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New York Times (April 20)

2018/ 04/ 22 by jd in Global News

A recent spate of “dizzying” progress on the Equal Rights Amendment (E.R.A.) is both an ironic and probably unintended consequence of the Trump presidency. “Now, on Mr. Trump’s watch, feminists could reach a goal nearly a century in the making…ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution.” The fight was started so long ago that a recent poll found “80 percent of respondents thought the Constitution already explicitly guaranteed equal rights for women and men.” It doesn’t. Not yet…anyway.

 

The Economist (March 24)

2018/ 03/ 26 by jd in Global News

“Constitutionally Mr Putin cannot stand in 2024, and from now on political life will be dominated by the question of succession and expectation of his departure.” There is likely to be a generational sea change as the children and grandchildren of the glasnost and perestroika (openness and restructuring) sown by Gorbachev come to the fore. There will no doubt be tension. Putin’s very “own survival and preservation of the system he now presides over will be his sole objective.”

 

The Economist (March 3)

2018/ 03/ 05 by jd in Global News

“Last weekend China stepped from autocracy into dictatorship. That was when Xi Jinping, already the world’s most powerful man, let it be known that he will change China’s constitution so that he can rule as president for as long as he chooses—and conceivably for life.”0

 

Financial Times (February 26)

2018/ 02/ 27 by jd in Global News

“Four months after a historic Chinese Communist party congress was expected to answer most questions about Xi Jinping’s second five-year term in office, China’s president has demonstrated that he can still ‘shock and awe’ his political rivals.” The Central Committee’s recommendation to scrap the ten year presidential term limit, almost ensures this protection will be written out of the constitution, further tightening Xi’s powerful grip on China.

 

LA Times (November 6)

2016/ 11/ 07 by jd in Global News

“Conservatives shouldn’t trust Trump with their votes, or the Constitution.” If elected, he would “be able to abuse his power with impunity — and, based on his own statements and his track record, he would feel little restraint in doing so.

 

Washington Post (November 4)

2016/ 11/ 06 by jd in Global News

In Nicaragua, there is “an even more depressing election than our own.” Daniel Ortega will on Sunday, “following gross manipulation of the constitution and electoral system… preside over his reelection as president, as well as the installation of his wife, Rosario Murillo, as vice president.” Struggling with failing health, his wife can serve as a placeholder to “ensure that the presidency remains in his family; his children are waiting in the wings.”

 

Financial Times (January 29)

2015/ 01/ 30 by jd in Global News

“Much more than the fate of Mr Goto hangs in the balance. Japan’s foreign policy, rooted in its pacifist constitution, stands at a tipping point. How the public reacts to the fate of Mr Goto could have a big influence on where things go from here.”

 

Wall Street Journal (July 2)

2014/ 07/ 02 by jd in Global News

The decision by the Cabinet to reinterpret the constitution and allow for  Japan’s collective self-defense is “a momentous and long overdue decision that strengthens the security of Asia’s democracies. Perhaps as important, it will force Beijing to contemplate how its aggressive behavior in the East China Sea invited Japan to take a more active role in the region.”

 

Wall Street Journal (May 7)

2014/ 05/ 07 by jd in Global News

“Good political news is scarce in Latin America these days, so it’s worth noting the upset victory on Sunday by Vice President Juan Carlos Varela in Panama’s presidential election.” This anti-corruption underdog prevailed against the former mayor of Panama City, the incumbent’s hand-picked successor who had already made moves to subvert the constitution. “The real victor is Panama’s young democracy.”

 

Financial Times (January 29, 2014)

2014/ 01/ 31 by jd in Global News

After such great hope, the Arab Spring evaporated. Whether some countries ultimately took steps forward or backwards remains unclear. A few have obviously fallen into anarchy. “Still, amid all the gloom, there is one country – Tunisia – which suddenly appears within striking distance of successfully completing the journey from dictatorship to democracy.” With a new constitution clearing the path for free elections, Tunisia may be able to stand “as a beacon of what can be achieved if Islamists and secularists set aside their differences for the greater good.”After such great hope, the Arab Spring evaporated. Whether some countries ultimately took steps forward or backwards remains unclear. A few have obviously fallen into anarchy. “Still, amid all the gloom, there is one country – Tunisia – which suddenly appears within striking distance of successfully completing the journey from dictatorship to democracy.” With a new constitution clearing the path for free elections, Tunisia may be able to stand “as a beacon of what can be achieved if Islamists and secularists set aside their differences for the greater good.”

 

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