Electoral Violence Starts Early in Kenya
In Kenya, police cracked down on opposition protests, killing three and injuring more. With elections still more than a year away, the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) party is demanding that current electoral officials resign for corruption and bias toward President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ruling Jubilee coalition. In the wake of the bloodshed CORD halted the demonstrations and agreed to negotiations, responding to other governments’ calls for dialogue. But given Kenya’s history of electoral violence and impunity, many expect clashes to continue.
Vietnam, Labor Rights, and the TPP
On his historic Vietnam visit, President Obama met with civil society leaders and advocated for human rights, even as he lifted a four decades-long arms embargo—a move opposed by many nongovernmental organizations. He also addressed labor rights, central to Vietnam’s admission to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Along with Malaysia and Brunei, Vietnam must reform its labor laws—allowing workers to unionize within five years, setting a minimum wage, and prohibiting child and forced labor—to enter. Though the Communist Party continues to jail and harass labor rights activists, if the agreement is ratified, the economic benefits for Vietnam—the World Bank estimates it will add 10 percent to gross domestic product (GDP)—could force change.
Still No Election in Haiti
Seven months and four missed deadlines later, Haiti is no closer to wrapping up presidential elections. Despite public calls from the United States, the United Nations, and frontrunner Jovenel Moïse to move forward with a runoff, an electoral commission has yet to decide if the first round was fraudulent, as the opposition alleges, and what to do. Now weeks beyond an agreed-upon handover, Interim President Jocelerme Privert remains without a mandate to address Haiti’s deepening challenges: a stagnant economy, food scarcity, and a growing Zika epidemic.