News

Pro-independence parties win majority in Greenlandic election / Indigenous mobilization in Brazil

20 to 26 April

Members of largest party in Greenlandic election, Siumut.
Members of largest party in Greenlandic election, Siumut. Autor/a: Siumut
WEEKLY ROUNDUP. Pro-independence parties will again dominate the Greenlandic Parliament after the 25 April election gave Siumut and Inuit Ataqatigiit once again the most votes, even if unionist parties have gained some ground. It is planned that the drafting of a Constitution for Greenland will go on, but outright independence does not seem a short-term option. Thousands of Indigenous Brazilians have demonstrated for their right to land and against the policies of the Temer government in the country’s capital Brasilia. And in Asturias, a massive march has called for the official status for the Asturian language.


NEWS HIGHLIGHT

Pro-independence parties win large majority in Greeland. The two main Greenlandic pro-sovereignty parties have again achieved a combined absolute majority of votes and seats in the parliamentary election held on the Arctic island, 25 April. Centre-left Siumut with 27.2% of the votes and 9 seats, and left-wing Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA), with 25.5% and 8 seats, will have enough seats to keep political control as they have done in the previous legislature, and continue to pilot the drafting of a Constitution for Greenland.

The first option to form a government is a renewed Siumut-IA coalition. With 17 seats of 31 in the Greenland Parliament, they have a majority not needing the support from any other party. But differences on the issue of uranium extraction —Siumut favours it while IA is opposed— could hinder a new agreement, at a time when Greenland’s politics are more focused on local social and economic aspects than on the country’s path to full sovereignty.

If that were the case, other parties could have an option to join government. Third placed were the Democrats (centre-right unionist), with 19.5% of the votes and 6 seats —the party that having grown the most. Atassut (liberal-conservative, with ambiguous stances on independence), with 5.9% of the votes and 2 seats, could re-join the government as it did in 2014. But an option also exists for smaller pro-independence party Parti Naleraq, junior coalition government of Siumut and IA in 2016, which has now received 13.4% of the votes and 4 seats. More unlikely is a deal between Siumut and newly established pro-independence party Nunatta Qitornai (1 seat), which has been founded b former Siumut minister Vittus Qujaukitsoq.

MOREOVER

Indigenous mobilization in Brazil for the right to land and to life. More than 3,000 people belonging to 100 different peoples, according to organizers, have participated in the 15th edition of the Free Land Camp in Brasilia. They have called on the government to protect their right to their ancestral lands and to end violence against Indigenous peoples, who undergo “the most serious scenario of attacks against their rights since the country’s re-democratization” in 1988, according to adeclaration signed by the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil. Indigenous representatives denounce a lack of interest by Michel Temer’s conservative government to guarantee their rights, and the connivance of the Brazilian authorities with big landowners who illegally hold Indigenous lands.

Massive pro-Asturian language demonstration. 30,000 people, according to organizers, marched through the streets of Oviedo 21 April calling on the Asturian Parliament to amend article 4 of the Statute of Autonomy to include a provision for co-official status for Asturian, alongside Spanish. According to the Asturian Language Defense Board (XDLA), the demonstration was a sign of “social outcry” Unions and the two parties that more clearly have supported pro-Asturian demands —United Left and Podemos— took part in the march, but the main news was the support representatives of the Socialist Asturian Federation-PSOE, which just a few months ago were opposed to the demand. The demonstration also demanded official status for Galician-Asturian, spoken in western Asturias.

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