Europe, News Watch, Side Feature, South Asia

Views on the News 13/4/2022

·French Elections to go to Second Round
·Russia Appoints New Commander in Ukraine
·Imran Khan Innings come to an Inglorious End

French Elections to go to Second Round

In the first round of the French presidential elections incumbent candidate Macron received 27.8% of the vote followed by right-wing candidate Marine Le Pen with 23.1%. The two candidates will face each other in a runoff election on April 24. Both candidates have been competing on their anti-Islamic rhetoric and policies. On April 20, Macron and Le Pen will hold a televised debate that could prove crucial for the election. Le Pen’s poor performance against Macron in a debate in the 2017 presidential runoff was one of the reasons she lost the election by a wide margin. Both candidates have struggled to outline how they plan to deal with deeply ingrained economic and social problems. Both have used Muslims as a scapegoat for many of French ills, rather than actually dealing with issues such as poverty, wealth maldistribution and French global competitiveness.

Russia Appoints New Commander in Ukraine

After failing to make a decisive blow in Ukraine, Russia has reoriented its battle plan in the country and given up taking the capital, Kyiv. Russia’s defence ministry spokesmen admitted to Russia’s losses and that the wear has not gone to plan. Russian officials have announced that they will now focus on Donbas region, a region they have had a presence in since 2014. To turn around Russia’s failure in Ukraine, Putin has appointed Alexander Dvornikov as overall commander of the Ukraine war. It was Dvornikov that saved Russia’s campaign in Syria, and now the Kremlin hopes he can replicate his successes in Ukraine. Whether he succeeds or not remains to be seen, but Russia’s military capability has taken a huge hit and its position in the world has taken an even bigger hit.

Imran Khan Innings come to an Inglorious End

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has been ousted from power after losing a no-confidence vote in his leadership. The vote was held past midnight on Sunday morning after opposition parties brought a motion against him, which was upheld by the Supreme Court. The assembly appointed Shabaz Sharif as the new prime minister and he will be able to hold power until October 2023 when the next election is due to be held. Khan now becomes the first Pakistani prime minister to be ousted by a no-confidence vote. But the new government has its work cut out as poverty, inflation and foreign debt remain huge problems, issues Imran Khan failed to resolve. It remains to be seen if this gathering of various parties, united against Imran Khan, can resolve Pakistan’s endemic problems.