Germany – Majority May Prove Elusive

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right CDU and its Bavarian sister party, the CSU, finished on top at the parliamentary elections held on September 22,  but suffered a net loss of 65 seats, reducing its total to 246. The center-left SPD, the junior partner in the outgoing grand coalition Read Entire Entry

Jamaica – Tough Fiscal-policy Choices Remain

Despite controlling a bare one-seat majority in the 63-member National Assembly, the JLP government headed by Prime Minister Andrew Holness faces little immediate threat to its hold on power. There are no signs of disunity within the governing party’s parliamentary group, and Peter Phillips, the Read Entire Entry

Kuwait – Immigration Policy under Fire

An ongoing power struggle between the elected National Assembly and the royally appointed government will continue to pose an obstacle to implementing long-delayed reforms that are recognized as crucial to diversifying an oil-dependent economy. Not even a boycott of the 2013 elections by most of Read Entire Entry

Vietnam – Hardliners Flexing Their Muscle

In August, President Tran Dai Quang made his first public appearance in four weeks, ending speculation that illness or upheaval within the ruling CPV might trigger a near-term reordering of the political hierarchy. Quang is the second-ranking member of the Politburo, subservient only to CPV Read Entire Entry

China – Xi Tightening Grip on Power

The 19th quinquennial National Congress of the Communist Party of China (NCCCP), which is scheduled to open on October 18, will bring greater clarity to the country’s political direction, as replacements are named for retiring members of the 25-member Politburo and the seven-member Politburo Read Entire Entry

Guatemala – Renewed Crisis

In mid-2015, Guatemala was convulsed by a massive corruption scandal that led to the forced resignations of both President Otto Pérez Molina and Vice President Roxana Baldetti and fueled a revolt by voters that vaulted Jimmy Morales, a television comedian with no political experience, into the Read Entire Entry

Spain Flash Forecast

Secession Crisis Will Test Rajoy’s Political Skills Spain has been thrust into a major political crisis following an illegal referendum on independence held in Catalonia on October 1, in which an overwhelming majority of the roughly one-half of the electorate that bothered to cast a ballot opted Read Entire Entry

Sri Lanka – Alliance Still Vulnerable to Disunity

The national unity government made up of the faction of the SLFP loyal to President Maithripala Sirisena and the UNFGG, a coalition headed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s UNP, is holding together as it nears the two-year mark, despite economic difficulties that forced Sri Lanka to seek Read Entire Entry

Japan Flash Forecast

Abe Opts for Snap Election as Regional Tensions Escalate Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced plans to dissolve the Parliament and hold a general election in the second half of October, more than a year before the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) government is required to seek a renewal of its Read Entire Entry

Papua New Guinea – Tainted O’Neill Returned as PM

Voting took place over a two-week period in late June and early July to fill the 111 seats in the unicameral National Assembly, and the process was marred by widespread incidents of fraud, intimidation, and even arson, all of which contributed to doubts about the legitimacy of the outcome. Despite Read Entire Entry