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Parliament

Anticipated elections would be requested if the Parliament becomes dysfunctional

BreakingNews @en di

Snap election could be considered if the Parliament becomes dysfunctional, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Friday, as deputies continue their heated discussion on the constitutional amendment package including a switch to presidential system. Showing outrage at the recent, undemocratic and indecent actions that took place during the General Assembly meeting, the President said that “A deputy’s nose was broken while another [deputy] was bitten on the leg. I hope all will [move forward] with common sense and a certain sense of decency in the future sessions.” Erdoğan also noted the progress of the ongoing voting process on various constitutional articles and emphasized that each article received a high level of supporting votes, ranging from 338 to 348, surpassing the 330 threshold. He added that if the rest of the bill receives votes within this range, the final say will be left to the Turkish people, naming the public as “the real decision makers.” Meanwhile, by the end of the fourth day of discussions at the General Assembly in Parliament, eight of the 18 articles in the constitutional amendment package had been discussed and approved. Namely, the General Assembly saw the approval of Article 1, which addresses the judiciary, redefining “independent courts” as “independent and impartial courts,” emphasizing neutralism. Article 2 and Article 7 would increase the number of parliamentary deputies from 550 to 600 while lowering the candidacy age from 25 to 18 years of age. Article 8, on the other hand, will nullify the office of the Prime Minister, placing the President as the head of the executive branch and granting the President the authority to appoint members in his cabinet.

Egypt: fake elections

Middle East - Africa di

The first round of parliamentary elections of 17 and 18 October established a clear and predictable victory of President Fattah al Sisi’s party “For the Love of Egypt” and, at the same time, a turnout very poor, less than 25%. On October 27, Egyptians have come back to the polls for runoff concerning over 200 non-elected candidates.

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According to local and international analysts, al Sisi’s popularity should be weighed by electoral turnout: therefore, his degree of consensus is obvious. After the revolution and the elections of 2012, characterized by the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood representative Mohammed Morsi, Egypt return to re-elect its parliament. However, Egyptians thirst for freedom, as witnessed by the revolution of 2011, was stopped by the current regime.

Indeed, almost 80% of the 55 million assignees remained at home in the first round due to al Sisi illiberal actions. Come to power in 2014 after the coup against Morsi, the current head of state has branded the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist organization, arresting and sentencing to death the former president and movement leadership.

And it’s necessary to add the new constitution, too. If it apparently contains a few liberal ideas, such as the limit of two consecutive terms and openness to minorities while maintaining Islam as state religion, however a profound knowledge reveals the president influence on parliament, which have to approve his decrees.

In addition, major works, the opening to foreign capital and interventionism in Libya in order to ingratiate the international community, three reasons of comparison with Nasser, contrast with the total lack of welfare and proximity former President Hosni Mubarak de facto .

Waiting for ballot turnout and outcome, the first round gives further directions on Egypt fettle. Besides the above, low turnout on 17 and 18 October permitted al Sisi to win 60 seats out of 60. While, supposedly secular and liberal “Free Egyptians Party”, established by telecommunications tycoon Naguib Sawiris, which include, with its ally “For love of Egypt”, some members of the former Mubarak regime, has now elected five candidates, while 65 went to the second round.

“It was not easy to create a strong party without government interference. The coalition does not matter for us, because they asked us to come in to have more reliability, “said Sawiris to Le Monde.

Excellent results also of “For the future of the nation”, political movement composed of young linked to the coup of 2013. However, “Al Nour”, the only overtly Islamist party in after disappearance of “Muslim Brotherhood”, was defeated.

After runoff, the second election will be on 22 and 23 November. While results will be published in December. However, the outcome is already certain that, after the Arab Spring and Morsi presidency, Egypt is back to a context similar to Mubarak regime, but anguished by Islamist organizations affiliated to Caliphate and mainly operating in Sinai.
Giacomo Pratali

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Ukraine, Kiev, at least one dead and 90 injured

BreakingNews @en/Europe di

At least one dead and about 90 injured, mostly policemen and volunteers of the National Guard Ukraine, after a series of bombs exploded in Kiev, in front of Parliament, by nationalist militants, in particular due to Svoboda. Protests flared up following the approval of the first draft of the constitutional reform on institutional decentralization, in line with Minsk 2, which provides special status for Donetsk and Lugansk.

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Therefore, a return to protests in Kiev clashes of Maidan one year and half ago. If Minsk 2 so far had not been observed yet in Donbass, now Nazis groups do not want to give autonomy to Eastern Ukraine. The same political party that, in recent months, has enlist the highest numbers of volunteers against pro-Russian separatists.

Beyond jihadists’ question, in addition to Ukrainian economic crisis and to a public debt out of control, there is the problem of cohabitation in Ukraine. The question is not only the end of conflict within the country and, at international level, involving NATO and Russia, but the return to normality: far-right and Islamist militants may constitute a real problem near Europe.
Giacomo Pratali

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The Kurdish wars

Middle East - Africa/Politics di

Against Isis, against Erdogan’s threats, against Barzani that wants to be the president of KRG forever.

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While on the turkish border, President Erdogan is exploiting international aid to face Isis and, at the same time, try to hit the Kurds of PKK, the president of the KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government), Barzani, is organizing military parades in order to retain his mandate, beyond the two-year extension already granted. KRG is the only form of government able to represent Kurdish people, divided between Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran.

The Kurdistan Regional Government was established in Iraq after the collapse of the regime of Saddam Hussein and is now subjected to the same power struggles that caused the instability of the Middle East. During the years Kurdish people were, and still are, discriminated against. Saddam Hussein has made the Kurds the target of his chemical weapons causing real massacres as in Halabja in 1988. The persecution took the traits of the genocide through the “Anfal Campaign”.

