On 2 December 2012 Slovenian citizens elected the fourth president of the republic in its short history as an independent and liberal democratic state. Although the presidential function in a system of parliamentary government (see Strøm, 1995) such as Slovenian is by constitution reduced to more or less ceremonial obligations with very limited executive competences, its significance is in fact far greater.
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The results of December 9th 2012 Romanian elections for the two Houses of Parliament, the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, appear to validate what opinion polls were registering during the electoral campaign. The governing coalition of PM Victor Ponta won a sweeping majority, with the serious perspectives of profound changes of Romanian politics and a redrafting of the existing constitution in store.
Two elections took place in the Czech Republic the last weekend, October 12 and 13, 2012. The left-wing parties were the winners in both elections: The first round of the senate election and in the election to the regional assemblies. The second round of the senate election will take place on Friday, October 19th and Saturday, 20th, 2012.
The results of Georgia’s October 1 parliamentary elections came as a surprise to most observers, the ruling United National Movement party (UNM) and likely to the leaders of the Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia (GD) opposition coalition itself.
A week before elections the head of the Armenian Central Election Committee announced that the Armenian parliamentary election would be monitored by over 30 000 observers, both foreign and domestic. The elections in Armenia 2012 were far from revolutionary, but perhaps it was a sign of a gradual evolution of Armenian democracy towards normality. The election results have not yet being challenged and parliament is better representing the political forces in the country and the party system is more consolidated.
Self-restraint will be the key test of Fico’s second government. Fico has periodically demonstrated an ability to take the long view, but Slovakia’s first single-party parliamentary majority will produce strong temptations to opt for short-term institutional gains for himself and financial gains for his supporters. If Fico can resist those temptations, he may secure for himself a long future in politics and a place in Slovakia’s history. If he cannot, then in 2016 he may again find himself on the losing end of electoral calculations.
Andreas Johansson, Dissenting Democrats Nation and Democracy in the Republic of Moldova, Stockholm 2012, Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations 62, 263 pages
There can be no doubt that Russia has again surprised Western commentators; there had been a good consensus that there would not be major political opposition in Russia,that civil society is weak and there were no alternatives around. Now we have to develop a much more sophisticated analysis. In this article I will concentrate on two issues: legitimacy and interests.
Next Sunday, on March 4, presidential elections are held in Russia. The likely winner of the elections, Vladimir Putin, has been known already for five months but during these five months Russian political climate has changed significantly.
On February 18, Latvia held a referendum on amendments to the Constitution (Satversme) that would make Russian a second official language. Discussions about this referendum have been very emotional. The sensitivity of the question resulted in the second-highest turnout of voters (71.12% ) for a referendum, just slightly lower than in the 2003 referendum on joining the European Union (71.49%). The proposal was rejected, so Russian did not become the second official language of Latvia and therefore an EU language.