World Today: Democratic space, free speech and crisis zone
The 2016 Somali electoral process in Somalia continues to get delayed despite the Federal Government of Somalia, Somali Parliament, and regional leaders repeatedly voicing their commitment to hold an electoral process on schedule, in accordance with the Somali constitution and resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.
The legitimacy of the Somali federal institutions depends on a transparent political transition prior to the expiration of the current government’s mandate. It is for the federal parliament in Somalia to act swiftly to enact and implement the electoral model endorsed by the National Leaders’ Forum.
In statement the US has said it stands ready to assist the Somali people and government in conducting electoral process to ensure stable democratic governance.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The United States is reviewing the possibility of imposing sanctions in response to growing pattern of intimidation, harassment, and detention of members of the opposition and civil society leaders across the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Under the prevailing situation, US Department of State deputy Spokesperson Mark C. Toner said in a statement that constructive dialogue is not possible when the Government is harassing, arresting, and jailing those individuals who are expected to be engaged in dialogue by the government..
The United States has called for an end to violence, and for all sides to participate in a credible dialogue. The D.R.C. government has an affirmative obligation to protect all its citizens’ human rights to take part in the conduct of public affairs, and exercise their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
Under the prospective law, speech by elected representatives, if it is inconvenient, will not be protected.
Before the latest amendment, which will strike at the freedom of speech across Turkey, becomes a law, it has to be referred to Turkey’s President.