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|Dec 20 2013||
Politics throughout Albania's most recent parliamentary term (2009-2013) was marred by discord between the ruling and opposition parties Indeed, constant blocking of the Democratic Party's decisions by the Socialist Party thwarted its ability to legislate. The Socialists' accusations of electoral fraud and the illegitimacy of the ruling party were kept up following the 2009 elections. Political tension increased, reaching a peak in 2011 following local elections in which Edi Rama, the leader of the Socialist Party, was deprived of the mayoralty of Tirana.
|Jul 21 2013||
These elections were keenly anticipated by the Malaysian public due to a generalised disaffection with the Barisan Nasional government headed by Datuk Seri Najib Razak. The prime minister was faced with a growing, widespread rejection of his government by the Chinese community as well as sectors of the ethnic Malay community, due to cases of corruption and abuse of power, policies of racial discrimination in favour of the Malay majority, and its handling of the economy. All of these factors brought about a rise in ethnic and religious tensions during his term in office.
|Jul 11 2013||
These elections were a historic occasion for Pakistan's democracy. For the first time ever, a civilian government had completed a full legislative period and relinquished power peacefully. Moreover, an interim government had for the first time been formed, while the Pakistan Election Commission (ECP) had been strengthened by improvements put in place by an ever more institutionalised parliamentary system. Since the previous elections, headway had been made in strengthening democracy and taking power away from the military.
|Apr 15 2013||
On 22 January 2013 Israel held legislative elections, nine months ahead of schedule. They were brought forward after the government foresaw that it would fail to obtain parliamentary backing for the 2013 budget. However, the fact that prime minister called the elections in October 2012, long before the March deadline for the budget to be passed, gave rise to other interpretations.
|Sep 03 2012||
The “Arab Springs” which commenced in Tunisia in late 2010 and extended to Egypt and Libya through the early months of 2011 also resonated in Algeria. Throughout January 2011 and to a lesser degree the whole first quarter of the year, there was significant turmoil in cities across the country. Teenagers shrouded intifadah-style in scarves, hurled stones at riot police and attacked public property whilst demanding sugar and other basic food products whose prices had rocketed supposedly due to bottlenecks in supply and distribution.
|Jan 25 2012||
When Kyrgyzstan held its last presidential elections in July 2009, former President Bakiyev's authoritarian tendencies were at their height and he manoeuvred to neutralise any uncertainty around the final result. Such was the certainty that the Central Electoral Commission would name Bakiyev the winner that the main opposition candidate Almazbek Atambayev withdrew his candidature before the polling stations had even closed, condemning the multiple irregularities that had tarnished the process.
|Jan 12 2012||
Oman’s Consultative Council elections were the third with universal suffrage to be held in the country, after those of 2003 and 2007. They took place following popular protests earlier in the year - the widest the Sultanate had experienced since the end of the Dhofar war in the 1970s. In a country where political associations are banned and civil society is notably less organised than in Bahrain or Kuwait, the ‘Omani Spring' was marked by the death of two protesters in the Northern town of Sohar in February and April.
|Nov 27 2011||
The surprising events that began on 17 December with the immolation of a young Mohammed Bouazizi in the city of Sidi Bouzid would unleash a national catharsis of unprecedented consequences with a far-reaching impact. The incident, the result of an individual humiliation, transformed itself into a collective realisation among broad swathes of society that their situation was indignant and intolerable. In Sfax, then in Tunis and little by little across the whole country, these groups rose up, rousing a protest against the regime that was both decentralised and unstoppable.
|Nov 24 2011||
2011 will no doubt go down in history as the year when the Arab peoples rose up against the dictatorships and autocracies that had, post-independence, become the exclusive model of governance in this part of the world. The demands for freedom and democracy, denominated the Arab Spring, had a domino effect and soon called into question the myth of Moroccan exceptionality.
|Nov 10 2011||
Bahrain’s 2011 parliamentary by-elections were held following the resignation in February of 18 MPs from the main opposition association, al-Wefaq, who had been elected in October 2010 (see report on Bahrain’s 2010 parliamentary elections). This decision was taken in reaction to the government’s violence against protesters who gathered at the Pearl Roundabout in Manama to demand a new Constitution with an elected Prime Minister and full legislative powers for the Council of Representatives.