Event­ful times for SEE’s po­lit­i­cal life

Top 100 See - - See Country Profiles - By Valentin Sta­mov

The eco­nomic re­ces­sion de­ter­mined an event­ful po­lit­i­cal year in the SEE re­gion in 2012 and the first half of 2013. Par­lia­men­tary, pres­i­den­tial and lo­cal elec­tions, im­peach­ment process, no-con­fi­dence votes and a new EU mem­ber in the face of Croa­tia were the fea­tures of the po­lit­i­cal pic­ture in the re­gion. Most of the coun­tries ended up with left-wing gov­ern­ments as a re­sult of the harsh eco­nomic con­di­tions. Gen­eral elec­tions were held in Al­ba­nia, Mon­tene­gro, Ro­ma­nia, Ser­bia and Bul­garia amid mass protest ral­lies. In Al­ba­nia, Mon­tene­gro and Ro­ma­nia the left­ist par­ties won the elec­tions and formed cab­i­nets.

Bul­garia

In Bul­garia, the cen­tre-right party GERB won a slim vic­tory in the snap elec­tions but failed to se­cure enough seats in par­lia­ment to gov­ern alone. A Cabi­net, backed by the So­cial­ists’ Coali­tion for Bul­garia and the eth­nic Turks’ Move­ment for Rights and Free­doms, was set up.

Al­ba­nia

The Al­liance for a Euro­pean Al­ba­nia led by the So­cial­ist Party achieved a land­slide vic­tory in Al­ba­nia’s par­lia­men­tary elec­tions held in June 2013. Ac­cord­ing to the Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Se­cu­rity and Co-op­er­a­tion in Europe (OSCE) the elec­tions were con­ducted with re­spect for ba­sic free­doms but the killing of a party sup­porter in the town of Lac, north­west­ern Al­ba­nia, and other iso­lated cases of vi­o­lence raised con­cerns about the state of democ­racy in the coun­try.

Mon­tene­gro

In De­cem­ber 2012 the Mon­tene­grin par­lia­ment voted into of­fice the coun­try’s new cabi­net headed by Milo Djukanovic, after his cen­tre-left coali­tion won the gen­eral elec­tions. In his speech be­fore par­lia­ment Djukanovic pledged to lead Mon­tene­gro to­wards EU and NATO mem­ber­ship and to ac­cel­er­ate the fight against corruption and or­gan­ised crime.

Elec­tions for the largely cer­e­mo­nial pres­i­den­tial post in Mon­tene­gro took place in April 2013. The coun­try’s in­cum­bent pres­i­dent Filip Vu­janovic won and will serve a third term in of­fice. Vu­janovic was the pres­i­den­tial can­di­date of the Demo­cratic Party of So­cial­ists.

Ro­ma­nia

In 2012 Ro­ma­nia saw anti-gov­ern­ment protests, a res­ig­na­tion of the prime min­is­ter, a suc­cess­ful non-con­fi­dence vote, lo­cal elec­tions, a na­tional ref­er­en­dum on the im­peach­ment of the pres­i­dent and par­lia­men­tary elec­tions. In Fe­bru­ary 2012, Ro­ma­nia’s prime min­is­ter Emil Boc of the Demo­cratic Lib­eral Party de­cided to re­sign, fol­low­ing sev­eral weeks of anti-gov­ern­ment protests across the coun­try. The demon­stra­tions were against the tough aus­ter­ity mea­sures which have hurt Ro­ma­ni­ans' liv­ing stan­dards. The mea­sures were de­manded by the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund (IMF) in ex­change for a multi-bil­lion dol­lar loan. The pro­test­ers also de­manded the res­ig­na­tion of pres­i­dent Tra­ian Bas­escu and that led to a na­tional ref­er­en­dum on his im­peach­ment in July 2012. Bas­escu sur­vived the ref­er­en­dum due to low voter turnout, even though more than 87% of the votes were against him.

Fol­low­ing the gen­eral elec­tions held in De­cem­ber 2012, Ro­ma­nia’s par­lia­ment ap­proved the cabi­net line-up pro­posed by prime min­is­ter Vic­tor Ponta, leader of the left-wing So­cial Demo­cratic Party.

The po­lit­i­cal tur­bu­lence in Ro­ma­nia is likely to hin­der struc­tural re­forms, jeop­ar­dise fis­cal con­sol­i­da­tion and is credit neg­a­tive for the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to Moody's In­vestors Ser­vice.

Ser­bia

In May 2012 Ser­bia held com­bined pres­i­den­tial and par­lia­men­tary elec­tions. The vote was pre­ceded by protest ral­lies against the un­favourable so­cioe­co­nomic en­vi­ron­ment and the wide­spread corruption. The protests were or­gan­ised by the cen­tre-right Ser­bian Pro­gres­sive Party (SNS). Fol­low­ing the elec­tions SNS got 73 seats in the coun­try's new leg­is­la­ture while the al­liance led by the rul­ing cen­tre-left Demo­cratic Party (DS) gar­nered 67 seats.

SNS won the pres­i­den­tial vote in May 2012, as well, after its can­di­date Tomis­lav Nikolic de­feated the in­cum­bent Boris Tadic by a nar­row

Gen­eral elec­tions were held in Al­ba­nia, Mon­tene­gro, Ro­ma­nia, Ser­bia and Bul­garia amid mass protest ral­lies.

mar­gin in the runoff. The bal­lot re­sults showed that Nikolic, who is also SNS’s founder and pres­i­dent, had 49.54% of the votes com­pared to 47.31% for out­go­ing pres­i­dent Boris Tadic.

Slove­nia

The Slove­nian po­lit­i­cal life fea­tured a re­jec­tion of the premier-des­ig­nate, a suc­cess­ful no-con­fi­dence vote and pres­i­den­tial elec­tions in 2012 and the be­gin­ning of 2013. Slove­nia’s gov­ern­ment cri­sis be­gan in Septem­ber 2011 when the par­lia­ment voted out the cabi­net led by Borut Pa­hor in a con­fi­dence vote. That led to snap elec­tions in De­cem­ber 2011. The cri­sis deep­ened after the win­ner in the vote, Ljubl­jana’s mayor Zo­ran Jankovic, was re­jected by the par­lia­ment in Jan­uary 2012. The sit­u­a­tion cooled down in Fe­bru­ary 2012 when the Slove­nian par­lia­ment en­dorsed the

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