, climate change and desertification.

Elections: a Global Ranking Rates US Weakest Among Liberal Democracies

Defending democracy has suddenly become one of the central challenges of our age. The land war in Ukraine is widely considered a front line between autocratic rule and democratic freedom. The United States continues to absorb the meaning of the riot that took place on January 6 2021 in an attempt to overthrow the result of the previous year’s election. Elsewhere, concerns have been raised that the pandemic could have provided cover for governments to postpone elections.

Zimbabwe’s Press Freedom, One Step Forward, Three Steps Backward

For international journalist Jeffery Moyo, doing his job could land him in prison if Zimbabwe authorities have their way. “Journalism is a crime in Zimbabwe, and the regime is reactive to independent journalism,” says Moyo, an international correspondent for the New York Times and the Inter Press Service (IPS).[related_articles]

Democracy Loses Its Glow for South Africans Amid Persistent Inequality

South Africans believed that the introduction of democracy in 1994 would transform their lives for the better through equality of opportunities. This hasn’t happened.

Women Politicians in Peru Face Severe Harassment, Discrimination

Women entering the political arena in Peru face multiple obstacles due to gender discrimination that hinders their equal participation, which can even reach the extreme of political harassment and bullying, in an attempt to force them out of the public sphere.

Criminality in Politics Does Not Bode Well for Democracy’s Future

A trend of declining trust in governments and politicians can turn into a threat beyond some point. John Adams, an astute political philosopher and second president of the US, was emphatic: “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself." This has been a subject of intense debate, with recent but mixed evidence. Is this an overly pessimistic view?

China’s Entry into the Muslim World

The retrenchment of American power in the Middle East and the larger Muslim world, coupled with the war in Ukraine, has provided a geopolitical breather for China. Beijing is effectively deploying this to make strategic inroads into the region, given this vacuum and focus on Europe.

Zimbabwe Elections Rekindle Voter Apathy Concerns

Activity in the streets of Zimbabwe’s second city is testimony to a thriving informal sector where thousands of people eke out a living selling all sorts of wares.

Zimbabwe Crackdown on NGOs Could Impact Election Observation

Zimbabwe is pressing ahead with a controversial bill that critics say seeks to criminalise the operations of nongovernmental organisations working in the country.

New Constitution Would Declare Chile a Plurinational State

Chile could change the course of its history and become a diverse and multicolored country this year with a “plurinational and intercultural state” that recognizes and promotes the development of the native peoples that inhabited this territory before the Spanish conquest.

Conversation with a Media Icon: Dr. Roberto Savio

We are sitting in the heart of Rome, Via Panisperna, where Dr. Roberto Savio has had his office for the last 58 years. His energy and activity, both mental and physical, belies his age. At 87, he walks the 7 kilometres from his house to his office building and climbs two flights of stairs to reach his office. When I caution him about the traffic on the roads of Rome as he walks home every evening, he is very relaxed about it. “Look here, Rome is over 2,000 years old, and these roads were meant for pedestrians, not cars.”

Myanmar’s Military Junta is Killing Press Freedom

One year since a democracy-suspending coup, press freedom is dying in Myanmar. A military campaign of intimidation, censorship, arrests, and detentions of journalists has more recently graduated to outright killing, an escalation of repression that aims ultimately to stop independent media reporting on the junta’s crimes and abuses.

Why isn’t a Career in Politics Aspirational for Girls and Women in India?

For most young girls, a career in politics is not even on the radar. For the few that are interested, building a career in politics in India seems unachievable.

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