South Asia and Beyond

SNG Daily: Calls For Netanyahu’s Resignation Grow Louder; Local Elections Deliver Massive Setback To Erdogan

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Calls For Netanyahu’s Resignation And Fresh Elections Grow Louder

Voices of protest in Israel are growing louder. In one of the biggest demonstrations since Israel’s air strikes in Gaza following the October 7 attacks, Netanyahu faces opposition on multiple fronts which can threaten his government too. Besides protests by families of hostages who are still waiting for their loved ones to return… thousands turned up outside the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, against the government’s exemption to ultra-Orthodox Jewish men from military conscription.

Some protesters like these have decided to camp outside the Knesset till Netanyahu steps down. Amid chants of ‘Election Now’, from the crowds outside, PM Netanyahu told journalists that holding an election at the height of war, which he claims Israel is on the verge of winning, could paralyse the country for months.

Local Elections Deliver Massive Setback To Turkish President Erdogan

It’s the worst blow for Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan in more than two decades. His main political rival, Ekrem Imamoglu, of the Republican People’s Party or CHP, is all set to hand Erdogan his worst electoral setback as local mayoral polls in at least 15 cities, including Istanbul and Ankara go against the president.

Addressing his supporters in Istanbul, where he won his third term as mayor, Ekrem Imamoglu said, “16 million Istanbul citizens sent a message to both our rivals and the president.”

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Many are seeing the former businessman as a challenger to Erdogan. In a late night speech, Erdogan acknowledged the setback, saying his allies have ‘lost altitude’. He also promised that he and his party would fix mistakes wherever they have made them.

Former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou Heads To China, Likely To Meet Xi

Taiwan’s former President Ma Ying-jeou is on an 11-day visit to China. It comes at a time of simmering tensions between the two neighbours. Ma, who was president from 2008-16, belongs to the KMT, a party that favours closer ties with Beijing. However, presidential polls in January this year saw Lai-Ching-te elected president. Lai belongs to the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party. China claims Taiwan is a part of its own territory while Taiwan sees itself as a separate nation. The former president is expected to call on China’s President Xi Jinping during his visit.

Chinese-State Media Played A Role In Reports Against Taiwan President

According to an analysis done for Reuters by an NGO-based in Taiwan, Chinese-state media and affiliated organisations allegedly fuelled reports that Taiwan’s outgoing President Tsai Ing-wen would flee the island in a US plane in the event of war with China. These reports first surfaced in 2021 and gained traction just before the elections in January this year. Taipei has consistently denied these stories.
The NGO identified more than 400 narratives depicting military exercises as scenarios where Taiwan’s leadership would abandon its post. This pattern, according to the NGO Information Environment Research Center, suggested a deliberate effort by Beijing to destabilise the ruling Democratic Progressive Party. China’s Taiwan Affairs Office rubbished IORG’s claims as ‘fabricated and ill-intentioned’.

Russia Wants Extradition Of Ukraine Security Services Chief

Russia wants Ukraine to extradite Vasyl Maliuk, the head of the country’s SBU Security Service, among others, claiming he is linked to terrorist activities carried out in Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry statement listed violent incidents including bombings resulting in the death of the daughter of a prominent nationalist and a war blogger, as well as an incident causing serious injury to a writer. Ukraine has called it a ‘pointless’ demand, saying Russian demands ‘sound particularly cynical coming from the terrorist state itself.’ Ukraine also reminded Moscow of the arrest warrant against Putin issued by the International Court of Justice at the Hague.