Abdoulaye Wade became the democratically elected President of Senegal in 2000. The country was one of Africa’s most stable democracies, and had never experienced a coup. During his term as President, the Constitution was changed to limit Presidents to two terms. In 2009, Wade announced that he would not run for a third time. However, his government still suffered from low popularity. Frequent power outages, government scandals, and economic problems bred popular discontent.
In the face of a stagnating post-war economy, Polish Communist leader Władysław Gomułka, the First Secretary of the Polish United Workers’ Party (PZPR), decided to end government subsidies for food and other everyday items in late 1970. Although the system of fixed, artificially low food prices kept urban discontent in check, it was unsustainable, absorbing approximately one third of the budget.
On February 23, 1991, a military group by the name of the NPKC, or National Peace Keeping Council, which was composed of Military academy graduates, sought to overthrow the current government in Thailand, which they believed to be a “parliamentary dictatorship”. NPKC quickly gained control over the government and formed the political party known as Samakki Tham.
The October 31, 2004, presidential elections in Ukraine pitted popular opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko against Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. The incumbent president, Leonid Kuchma, had personally chosen Yanukovych as his successor, but their political party was losing popular support. Yushchenko, supported by a united opposition, was expected to win the election. However, the October 31 election yielded no winner, with each candidate receiving about 40% of the votes. At this point most opposition groups, such as the student group Pora, already suspected fr
Estonians have long held a tradition of singing. Beginning in 1869, Estonians have held a song festival every five years called the Laulupidu during which thousands of Estonians gather to sing together.
Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo campaign for democracy and the return of their “disappeared” family members, 1977-1983
Following a coup that ousted then-acting President Isabel Perón from power, Argentina’s armed forces established a military government in 1976, a year that marked the beginning of Argentina’s “Dirty War” period. Headed by General Jorge Videla, the new military junta dissolved Argentina’s Supreme Court, congress, and provincial governments, and implemented a government program known as the “National Reorganization Process.” This program sought to rid Argentinean society of perceived government subversives, and effectively institutionalized state-sponsored terror. Through th
In order to strengthen their hold on political and economic power, the white settlers of British-controlled Northern Rhodesia sought to unite the British colonial territories of Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia, and Nyasaland during the late 1930s and 1940s. This was a response to the growing strength of African organizations (e.g.
Sierra Leone is a West African country of 6 million people. Now a constitutional democracy, dictators and one-party governments ruled for decades and the people endured periods of civil war.
In 1996 the country had its first multiparty elections and freely elected its first civilian government in 34 years. Hope soared. The following year, on May 25, a group of young military officers led a coup that overthrew the government. The new government called itself the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC).
Starting in 2001, rebels supporting the leader François Bozize attempted coups to overthrow President Ange-Félix Patassé in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic. The political unrest during this time resulted in a drop of the country’s economy. The government fell behind in payments to many civil servants, such as teachers, and made a priority of paying soldiers to fight the rebels. The teachers demanded that the government pay them nine months of their salaries from the total of twenty-three months in arrears.
The political atmosphere in Japan in the 1950s was anything but calm. Still reeling from the Second World War, citizens were coming to terms with their newly democratic leaders—politicians who, before the war, had been ardently fascist. A growing nationalist movement was forming, as well as strong leftist political factions. These two movements opposed Japan’s strong ties with the United States, and disagreed with the American military presence in their country.
Pakistani lawyers protect constitution and reinstate judges (Save the Judiciary Movement), 2007-2009
On March 9, 2007, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf suspended Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry from his duties on the Court in response to Chaudhry’s challenges to his Presidency. Interpreted as an attempt to reduce the power and independence of the judicial branch, the Pakistani legal community organized immediately to reverse the decision. Lawyers from across the political spectrum immediately organized protests and rallies throughout the country.
The general strike in Ådalen, Sweden, in 1931 was part of a much larger industrial struggle between the Swedish Employers’ Federation (SAF) and the Swedish Union Federation (LO), a struggle that had been continuing since the late 19th century, if not longer.
Following the collapse of French colonial administration in Vietnam in 1954, the country was temporarily divided, with Ho Chi Minh's Democratic Republic of Vietnam in North Vietnam, and Emperor Bao Dai's State of Vietnam in the South. The Geneva Conference peace agreement ending the French Indo-China war included a provision for nationwide elections in 1956. Soon after the country was divided, Ngo Dinh Diem had proclaimed himself president of South Vietnam by means of a fraudulent election.