Country sovereignty newsitems last week

May 29

FT Inauguration of new president in Nigeria not met with great expectations

The president succeeds a party member and has less space to start new policies. Both men are aged and with health problems. Over the weekend the senate lifted a lending cap which indicates how the government will operate. Around a third of the oil production is stolen and a substantial fuel subsidy is in place. This likely will continue. Everybody remembers the huge protests in 2012 when a president of another party tried to quit fuel subsidy.

FT Drugs violence hinders peaceful elections in Ecuador

With both parliamentary and presidential elections due on August 20 (see also May 18) and if needed a presidential run off on October 15 focus is on increased violence due to the drugs industry. The president has declared it terrorism, making it possible to involve the army to fight it. But the generals are careful not to get stuck in the gang turf war.

May 30

FT After defeat in local election ruling party in Spain calls national election

The country is due to take up the rotating presidency of the EU for the second half of the year. Election will now be on July 23. The PM has global ambitions but meets deep resentment at home, despite economic success. The conservative opposition plays on an euro sceptic scenario.

FT Incumbent wins run off in presidential election in Turkey

Despite an economic crisis the ruling coalition can still win on identity politics. The newspaper declares the sitting president the most powerful leader since the founder of modern Turkey, Ataturk.

May 31

FT Central Bank of Israel warns against judicial reforms

The bank argues that continued uncertainty has significant costs. “To the extent that constitutional changes are made, they must maintain the strength and independence of the institutions.” The government has argued that changes were necessary to reign in activist judges. Many other layers in society protested to retain the checks and balances of the current political system. The government backed down but now seems to be returning to its original idea.

NYT Uganda resists outside pressure and activates anti-gay law

The parliament speaker: “I thank my colleagues the Members of Parliament for withstanding all the pressure from bullies and doomsday conspiracy theorists in the interest of our country.” Some offenses are met with the option of the death penalty. Religious groups and churches have promoted legislation to protect underaged and what they portray as the traditional African family.

NYT Army in Sudan withdraws from ceasefire talks

The army released a video with the top general voicing threats against the other party. Fighting is strong in the northern town El Obeid and in Darfur. The African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, an eight-nation regional bloc that includes Sudan, had hoped to agree on a road map for future political talks that would bring in various stakeholders including civilian participants.

NYT In Pakistan the top court faces up to the powerful military

For most of the eight decades history of the country the courts gave the military a legal stamp of approval, disqualified dozens of politicians who had fallen out of favor with the generals, and turned a blind eye to the disappearances of political dissidents. This has changed recently after the former PM was voted out by parliament. Insecurity remains over the question of what is best for democracy.

June 2

FT In Sudan militia fighting returns to Darfur region

Both fighting generals have links to the vast and largely deserted region. One of them hails from the region. Fighting has already started and thousands have fled to Chad. If the challenger loses in the capital, he will regroup his fighters in Darfur. If he wins, this will encourage these desert militia even more.

FT Casual remarks of president of Nigeria on fuel subsidy spark chaos

In a departure from remarks circulated earlier, the president said the subsidy of fuel, costing 10 bn $ last year, should stop. This led to long queues at gas stations and wildly fluctuating fuel prices.

FT Bar for president of Nigeria is low as possible

In an op-ed the FT Africa editor laments the prospect for a “visibly ill” president elected by 9 million votes out of the 27 percent of 87 million registered voters who bothered to turn up. One option would be that he appoints a team of technocrats, like he did earlier as a governor of the capital. Another important option is the appointment of a Central Bank governor able to stabilize the currency. Third would be to fix the chaos of fuel corruption that prevented the country from benefiting from the global fuel price surge.

June 3

FT Presidential hopeful in Senegal convicted for “corrupting youth”

He was on trial for sexual offences but cleared. He can not appeal his sentence for “corrupting youth” as he was not present at the court. If this does not change, he cannot run for president. Riots killed at least nine. The incumbent cannot run again as he served two terms. His supporters campaign to change the constitution to allow for a third term.

News from the World Evangelical Alliance

There is a new issue of the International Journal for Religious Freedom: