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World's last week in a minute... (08.06.2024-14.06.2024)

14.06.2024: President Vladimir Putin said Russia would end the war in Ukraine only if Kyiv agreed to drop its NATO ambitions and hand over the entirety of four provinces claimed by Moscow, demands Kyiv swiftly rejected.

14.06.2024: Islamic State claimed responsibility for attack that killed at least 42 in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. 

14.06.2024: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was nominated for re-election by the African National Congress (ANC) party during Parliament's first sitting after last month's election.

12.06.2024: The U.S. military on Wednesday urged a de-escalation in rising tensions between Israel and Lebanon

12.06.2024: Armenia will leave a Russia-led security bloc CSTO, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan confirmed.

10.06.2024: French President Emmanuel Macron called snap parliamentary elections for June 30th, 2024.

09.06.2024: China, Pakistan have agreed to strengthen mining, oil and gas cooperation.

08.06.2024: Chinese air force jets circled a Dutch frigate and approached a Dutch helicopter in the East China Sea the Netherlands' Defense Ministry said. ​​​​​​

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June 18th, 2024

National Day of the Republic of Seychelles

                 





Seychelles National - or Constitution - Day is celebrated on June 18th every year in commemmoration of the country's transition from a one-party socialist state to a multi-party democracy constitution in 1993. France colonized Seychelles in the 1700s; however, Britain overthrew the French in the 1800s and made Seychelles a prison colony during the colonial period. Seychelles gained independence on June 29th, 1975, but a coup d’ etat followed this milestone. Fance-Albert Rene overthrew the first President, James Mancham, became President, and the nation became a one-party state. His regime aligned with the Soviet Union. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Rene announced the return to the multiparty system of government, but continued as an elected President until he left office on his own in 2004. On June 18th, 1993, a referendum passed to amend the Constitution for multi-party democracy; 73.9% of the electorate supported the change.​​

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OCCASIONAL PAPERS

                                                                                                                 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