In 2012, United National Movement (UNM), the party that Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation works with in Georgia lost the parliamentary elections. At the moment, UNM is in the middle of a transformation process, often followed by a loss of election. However, UNM has both lost and gained new members. Meanwhile, polls show that the support for the current Georgian Dream coalition government is decreasing with disappointed people still waiting for its promises to be realized. (more…)
February 19, Swedish FM Carl Bildt presented this year’s Statement of Foreign Policy in the Swedish Parliament. Bildt further condemned the regime in Ukraine and the violence hitting the country. Read more
The economic and political situation is deteriorating in Venezuela; with rampant inflation and accelerating scarcity of basic staples as consequence. JHS follows the developments with special focus on the human rights violations, as President Maduro faces his toughest opposition since the election last year. Read more
The Pro-European demonstration on the streets of Kiev are the biggest protests since the peaceful Orange Revolution 2004. The tensions raised as President Yanukovych announced the rejection of closer ties with EU.
March 21 – 23, Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation hosted a conference for active political youth from SDA in cooperation with SDA Academy in Vogošća, Bosnia and Hercegovina. Almost twenty years after the Dayton Agreement, Bosnia and Herzegovina still stands before great challenges of which a deeper integration with the West is one of them. (more…)
March 11-18, Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation hosted two conferences for youth politicians from Eastern Europe and Sweden, on the principles for a free society together with Nigel Ashford from Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. Basic concepts for a liberal democracy, as private property, free enterprise and toleration where among the issues discussed.
Around 100 people gathered at Norrmalmstorg in Stockholm, Monday, March 3, for a manifestation in support of freedom and democracy in Ukraine. A number of Swedish politicians participated at the event, among the speakers: Marietta de Pourbaix-Lundin, Swedish MP from the Moderate Party and Chairman of the Swedish delegation to the Council of Europe, the two Swedish MEPs Christofer Fjellner and Anna-Maria Corazza Bildt as well as Alice Hallman, Fredrik Norberg and Hugo Selling from the Confederation of Swedish Conservative and Liberal Students.
The manifestation, arranged by the student organization, was inspired by the movement for freedom and independence in the Baltic states in the 1990s. The goal is now to continue the support for Ukraine and other post-Soviet states in their struggle for independence and free, democratic governments.
February 21, the opposition in Ukraine met an agreement with President Viktor Yanukovych. The agreement ended up after mediation by the foreign ministers from France, Poland and Germany respectively into a resumption of the 2004 constitution and a promised promptly held re-election, in a try to avoid further escalation of violence between demonstrators and regime-friendly riot police. The opposition went into majority which also made the release of the former opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko possible after three years imprisonment. In the meantime the parliament of Ukraine, Verchovna Rada, voted down Viktor Yanukovych from his presidency through a declaration of no confidence.
The in the first sight successful revolution of the euro friendly opinion in the country was being looked at with disapproval from Russia, for whom the implementation of Ukraine in its own post-Soviet trade union together with Belarus and Kazakhstan has been seen as a natural step for its expansion, in disadvantage of the European Union and in directly counter to the will of the Ukrainian people. On February 28, the Russian Federation Council endorsed Vladimir Putin’s request on a military intervention in Ukraine and on March 1, Russian troops officially crossed the boarder with an occupation of the Crimea peninsula. The Russian threats against a free and democratic Ukraine with a closer European integration have been met for real.
El Salvador’s election commission has decided to censor a campaign video from the opposition party ARENA’s youth organization prior to the presidential election on March 9, between Vice President Salvador Sanchez Ceren, from the leftist FMLN and his opponent Norman Quijano, Mayor of San Salvador. (more…)
Two weeks in, the protests continue in Venezuela, challenging the country’s socialist government.
In an appearance this weekend, the country’s First Lady Cilia Flores stated at a counter-demonstration that “Venezuela is not Ukraine” and referred to the protesters as “right-wing fascists.”
During the Monday, the opposition’s Henrique Capriles, along with other local leaders, is scheduled to meet with President Maduro, who has stated that “only by defeating the opposition can Venezuela have peace.”
Leopold López, leader of the opposition party Voluntad Popular, is imprisoned and charged by Venezuelan prosecutors with arson and conspiracy, punishable by up to 10 years in jail.
López, who is held in a militarty prison, was arrested by the Venezuelan authorities February 18 at a protest march, from Plaza Venezuela in eastern Caracas, to the Justice Department on Urdaneta Avenue in downtown Caracas, where the demonstrators demanded the release of students arrested by the regime during recent days and that the responsibles for the deaths on February 12 should be held accountable. The Venezuelan authorities had already issued a warrant against López and during the Monday, government troops conducted a raid against the opposition party’s office. Lopez is a former Mayor of Chacao, Caracas, but since 2011 forbidden to hold political office, most likely because the late President Hugo Chávez saw him as a threat.
Wednesday, a young woman died after being shut in the head during protests in Valencia, Carabobo.
Students in Venezuela have during the past 7 days been demonstrating for a better life in a country characterized by inflation and political repression. Sunday, President Nicolás Maduro referred to the students as facsists which he intends to defeat. At the same time, he expelled three U.S. diplomats after the State Department expressed concerns about the violence and political persecution in the country.
Protesters clashed with police and attacked government buildings in Bosnia last week. Leading politicians claim they understand citizens’ dissatisfaction with situation in the country.
February 5-6, Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation in cooperation with European Stability Initiative hosted a round-table conference in Istanbul, on freedom of religion in Turkey and the EU member states. The participants were academicians, diplomats, politicians and activists, and the discussions focused on concrete suggestions concerning how the situation can be improved for religious communities and their legal status. (more…)
Daniel Ortega won the Presidential election in Nicaragua in 2006, with financial and moral support from his close ally, the ex-President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. Now, Ortega is striving to change the constitution in order to end the limits of presidential terms. If he succeeds it would allow him to stay in power indefinitely.
Azalia Aviles, chairman of the International Women’s Democrat Union, and Javier Baez Castellon, a political analyst and youth activist in Nicaragua, give their views on the constitutional changes in Nicaragua.