Tag Archives: ELECTIONS

Merkel’s party has failed local elections in Germany

Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) was defeated in two regional elections on Sunday-an an important vote ahead of September’s Bundestag elections, which will be held without Merkel.

This is reported by Spiegel Online.

In southwestern Baden-Wurttemberg, the Greens won 32.6% of the vote, the CDU 24.1%, and the Social Democrats 11%.

In neighboring Rhineland-Palatinate, the Social Democrats took first place and will retain power with 35.7% of the vote, ahead of the CDU, which was leading in opinion polls by last month but had only 27.7% support in Sunday’s election.

The two-state vote was seen as the first major political test of the year, culminating in a general election in September.

The party’s general secretary, Paul Zemiak, acknowledged that the results on Sunday evening were disappointing. He also acknowledged that recent corruption scandals and concerns about the country’s government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic have hurt the CDU.

Sunday’s results were a blow to CDU party chief Armin Laschet, who became party leader two months ago and is seeking to replace Angela Merkel as chancellor.

Both election results open the way for regional coalitions between the Greens, the SPD, and the Liberal Free Democrats, and raise the possibility of a similar coalition forming after the September general election.

Polls show that the CDU’s national popularity has fallen from 40% in June last year, when Germany was praised for its response to the pandemic, to around 33% this month, the BBC reports.

The US accused Russia of destabilizing South America

US Congressman Albin Siris accused Russia of trying to destabilize the situation in South America, including in Colombia.

“As for Venezuela, I am concerned that Russia seems to be increasingly involved in things in Venezuela… they are trying to destabilize the region,” Siris said.

According to him, in 2019, Moscow conducted six thousand people through Colombia. The country is “not exactly a beach destination” for Russia.

Siris stressed that Russia is using Venezuela to undermine the situation in Colombia and interfere in the elections in South America.

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken agreed with the congressman.

Earlier, the White House called the priority policy issues of the new US administration.

Freedom of opinion or radicalism? In Germany, a scandal flares up in the ruling party

Reflections of an authoritative Social Democrat about a possible excess of pluralism in Western society and the problem of “a priori guilt of a white man” in the opinion section of the FAZ newspaper produced a bomb-like effect in Germany.

Prominent politician and human rights activist Wolfgang Thierse faces charges of radicalism.

Just a couple of days before the state elections in Baden-Wurttemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate and less than six months before the elections to the Bundestag, after which Angela Merkel will leave the post of Chancellor of Germany, all three parties in the German ruling coalition were involved in scandals, albeit of a different kind.

While Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian partner, the Christian Social Union (CDU), have been collecting fragments of their reputation after the so-called “mask scam” of two deputies of their faction in the Bundestag, who, apparently, profited from trade in protective masks in At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, German Social Democrats are experiencing a wave of shitstorm due to accusations of right-wing radicalism against one of the oldest party members, the former chairman of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Thierse.

Ardent defense of pluralism and division of society

It all started when Thierse published a guest article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on February 22, entitled “How Much Identity Can Society Withstand?”

In it, the politician reminds that the concepts of “religious confession” and “ideology”, which today are increasingly being replaced by the word “identity”, have repeatedly become the cause of bloody conflicts in the past. “Should history repeat itself, albeit with a different leitmotif?” Thierse asks.

“Themes of ethnic, gender and sexual identity dominate (in Western society), And the debate about racism, postcolonialism and gender issues are becoming more violent and aggressive,” the politician states. He further develops the idea that violent attacks on “outside”, as well as the fierce defense of this “outside”, inevitably lead to questions about how much identity protection policies strengthen the pluralism of society and when it leads to its splitting.

Wolfgang Thierse himself answers this question in the following way: “Summarizing, we can say that ethnic, cultural and religious-worldview pluralism, which is becoming stronger in Germany, is not an idyll. It leads to disagreements and has a great potential for conflict.” According to the social democrat, in order to preserve peace in society, “pluralism must be something more than a simple coexistence of not only different but also fenced off from each other minorities and identities.” “Society needs values shared by all, which, of course, include a common language, as well as respect for law and law,” the politician emphasizes.

Talking about the issue of racism, Thierze refers to a book by black journalist Alice Huster entitled “What White People Don’t Want to Hear, But Should Know About Racism.” “Yes, we whites must listen to what we are told. We must pay attention to cases of discrimination. But criticism of the theory of white supremacy should not turn into a myth about a priori guilt of a white man,” the politician warns. According to him, white people painting their faces with black paint (Blackfacing), appropriating someone else’s cultural identity, determined by complexion, as well as bans on certain linguistic expressions lead to the formation of false cultural fronts, insecurity, and the need to defend themselves.

Catalan separatist leader faces jail in Spain

MEPs have stripped the immunity of the former head of the government of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, and two of his associates. Now they can be extradited to Spain, where they face prison for the 2017 independence referendum.

For the deprivation of Carles Puigdemont and his associates, former members of the government of Tony (Anthony) Comin and Clara Ponsati, a confident majority of the members of the European Union parliament voted: in the case of Puigdemont — 400 votes in favor with 248 against, in the cases of Comin and Ponsati — 404 for and 247 vs.

The EU Parliament held a secret ballot on Monday evening, and the results were announced on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Puigdemont’s associates are negotiating the formation of a new government in Catalonia after winning elections in mid-February.

Puigdemont and Comyn were elected MEPs in the spring of 2019, and Ponsati joined them later when Britain officially left the European Union, and its quota in the European Parliament was partially distributed among various EU countries, including Spain.

Now the courts of the countries where the fugitives live — Belgium and Britain (Scotland) — will again decide the issue of their extradition to Madrid. Until now, they have refused to do so, referring, among other things, to the immunity of the Catalans as members of the European Parliament. In addition, the Spanish government has already applied to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Three Catalan politicians are also going to file with the European Court — they announced this at a press conference on Tuesday.

“Only the European Court will be able to compensate for the damage to democracy caused by the fact that three MEPs are deprived of immunity for political reasons,” the Catalan press quotes Puigdemont.

“This is a sad day for the European Parliament. We have lost our immunity, but the European Parliament has lost even more, and European democracy has also suffered losses,” said Puigdemont.

Official Madrid, represented by Foreign Minister Aranci Gonzalez Laya, welcomed the decision of the European Parliament.

US Secretary of State calls Lukashenko “Europe’s last dictator”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Alexander Lukashenko the last dictator in Europe.

He made the corresponding statement during a ceremony honoring activists from all over the world.

Speaking about the leader of the Belarusian opposition Maria Kolesnikova, Blinken noted that Washington will continue to seek the release of political prisoners in Belarus.

“On the eve of the presidential elections held last year, she mobilized women across the country to protest against the rule of Alexander Lukashenko, Europe’s last dictator,” the politician said.

Meanwhile, US First Lady Jill Biden, who also spoke at the ceremony, stressed that “fair elections in Belarus will also strengthen our own (American) democracy.”