Morocco – PJD May Struggle to Reach a Majority

A general election was held on October 7, and the Islamist PJD, the lead party in the incumbent government, once again finished first, claiming a total of 125 seats in the 395-member Parliament. In accordance with reforms agreed to by King Mohamed VI in 2011, PJD leader Abdelilah Benkirane has been Read Entire Entry

Netherlands – Far Right’s Rise Poses Serious Risks

A general election is scheduled for March 15, 2017, and with the far-right populist PVV running neck-and-neck with the Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s center-right VVD in recent polls, the run up to the vote figures to be a period of heightened uncertainty that contributes to market volatility. In Read Entire Entry

Kazakhstan – Government Shakeup

A recent bout of public protests revealed an undercurrent of popular discontent that has caused discomfort within the autocratic regime headed by President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who responded with a government reshuffle in September that he hopes will help to calm the public mood and may also Read Entire Entry

Costa Rica – Narrowing Fiscal Options

When President Luis Guillermo Solís presented his government’s draft budget for 2016, he justified the very stingy spending increase of less than 1% as necessary to prevent the already large fiscal deficit from running out of control. Although the shortfall is on track to widen slightly, to 5.9% Read Entire Entry

Syria – Conflict Escalates as Diplomacy Falters

The civil war in Syria is on track for an indefinite period of escalation following the collapse of a nationwide cease-fire on September 19. The truce negotiated by Russia and the US called for a cessation of hostilities to permit unimpeded humanitarian access to all besieged regions starting on Read Entire Entry

Australia – Failed Gamble Heightens Risks

Elections were held on July 2 to fill all 150 seats in the House of Representatives and all 76 seats in the Senate. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called a “double-dissolution” election in hopes of strengthening his government’s position in the upper house, where the lack of a majority has Read Entire Entry