Welcome to Siberian Light for the latest weekly Carnival of the Revolutions, where we aim to give you a sampling of how democracy is marching forwards (and sometimes backwards) in the world today. So, without further ado, onto the…
- The first round of the Iranian elections took place this weekend. Former President and (possibly slightly) moderate candidate Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani gained 21% of the votes, closely followed by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the ‘hardline’ mayor of Tehran, and the two will contest a run-off election on Friday (the first ever in an Iranian election). Global Voices Online have a roundup of reaction.
- A number of polling stations have been set up across the United States. Robert Meyer at Publius Pundit visited one in Tucson and interviewed one of the poll monitors. Gateway Pundit took a look a polling station in St Louis and Will Franklin of Willisms visited yet another in Houston where he almost got himself arrested. He’s posted video of his visit here. The consensus from each of their reports seems to be that turnout was low – about 50 people out of the 2,500 Iranians living in Tucson, according to Robert.
- Iranian blogger Mr Behi reports on a late night discussion with his wife on how they will vote.
- Global Voices Online have news of an online petition to support Omid Sheikhan, a jailed Iranian blogger.
- Across the Bay analyses the unexpectedly strong showing of former General Michel Aoun in Lebanon’s parliamentary elections and what it means for the future of Lebanese politics. Willisms also assesses his success.
- Massoud Barzani has been inaugurated as the first President of Iraqi Kurdistan.
- Kuwait has appointed its first woman cabinet minister.
- South African President Thabo Mbeki has sacked his Vice President, Jacob Zuma, after a corruption scandal. Zuma was a popular figure in the ANC, and sacking him seems to have been a major political risk for Mbeki. Happily, he seems to be weathering the storm. Commentary.co.za has some, well, some commentary.
- The national strike called in Zimbabwe last weekend failed miserably. Zimbabwe Pundit explains why.
- The UK Government has announced that it is to suspend £20 million of aid to Ethiopia because of post-election violence there. And, in a comprehensive post on the elections, Gateway Pundit reports that the Ethiopian government plans to announce the results of the election on July 8th.
- Inside Somaliland reports on a transport strike there.
- Presidential elections are underway in Guinea-Bissau to replace interim President Henrique Rosa who has been governing since September 2003. Sadly, I couldn’t find a single blogger covering this, so the BBC News report will have to do for now. Update: Of course, just after I post this, what else should happen but a blog post on the topic arrives. Over to Gateway Pundit for the latest.
- US President George Bush met with five African Presidents in the White House this week. Their common link? All have won a democratic election during the last 12 months.
- Sunday was the 60th Birthday of Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. She has been under house arrest for the last two years, and has spent a total of 2,523 days under military detention.
- Microsoft appear to have sold out to the wishes of the Chinese government by agreeing to ban certain words from blogs posted using their MSN Spaces portal. Banned words include ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’. Rebecca MacKinnon at Global Voices Online, however, notes that the ban can be circumvented.
- Doubleleaf, meanwhile, has a roundup (translated into English) of what Chinese bloggers are talking about.
- The man who leaked audio tapes accusing President Arroyo of the Philippines of electoral fraud has gone into hiding after an arrest warrant was issued by the government. Publius Pundit reports on the massive street demonstrations in Manila.
- New Mongols discuss the success of democracy in Mongolia, noting that power has peacefully changed hands several times to make Mongolia one of the most stable of the newly democratic states to emerge at the end of the Cold War.
- The last time I hosted the Carnival of the Revolutions, I mentioned a Gateway Pundit report on the plight of the millions of slaves living in the world. Gateway Pundit this week has some better news – the Indian police have freed more than 500 children from forced labour.
- United We Stand covers the role of independent media in Nepal, and the pressures it is under from the Nepali monarchy. Gateway Pundit has more on protests in which more than 100 journalists were arrested.
- Voice of America are to resume broadcasts to Uzbekistan.
- Kyrgyzstan’s revolution is not yet complete, argues Nathan Hamm at registan.net
- 20,000 people marched through the streets of Nicaragua’s capital city in support of President Enrique Bolanos.
- Quid Nimis looks at the over-use of terms like Nazi and Gulag in today’s political environment with particular reference to US Senator Richard Durbin’s recent comments comparing the way the US treats prisoners to the way Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and Cambodia have treated their prisoners. Senator Durbin’s full statement can be found here – the comment in question is on page 7.
- What effect has George Bush’s recent visit to Georgia had on opposition movements in the Caucasus? Blogrel investigates, and finds that while the opposition in Azerbaijan has been galvanised, they don’t seem so enthusiastic in Armenia. Katy goes on to suggest a few ideas as to how the Armenian opposition might be motivated.
- Neeka’s Backlog reports that fake leaflets are being sent out in Bashkortostan in Russia, telling people that they must vote in the upcoming election or pay a 3,000 ruble ($100) fine. That’s the equivalent of a month’s wages for most people.
- Elections are taking place in the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, which over which Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a war in the early 1990s. Azerbaijan, which still claims sovereignty over the enclave called the election illegitimate. Sadly, I couldn’t find any bloggers covering this story either, so we have to say thanks once again to BBC News for the scoop.
- A man from Tuymen, Siberia has lodged a petition at the Russian Constitutional Court against President Putin’s plans to abolish the election of regional leaders.
- Democracy Guy recounts a meeting with a one-time Armenian dissident who sold out. He points out that not every dissident is a saint – they are human beings, and can be flawed as the rest of us.
- Katy at Blogrel points out that the post-Soviet generation will soon be casting their first votes.
- David McDuff was an exchange student in Moscow in 1969, and he is posting a series of articles about his time there, and how afraid people often were to discuss political issues in the Soviet Union.
Well, that’s it for this edition. Details of the schedule for the carnival over the next couple of months, plus submission guidelines are below.
May 30: Registan.net
June 6: Publius Pundit
June 13: Gateway Pundit
June 20: Siberian Light
June 27: WILLisms.com
July 4: Registan.net
July 11: Publius Pundit
July 18: Boxing Alcibiades
July 25: soapgun blog
August 1: SophistPundit
August 8: Blogrel
August 15: Am I A Pundit Now?
August 22: Coming Anarchy
August 29: One Free Korea
September 5: Thinking-East
September 12: Quid Nimis
September 19: OPEN
September 26: OPEN
October 3: OPEN
October 10: OPEN
October 17: OPEN
October 24: OPEN
October 31: OPEN
November 7: OPEN
Email WILLisms@gmail.com if you would like to host the Carnival of Revolutions at some point in the future. We prefer that you have some experience blogging on these issues, as it requires a moderate level of expertise to prepare the carnival each week.
The submission deadline is each Sunday evening, but the exact deadline really up to the host each week. Any blogger can submit a post on the rapid flurry of events we see each week, or on a broader theoretical idea. The criteria are fairly broad, but inclusion of your submission is ultimately up to the host.
To submit a post for a future Carnival of Revolutions, use this page, or email the host for the week directly.