Photo: Kurdpress.com. The June 7 elections to Turkey’s Grand National Assembly are shaping up to be the most important in a long time. The bold decision of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) to run as a party and strive to exceed the grossly undemocratic 10% threshold needed to win representation in parliament has put the group at the political centre stage.
Burundi's embattled President Pierre Nkurunziza agreed on May 20 to postpone parliamentary elections, but refused to change the date of the presidential vote. Parliamentary and local elections were moved back from May 26 to June 6. However, the contentious presidential vote remains scheduled for June 26.
On May 18, Baba Jan was declared the official candidate of the Awami Workers Party (AWP) by the returning officer of Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly constituency Hunza 6. Baba Jan is in jail serving a life sentence. This is the first time in the history of the Hunza Valley that a political activist will contest general elections from jail. Gilgit-Baltistan is a Himalayan territory administered by Pakistan.
The new British Conservative government has launched an ultra-conservative political agenda that could unravel the peace process in six counties in Ireland's north still claimed by Britain. Tory plans include scrapping the 1998 Human Rights Act, which underpins a key aspect of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. The GFA peace deal included a measure that Britain integrate the European Convention of Human Rights into law in the six counties, a process included in the Human Rights Act.
Greek pensioners joined the march for a better healthcare in Athens.
“Almost a third (33%) of the UK population - 19.3 million people - fell below the official poverty line at some point between 2010 and 2013, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics,” the Press Association reported on May 20. The article said “The ONS records someone as being in poverty if they live in a household with disposable income below 60% of the national average, before housing costs. Persistent poverty is defined as being in poverty in the current year and at least two of the three preceding years.
Britain's May 7 general elections, in which the Conservative Party won an outright majority, produced a couple of silver linings on a very large black cloud. One was the success of the Green Party of England and Wales. While the party did not sweep into Westminster, it made progress politically and in terms of votes.
The case of yet another death at the hands of US police of an unarmed Black man — in this case teenager Ariston Waiters in Georgia — will be re-opened after new evidence emerged on May 17. The new evidence revealed Waiters was shot twice in the back when already on the ground. Dalton County District Attorney Paul Howard reopened the case after Channel 2 Action News revealed new evidence and witnesses. The new elements proves Union City police officer Luther Lewis shot the unarmed 19-year-old Waiters twice in the back, after he already had him on the ground.
A new video has surfaced of the arrest of 25-year-old Black man Freddie Gray by Baltimore police that contradicts previous police accounts and features an extra stop made by police on the way to the station, the Baltimore Sun reported on May 20. Gray died on April 19 from injuries sustained in the back of a police van. He was arrested after he made eye contact with police and then ran away. The newspaper obtained the extra cell phone video footage and testimony from neighbours who said they saw the police van stop one block away from where Freddie Gray was arrested April 12.
More than 250 farmers and their city cousins rallied at Queensland Parliament House on May 21 calling for an end to unconventional gas production and coal mining. The rally was organised by Lock the Gate (Queensland). Farmers from the Bentley Blockade and Northern Rivers in NSW travelled to Brisbane for the rally.