DESK REVIEWS | 01.05 Political situation

DESK REVIEW | 01.05 Political situation

Between 1920 and 1963, Kenya was a British colony. Following its independence in 1963 the country became a republic in 1964.

Brazil is a federative republic with a political system composed of three levels of independent government (federal government, 26 states and one federal district, and 5,563 municipalities). The government is led by a president (executive branch), bicameral legislature (chamber of deputies and senate house) and several political parties. Brazil is a democratic nation, governed by means of an independent judiciary, with national and subnational (mandatory voting) electronic elections every four years (Paim et al., 2011). It is a young democracy, still with many contradictions.

References:

Paim, J., Travassos, C., Almeida, C., Bahia, L., & Macinko, J. (2011). The Brazilian health system: History, advances, and challenges. The Lancet, 377(9779), 1778–1797. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60054-8

 

The Indian subcontinent is a federal parliamentary democratic republic where the head of state is the President of India and the head of government is the Prime Minister (Nirmala, 2018). Moreover, India has a dual polity system, which is made of a central authority and state level governments (Nirmala, 2018).

References:

Nirmala, R. (2018). Politics in India:-At a Glance: A Study of Indian Political System and Elections. Available from http://www.ijhssi.org/papers/vol7(12)/Ver-2/A0712020117.pdf

The Republic of Indonesia is a presidential republic that was founded in 1945 and gained full independence in 1949. A Federal Constitution was established in 1949, then briefly abandoned and reinstated in 1959. The Constitution regulates relationships with other states but also outlines responsibilities and powers, such as relations between state institutions (legislative, executive, and judiciary) within the country (Qatar Embassy in Jakarta – Republic of Indonesia, 2018). There were several upheavals until 1967 General Suharto became president. The ‘New Order’ regime was in power until 1998, following the Asian crisis in 1997. Between 1998 and 2000 the country underwent major political and governmental reform, including four amendments to the constitution and reorganisation of legislative and judiciary authorities to decentralise power. In 1999, for the first time, free elections were held in Indonesia. Aburrahman Wahid became elected president and stayed in power until 2001, when he was dismissed by parliament. He was superseded by Megawati Sukarnoputri. She was unseated in the 2004 elections by former general Susilo Bambang Yuhoyono. In 2014, Joko Widodo became president (BBC, 2019; CIA World Factbook, 2019; Qatar Embassy in Jakarta – Republic of Indonesia, 2018).

In Indonesia, executive powers lie with the ‘president, vice president, and the cabinet of ministers’. In the presidential cabinet, ministers do not represent their political parties but report to the president (The Embassy of Indonesia – Prague, 2015). Legislative powers lie with the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR), which is made up of two parts. First, the Parliament which represents elected members of political parties. Second, the Regional Representative Council (DPD), which is made up of four elected delegates per province. According to the Embassy of Indonesia to the Czech Republic, ‘the MPR has 550 members from the parliament and 128 members form the’ DPD (The Embassy of Indonesia – Prague, 2015). Judiciary powers lie with the Supreme Court (The Embassy of Indonesia – Prague, 2015).

References:

BBC. (2019). Indonesia profile – Timeline. BBC. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-15114517

CIA World Factbook. (2019). Indonesia. https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/countries/indonesia/

Qatar Embassy in Jakarta – Republic of Indonesia. (2018). Political System. http://jakarta.embassy.qa/en/indonesia/political-system

The Embassy of Indonesia – Prague. (2015). The Government of the Republic of Indonesia. http://www.indonesia.cz/the-government-of-the-republic-of-indonesia/

Since 2013, Kenya operates under a devolved system of government consisting of 47 counties to enhance better governance. The devolved system ensures effective policy implementation at grassroots levels while enabling development of policy instruments at the national level (Kenya Law Reports, 2013).

References:

Kenya Law Reports. (2013). The Constitution of Kenya, 2010. Nairobi, Kenya. http://www.kenyalaw.org/lex/actview.xql?actid=Const2010

The Mexican Constitution, signed on 5 February 1917, establishes that Mexico is a Federal, Democratic, Representative Republic, constituted by 31 states and a Federal District, in a Federation, but free and sovereign in their internal regime. In 2018, the Federal District legally changed its status to an autonomous entity now defined as Mexico City.

The Government is constituted by three powers: Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary. The Executive power rests with the President who is elected for 6-year periods. Historically there was no re-election of public officials in Mexico at any level until a Political-Electoral Reform in 2014 permitted re-elections within the Legislative branch for Deputies, Senators, and municipal heads (mayor). The Legislative power resides with Congress, which is constituted by a bi-cameral system. The Chamber of Deputies is integrated by 500 Federal Deputies and is elected every three years. The Senate is integrated by 128 members and is elected every six years. Finally, the Judiciary branch is headed by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation as well as a number of federal and state-level courts of justice.

