September 26, Azerbaijan faces a referendum on constitutional changes aiming to strengthen the powers of President Ilham Aliyev. The proposed changes include prolonging the term of office from five to seven years as well as abolishing the minimum age for future presidential candidates. New posts as First Vice President and Vice President will be introduced and the powers for the President to dissolve the parliament will be expanded. (more…)
JHS is publishing a new report in cooperation with the think-tank Freedom Research Association on how the refugee crisis is covered in Turkish media. Read more
The economic problems are so long gone in Venezuela that debts have become a real threat to the country. The value of the currency decreases rapidly and inflation is going up. Foreign imports have ceased, resulting in empty shelves in stores around the country. Read more
September 9-11, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation hosted a conference in Jahorina, Bosnia & Herzegovina, for local politicians from the centre-right party PDP. Kristoffer Tamsons, Chairman of the traffic committee in Stockholm County Council, took part in the conference as a trainer and described his own experiences from Swedish local and regional politics, focusing on the importance of policy development and reforms.
The Central Election Committee announced that two opposition candidates have won seats, after the results of yesterday’ September 11 elections, in which the composition of the 110-seat lower house of parliament was to be determined. (more…)
After almost four years of populistic and oligaristic rule with Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream, the opinion polls now show that the upcoming parliamentary elections on October 15 is going to be a nail-biter as Georgians go to the ballots. From being in disadvantageous position, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation’s co-operation party, the United National Movement, is now less than one percent behind the ruling party. (more…)
On February 15, Bosnia-Herzegovina formally applied for EU-membership. The Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation has a long tradition of supporting European integration and coalition building in the country, and hosted on June 14 a seminar on the further integration process.
Invited to the seminar was Branislav Borenovic, President of the Party of Democratic Progress (PDP) and Chariman of the Committee for European integration and regional co-operation in the National Assembly of Republika Srpska. He presented his perspective on the latest developments. PDP is a coalition partner in the current government of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The seminar was moderated by Diana Janse, Senior Foreign Policy Adviser of the Moderate Party.
A new report describing Bosnia-Herzegovina’s road to European integration, published by the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation, was released at the seminar.
You can also watch the whole seminar here.
IYDU’s Vice Chairman and Tanzanian MP John Heche has together with six other MP’s from the opposition been suspended from the Tanzanian parliament on undemocratic ways by the ruling government party. Tanzania’s socialist government, led by the Party of the Revolution, has since it was re-elected last October sought to suppress political freedoms in order to strengthen its power.
The imprisoned Azeri journalist Khadija Ismayilova was released May 25. She was detained December 2014 after critical reporting linking President Aliyev’s family to corruption. Still, there are over 80 political prisoners in Azerbaijan, according to Freedom House.
Representatives of the leading opposition party in Georgia, United National Movement (UNM), were last Sunday encountered by an offensive mob as they were visiting a polling station in Kortskheli in the administrative centre of Samegrelo-Zemo. Among the affected were high profile figures such as the party’s international secretary, Giga Bokeri, and the former Tbilisi mayoral candidate, Nika Melia. According to local media, at least four other MP’s belonging to the party were accosted as well, together with several activists.
Georgia has during the last years experienced a setback in democracy since Bidzina Ivanishvili’s government party, Georgian Dream (GD), has tightened its grip around several democratic institutions such as the free press, and actively preventing the voice of the opposition to be heard.
Watch a recording over the tensions on YouTube here
EPP condemns the assault in a statement here
May 20-21, JHS participated at the Moderate party’s annual conference for local and regional representatives, to inform about our work for freedom and democracy around the world.
On May 13, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation hosted a breakfast seminar on Turkey, Islamism and the refugee crisis. Turkey is a key player in the refugee crisis, and is using its role to strengthen its leverage towards the EU. The deteriorating state of democracy and human rights in the country raises concerns at the same time as more and more power concentrates around the president himself. (more…)