International Notes: July 8, 2016

 
BY:Emile Schepers| July 8, 2016
International Notes: July 8, 2016

Japanese Communists form electoral coalition

On June 21, the Japanese Communists and leaders of three other opposition parties agreed to run a joint candidacy for the election of a new governor for the Tokyo Metropolitan region.  The former governor, from the right-wing Liberal Democratic Party, was pushed out in a corruption scandal on June 15.  Comrade Koiki Akira, the head of the Secretariat of the Japanese Communist Party announced that the alliance would also support joint candidates for election to the Upper House of the Japanese Diet (Parliament), plus a number of lower house constituencies.

The other parties involved in this coalition effort are the Democratic Party, the Social Democratic Party and the People’s Life Party.  Non party organizations are also involved.  The aim of the united front, according to Shii Kazuo, Chair of the Japanese Communist Party, will be to cancel recent moves by Prime Minister Abe to rearm Japan, withdrawal from the Transpacific Partnership, and a reversal of neo-liberal economic policies that harm the working class and the poor.

The Metropolitan Tokyo gubernatorial election will take place at the end of July.

According to the Japanese constitution, the general election must take place before December 13, 2016.  Currently, the Communist Party holds 21 seats in the lower house of the Diet, out of   475.

 

Communist Party of Ireland calls for resistance to water privatization

The Communist Party of Ireland is supporting the grassroots Right2Water campaign which has been carrying out acts of peaceful resistance which have so far led to the suspension of water charges in this island nation.  The Party states, however that “we need to consolidate this victory with a constitutional amendment enshrining the  people’s ownership and control of this vital resource”.

The Communist  Party accuses both the conservative Irish government and the leaders of the European Union of setting the stage for the privatization of the water supply.  The communists warn that current negotiations between the United States and the European Union on the projected Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, some of whose details were recently leaked by Greenpeace Netherlands, could lead to mechanisms whereby countries like Ireland could be forced to privatize their water systems so that major transnational corporations could profit from them.  For this reason, says the Communist Party, public ownership of water needs to be guaranteed by the constitution.

Iraqi Communist Party members killed in bombing

The Iraqi Communist Party has announced that at least three of its members were killed in the terrorist bombing in Baghdad’s Karradah district on the evening of Saturday, July 1.  The bomb, set off by ISIS at a moment when Baghdad’s residents were preparing for the  Eid Festival which ends the Muslim holy period of Ramadan, killed at least 220 innocent people, according to Iraqi authorities.  The persons killed included Communist  Party members Adel Qais Al-Jaf, Hameed Majid Rashid  and Faysal Mohammed Salman.

In a statement,  the Iraqi Communist Party accused Daesh (the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State) of “wanting to kill any opportunity for joy in our country, Iraq, which has been plagued by terrorism, corruption and failure”

 

Colombian Communists hail peace pact

The Communist Party of Colombia is strongly praising the peace pact, signed in Havana on June 23, between the government of President Juan Manuel Santos, and the Armed forces of the Colombian Revolution-People’s Army (FARC-EP) which in all likelihood will put an end to a bloody civil war which has lasted for 53 years.  “It must be recognized that never, in our long republican life, has so much diplomatic success been achieved, placing our nation as the most important point in the world in those 24 hours which sealed our fortune as a nation that is democratic and at peace, and as an unperishable example for the rest of the nations of the world.

The signing ceremony was presided over by Cuban President Raul Castro, in the presence of world leaders including U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and leaders and representatives of a number of other countries, including the United States.

Author

    Emile Schepers is a veteran civil and immigrant rights activist. Emile Schepers was born in South Africa and has a doctorate in cultural anthropology from Northwestern University. He has worked as a researcher and activist in urban, working-class communities in Chicago since 1966. He is active in the struggle for immigrant rights, in solidarity with the Cuban Revolution and a number of other issues. He now writes from Northern Virginia.

     

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