Israel – Viability of Coalition Questionable

The five-party government formed after an early election held in March 2015, made up of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s center-right Likud, the centrist Kulanu, the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home, and two ultra-orthodox religious parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism, has survived internal Read Entire Entry

Venezuela – Opposition Victory Brings Own Risks

Legislative elections were held on December 6, and a combination of triple-digit inflation, severe shortages of numerous staple goods, and repression of government critics has stoked discontent among the general electorate that cost the incumbent PSUV dearly at the ballot box. The opposition MUD Read Entire Entry

Egypt – Election Result Bolsters Sisi

The first legislative elections since 2012 have produced a new Parliament dominated by lawmakers broadly supportive of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, promising a solid degree of policy continuity in 2016. Competition for influence among various pro-government parties poses some risk of divisions Read Entire Entry

China – Market Volatility Highlights Challenges

The New Year has brought fresh problems for officials in the higher echelons of the Communist regime, and considerable uncertainty for investors rocked by another spate of financial market instability. The sudden fall in the value of Chinese assets, and the accompanying currency depreciation and Read Entire Entry

Players to Watch in Argentina

Mauricio Macri: The popular two-term mayor ofBuenos Aires and leader of the center-right PRO won a closely contested run-off presidential election in November 2015, narrowly defeating Daniel Scioli, the candidate of the incumbent leftist FPV. Macri ran a disciplined campaign, emphasizing his Read Entire Entry

France – FN Growing Stronger

Expectations that the shocking mid-November terrorist attacks in Paris would reap political benefits for the far-right FN at regional elections held in December were only partially borne out. Although Marine Le Pen’s party won its largest share of the popular vote ever, the FN failed to gain Read Entire Entry

Kazakhstan – Nazarbayev on the Defensive

Amid a perfect storm of depressed commodity prices, recession in Russia, a slowdown in China’s industrial expansion, and sparks flying between the Kazakh government’s allies in Ankara and Moscow, President Nursultan Nazarbayev has made some personnel changes in key positions intended to signal Read Entire Entry

South Korea – Park Showing Resilience

Approaching the end of the third year of what can fairly be described as a very tumultuous presidency, Park Geun-hye has displayed remarkable resilience, as indicated by the rise of her approval rating above 40% in the most recent polls, compared to a low of 33% recorded back in February 2015. Read Entire Entry