elections

“I Enjoy Sitting down with Common People”

BTI Blog spoke with José Ramos-Horta, former president of Timor-Leste and co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize, about the state of democracy in the country, socioeconomic challenges for the new government, and the role of the international community in post-conflict societies. BTI Blog: Timor-Leste has elected a new parliament on July 22nd, for the […]

Angola at a Crossroads

The announcement of Angolan longtime president José Eduardo dos Santos not to stand for reelection has shaken up the country’s political scene. Sylvia Croese looks at Angola ahead of the 2017 legislative elections and at the “president in waiting”. General elections in Angola will take place on the 23 August 2017. These are the third […]

Presidential Elections in Rwanda: No Level Playing Field

Unlike in 2003 and 2010, even the semblance of a competitive electoral process has disappeared in the run-up to this year’s presidential poll in Rwanda. Filip Reyntjens looks at President Paul Kagame’s electoral campaign and the latest measures his regime is mounting against the opposition. “More of a coronation than real contest.” That is what […]

The End of Malaysia’s Multi-Ethnic Coalition?

For decades, the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional has narrowed the ethnic and religious divides in Malaysia. In the run-up to the next general elections, however, Prime Minister Najib Razak is intensifying cooperation with the Islamic party PAS, alienating large parts of his coalition and the population. The first quarter of 2017 indicated that Malaysia’s economy […]

Moon Jae-in at a rally in Seoul, by Jee Su Na, via flickr.com, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Is South Korea’s New President up to the Job?

Former human-rights attorney Moon Jae-in has won the South Korean presidential elections. His supporters expect above all a fight against cronyism and fundamental economic reforms. Relations with neighbors and allies are tense. On Wednesday, Moon Jae-in was sworn in for a five-year term as South Korea’s president. Winning 41 percent of the votes in Tuesday’s […]

Serbia’s PM Vučić: Yet Another Populist Strongman?

Public desire for strong leadership might allow Serbia’s prime minister, Aleksandar Vučić, soon to become president. But will he be able to steer the country through the current tide of regional and domestic tensions? Serbia’s populist prime minister, Aleksandar Vučić, will stand in elections on 2 April in a bid to become the country’s third […]

Presidential ballots after counting

Sub-Sahara Africa Fights over Presidential Term Limits

Should he stay or should he go? With regards to the president, the answer to this question is subject of heated debates in Burundi, Congo, DR Congo and Rwanda. The hollowing out of term limits raises grave concerns about the political transformation of many Central and East African countries. It’s election time in Central and […]

Government buildings in Tunis

Is Tunisia’s 2014 Constitution Already Obsolete?

Tunisia – often lauded for its democratic development after the Arab Spring – is engulfed in a political power struggle and personal rivalries between office holders. Now the country’s constitution is increasingly coming under threat. More than one year and a half after the legislative and presidential elections in Tunisia in October and November 2014, […]

Ulan Bator - Mongolia - The Parliament

Mongolia: The Hidden Welfare Champion?

The World Social Forum convenes in Montreal from August 9-14. On occasion of the world’s largest civil society gathering, we look at an unknown star of social policy: Mongolia. Capitalizing on its mineral wealth, the country has set out to become a leading welfare state amongst emerging and developing countries.  In parliamentary elections on 29 […]

Partially Blurred Image of Iran on a Map

Iran: Euphoria Following the Nuclear Deal Has Passed

Four months on from the reformist victory in the double election and five months after the closing of the nuclear deal new prospects for Iran have opened up on the international stage. Yet, a climate of insecurity in the Islamic Republic remains and the country stays unpredictable. On 26 February 2016, Iranians went to the […]

Sükhbaatar Square in Ulaanbaatar.

Guarded Confidence in Mongolian Democracy

A high court ruling on the country’s electoral system has thrown Mongolia into political turmoil. How will this affect the upcoming parliamentary elections? Will the country stay on its path towards consolidating democracy? On June 29, 2016, Mongolians will be voting for a new parliament, the State Great Khural, for the seventh time since the […]

Workers maintain the thermal power station at Takoradi, Ghana

“Lucky if you have power for 12 hours”

We spoke with Rasheed Draman about Ghana’s economic crisis, public discontent with service delivery and why his country will not fall victim to the “resource curse”. BTI Blog: Many observers – including BTI experts – have long considered Ghana a model of successful political and economic reform in sub-Saharan Africa. Now we see a significant […]

Many colourful figures of Hindu gods are shown

Is religious dogma taking hold of democracy in India?

