It has been a year since a relatively young and absolutely unexperienced presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky was elected. In the first round of presidential elections (March 31, 2019), where 39 candidates competed to lead Ukraine, Zelensky got over 30% of votes. The incumbent, his closest competitor, got a bit more than 15%.
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Last year was a crucial year for Algeria. This year could be the year of constructing a new Algeria thanks to the rediscovery of an active citizenship and political engagement by a large part of society and to the efforts made by the new president, Abdelajid Tebboune, to find a way to political legitimization far from military control.
Amid the global turmoil caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan looked resilient in combating the virus outbreak. Jordan adopted harsh measures for the population and the economy with an unwavering intent to eliminate the virus. However, despite the proven efficiency of those measures in containing the virus, their economic impacts are still hard to fathom. These economic impacts show that Jordan’s real battle with the virus is not only on the health front but also on the economic front as well.
The sudden plunge of oil prices that took place earlier this month in a context of global coronavirus crisis and a Saudi-Russian price war, has brought the price per barrel below $US 30.
Since October 17, 2019, unprecedented popular protests have erupted in Lebanon motivated by demands for socio-economic rights and the reform of a highly corrupted and sectarian political system. The deterioration of economic and social conditions in Lebanon has also affected the 1.5 million Syrian refugees as well as the Palestinians and other communities of displaced people living in the country.
Economically speaking, Lebanon is an interesting case study in many respects. Like several Mediterranean countries such as Italy or Greece, it is characterized by huge public debt (151% of GDP). At the same time, like several northern liberal and service-based economies – and unlike most Mediterranean economies except for Turkey – it shows low levels of household savings.
At a time when the political debate about state identity rages, the Palestinians of Israel, the biggest non-Jewish minority of the country (21% of the population), represent both the greatest electoral challenger and one of the few contradictory voices in an otherwise predominantly right-wing domestic electoral debate.
Beyond the results of the national election on March 2 – the third consecutive in 11 months –, Israeli foreign policy will remain the same. It will be dominated by three closely related issues: the developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict following the presentation of the so-called “Trump Plan”, the normalization process between Israel and African-Asian Muslim countries, and the diplomatic (and security) containment of Iran and its regional proxies.
Cameroon will head to the polls on February 9 for legislative elections. Even though the current social and political situation in the country is usually presented through the lens of an anglo‑francophone cleavage, the absence of young people’s trust in the government also plays a crucial role. In the Central-African country, more than 60% of the population is younger than 25 years.
On Wednesday the 5th of February the European Commission proposed a revised methodology for the accession process for candidate and potential candidate countries. This methodology will be applied to Albania and North Macedonia, although for Montenegro and Serbia there has also been foreseen an opt-in in case they want to join.