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Welcome to Europa World Plus

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Europa World Plus is the online version of the Europa World Year Book and the nine-volume Regional Surveys of the World series.

First published in 1926, the Europa World Year Book is renowned as one of the world's leading reference works, covering political and economic information in more than 250 countries and territories, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. The Europa Regional Surveys of the World offer in-depth, expert analysis at regional, sub-regional and country level.

Recent elections

Republic of Korea, 15 April 2020
Mali, 29 March and 19 April 2020
Guinea, 22 March 2020
Israel, 2 March 2020
Tajikistan, 1 March 2020
Slovakia, 29 February 2020
Togo, 22 February 2020
Azerbaijan, 9 February 2020
Cameroon, 9 February 2020

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Click for detailThe Argentine Republic occupies almost the whole of South America south of the Tropic of Capricorn and east of the Andes. Throughout the 20th century government generally alternated between military and civilian rule. The so-called ‘dirty war’ between the military regime and its opponents in 1976–83 ... (MORE)

Recent Events

19 May 2020 Lesotho

Dr Thomas Thabane, Prime Minister since June 2017 and Leader of the All Basotho Convention (ABC), announced his resignation as premier, following the collapse, earlier in May, of his governing coalition. Media reports in early 2020 had suggested that the police had uncovered evidence implicating Thabane and his wife, Maesaiah, in the murder of Thabane’s former wife, Lipolelo, who had been shot dead by unidentified gunmen in June 2017. Thabane and his wife both denied any wrongdoing; however, Maesaiah was formally charged in February 2020 with orchestrating Lipolelo’s murder. In mid-March Thabane had prorogued Parliament, without prior consultation, for three months in an apparent attempt to avoid a motion of no confidence in his leadership, and later that month the ABC nominated Minister of Finance Moeketsi Majoro to succeed Thabane as Prime Minister. (Thabane had also unsuccessfully attempted to secure, via various legislative and intra-ABC measures, immunity from prosection.) Anti-Thabane factions within the ABC concluded an agreement with the Democratic Congress (DC) and several other political parties in early April on the formation of a new coalition government, and this was expected to take office before the end of May. Majoro was sworn in as Prime Minister on 20 May.

18--19 May 2020 World Health Organization

The World Health Organization’s annual World Health Assembly convened for the first time by videoconference, with the scope of its agenda limited by and focused on the COVID-19 pandemic (which by that time had reached a global caseload of 4,731,458 and had resulted in 316,169 deaths since its emergence in December 2019). The Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution proposed by the European Union and Australia, which determined that an impartial, independent and comprehensive inquiry should be conducted into the origin of and global response to the ongoing pandemic, including an assessment of the organization’s own performance, with a focus on information sharing and timelines. The Assembly also called for an intensification of efforts to contain the pandemic, and for transparent and equitable access to COVID-19-related health technologies, vaccines and treatments.

17 May 2020 Israel

A new coalition government, comprising Likud, Kahol Lavan, Shas, United Torah Judaism, Labour, Derech Eretz, Gesher and Jewish Home, took office. Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu remained as Prime Minister for a fifth consecutive term, while Benny Gantz of Kahol Lavan became Alternate Prime Minister and Minister of Defence. (Under the terms of the coalition agreement, Gantz was due to replace Netanyahu in November 2021.) Other notable appointees included Kahol Lavan’s Gabi Ashkenazi, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces in 2007–11, who was appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Likud’s Israel Katz became Minister of Finance and Yuli-Yoel Edelstein—also of Likud and the Speaker of the Knesset in 2013–20—Minister of Health. Yakov Litzman, the leader of United Torah Judaism, took the construction and housing portfolio and the Labour leader, Amir Peretz, that of the economy.

7 May 2020 Iraq

A new Government received partial approval from the House of Representatives. Mustafa al-Kadhimi, hitherto the head of the Iraqi National Intelligence Service, became Prime Minister. Juma‘a Saadoun was appointed as Minister of Defence, while Othman Ali Farhood took the post of Minister of the Interior. Ali Allawi joined the Government as Minister of Finance and Hassan Mohammed Abbas as Minister of Health and Environment. However, the posts of Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Oil remained unallocated, while five others were vacant after their respective nominees failed to gain approval. It was reported on 10 May that Allawi would assume responsibility for the oil ministry on an acting basis. The appointment of a new Government followed the announcement of the previous Prime Minister, Adil Abd-al Mahdi, in November 2019 that he intended to resign from office amid large-scale demonstrations against his administration. Protracted negotiations over the appointment of a successor followed thereafter, prompting Abd al-Mahdi abruptly to leave office in March 2020, with President Barham Salih assuming prime ministerial duties until the appointment of al-Kadhimi.

4 May 2020 Venezuela

The Government of President Nicolás Maduro announced that it had foiled an attempted uprising by US and Colombian mercenaries. Some 13 mercenaries were intercepted as they landed a boat in Aragua state, to the west of Caracas. Two of the captured soldiers were US citizens, who claimed that they had been hired by a US security company, Silvercorp USA, to train Colombian mercenaries and to lead a mission to overthrow Maduro and seize control of Caracas international airport. Opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who was recognized by the USA (and more than 50 other countries) as the legitimate interim President of Venezuela, denied any involvement in the attempted ouster; Silvercorp’s owner, Jordan Goudreau, claimed that he and Guaidó had been in contact in 2019.

16 April 2020 Brazil

President Jair Bolsonaro dismissed his Minister of Health, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, following continued tensions between them over their differing approaches to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country. The federal Ministry of Health under Mandetta favoured adherence to the World Health Organization’s guidelines of implementing quarantine measures and ordering people to stay home and non-essential businesses to remain closed; however, the President adopted a ‘business as usual’ approach, preferring to prioritize protecting the economy and jobs. A day before Mandetta’s departure, the Supreme Court had ruled that Bolsonaro did not have the authority to make good on his threat to override states of emergencies declared by several state governments.

15 April 2020 Republic of Korea

The ruling Democratic Party of Korea (Minjoo Party of Korea) won a resounding victory at legislative elections, securing 180 of the 300 seats in the National Assembly, with its affiliate, the Citizen Party, while the United Future Party (UFP) and its sister party, Future Korea Party, won 103 seats. The Democratic Party won 163 of the 253 directly elective seats, compared with 84 for the UFP. Of the 47 seats elected by proportional representation, affiliates of the Democratic Party and the UFP won 17 and 19 seats, respectively, while the Justice Party won five seats. President Moon Jae-In’s approval ratings were vastly improved by his handling of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Despite the pandemic, turnout was recorded at a record high of 66.2%. Wang Kyo Ahn resigned as leader of the UFP, taking responsibility for the party’s defeat.

2 April 2020 Guinea

According to provisional results released by the Commission Electorale Nationale Indépendante, at legislative elections held on 22 March the Rassemblement du Peuple de Guinée Arc-en-ciel of President Alpha Condé secured 79 of the 114 seats in the National Assembly, while the Union Démocratique de Guinée won four seats and the Mouvement Populaire Démocratique de Guinée and the Nouvelles Forces Démocratiques each took three. A further 20 parties attained representation in the legislature. A referendum on constitutional changes, held concurrently with the legislative elections, resulted in 89.8% of voters approving the proposed revisions, which included the extension of the presidential term from five to six years. According to the Constitutional Court, 58.2% of the registered electorate participated in the referendum.


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