Category: Politics

Macrosnap Kurds in Turkey?

  • Population = 15m.
  • Participate in national elections and have recently seen success through the pro-Kurd coalition Party the HDP.
  • Kurdish militants, the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) in armed conflict with the government and is designated a terrorist organisation by the EU.

Explain November Turkey parliamentary election?

  • Rerun of June election which resulted in historic inclusion of a pro-Kurd party, the HDP.
  • But election resulted in a split parliament, failed coalition talks, hence the rerun.
  • If HDP wins more than the 10% threshold for parliamentary representation, might derail Erdogan's power consolidation plans.

An inherited economic-mega-mess for Argentina’s next leader?

  • New president (final round of election on Nov 22) will have to deal with mess of an economy left by incumbent Cristina Kirchner and her predecessor husband Nestor (who together ruled for 12 years).
  • Slow growth + dwindling foreign exchange reserves in wake of colossal economic mismanagement and end of commodity boom.
  • One of the world's highest inflation rates (officially at around 14.5%) and huge fiscal deficit (over 7% of GDP).

Poland 2015 parliamentary election result?

  • Swing to the right - conservative opposition Law and Justice party wins big victory.
  • First time since 1989 (when democracy was restored) that there's no left-wing party in parliament, and that a single party has won enough seats to govern alone.
  • Expect Poland to become a more socially conservative country, mildly Eurosceptic and more inward-looking.

Explain South Africa’s student protests?

  • Widespread protests against proposed higher tuition fees - President Zuma capitulates and agrees to a cap of fee increases.
  • Protests seen as barometer of broad dissatisfaction with post-Apartheid government's apparent failure to address economic inequalities.
  • Economic backdrop unsupportive: Growth still weak, unemployment high, fiscal deficit widening.

What is Peronism?

  • Populist Argentine political movement based on the legacy of former President Juan Domingo Perón and his 2nd wife Eva.
  • Still dominates politics in Argentina today, traditionally drawing its support from the working class and unions.
  • Half of candidates in first round of 2015 Presidential poll (25 Oct) were Peronists.

Are Palestinians Sunni or Shia?

  • Estimates of total (Gaza + West Bank + diaspora):
  • Sunni 85%, Shia 7%, Christian 6%, Druze 1%, other 1%.
  • Gaza is significantly more homogenous than the West Bank.
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