World's last week in a minute... (29.06.2024 - 05.07.2024)​​

05.07.2024: The U.S. military is set to complete the withdrawal on Sunday of its personnel from Niger's Air Base 101.

05.07.2024: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban held talks on a potential Ukrainian peace deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin, stirring EU outcry.

05.07.2024: An Israeli delegation left Doha after meeting with Qatari mediators about Gaza ceasefire talks.

04.07.2024: China's President Xi Jinping said he supports Kazakhstan joining the BRICS bloc.

03.07.2024: Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal faced a crisis after a key ally in his multi-party coalition withdrew support.

02.07.2024: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that he has accepted a proposal to restart direct talks with the United States.

02.07.2024: Tear gas and stones as protesters across Kenya demand the resignation of President William Ruto.

02.07.2024: Philippines ready to discuss South China Sea continental shelf with Vietnam.

01.07.2024: South Africa's Preisdent, Cyril Ramaphosa named 32 ministerial positions of the Government of national unity, following weeks of deadlock. 

01.07.2024: Hungary takes EU presidency for next six months.

01.07.2024: Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister announced the discovery of seven oil and gas deposits in the kingdom's Eastern Province and Empty Quarter.​​​​​​​




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July 11th, 2024

National Day of Mongolia


Mongolia celebrates its National Day on July 11th every year, commemorating the country’s independence from China on July 11th, 1921. The day marks the beginning of the "Naadam" Holiday held from July 11th to July 15th every year; a five days festival in commemoration of Mongolian nomadic lifestyle and heritage. The Naadam festival is officially hosted in Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar including "the three games of man" revolve around three nomadic sports: archery, horse racing, and Mongolian wrestling. The Mongolian Revolution of 1911 occurred when the region of Outer Mongolia declared its independence from the Manchu-led Qing China during the Xinhai Revolution. The move for Mongolian independence had been stoked after the Qing dynasty implemented cultural assimilation policies in Outer Mongolia to strengthen the Chinese identity of the territory. In May 1911, the Xinhai Revolution led to the overthrow of the Qing dynasty and established the Republic of China. The turmoil in China was pounced upon by the Mongols, and on December 29th, 1911 Mongolia officially declared its independence from China. However, China invaded Mongolia in 1919. They were ousted in 1921. The Soviets then supported Mongolian independence leading to the Mongolian People's Party declaring independence for a second time on July 11th, 1921.​​



                                                                                                                 PRESIDENTIAL AND PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS IN NORTH MACEDONIA

On May 8th, 2024 North Macedonia will hold double elections; the second round of the presidential and scheduled parliamentary elections. The first round of the presidential election was held on April 24th, 2024 with the center-right VMRO-DPMNE candidate, Gordana Siljanovska – Dankova achieving a substantial victory over the ruling SDSM candidate and incumbent President, Stevo Pendarovski. Siljanovska got 40.1% of the votes, while Pendarovski took 19.9%, signaling a dominant victory for the VMRO-DPMNE candidate. However, since none of the candidates achieved the absolute majority, namely more than 50% plus one vote, a runoff between the two candidates is needed on May 8th, 2024. The parliamentary election is considered as more important than the presidential one, taking into consideration that the President of the state enjoys a rather ceremonial role with limited institutional powers.

Siljanovska’s broad victory demonstrates in the most emphatic way that a political change of power is taking place in the country’s internal politics, due to the citizens’ frustration for the state’s EU accession failure, the deterioration of the economy and people’s living standards, and the excessive corruption. Actually, the progress of the country’s accession to the EU was the main pre-electoral question and Pendarovski acknowledged it by stating after the first round of the election that the result is related with the slow progress of EU accession. Apart from the two main ethnic Slav-Macedonian parties, there are two coalitions – the European Front (which includes DUI) and VLEN – representing ethnic Albanians and will have a regulatory role on the next election day. The “For our Macedonia” (ZNAM) party could also have an important role in the formation of a new Government following the parliamentary election and assessing that none of the parties will achieve the absolute majority in the 120 seat Parliament.

The Euro-Atlantic community – namely the EU, the US, and NATO – are watching the potential political shift in North Macedonia carefully since there are concerns that a VMRO-DPMNE ruling coalition could follow a rather pro-Russian stance, undermining the stability and cohesion of the regional security architecture amid the war in Ukraine and the Russian aggression. Moreover, VMRO-DPMNE is maintaining a nationalist hardline which threatens to deteriorate neighboring relations with Bulgaria and Greece, further undermining the European future of the country. In short, the May 8th parliamentary elections are considered as critical for the state regarding the EU accession negotiations, the improvement of relations with neighboring countries, the establishment of rule of law, the fight of corruption, and the improvement of state’s economy and living standards.  

May 7th, 2024

Ioannis Karampelas

President of HERMES Institute of International Affairs, Security & Geoeconomy

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