International Notes: Portuguese communists ready for October elections

August 7, 2019
International Notes: Portuguese communists ready for October elections


Portugal: Communists present their program for October elections

The Communist Party of Portugal has put forward its political program for the national parliamentary elections, which will take place on October 6.  All 230 seats in the Assembly of the Republic, will be up for election.  The Communists and their coalition partners, the Ecologist Green Party, currently hold 17 seats in the body.

The Communist program is focused on economic development and full employment.  The program lists key elements of this as including  “the recovery by the state of political control of the economy, with the affirmation of national sovereignty a strong fight against external dependency”, “democratic planning of economic development”,  meaning ending the power of monopolies to call the shots in favor of democratic decision making by workers, towns and regions, and other policies intended to undo the privatization carried out by previous governments under conditions imposed on Portugal by the triumvirate of the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.


Australia:  Communists Demand end to sale of weapons to Saudis, Emiratis

The Communist Party of Australia is supporting a movement demanding an end to the clandestine sale of arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates by the Australian Electro Optics Systems company.   The company denied sending these weapons to the two Arab states, but the evidence shows that they have been doing precisely that.  The armaments in question are sophisticated mechanisms designed to increase the lethality of artillery, machine guns and missile launchers.  The issue is that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are credibly accused of committing horrific war crimes in the ongoing war in Yemen.

There is also criticism of the Australian government for providing the export licenses for these weapons systems and for subsidizing the exports to the tune of 36 million Australian dollars ($24.5 million USD).

Communists see results of Japanese Upper House elections as positive

The Japanese Communist Party has issued its assessment of the elections to the House of Councilors, the upper house of the Diet (Parliament), which took place on July  21.  The election chose 124 of the 245 members of the upper house, by a combination of constituency districts and proportional representation.

Though the Communist Party lost one of the 14 seats they had going into the election, they see the overall result as positive from a strategic point of view.  The right wing, nationalist coalition headed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of the conservative Liberal Democratic Party lost its supermajority in the House of Councilors, because Abe’s own Liberal Democrats lost nine seats.  The importance of this is that without the supermajority, Abe will not be able to carry threatened amendments to the Japanese constitution, which Communists and others fear would move in the direction of re-militarization.

Paraguay:  Communists blast government’s agreement with Brazil

The Communist Party of Paraguay has denounced a new agreement between Paraguay’s right wing president, Mario Abdo Benítez, of the Colorado Party, with the extremist right wing president of neighboring Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro.

The agreement stipulates that Paraguay will sell to Brazil 50% of the hydroelectrically generated energy from the Paraguayan side of the Itiapú dam on the Paraná River, on the Brazilian-Paraguayan border.  The deal is valid up to 2022.  The dam is the largest in the world in terms of hydroelectric generating power.  The communists warn that the deal could leave Paraguay without sufficient electrical generating resources for its own needs.

The Paraguayan communists see president Abdo’s action as a continuation of the corrupt practices of the former Alfredo Stroessner dictatorship , with which Abdo’s family had connections.  They demand that the deal be nullified when it is up for renewal in 2023.




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