Moreover, within the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) project, Mexico’s classification in the Political Stability and Absence of Violence/Terrorism measure[1] of governance was -0.65 (the measure ranges from approximately -2.5 (weak) to 2.5 (strong) governance performance) showing a weak overall governance and a low ranking of 23.33 in comparison to all other countries (The World Bank, 2019).

[1] The indicator measures perceptions of the likelihood of political instability and/or politically-motivated violence, including terrorism.

References:

The World Bank. (2019). Mexico Data. https://data.worldbank.org/country/mexico

Brazil was colonised by Portugal from 22 April 1500 to 7 September 1822, when the country proclaimed independence. Brazil moved from monarchy to a republic on 15 November 1889. The country had a large influence (culturally, economically, socially, etc.) from African people who were made slaves by Europeans and were brought to Brazil to work on (mainly) coffee plantations. When slavery was abolished in Brazil (13 May 1888), Brazil received hundreds of thousands of Europeans immigrants who came to work (voluntarily) in the plantations.

The formal British rule in India was between 1857-1947. India gained independence on 15th August 1947.

Between 1670 and 1942 Indonesia was a Dutch colony. During the second World War (1942) Indonesia was occupied by Japan. Following Japanese surrender, Indonesia declared independence. After several years of guerrilla warfare, the Dutch recognised Indonesian independence in 1949.

In 1969 West Papua becomes the Indonesian province Irian Jaya. Six years later, in 1975, Indonesia invades and annexes East Timor after the country was given independence by Portugal. This lasts until 1999. In 1997, the Asian economic crisis has considerable consequences on Indonesian economic performance and development.

In 2002, the first major jihadist attack occurred in Bali. Others followed in 2011 and 2018. Military chief general Gatot Nurmantyo reported in 2017 that Islamic State groups were present in almost all provinces. As discussed previously, Indonesia, due to its location on the Ring of Fire, frequently experiences natural disasters causing substantial destruction and loss of lives (BBC, 2019).

References:

BBC. (2019). Indonesia profile – Timeline. BBC. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-15114517

There has been a noticeable change in governance and a reduction in ethnic tensions since the 2007 post-election violence and political instability in Kenya producing a political stability index of -1.08 in 2017 from -1.3 in 2007, compared to a range of -2.4 (weak) and 2.56 (strong) (The Global Economy, 2019). This measure indicates perceptions of the likelihood that the government will be destabilized or overthrown by unconstitutional or violent means, including politically motivated violence and terrorism. The index is an average of several other indexes from the Economist Intelligence Unit, the World Economic Forum, and the Political Risk Services, among others (The Global Economy, 2019). The governance score (measured on a scale of -2.5 to +2.5 with higher values corresponding to better governance) also increased since 2008 (-1.39) to -1.17 in 2013 and -1.16 in 2018 (Kaufmann & Kraay, 2019).

References:

Kaufmann, D. & Kraay, A. (2019). Worldwide governance indicators.

The Global Economy. (2019). The Kenya Economic Indicators. https://www.theglobaleconomy.com/Kenya/

Pre-Columbian Mexico dates to about 8000 BC and was home to many advanced Mesoamerican civilisations such as the Olmec, Toltec, Teotihuacan, Zapotec, and Maya which preceded the Aztec empire, conquered in 1519–1521 by the Spanish. Spain ruled Mexico as part of the viceroyalty of New Spain for the next 300 years until Sept. 16, 1810, representing the first uprising of the country, and which led to independence from Spain in 1821.

The post-independence period was tumultuous, characterised by economic inequality and many contrasting political changes. The Mexican American War (1846–1848) led to a territorial cession of the extant northern territories to the United States. In the 19th century there were several armed conflicts such as The Pastry War, the Franco-Mexican War, a civil war, two empires, and the Porfiriato, named after President Porfirio Díaz who remained in power for almost 30 years (1876 to 1911). The year 1910 saw the beginning of the Mexican Revolution in 1910, which lasted 7 years and gave way to the enactment of the 1917 Constitution and the emergence of the country’s current political system as a federal, democratic republic which is currently maintained.

Brazil had a national election in October 2018, in which the current president (named Jair Bolsonaro) was elected. He is in post since January 2019. In September 2020, state and municipal elections will take place, and the new election for president will take place at the end of 2022.

The next election is expected to be scheduled by May 2024 to constitute the 18th Lok Sabha. The 17th Lok Sabha (General Elections) resulted in a second consecutive victory for the Bharatya Jantha Party (BJP), which is led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Election Commission of India, 2019).

