Slovakia – Smer Remains under a Cloud of Scandal

Robert Fico, the leader of the main governing Direction-Social Democracy (Smer), continues to roil the political waters, nine months after he resigned as prime minister, amid a scandal involving the murder of an investigative journalist digging into government corruption. Back in November, Fico Read Entire Entry

Zimbabwe – Political Climate Inhospitable to Reform

Having achieved the presidency by means of a military coup carried out in November 2017, Emmerson Mnangagwa fulfilled his goal of obtaining a popular mandate at an election held in late July, although the result was tainted by credible allegations of various widespread irregularities. At his Read Entire Entry

Russia – No Room for Complacency

Vladimir Putin’s fourth term as president is proving to be more uncomfortable than expected, with a public backlash against proposed pension reforms forcing the government to make a partial retreat in August. Putin agreed to soften some of the more controversial elements of the reform bill, but Read Entire Entry

Finland – Low Risk of Worrisome Policy Shift

The unity of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s coalition government has been strained of late, as Sipila’s centrist agrarian KESK and its main partner, the conservative KOK, remain at odds over how to restructure the existing municipal system for delivering health and welfare services, with the Read Entire Entry

Sweden – Impasse Not a Threat to Economy…Yet

As polling data indicated would be the case, the elections for the Riksdag held in conjunction with regional and municipal voting on September 9 produced another hung Parliament, as the incumbent Red-Greens bloc made up of Prime Minister Stefan Löfven’s center-left SAP and the Greens won a total Read Entire Entry

United Kingdom – Brexit Uncertainty Heightens Risk

Prime Minister Theresa May faces a rebellion by hardline Brexiteers in her Conservative Party, who have threatened to vote down her compromise plan for guiding the UK out of the EU in March 2019 with limited disruption to the country’s existing relationship with the bloc. The conflict has already Read Entire Entry

Slovakia – Pellegrini Fails to Soothe Discontent

Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini has completed his first six months in office after taking over the top government post from Róbert Fico, who felt obliged to resign earlier this year amid the largest anti-government street protests the country had seen since the 1989 Velvet Revolution. The catalyst Read Entire Entry

China – Risk Grows as Trade War Escalates

The US imposed a 10% tariff on another $200 billion worth of imports from China earlier this month, in the latest round of the escalating trade war in which neither side has given any indication that it is considering retreat. The new tariffs will increase to 25% on January 1, 2019, unless a deal Read Entire Entry

Vietnam – Factional Tensions Persist

In early March, one of the highest-ranking members of the CPV secretariat, Dinh The Huynh, resigned from his post, citing health issues. He was immediately replaced by Tran Quoc Vuong, and the smoothness of the transition highlights the significant stability within the upper echelon of the party Read Entire Entry

Brazil – Voters’ Disgust Will Benefit Outsiders

The political fallout from Brazil’s massive corruption scandal has not dissipated, and voters continue to consume a regular diet of news of prominent figures nabbed for illicit enrichment. At the same time, rising insecurity, underscored by a record-breaking homicide rate, is taking a toll not Read Entire Entry