Russia – Putin Once More

The country is now fully in election mode ahead of a presidential contest scheduled for March 18. Barring an act of nature, it is a foregone conclusion that Vladimir Putin will win another six-year term, extending his mandate to 2024. Putin has distanced himself from the United Russia brand by Read Entire Entry

Hungary – Orbán Tests EU’s Patience

The conservative populist government made up of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz and its tiny ally, the KDNP, remains remarkably stable, despite growing tensions in Hungary’s relationship with the EU. Although the latest battle stems from the Orbán government’s rejection of the EU’s Read Entire Entry

Libya – Balance of Power Shifts in Haftar’s Favor

As the mandate of the UN-backed government in Tripoli approaches its expiration date at the end of the year, pressure is building for Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj and the GNA to negotiate a political truce with the rival administration in Tobruk that clears the way to hold elections for a unified Read Entire Entry

Italy – Electoral Law Puts M5S at a Disadvantage

The main governing PD has been preoccupied for the past several months with passing a new electoral law in advance of a general election required by May 2018. The Parliament recently approved the so-called “Rosatellum” law, under which parties will be permitted to form alliances prior to the Read Entire Entry

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