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On the Margins Roundup (October)

[Zakaria Abdillahi, president of the Djibouti League for Human Rights, speaks to the International Federation for Human Rights on the repression of protests in Djibouti. Screenshot from Youtube.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Mali, South Sudan, Somalia, Mauritania, Djibouti, and Comoros Islands and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the On the Margins Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each month's roundup to]   Mauritania  Watch the Trailer for Mauritania's First-Ever Oscar Submission 'Timbuktu' Abderrahmane Sissako's drama about Al Qaeda militants taking over a town in 2012 premiered during the Cannes Film Festival. Question et guerre du Sahara mauritanien The early days of the Polisario Front as viewed ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (October 23)

[Image of election lists in Tunisia during the 2011 elections. Image by Tarek/Flickr]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to by Thursday night of every week]  Algeria En Algérie, le régime est à bout de souffle Algerian police protested in front of the Presidential Palace for twenty-four hours last week calling for an end to “hogra, or humiliation. This unprecedented demonstration comes at a time when many are questioning who is running the country as President Bouteflika has ...

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Kenya: On Edge, Rights at Risk

[Image of election campaign posters in Kenya. Image by Global Panorama/Flickr.]

Kenya is in a bad place. Violent attacks from Al-Shabaab, an Islamist group out of Somalia and an Al Qaeda affiliate, and smaller violent attacks and conflicts involving known and unknown sources in rural and urban settings, as well as a rise in general street level crime, have created an insecure, anxious, and deeply divided population. They have also created a problematic context for the protection of democratic rights. Last September Al-Shabaab said it executed the attack on the upscale Westgate Mall in Nairobi causing at least sixty-seven deaths and many injuries. Recently, there were attacks on the small town of Mpeketoni and its environs at the coast with over ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (July 26)

[Image of the border between Mauritania and the Western Sahara. Image by David Holt/Flickr.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to by Thursday night of every week.]  Algeria Algeria Plane Crash Site Found in Mali With No Survivors After an extensive search effort, the crash site of Air Algerie Flight 5017, which went missing on Thursday with 118 passengers on board, was found near the border between Mali and Burkina Faso. France Confirms No Survivors in Air Algerie Plane ...

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Jadaliyya Co-Editors Hesham Sallam and Adel Iskandar on Egypt Post-Election

[A painting of newly elected President Sisi. Photo by Thierry Ehrmann under Creative Commons]

In this interview with Zein El-Amine on WPFW, Jadaliyya Co-Editors Hesham Sallam and Adel Iskandar discuss the recent presidential elections in Egypt and the environment in which the vote was held, the state of Egypt's January 25 Revolution in light of successive waves of repression against political activists, the political and economic interests guiding the behavior of the country's military leaders, and the role of revolutionary art in documenting the history and dynamics of the revolution. 

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تزامنٌ شيّق برغم الاختلاف


تزامن مشهدا الانتخابات المصرية والسورية، رغم الاختلاف الجذري بين البلدين. وفي المشهدين، تكرّرت مشاهد الاحتفال في الشارع، رغم الاختلاف الجذري بين البلدين. وإذ اتفق معارضو المشهدين على وسمهما بصيغة «عودة الديكتاتور»، ترى الناخبين في المشهدين قد اتفقوا أيضاً على تحديد هدف واضح للصيغة التي انتخبوها: العودة إلى البيت في سوريا، والأمن في مصر. ومع التشديد على الاختلاف الجذري بين البلدين، فإن معارضي سوريا جرّدوا الناخبين السوريين من «الأهلية الديموقراطية» (بصفات مثل مجبورين أو منتفعين)، بينما مال المشهد المعارض في مصر إلى توصيفٍ للناخبين أقرب إلى الواقع: يريدون قائداً أعلى جديداً لنظامٍ سابق.                       ...

