Introducing the 35th edition of The PEP Weekly Digest, where we present to you the most recent updates and news on the global political stage.
Recent and upcoming elections influence the worldwide political landscape in eight nations, slated between January 21, 2024 and February 25, 2024. These elections hold significant importance, as they will determine the direction and governance of each respective country’s future.
One noteworthy event has occurred in Georgia, The prime minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili, is resigning his office to take up a political party role in advance of this year’s national elections. Garibashvili revealed he had accepted an offer as chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream party. “We will elect a new parliament in the fall, and Georgian Dream should prepare to win elections decisively to continue the way forward in achieving other goals,” he said in a speech. His resignation comes a month after the return of controversial billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, the founder of Georgian Dream, who reclaimed the title of the party’s honorary chairman. Ivanishvili, a wealthy figure with ties to Russia, previously served as Georgia’s prime minister from 2012 to 2013.
Shifting our focus to Indonesia, Mahfud MD, coordinating minister of Political, Legal and Security Affairs of Indonesia, resigned from the cabinet to concentrate on the upcoming election, running for vice president. Mahfud tendered his resignation on Thursday afternoon at the State Palace during a meeting with President Joko Widodo. “I formally and honorably announced my resignation today,” Mahfud told reporters at the palace. The president approved the resignation, Mahfud said, adding they had a friendly and joyful conversation after that. Mahfud thanked Widodo for entrusting him with leadership responsibilities in politics, law, and security, and offered his apologies for any mistakes he may have made in his four and a half years of service.
In Kuwait, Prime Minister Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, during the extraordinary parliamentary session on Monday, took oath as the Deputy of Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. According to the Kuwait news agency (KUNA), the deputy emir’s oath taking is carried out according to Article 63 of the constitution that states that he swears in before embarking on executing his jurisdiction in an extraordinary session of the National Assembly. Earlier Monday, Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Dr. Mohammad and members of his Cabinet took the oath during the special parliamentary session. National Assembly Speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun said that the swearing-in of the Prime Minister Sheikh Dr. Mohammad as Deputy Emir, in the extraordinary session Monday, established a new precedent in the country’s history. During the session, Al-Saadoun mentioned in a speech that he attempted to review all precedents, but found no similar instances, clarifying that the Emiri Decree appointing the prime minister as deputy emir outlined two key points. The first point, detailed in article one of the decree, indicated that the appointment remained valid throughout the periods of Emir Sheikh Mishal’s absence from the country. Article two, stipulated the continuation of this procedure until the Crown Prince was appointed and therefore the deputy emir will be sworn in only once during the emir’s absence until a Crown Prince is appointed. Following the deputy emir’s constitutional oath, Al-Saadoun adjourned the session and the next regular session was set for Feb. 6 and 7.
In the realm of regulatory affairs, Traders’ body CAIT on February 4 issued a cautionary advisory to traders to switch from Paytm to other payment options for business-related transactions following RBI curbs on Paytm wallet and bank operations. The Reserve Bank of India has imposed certain restrictions, prompting CAIT to recommend that users take proactive measures to protect their funds and ensure uninterrupted financial transactions. Large number of small traders, vendors, hawkers and women are making payments through Paytm and as such RBI restrictions on Paytm could lead financial disruption to these people,” the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) stated.
Shifting our attention to legal advancements, in Israel, Ari Harow, a senior aide to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the state’s witness in 1000 and 2000 cases, was convicted of fraud and breach of trust as part of a plea agreement. Harow, who was a former adviser and chief of staff for Netanyahu’s office, became the state’s witness against his former boss and mentor in Cases 1000 and 2000, the Illegal Gifts Affair and the Yediot Aharonot-Israel Hayom Attempted Media Bribery Affair. He was sentenced to six months of community service and a fine of NIS 700,000.