References:

Election Commission of India. (2019). Election Commission of India launches Voter Verification and Information Programme (VVIP) for upcoming General Elections 2019 – Press Available from https://eci.gov.in/files/file/9332-election-commission-of-india-launches-voter-verification-and-information-programme-vvip-for-upcoming-general-elections-2019/

Presidential and legislative elections were held in April 2019. Joko Widodo was sworn into his second term of presidency for 2019-2024. There was quite a major reshuffle of the cabinet, including a change in the Minister of Health. Current Minister of Health is Terawan Agus Putranto (Kementerian Komunikasi dan Informatika Republik Indonesia, 2019). The next elections are anticipated to be in 2024 (BBC, 2019; Qatar Embassy in Jakarta – Republic of Indonesia, 2018).

References:

BBC. (2019). Indonesia profile – Timeline. BBC. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-15114517

Kementerian Komunikasi dan Informatika Republik Indonesia. (2019). Didominasi Profesional, Inilah Menteri Kabinet Indonesia Maju. https://www.kominfo.go.id/content/detail/22321/didominasi-profesional-inilah-menteri-kabinet-indonesia-maju/0/berita

Qatar Embassy in Jakarta – Republic of Indonesia. (2018). Political System. http://jakarta.embassy.qa/en/indonesia/political-system

According to the constitution of Kenya, general election of members of parliament should take place every five years on the second Tuesday in August. The next major elections will take place on 9th August 2022. Executive authority continues to lie within the mandate of the president who is elected to a five-year term through universal adult suffrage of more than 50% of the votes and at least 25% of the votes cast in each of 24 out of the 47 counties (Kenya Law Reports, 2013).

References:

Kenya Law Reports. (2013). The Constitution of Kenya, 2010. Nairobi, Kenya. http://www.kenyalaw.org/lex/actview.xql?actid=Const2010

The last presidential elections were celebrated in July 2018 with Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, from the Morena party, winning the elections by overwhelming majority. In this electoral period, there were elections for all Congress members and elections for state Governor in 8 states. The next presidential elections will be held in the year 2024.

Transparency International (a global coalition against corruption) ranks corruption among 180 countries by using a scale from 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. In 2018, Brazil presented a score of 35 in that scale and was ranked 105th out of 180 countries (Transparency International, 2018).

References:

Transparency International. (2018). Corruption Perceptions Index 2018—Transparency International. https://www.transparency.org/cpi2018

 

The Corruption Perception Index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption by using a scale that ranges from 0 to 100, in which 0 is associated with high levels of corruption and 100 is classified as very clean (Transparency International, 2018). In the 2018 CPI Index, India scored 41 and ranked 78 of the total 180 countries assessed (Transparency International, 2018).

References:

Transparency International. (2018). Corruption Perceptions Index 2018. Available from https://www.transparency.org/cpi2018

In 2018, Indonesia scored 38 out of 100 on the Corruption Perception Index Score, hosted by Transparency International. This shows a positive development in comparison to previous years and leads to rank 89 out of 180 countries compared (Transparency International, 2018).

References:

Transparency International. (2018). Corruption Perceptions Index 2018. https://www.transparency.org/en/cpi/2018#

As of 2020, Kenya ranked 124/180 and had a score of 31/100 in the corruption perception index.

According to the Corruption Perceptions Index 2018, an index that measures perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and business people, Mexico ranked poorly, among the lowest rankings with a rank of 138 (out of 180) and a score of 28 / 100 (where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 reflects no corruption). It is estimated that 1 in 3 persons in Latin America had paid bribes in that same year (Transparency International, 2018).

References:

Transparency international. (2018). Corruption perceptions index. https://www.transparency.org/en/cpi/2018

Political stability index (-2.5 weak; 2.5 strong): the average value for Brazil between 1996 and 2017 was -0.15 points, with a minimum of -0.41 points in 2017 and a maximum of 0.33 points in 2002 (The World Bank, 2019).

References:

The World Bank. (2019). The World Bank Data. https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.PP.CD

 

According to World Bank data on political stability, from the period 1996 to 2018, an average value of -1.13 points was reported for India (The Global Economy, 2019). A minimum -1.51 points was observed in 2003 and a maximum of -0.96 points was observed in 2018 (The Global Economy, 2019). India ranked 165th on the global political stability index in 2018 (The Global Economy, 2019).

References:

The Global Economy. (2019). Political stability by country, around the world |TheGlobalEconomy.com. Available from https://www.theglobaleconomy.com/rankings/wb_political_stability/

 

The World Bank indicator for political stability and absence of violence/terrorism ranks Indonesia at -0.5 in 2017. This shows a slight deterioration from the 2016 estimate (-0.4), but overall a trend towards more stability can be observed since 2008 (-.1.1) (World Bank, 2019c).

References:

World Bank. (2019c). Worldwide Governance Indicators. World Development Indicators. https://databank.worldbank.org/source/worldwide-governance-indicators/Type/TABLE/preview/on