Note from LeftEast editors: We post this article in cooperation with Counterfire. Despite left gains, early elections paid off for the ruling centre-right party, writes Vladimir Unkovski-Korica On Sunday 5 July, Croatia held early parliamentary elections. Turnout was only 46 percent, reflecting low levels of engagement with official politics. Despite this, the ruling conservative party won handsomely. That was unexpected. Polls had been tight in the run-up to the election. But, with almost 97 percent of the vote counted, the ruling centre-right Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) won 66 seats out of 151. This contras ..
Note from LeftEast editors: The article is published in cooperation between Counterfire and LeftEast. The US President is hoping that he can broker a Serbia-Kosovo deal ahead of the November elections, writes Vladimir Unkovski-Korica. Donald Trump is a man in a hurry. There is an election to fight, and success is in short supply. His domestic record is looking dubious after his poor handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Unemployment is sky high and US race relations after the police murder of George Floyd compound the picture. And Trump’s international breakthroughs…well, North Korea’s literal blowing up of ..
Albin Kurti’s party won the 6thOctober poll, but whether they will provide a clean break with the last 30 years in Kosovo remains to be seen, argues Vladimir Unkovski-Korica. Kosovo’s recent election was close. According to final preliminary results, Levizja Vetevendosje! (Movement Self-Determination!) beat the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) by fewer than 6,000 votes. Vetevendosje got 25.5 percent of the vote, while the LDK had 24.8 percent. The vote for both parties was a vote for change, which has been ruled for some time by parties that emerged from the Kosovo Liberation Army. The Democratic Party of Ko ..
By voting to distort history, MEPs are legitimating fascism and imperialism, argues LeftEast editor Vladimir Unkovski-Korica in an article initially published on Counterfire. On 18thSeptember this year, the European Parliament passed aresolutionentitled ‘On the Importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe’, by 545 votes to 66. The resolution is summed up by the claim that the Second World War ‘was started as an immediate result of the notorious Nazi-Soviet Treaty on Non-Aggression of 23 August 1939…whereby two totalitarian regimes that shared the goal of world conquest divided Europe into t ..
Note from LeftEast editors: We repost this article in collaboration with Counterfire where it was originally published on 29th of December 2018. ‘No Christmas for the bourgeoisie!’ declared graffiti on a wall in Paris as the Gilets Jaunes protests electrified Europe since their first protest on 17 November. Even before the series of French protests had begun, and hardly mentioned in Western media outlets, demonstrations had spread across thirty cities and towns against similar fuel-related measures in Bulgaria starting on 11 November. But they too started wearing yellow vests which had become the visual cha ..
The failed referendum in the small Balkan state represents a major upset for the West, argues Vladimir Unkovski-Korica The 30 September 2018 was a disaster for the EU and NATO in the Balkans. The vast majority of the electorate of Macedonia boycotted a referendum that asked: ‘Are you in favour of membership in NATO and the European Union by accepting the deal between the Republic of Macedonia and Republic of Greece?’ At the time of writing, the state electoral commission expected the final turnout to be between 36 and 37 percent, significantly below the 50 percent required to make the result valid. Half an ho ..
The Serbian President’s rhetoric since July 2017 has been suggestive of a compromise deal – but, argues Vladimir Unkovski-Korica, the future is still uncertain. Last week, Kosovo’s authorities failed to publish their promised draft statute for the Community of Serb Municipalities (ZSO) i.e. for the several tens of thousands of Serbs concentrated in north Kosovo on the border with Serbia. This was meant to be a key milestone in the so-called ‘normalisation’ of relations between Serbia and Kosovo, but there is now renewed scepticism about the future. In reality, though, the latest setback is just one o ..
Belgrade held regular municipal elections on Sunday 4 March. These were the first municipal elections since the mass protests against the Belgrade waterfront project in spring 2016. As such, they were a major test for the conservative Aleksandar Vučić regime since his presidential re-election in 2017. The regime understood the dangers posed by a potential opposition breakthrough, and poured major resources into the municipal election. Serbian President Vučić increasingly distanced himself from the discredited and outgoing mayor, Siniša Mali, and made the election a referendum on himself personally. His party ..
Serbia faces a set of regular presidential elections this year – but also the prospect of its third parliamentary election in four years. The latter possibility confirms those analyses that have posited the instability of Serbian politics in spite of the appearance of stability, following the ruling coalition winning almost half the votes cast in both previous elections. Serbia after Milošević: Between West and East From the fall of Slobodan Milošević in 2000 to the presidential elections of 2012, Serbian politics was primarily divided geopolitically. Serbia’s governments predominantly took the form of ..
As the UK’s referendum on the European Union approaches, Greek workers are facing more pain from Greece’s European creditors The Eurozone last week pushed Greece to accept more austerity in exchange for a loan of 7.5 billion euros to pay off the country’s debt. This comes less than a year after Greece was promised debt relief following a bailout worth 86 billion euros last summer. No debt relief deal is in sight, however. Even the IMF, normally a keen proponent of balanced budgets, argued austerity was only making matters worse in Greece. But the Eurozone, led by Germany and the Netherlands, rejected an ..