Last Friday, Donald J. Trump swore in as the new president of the United States of America with a 16-minute inaugural speech in which he affirmed the country was now entering a new different era. He promised he would break up with the established order and stop national decline.
Trump presented himself as the leader who will return United States’ lost greatness. “We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams.”
He stated that the inauguration was much more than the transfer of power from one president to another: “We are giving (the power) back to you, the people.” Donald Trump has assumed the presidency of a polarized country in which he enjoys less support in polls than any other president in recent history.
During the weekend, peaceful protests against the new president took place throughout the whole country. Additionally, violent riots broke out and police officers responded with tear gas in Washington, D.C. In all, more than 200 people were arrested.
After allegations of government attack on freedom of press, the current Polish political crisis has worsened over the last few days, with diverse protests both in and outside the nation’s Parliament. Hundreds of furious anti-government demonstrators besieged the building, preventing politicians from the ruling Polish party, called Law and Justice, from leaving,
The turning point of the instability has definitely been the last government plan to limit media access to the Polish Parliament. Since the country returned to democracy almost 27 years ago, journalists have enjoyed unrestricted access, being free to follow every issue addressed in the Parliament and ask politicians any question.
This access has been regarded as a basic example of Polish democracy. However, the current government believes it is an unwanted privilege that the press has abused. Consequently, the government proposed cutting down the number of journalists with parliamentary accreditation, which has resulted in a sharp national crisis whose termination does not seem to be about to happen.
In fact, protesters hope to take to the streets again in order to keep pressuring the government as much as possible, while allegations of attemped coups d’état and threats to democracy increase.
Burundi’s lower house of parliament has voted in support of a withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC), after the court’s chief prosecutor had announced last April a preliminary investigation of the ongoing situation in Burundi, where hundreds of people have died in violent street protests and political killings.
This has been the first step towards a full investigation in which the government has been blamed for murder, torture, rape and forced disappearances. In August, Burundi also rejected the proposed deployment of more than 200 United Nations police officers to monitor the country’s social instability.
Burundi has been plagued by violence since April 2015, when the current president Pierre Nkurunziza tried a third term despite massive protests by citizens who defined the move as unconstitutional. Hundreds have been killed in the uprisings.
Many African leaders see the court as a European postcolonial tool to beat up on Africa and have repeatedly threatened withdrawal from the Rome Statute, the treaty that created the ICC. Nevertheless, no country has ever withdrawn from the ICC.
Under the Rome Statute, a country that seeks to exit its jurisdiction must formally write to the United Nations secretary general stating its intention. The formal process that comes after could go on as long as a year.