By Jeff Fischer August 30 is the 20th anniversary of the voting in East Timor for the country’s […]
By Daniel Brumberg Reprinted, with permission, from the Arab Center D.C. To access the original, click here. The […]
By Hashim Pasha At its heart, the Kashmir conflict between India and Pakistan is an environmental conflict, one […]
By Jared Kelly The United States can improve budget transparency and reduce interstate inventions by declassifying the Department […]
by Gabriel Hearn-Desautels In the United States, presidential announcements are replete with claims that the liberal media is […]
Photo: President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Phoenix, AZ. Source: Gage Skidmore
By Avram Reisman
On Friday, President Trump declared a national emergency to address the “national security and humanitarian crisis at the border.” Presidents have declared national emergencies over 50 times since the National Emergencies Act was signed into law in 1976, and Trump has already implemented three, but a national emergency has never been used to override the Congressional power of the purse.
By Avram Reisman Recently, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib faced a barrage of criticism from pundits and the media for […]
Pictured: Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza speaks to the media after casting his vote at the constitutional referendum in Buye, north of Ngozi, in northern Burundi on May 17, 2018. (Photo Credit: Berthier Mugiraneza, Associated Press).
By Kwadwo A. Boateng
The results of Burundi’s most recent referendum on constitutional amendments see the possible extension of President Nkurunziza’s term until 2034. He has been President of Burundi since August 2005. The results have made the opposition uneasy; however, this is not the first time the President has sought to bypass constitutional term limits. The vulnerability of Burundi’s national legislature has been on display before: Burundi’s Parliament allowed the President to run for re-election in 2015, at the end of his second (and last) term, prompting a crisis that culminated in government forces clashing with protestors. Parliament must become independent from governmental influence to prevent strongmen from taking advantage of constitutional law.
Burundi’s President, Pierre Nkurunziza, has secured a constitutional amendment that will enable him to remain in office until 2034. A referendum held on 17 May extended his presidential powers by approving the amendment. Questions remain about whether Burundi’s National Independent Electoral Commission can become independent of government influence, following the referendum result. It could do so by persuading Burundi’s national legislature to insist on different behavior from its executives at the national level. This could come about in several ways, which are discussed below. Opposition groups in Burundi such as the Union for Peace and Democracy and the Frodebu-Nyakuri party are also (understandably) concerned about the referendum results, because they add to a pattern of undemocratic governance that has existed since the ruling party, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD), became more radicalized following post-conflict elections in 2010.
Jennifer Raymond Dresden, Ph.D.
It turns out that yesterday was not the busiest air travel day of the year in the United States. Neither is Sunday. (I know, I’m shocked too.) Statistics don’t help you much, though, if you’re currently stuck in an airport, sandwiched between your fellow disgruntled passengers in an overcrowded waiting area, or on a train or bus just trying to get to a loved one’s home for Turkey Day.
Never fear, though, we here at the Democracy & Governance Program have got you covered. While you’re in the air, on the rails, or on the road (assuming you’re not doing the driving), here are a few of the best democracy & governance reads from around the web the last few weeks.
By Georges A. Fauriol
The past decade has convincingly brought to a close a period of global democratic growth and consolidation underway since the late 1970s – Samuel Huntington’s “third wave.” We have instead now witnessed twelve years of democratic decline. This is fueled by the resurgence of expansionist authoritarianism armed with a vision strategically eager to compete with the norms and institutions of democracy; worse, there is also a measurable decline by established democracies in their commitment to democratic governing principles – in the aggregate, this is Larry Diamond’s “democratic recession.”