Hindu fanaticism seems to be on the rise in India with the government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi turning a blind eye. Is the world’s largest democracy on a slippery slope? Not a day goes by in which we are not reminded of the growing threat posed by religious extremism and fanaticism. There is a […]

Visit to The Chronicle & The Sunday News office in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Mugabe “Increasingly Frail and Indecisive”

In the midst of factional struggles over Mugabe’s unresolved succession, we talked with political scientist Lloyd M. Sachikonye about the legacy of political violence and his hopes for Zimbabwe’s future.   BTI Blog: After more than three decades, 92-year-old Robert Mugabe is still Zimbabwe’s strongman. Does his extraordinary capacity to maintain his grip on power constitute […]

Nuevo Mas banners at Plaza Congreso
A graffiti showing Hugo Chavez

Maduro’s Time is Running Out

Faced with electoral setback and rising popular discontent, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro just announced a number of economic reforms. But will these suffice to combat the country’s economic and social crises? In Venezuela’s most recent parliamentary elections on December 6, 2015, Chavismo experienced its first political setback since coming to power 17 years ago. The […]

Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar: Into Unchartered Waters

Transition talks in Myanmar are entering their finale phase. While many issues remain unresolved between the military and Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, further democratization is possible in the Southeast Asian country. Myanmar is entering unknown terrain these days. For the first time since the historic victory of the oppositional National League for Democracy (NLD) […]

Afghan parliament, March 2014 © Fardin waezi / UNAMA (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Afghanistan’s Future is Hanging by a Thread

Last year’s presidential elections were a huge achievement for Afghanistan’s infant democracy. Yet, will President Ashraf Ghani’s national unity government be able to face the challenges posed by US troop exit, Taliban peace talks, and the Afghan economy? A lot was at stake for Afghanistan during President Ashraf Ghani’s first official trip to the United […]

Policy gear in Bangladesh © Rajiv Ashrafi via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Is Bangladesh on the Brink of Civil War?

Bangladesh’s two main political parties have been deadlocked since the controversial general elections over one year ago. Political violence has now taken a turn for the worse as casualties continue to rise throwing the country further off the democratic path. The escalation began when Khaleda Zia, leader of the country’s largest opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party […]

City Scape of the Hangzhong road, China ©veer/veerguy

Asia at the Crossroads

Aside from China, nearly all the states in Asia make use of the trappings of democracy, such as elections, parliaments, and the separation of powers. A new report examines the future of democracy in Asia in the next 15 years. Asia has made significant progress towards democratization in recent decades. Despite being tested from outside […]

Chioma Agwuegbo © private

“At This Time, There is No Alternative to Goodluck Jonathan”

Nigerian journalist and social media expert Chioma Agwuegbo talks about who might become Nigeria’s next president and the role of social media and young people in the upcoming elections. BTI Blog: Chioma Agwuegbo, Nigeria’s ruling party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), recently endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan as sole candidate for the presidential elections next February. How […]

Ralf Breth, the Head of OSCE Mission to Skopje, during a conference on good practices for political party and campaign financing in Skopje, October 2013 © OSCE/Silke Tittel (CC BY-ND 4.0)

Too Small, Too Personal

Media laws in Macedonia and Slovenia are largely in line with international standards. Yet to guarantee a transparent system and independent reporting this is not enough. In April 2014 the Republic of Macedonia held its fourth general parliamentary election in the last 8 years along with a regularly scheduled presidential election. As usual it was […]

Protester in Istanbul, September 2013 © Tophee via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Judicial Defense

Turkey is deeply split between supporters of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the opposition. The constitutional court remains one of the few buffers between them. But is this enough to uphold democracy? In Turkey’s local elections at the end of March, the ruling Development and Justice Party (AKP) won a landslide victory gaining 45.6 […]

Tymohenko supporter in Kiev © Ivan Bandura/Flickr

On a Path to Decentralisation?

Without legitimate elections and a new constitution, Kiev cannot hope to restore stability. Devolution of power to the regions is likely to be one result of the new constitution and of the current instability. But will this be enough to placate Moscow? Ukraine is set to hold presidential elections on 25 May, to remove its […]

Victor Orban during a debate in the European Parliament on the political situation in Hungary, January 2012 © European Union 2012 EP/Pietro Naj-Oleari

Good Voters and Bad Voters

Why some votes will not count in Hungary’s elections and why the BTI 2014 has classified the country as a “defective democracy.” Since it took office in Budapest and gained a two-thirds majority in the Hungarian parliament, the right-wing conservative FIDESZ government has acquired the nickname of “legislation factory” – and rightly so. The Orban […]

Are powers concentrated in good hands? Nepal’s Chief Justice and interim head of government Khil Raj Regmi © Krish Dulal (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Re-Thinking Separation of Powers in Nepal

Nepal’s November 2013 parliamentary elections set a precedent for democratic governance in the Himalayan nation. Ironically, with the right leaders and support from the population, temporary restrictions on separation of powers may serve the future of Nepali democracy. Global and regional powers, including the European Union, the United States, Japan, China, and India, sent congratulations […]