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السيسي رجلنا

[نجار في حي العابدين في القاهرة يشيد بعبد الفتاح السيسي .تصوير شيرين صيقلي]

على مدار اليومين المقبلين سينزل بعض المصريين إلى الشوارع في تعبير انتخابي فارغ عن الإرادة الوطنية. سوف "يختارون" بين حاكم مصر الحالي ورئيسها المقبل، المشير السابق عبد الفتاح السيسي، ومنافسه غير المقنع، حمدين صباحي. بعضهم سينزل إلى الشوارع ليصوّت لـ "بشرة خير": السيسي ولا أحد غيره. وفي ظل التدمير المتواصل والعنيف لأي مشهد سياسي، سيعتكف البعض الآخر في منازلهم. مهما اختاروا أن يفعلوا في اليومين القادمين، فإن غالبية المصريين قد اختبروا نوعاً جديداً من عبادة الشخصية خلال العام الماضي. بالنسبة للبعض كان هذا كرنفالاً يعد بتحقيق شعار يميني صعب المنال هو "الأمن" و"الاستقرار". أما بالنسبة للبعض الآخر فإن ما شهدوه كان مستوى ...

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Our Man, Sisi

[Banner endorsing presidential candidate Abdel Fattah al-Sisi reads: Long Live Egypt. Photo by Sherene Seikaly]

For the next two days, some Egyptians will take to the streets to perform yet another hollow electoral rendition of national will. They will “choose” between Egypt’s present ruler and soon to be president, former Field Marshall Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and his unconvincing opponent, Hamdeen Sabahi. Some will take to the streets to vote for the “good omen”: “Sisi and only Sisi.” In the face of the ongoing and violent destruction of politics, others will take shelter at home or work. But whatever they do over the next two days, most Egyptians will have experienced a new cult of personality over the past year. For some, it has been a perceptual carnival. It promises to ...

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Quick Thoughts: Hesham Sallam on the Egyptian Presidential Election

[An Egyptian woman registers at a polling station in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 15 May 2014, the designated voting day for expatriate Egyptians. Voters in Egypt will head to the polls on 26 and 27 May. Image by Ahmed Yousri via Associated Press]

  [On 26-27 May 2014, Egypt will hold its second presidential election since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in January 2011. Contesting the poll are Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, the military strongman who engineered the coup that deposed the Muslim Brotherhood in July 2013, and Hamdeen Sabbahi, leader of the Popular Current. With the election widely expected to consolidate Sisi’s leadership of the Egyptian state, Jadaliyya asked Co-Editor Hesham Sallam to comment on the election and its broader context.] Jadaliyya (J): Why is this election considered significant? Hesham Sallam (HS): The election is significant because it constitutes the first multi-candidate vote since the ...

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شرعنة الديكتاتورية الجديدة في العراق


دَفْعُ رئيس مجلس الوزراء، نوري المالكي، باتجاه مكوثه على سدة الحكم لولاية ثالثة ينذر بإعادة البلاد إلى سكّة الديكتاتورية مجدداً. ثمّة دلائل على الأمر، أوّلها، إعادة المتورطين بقضايا فساد وإرهاب إلى جسم العملية السياسية، عبر إسقاط التهم الموجهة إليهم قضائياً، وزجهم في معترك الانتخابات البرلمانية. ويحصل هذا بعد أن سيطر المالكي نفسه على المؤسسة القضائية عبر عزل رئيسها المعروف بنزاهته وفرض رئيس جديد لها، من المقربين منه. وثاني هذه الدلائل هو السيطرة على مفوضيّة الانتخابات، التي أسقطت التهم عن المقربين من المالكي، وسمحت لهم بخوض الانتخابات، في حين منعت مرشحين من الكتل السياسية المناوئة من خوض السباق الانتخابي.  وكان الحدث الأكثر مفاجأة هو نقض التهم الموجهة إلى مشعان ...

