The Finnish version of populism is known in the vernacular as “Vennamoism,” after the colorful founder and long-time leader of the Finnish Rural Party, Veikko Vennamo. Although Finnish populism has been pronounced dead over and over again, it has always managed to rise again and reinvent itself. The high polling numbers of the True Finns in the lead-up to the forthcoming Finnish general election in April indicate that populism in Finland is once again making a comeback as a political force to reckon with.
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2011 elections in Estonia is a distinct indication of a political development in very much the right direction. The government coalition did ´deliver´ to the voters, and in a relation of reciprocity, the voters delivered back.
In a joint proclamation, signed by ten organizations, the democratic opposition in Belarus now urges the EU not to negotiate on anything with the regime in Minsk other than the immediate release of all political prisoners, including the four presidential candidates who are still imprisoned and threatened with long-term prison sentences.
On Monday the 20th and on Tuesday the 21st Minsk was back to its normal life. The life of fear. The doors that had been opened during the month before had once more, at least for a period, been closed. In an interview the 21th, the independent professor of Political Science, Mr Valery Karbalevich comment the situation.
Elections in Azerbaijan have regularly been criticized by international observers and mainly seem to be a formalization of political balance agreed by different economical interest groups in the country. Being split, the opposition parties now once again admit that, in addition to election fraud, they suffer from low support from an electorate that sees them as a weak force in society. In the foreseeable future political changes in Azerbaijan will rather be a result of shifting powers within the elite than of electoral processes.
Andrey Sannikov is a wellknown Belarusian diplomat. In the 1980s, he served as representative of the Belarusian Soviet Republic at the United Nations. In the beginning of the 1990s, when Belarus declared its independence, he was an active member of the the newly formed independent adminstration and held the post of deputy foreign minister. Here in an interview about dicatorship, the importance of voting and the role of international observers.
The highly preliminary electoral results of the regional elections in Ukraine indicate that the rapidly changing framework has had a highly diverse effect on the political arena, emboldening some, and discouraging others.
On October 10 the people of Kyrgyzstan elected a new national parliament (Jogorku Kenesh) in an election that has been described as the most free and fair ever in a post-Soviet Central Asian republic. A closer look at the elections as well as their results indicates certain obstacles on the road to a prosperous parliamentary system.
With several old parties joined in new constellations, the Latvian party landscape may have turned its back on party fragmentation. The Latvian autumn sky is however clouded by low turnout, the lingering issue of corruption, and, in the shadow of the economic crisis, reports about possible vote-buying.
Baltic Worlds will be commenting on the parliamentary and presidential elections taking place in countries around the Baltic Sea region and in Eastern Europe. The comments and analyses, written by researchers and in a few cases by expert journalists, present the parties, the candidates and the main issues of the election, as well as analyze the implications of the results. First out: a report from the election in Poland this summer.