Turkish Purge Continues and Expands
The Islamist authoritarian government of
continues its purge as a result of the failed military coup in July. The state of emergency it declared has been
extended, while the types of institutions and people targeted by purge has
expanded in order to eliminate viable opposition to the regime, with the excuse
of preventing another coup. The purge
has been targeted especially the cleric’s followers. Tens of thousands of Turks have been fired or
imprisoned from the military, police and civil servants to judges and even to
academia because of alleged involvement in the coup.
States continues to decline to extradite a Muslim cleric
living in Pennsylvania in exile, whom the
Turkish government blames for coordinating the coup, even though the cleric had
condemned the coup and promotes peaceful democratic transition, as Turkey has not
provided convincing evidence of his complicity.
Update on the Spanish parliamentary elections
The Socialist Party has ousted its leader because of his refusal to accept a conservative-led minority coalition government to avoid a third parliamentary ballot in the divided
. It is hoped the ouster will facilitate the
formation of kingdom
of Spain Spain’s
first coalition government between the ruling center-right party, which won the
most seats, and a centrist pro-business party.
The Socialists would not govern in any grand coalition with their
longtime political rivals, but are expected to abstain in the vote of confidence,
which would allow the acting Prime Minister to form a government, with the
assent of King Felipe VI, who has been urging the parties to reach a compromise
for the sake of national unity.
Because the conservatives and the Socialists have dominated Spanish politics since the establishment of the constitutional monarchy in 1975,
Spain has never had a coalition
government, let alone a minority government.
The kingdom has been without an effective government since
December. The conservatives had
increased their vote totals in the June voting while the Socialists suffered
defeats recently in regional elections.
Colombians Reject the Peace Deal with Marxist Narco-Terrorists
A referendum for a peace deal with the Marxist narco-terrorists was rejected by Colombians. There was a low turnout for the vote. The deal would have set aside congressional seats for the rebels and provided them amnesty for crimes in exchange for laying down their arms. The five-decade rebellion has killed over 200,000 people. Colombians were particularly opposed to impunity for the narco-terrorists.
A military campaign by the previous conservative government, backed by the
had caused major blows to the rebels and forced them to negotiate. The terrorists had received some support from
the Socialist dictatorship of Venezuela. A smaller leftist rebel group continues to
operate in Colombia,
but has also expressed readiness to lay down arms, pending the result of the
peace deal with the larger group.
It is unclear if the current conservative Government would renegotiate the deal or stand down, which could allow the return of the popular former conservative President who initiated the victorious military campaign.