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Iki rasyonalite arasinda alternatif siyasetin imkani

[Image via]

İki rasyonalite arasında alternatif siyasetin imkanı Mütemadiyen değişen siyasi gündem, yolsuzluk skandalları, pes dedirten yargı kararları, değişen siyasi ittifaklar, gittikçe kutuplaşan paralel toplumsal hayat(lar) bağlamı içinde yerel seçimlerin siyasi ve toplumsal sonuçları nasıl değerlendirilebilir? Süreç kapanmadığı için içinde konumlandığımız tarihsel konjonktürü hakkıyla analiz etmek ve bundan tarihsel ve yapısal kimi dersler çıkarmak ne kadar mümkün, tartışılır. Toplumsal muhalefetin genişlemesiyle ile baş edemeyen, demokrasiyi sandıktan ibaret sayan (ve hatta sandığa bile hile karıştıran), sokakların hareketliliği karşısında sürekli çıplak şiddet kullanma ...

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لنمدح القتلة الآن...المرشحون لرئاسة الجمهورية في لبنان


من المقرر أن تجري الانتخابات الرئاسية في لبنان الأسبوع القادم، رغم حقيقة أنّ الانتخابات البرلمانية لم تحدث بعد، وأنّ البرلمان اللبناني هو الذي ينتخب الرئيس. في العام الماضي تم تأجيل الانتخابات للمرة الأولى في تاريخ الدولة، ومدد البرلمان بشكل غير شرعي فترته دون انتخابات، مما يثير المزيد من الشكوك حول شرعية التنافس الانتخابي الرئاسي الذي يحوم في الأفق.حتى الآن، عبّر عدة مرشحين رئاسيين محتملين عن اهتمامهم بالترشّح، وكلهم موارنة مسيحيون، وفقاً للنظام الدستوري اللبناني حيال تقاسم السلطة بين الطوائف. إنّ ثلاثة من أبرز المرشحين المحتملين مشهورون بسبب تورطهم في الحرب الأهلية اللبنانية ( 1975-1990)، وهم سمير جعجع وميشيل عون وأمين الجميل. إن جميع من كانوا يسكنون في لبنان أثناء ...

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Beyond Uncritical Optimism: The Challenges for Transitional Tunisia

Tunisia will go to the polls on 26 October in order to decide the composition of the new parliament and the new political balance that will determine the next phases of political transition. Since the uprising, there have been many and important steps toward real political and institutional change. Indeed, Tunisia has undergone a process of policy change involving the liberalization of political landscape, the subsequent participation of new political forces in the electoral process, the marginalization ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (August 12)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to by Sunday night of every week.] Presidential Elections Will Erdoğan's Presidency Firm up Turkey's Regional Position? Semih İdiz argues that Turkey will suffer from regional policy mistakes during Erdoğan’s ...

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The Prime Minister as President?

On 26 July, Turkish citizens began voting in the first round of the first direct presidential elections in the history of the Turkish Republic. Voting began at Turkish embassies and at the forty-two polling stations set up at Turkish land crossings, harbors, and airports; it will continue until 10 August, when Turkish citizens residing in Turkey will cast their ballots. Following a 2007 referendum, direct presidential elections replaced the existing system, in accordance with which the president was ...

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Quick Thoughts: Maya Mikdashi on the Current Situation in Lebanon

[Amidst growing political polarization in Lebanon the term of President Michel Suleiman expired on 24 May with no successor in sight. Jadaliyya asked Co-Editor Maya Mikdashi to comment on the reasons for the vacuum, its ramifications and broader context]: Jadaliyya (J): Why has a new Lebanese president not yet been selected?  Maya Mikdashi (MM): I think everybody believed that Michel Suleiman, the outgoing president, would accept an extra-constitutional extension of his term, as has each of his ...

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تقرير حول أداء وسائل الإعلام خلال الانتخابات الرئاسية 2014

أصدر مركز القاهرة لدراسات حقوق الإنسان صباح اليوم السبت 7 يونيو 2014 تقريره المرحلي الثاني حول التغطية الإعلامية لفترات الاقتراع في الانتخابات الرئاسية 2014 . التقرير الذي يتكون من أربعة مباحث في 26 صفحة تقريبًا، يرصد ويقيم التغطية الإعلامية لــ15 وسيلة إعلامية (مرئية– مكتوبة – مسموعة) خلال المراحل الثلاث الأخيرة في عملية الانتخابات وهي: عملية الاقتراع خارج مصر وحتى إعلان نتيجتها، الساعات الأخيرة قبل الاقتراع بالداخل (الـ72 ساعة الأخيرة من فترة الدعاية، وكذا يومي الصمت الانتخابي) ويخصص المبحث الثالث ...

