Tag Archives: democracy

Timor-Leste consolidates its young democracy

Timor-Leste goes to its fourth parliamentary elections this Saturday, in a process that has so far been colorful and sometimes noisy but unblemished by the violence that marred this country’s first few years of independence. By conventional criteria, Timor-Leste has passed the test of consolidating its young democracy. The number of parties contesting the elections […]

Myanmar’s compromised elections

On 8 July 2015, Myanmar’s Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) government announced that Myanmar would go to elections on 8 November. This raised the prospect of whether Myanmar’s process of reform and liberalization – what US President Barak Obama had earlier called the country’s ‘real but incomplete’ process of democratization – would continue. In […]

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy campaign in for the long haul

If one was to believe the reporting on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy demonstrations, especially the reporting in Hong Kong, one could be mistaken for believing that it was all but over. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. There is no doubt that the numbers in Hong Kong Central have diminished, especially during the day, […]

Indonesian democracy may rest on election

When Indonesia’s 180 million voters go to the polls tomorrow, they will be deciding whether Indonesia continues, more or less, with further developing its democratic experiment, or whether it turns away from a relatively open society that is necessary to allow democracy to flourish. While the choice might appear to be obvious to anyone committed […]

Jokowi, democracy winners in Indonesia’s tightening presidential race

There has been a growing sense that Indonesia’s presidential elections on 9 July will be much closer than initially thought and that hard man Prabowo Subianto could be a real contender for office. If Prabowo is successful, his presidency would be expected to fundamentally re-shape the orientation of Indonesia’s post-Suharto era. This shift towards Prabowo […]

Thailand's roadmap to democracy filled with potholes and detours

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Thailand's army tightens its grip

Thailand’s army has tightened its grip on the country’s domestic political process since launching its coup d‘etat last Thursday. Up to 200 politicians, journalists, academics and activists have been arrested, with more ordered to surrender to authorities. The media have been tightly restricted on what can be reported and there has even been a brief […]

Afghanistan's second election: not exactly democratic consolidation

Perhaps it’s because we like to reinforce our own prejudices with positive reaffirmations or perhaps it’s because the media does not know how to tell a complex story simply, but the weekend’s presidential election in Afghanistan was not the democratic triumph we have been led to believe. Yes, they were elections, but this was somewhat […]

Anti-reform actors hover over Indonesia’s coming elections

Indonesia’s democracy is being increasingly tested by the triple challenges of anti-reform actors, a high-level political malaise and popular disenchantment with the electoral process. Prabowo Subianto accepts the Great Indonesia Movement Party nomination for the 2014 presidential election (Photo: Wikipedia). One indicator of this has been an increasing tendency by the Indonesian military (TNI) to […]

Myanmar: it is not a democracy (yet)

Just having Myanmar’s pro-democracy icon and Nobel laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi, in Australia is a lovely thing. She is one of those few international figures, along with Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama and Xanana Gusmao, who seem to be all but universally admired in the West. But despite Daw (to use the polite honorific) […]