Overseas Politics and News
As we in the US prepare for the organized chaos of the Democratic and Republican conventions, there is a bit of political chaos of a more serious kind taking place overseas.
In Pakistan the government coalition has collapsed with the withdrawal of the Pakistan Muslim League-N from the ruling coalition. Party leader Nawaz Sharif cited broken promises by Asif Ali Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party as well as other conflicts between the two groups.
At this point, most political experts think that the PPP will be able to cobble together a new ruling coalition with other minority parties so it will probably not result in new elections. But with the resignation of a President, the double suicide bombing of a secure facility and now the collapse of the ruling government, things are not well in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, in Zimbabwe, we may have seen a turn for the better as the opposition party has unexpectedly won a victory in the election for Speaker of the Parliament. By a vote of 110-98 they elected Movement for Democratic Change candidate Lovemore Moyo as speaker over a candidate of Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party.
Although they had won a majority in the recent elections there were doubts as to whether or not the opposition would be able to keep control of the legislature. Indeed two opposition members were arrested prior to entering for the vote. This election is a positive factor for democracy but will likely result in continued tensions as Mugabe tries to hold on to power.
In Russia, the parliament has voted to support Georgian rebels, declaring the breakaway provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia to be independent. So far neither the US or the UN have recognized the independence of these regions although both have declared de-facto independence.
This will not help in efforts to defuse the conflict between Russia and Georgia.
In Iraq however we have some positive news, or at least some hopeful news. Iraqi officials have declared that an agreement has been reached for the withdrawal of US troops by the end of 2011. Although this news has not been confirmed by US authorities, it would seem unlikely that we could ignore the demands of their government.
On another front, we may be seeing a first small step towards the end of the violence. A 13 year old female suicide bomber has turned herself in saying she did not want to die. While this is just one out of many, it is a step in the right direction.