Sunday, January 29, 2017

Foreign Digest: Gambia, Italy, United Kingdom, Turkey

Update: The Defeated Gambian President Has Left Power
            After being defeated in the recent Gambian presidential elections, Gambia’s longtime President, who had refused to accept the results of the election, has left power.  He made the decision after much international pressure was applied, including a military invasion by neighboring Senegal and the forces of the West African regional organization.  The election winner has returned from exile to take power.  It is hoped that Gambia will remain peaceful and will return to representative government and enjoy liberty.

Italy: Upholding Family Values; the Supreme Court Affirms the Election Law
            The European Court of Human Rights ruled Italy did not violate the rights of a couple who claimed parental rights over a child with whom they had no biological ties who was born of a surrogate mother.  The ruling also prevented the recording of the couples’ names as the parents on the child’s birth certificate.  The Court ruled that children have a right to biological parents. 

            The Constitutional Court upheld the parliamentary voting law, except for the runoff provision, maintaining the large bonus of seats in Parliament for any party bloc that received at least 40% of the votes, giving that party a majority, enabling it to form a government.  The law maintains differences between how members of the upper and lower chambers are elected.  Parliament may decide to amend the law before elections are held, which the populist party, who leads in the polls, prefer to be held now, as the law could enable them to attain a parliamentary majority without having to from any coalition government with any other party.  Other major parties prefer to vote in a few months, only after amending the law to reduce the bonus of parliamentary seats for the leading party to necessitate the formation of a coalition government, instead of one led by a party with only a plurality of popular support.

United Kingdom: Updates on the European Union Exit
            The British economy has returned to the level of economic growth the United Kingdom had been enjoying before the referendum in June of last year was approved to leave the European Union, which is contrary to the predictions of supporters of remaining in the EU that the UK’s economy would suffer if the referendum passed.

The British Supreme Court ruled that a parliamentary vote was required to require the withdrawal.  The conservative British Prime Minister has announced plans to negotiate the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. 

Turkey: Updates on the Turkish Government’s Crackdown
            The Supreme Court of Greece has ruled in favor of the asylum requests of eight Turkish servicemen who defected after the failed military coup in Turkey.  The authoritarian Islamist Turkish Government had requested their extradition.  

           An international group of Nobel Prize for Literature winners has written a letter sharply criticizing the Turkish Government for detaining over 100 writers and journalists as political prisoners as part of its post-coup crackdown on all dissent.  Mario Vargas Llosa of Peru is the most famous of the group.

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