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Counting Votes in Egypt and Practicing Return in Palestine: Interviews with Hossam El-Hamalawy and Samera Esmeir

Despite massive pro-military media propaganda in Egypt, and threats of large fines against those who did not vote, the election commission had to extend the voting for a third day in an attempt to draw more people to polling booths. As predicted, ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was declared president of Egypt with 96% of the votes. So what was behind the low turnout at the elections? Was it apathy or an effective Egyptians boycott? What explains the lack of voter turnout when the military ...

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On the Margins Roundup (May)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Mali, South Sudan, Somalia, Mauritania, Djibouti, and Comoros Islands and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the On the Margins Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each month's roundup to]  Mauritania موريتانيا: غضب من قانون لرقابة وتنظيم الإنترنت Mauritanian activists are criticizing a recent bill in the Mauritanian parliament, ...

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Between Two Rationalities: The Possibility of an Alternative Politics in Turkey

How can the results of the recent municipal elections in Turkey be understood amidst the constantly changing political landscape: graft scandals, revolting judicial decisions, changing political alliances, and an ever-increasing polarization? It can be argued that only preliminary lessons can be drawn when analyzing an ongoing historical process for historical and structural clues. This is a state that cannot overcome a widening social opposition, which views elections as the only conduit for democracy ...

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Quick Thoughts: Vijay Prashad on India’s Parliamentary Elections

  [Between 7 April and 12 May 2014, more than half a billion Indians voted to elect 543 members of the sixteenth Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s parliament. The result, announced on 16 May, stunned many observers. For the first time since 1984, a single party–the rightist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Narendra Modi–achieved an outright majority. Modi’s party garnered 282 seats in the Lok Sabha, while the outgoing Congress Party managed to retain a mere forty-four seats. Jadaliyya asked ...

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لماذا لن أقاطع الانتخابات وسأنتخب الإصلاحي حمدين صباحي

منذ أصدر الاشتراكيون الثوريون بيانهم يدعون فيه إلى التصويت لحمدين صباحي في مواجهة قائد الثورة المضادة، قرأت العديد من الاعتراضات وناقشت بعضها وزادتني كلها اقتناعا على اقتناع بضرورة التصويت لحمدين. سأحاول فيما يلي أن أشرح لماذا من شأن موقف المقاطعة أن يقوي الثورة المضادة، يقوي السيسي، ويقوي دولة مبارك. على عكس أصحاب هذا الرأي، فإن المقاطعة ليست من الثورية في شيء. يدعو الكثيرون إلى مقاطعة التصويت باعتبار هذا “يحرج النظام دوليا”، وهذا من وجهة نظري أضعف حجة، بما لا يقاس. عن أي “عالم” نتحدث؟ وماذا سنكشف لهذا ...

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Notes on the Algerian Presidential Elections

Thursday 17 April: It is 10:30 PM and the concert of honking cars has been playing for a good hour in downtown Algiers. The “president on wheels” (le Président-roulant) has won. His supporters are not particularly numerous, but they are gesticulating and making as much noise as possible. Most of them continue and pass around the jardin de l'Horloge in their vehicles. An old police commander admonishes the passengers in an official car that insists on parking where he is standing—as if he was invisible ...

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Notes sur l'élection présidentielle algérienne

Jeudi 17 avril, il est vingt-deux heures trente, et le concert des klaxons retentit depuis une bonne heure dans Alger-centre. Le Président-roulant a gagné. Ses supporteurs ne sont guère nombreux, mais ils gesticulent et font autant de bruit que possible. La plupart ne s'arrêtent pas et passent en voiture autour du jardin de l'Horloge. Un vieux commandant de police admoneste les passagers d'une voiture officielle qui insistent pour se garer à l'endroit où il se tient debout, comme s'il était devenu ...

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