Stories about Governance from October, 2012
Far-Right Party Performs Strongly in Ukrainian Vote
While the results of the Oct. 28 elections in Ukraine are still being finalized, netizens are already discussing the anticipated outcome. Many are paying special attention to VO Svoboda, a far-right party, and its victorious leap over the 5% threshold necessary to get any Parliament seats.
Japan: Election Tweeting Forbidden
Even though Japanese is the second most active language in the world on Twitter, for the country's political candidates, tweeting during election campaigns is forbidden. A group of young activists is seeking to change this situation.
Spain: Journalists Fined After Revealing Corruption in Catalonia
Marta Sibina and Albano Dante, editors of the citizen media magazine Cafè amb Llet, have been fined 10,000 euro for libel. They uploaded to YouTube a video strongly criticizing the lack of transparency in public healthcare financing in Catalonia, implicating Josep Maria Via, president of Barcelona MAR Health Park Consortium and healthcare advisor to Catalan President Artur Mas.
Panama: Statements After the Chaos Unleashed by Law 72
The impressions of Panamanians and foreigners living in the country were immediate after the chaos unleashed by the approval of Law 72. This law, without consultation, promoted the sale of land in the Colón Free Trade Zone, a source of income for the country and this province that practically lies in ruins after having gone unnoticed by the government. The protests against the law have left four dead and dozens injured and detained.
Brazil: Wikileaks Reveals Officials’ Disdain Towards the Guarani Kaiowá
Brazilian investigative journalism website Pública reports [pt] on documents leaked by WikiLeaks on the plight of the request for land of the indigenous Guarani-Kaiowá. A cable from 2009 reveals disdain by local authorities from the state of Mato Grosso do Sul towards Guarani-Kaiowá's demands for the demarcation of the lands...
Iran: Four Facebook Users Arrested
According to several Iranian news sites,four people were arrested and charged with “propaganda activities against the regime and insulting officials in Facebook” in the southern city of Sirjan.
El Salvador's Tough Abortion Laws
Voices from El Salvador highlights several stories of Salvadoran women affected by the country's abortion ban, ” which includes cases of rape, incest, and when the health of the woman is at risk.” The issue is compounded by other women’s rights issue, including femicide (El Salvador has the highest rate in...
Thailand: Gun Crimes on the Rise
Thailand's homicide rate has declined since 2006 but criminal cases involving guns are on the rise. Bangkok Pundit analyzes some statistics on gun crimes, homicide cases, and gun ownership in Thailand
Philippines: Online Shame Campaign Against “Epal” Politicians
With less than a few months before the 2013 national elections, various groups have launched an online shame campaign against the common practice of Filipino politicians to attach their names to government projects that are funded or assisted by their office. These politicians are labelled “epal,” a Filipino slang term meaning “attention grabber”
India: Dengue Outbreak In Delhi Spreads Fear
Last week when India's veteran film director, scriptwriter and film producer Yash Chopra (80) died from Dengue fever, people became aware and panic spread in some parts of Delhi. Delhi has seen an increased number of dengue cases over the last one month with number of cases reported close to 1000 with several deaths.
President Martinelli Addresses Panama After Repealing Law 72
President Martinelli of Panama gave a conciliatory speech to try and draw a close to a chaotic week which has left four people dead and many injured as they demonstrated against Law 72. The law authorising sale of land in the Free Zone of Colon was finally repealed. Reactions to the speech on Twitter were many and varied.
Greek Journalist Arrested for Publishing List of Alleged Tax Evaders
Greek journalist and editor of Hot Doc magazine, Kostas Vaxevanis, tweeted his arrest and posted a video message [el] a few hours after his magazine published a leaked list of over 2,000 names of Greeks with bank accounts in Switzerland, allegedly the “Lagarde list” that Greek governments had misplaced for years.
Madagascar: How Much Does a Political Crisis Cost?
Since 2009, an additional 4 millions people now earn less than $1.25/day, 500,000 more children have dropped out of school and 336,000 jobs were lost because of the prolonged political crisis. Blogger Razoky summarizes [fr] the latest economic report on Madagascar.
Confusion over Agreement with OIC to Establish Office in Myanmar
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has proposed the establishment of an office in Myanmar to help the Muslim minority in the country. The government initially agreed but changed its decision after protests erupted in many parts of the country.
Indonesia: ‘Jokowi’ Phenomenon in Jakarta
Meet Jakarta’s new governor: Joko Widodo or Jokowi. His recent electoral victory surprised many people who now regard him as Indonesia’s most charismatic leader. His phenomenal political achievement and soaring popularity is seen by many analysts as a positive development for Indonesian democracy
Sri Lanka: Tales Of Police Torture
Chitrangi posts news of police brutality on a 20 years old unmarried youth from Rabavava, Ihala Puliyankulama, Puttalam and many more in her blog.
Slovakia: Protesting SOZA's Newest Copyright Fees
SOZA's general manager Vladimír Repčík addressed Slovak high school seniors via his blog on October 22, urging them to register with his agency and pay €15 for their traditional graduation parties. Tibor Blazko reports on the controversy.
Riots Erupt Anew in Western Myanmar
As of October 24, 2012, the government reported that 12 persons were killed, 50 were injured and 1,948 houses were destroyed in the riot clashes between Rakhine residents and Rohingyas in Kyaut Phyu, Min Pyar, Myay Pone and Myaut Oo towns of Rakhine state in western Myanmar. This was disclosed by the...
Thailand: Problems in Implementing Information Act
Saksith Saiyasombut and Siam Voices translate an article written by ThaiPublica about Thailand's experience in implementing the Official Information Act of 1997: Thai citizens were given more rights to request the disclosure of official government information…But even with such progress, it hasn’t resulted in simpler access to official information yet,...
Malaysia: Penang's Bicycle Lanes
anilnetto writes about the proposed 12.5km bicycle lane in Penang, Malaysia. The first phase of the project has already started and completion is targeted in the next two years.
Ukraine: Pre-Election Roundup
In the run-up to the October 28 general election in Ukraine, discover a selection of relevant blog posts.