August 12, 2009
Tick, tick, tick. That's the sound of the de facto government of Honduras running out the clock on the term of Manuel Zelaya, the president ousted in a civilian-military coup on June 28. Sadly, it also might be the sound of a time bomb inadvertently activated by the country's constitutional crisis and deepening political divisions. In the six weeks since the coup, the Organization of American States, the Obama administration and a mediator -- Costa Rican President Oscar Arias -- have been unable to bring the leaders of the coup to their senses.
August 10, 2009 |
Madagascar's bitter political rivals signed a power-sharing deal, agreeing to create an interim government to end months of violence. The Indian Ocean island has become increasingly isolated since Andry Rajoelina claimed the presidency in March in a widely denounced coup that sent Marc Ravalomanana into exile. The two sides signed an accord after four days of talks mediated by former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano. According to the agreement, a transitional government will be established for 15 months, leading to fresh elections.
February 8, 2009 |
In December, reports surfaced that then-Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson was nervous. Without a Wall Street bailout package, he reportedly warned members of Congress, civil unrest might become so widespread that martial law would have to be imposed. That same month, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn warned of the risk of worldwide riots in connection with the economic collapse.
January 25, 2008 |
Twenty months after it came to power, the Italian government fell late Thursday when Prime Minister Romano Prodi lost a vote of confidence in Parliament and was forced to resign. The demise of Prodi's center-left coalition caps weeks of bitter political fighting but sends Italy into a new period of uncertainty while either an interim government is installed or fresh elections are called. Prodi had spent much of his time in office simply trying to survive politically.
December 20, 2007 |
Belgian leaders cobbled together an interim government that will tackle urgent economic issues, ending a six-month political deadlock. The five-party interim government will be in office three months, which will give officials more time to agree on constitutional reforms designed to grant more autonomy to the Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-speaking Wallonia regions.
September 27, 2006 |
Thailand's ruling military council has written a temporary constitution appointing its members as advisors to any interim government. The council has ordered political parties to halt activities, warned media not to disseminate news that could disturb the peace and banned public gatherings of more than five people. The council also named dozens of prominent civilians to serve as its advisors, although some of the appointees said they hadn't been informed.
July 21, 2006 |
Hundreds of Ethiopian troops rolled into Somalia in armored vehicles Thursday to protect their allies in this country's virtually powerless government from Islamic militants who control the capital. The move could give the U.S.-backed Somalian government its only chance of curbing the Islamists' increasing power. But Ethiopia's incursion also could be the provocation the militia members need to build public support for a guerrilla war.
June 18, 2006 |
The leader of the alliance of Islamic militias that seized Somalia's capital said Saturday that 300 Ethiopian soldiers had entered the country to help his rivals, but he promised not to attack the weak transitional government that represented his only challenge. An Ethiopian official denied the allegations by Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, but said his government had massed troops along the border and was monitoring the Islamic Courts Union's advance across Somalia.