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10/15/2018

Khashoggi, Brunson and the Bavarian elections – outcomes of the week

Khashoggi, Brunson and the Bavarian elections – outcomes of the week

The disappearance of Saudi journalist Khashoggi 

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a famous critic of the Saudi authorities and Washington Post author (who currently resides in the US) disappeared after entering a consulate in Istanbul on October 2nd.

Saudi Arabia denies any charges that they are responsible for his disappearance, and claims that the journalist left the building through a rear entrance and that its exit (unlike the moment when it came into the building) simply did not appear on surveillance cameras.

Khashoggi’s disappearance caused a wave of indignation worldwide and undermined confidence of Saudi Arabia’s reliability as a business partner.

The Turkish authorities, however, have video and audio recordings proving that Khashoggi did not leave the building. Investigations are continuing.

Release of pastor Brunson from Turkey

The Turkish court this week released American pastor Andrew Branson from house arrest.

In spite of the fact that the preacher was sentenced to three years in prison, the court of the city of Aliaga ordered his release citing time-served since his arrest and good behavior.

The pastor, one of the sources for an escalation in tensions between Ankara-Washington (in politics and trade), will be able to return to the US.

Brunson has already visited the White House to meet the U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump thanked the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan for working to reduce tensions. Erdogan added that he hopes Turkey and the U.S. will be able to continue to cooperate. The Turkish leader noted that the countries are still carrying out “joint efforts against terrorist groups, particularly the PKK, Daesh, and FETO.”

Bavarian elections

Elections took place this Sunday in Bavaria. The Christian Social Union (CSU entering into a coalition with Angela Merkel’s CDU) took the biggest losses –  the party collected only about 37% of votes (10% less than during the 2013 elections).

The main outcome for the CSU is the loss of an absolute majority in the Landtag, the federal parliament of Bavaria.

Meanwhile, the “Green Party” took second place (18%), with “Free voters” with independent candidates in third (11,5%). The elections saw a strengthened position for the populist party Alternative for Germany with 10%, and the first time the party will pass into the Landtag.

The SPD received 10% of the vote, taking fifth place and losing half of the electorate.

The new problem for the CSU will be the necessity  to co-govern alongside the Green Party.

United World International

Independent analytical center where political scientists and experts in international relations from various countries exchange their opinions and views.