In Turkey , as well as in Syria, over the years, the persecution never stopped and Kurdish people did not get more favors. Their conditions has come to international attention since the irregular army of KRG, the Peshmarga, took their weapons to face the advancing of Isis. The pages of history books written now, will describe the heroic resistance of these mixed troops made of men and women, who fought to protect cities like Kobanî. But this is not enough for Turkey that is ready to exploit the Isis justification to attack the Kurdish army.

If the elections on June 7 in Turkey seemed to be a turning point with the entrance in Parliament of HDP; recent events like the connection of the Democratic party of the Kurdish people to PKK after exceeding the threshold of 10% of the preferences set by Erdogan, seem to record a sharp setback.In recent years, the bombings inflicted by the Turkish on the Kurds of northern Iraq never stopped and have caused the reaction of the Kurdish militants. On August 10th, the escalation of violence caused 9 victims, killed in four separate attacks. Near the US Consulate and a police station in Istanbul and near a convoy and a military helicopter in the south-east of the country, Sirkin, in Kurdish territory.

Episodes that are triggering the danger of a real civil war. The DHKP-C claimed the shots against the US consulate that brings the terrorists of the Revolutionary Front for the Liberation of the People, and PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party of Ocalan, was responsible for the two attacks in the south-east . The reasons that led Erdogan to attack the Kurds, causing their reaction, is to be found in the victory of the Kurdish minority in the last election.

The entry of HDP into Parliament has removed the AKP, the Party for Justice and Development which belongs to Erdogan, that had held absolute majority for 13 years. After the attacks of August 10, Erdogan is supporting the need to go to early elections and get back to the majority denied last June. The attacks claimed by DHKP-C and PKK will cause a loss of votes in the Kurdish party of Hdp at they will be used at his advantage. If it is not possible now to talk about a probable alliance between the guerrillas of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and the terrorists of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front (DHKP-C), however, it is certain that the Kurds are increasingly unwilling to accept the requests of the leader of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan, in 2006.

From the prison of Imral he asked his fighters to seek dialogue with the Turkish government to reach a cease-fire. If the risk, in Turkey, is to come to a war against the Kurds, the chances that serious internal unrest will happen in the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan are just as real . Days ago, the President of the KRG, Massoud Barzani organized a military parade in Erbil. A clear message designed to get to what he has been asking for a long time, that Is a new confirmation of his role. According to the internal laws to KRG, the presidential term of four years is extendable just for only one renewal. Then, the President decades automatically. Barzani has already achieved a two-year extension that will run out on the next August 19. However, he does not intend to give up his role. The first elections in the KRG took place in 1992. Neither political parties PUK and PKK, represented by Jalal Talabani and Masoud Barzani reached a majority and an agreement. Those conditions caused the dreadful civil war that has killed more than 3,000 civilians. When the civil war ended in 2005, Talabani became the Iraqi President and Barzani the KRG’s President.

The power of the Kurdistan Regional Presidency was stronger than the one of the Parliament and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), to counterbalance the Iraqi presidency. For the KRG, the presidency was a new institution with unlimited powers. The result is that corruption has grown exponentially, national resources have been squandered, private militias and intelligence services are increasingly loyal to their parties as opposed to the country, and there is ever-growing social inequality. The country is bankrupt and most people are struggling to make ends meet, while 10,000 millionaires and 15 billionaires have emerged in a short period of time. Society is polarized between lackeys who live on political parties’ handouts and good honest citizens who have to wait for wages that are three months behind. In fact the system is almost near a dictatorial regime than a Presidential one. It’s true that is a well-established Middle-Eastern-Fact that the presidential system only breeds dictators and corrupt leaders.

In 2013, when Barzani’s term was extended, the political system became an absolute presidency according to legistlation and the chances required by Barzani, to get the president’s powers greater than those of any other president in the region. Just to have an idea, here’s a few of the KR President’s powers: highest executive power in KR, chief of General Staff, power to dissolve Parliament, can announce a State of Emergency [without parliament’s consent], power to appoint KR’s Constitutional Court members and members of the Judges Assembly, power to control KR’s Security Council and KR’s Intelligence services and most importantly of all, the power to approve or reject legislation passed by parliament.

The oppositions tried to make alliance to oppose Barzani but every attempt has been unconclusive. When the war against IS began, only the attack to Shingal and the following capture of a 1,000 women and children made Barzani act. Before that violences Barzani was refusing to engage in the conflict. Nowadays even the war hasn’t motivated Barzani to get his act together with Yazidis and unite the Peshmerga into a strong national army. There can only be two explanations for the multidimensional crisis Barzani has dragged the nation into: either he is too weak to accept responsibility and tackle these matters head on or else he is directly involved in the wrongdoing and exploitation of national resources.

What could happen is Barzani left? The response is not easy at the moment. Now, KRG is governed from the two-party coalition of the Kurdistan Democratic Party and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (Kurdistan List). At the opposition we found four parties, PUK, Gorran, KIU and KIG that might accept another KDP candidate o tolerate another term for Barzani only if KDP accepts constitutional amendments to establish a full parliamentary system and limit the powers of the president.
But at the moment KDP has not an influential leader who can be accepted by both of the main wings of their party. The PUK seems to have given up on the position since they already have Iraq’s presidency. Gorran also hasn’t declared any interest in the presidency. Just one thing is certain. If the parties do not reach a consensus in the next few months, KR will face a political crisis which could potentially lead to civil unrest.
Monia Savioli

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Monia Savioli
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