Americas: Protests likely as Brazil’s federal electoral court bans Bolsonaro from office until 2030

Sectors: all
Key Risks: civil unrest

In Brazil, on 30 June five out of seven federal electoral court (TSE) justices ruled that far-right former president Jair Bolsonaro abused his power and misused the media in the October 2022 election – which he narrowly lost against leftist President Inacio Lula da Silva – thus barring him from holding public office until 2030. Bolsonaro’s lawyers pledged to make an appeal to the Supreme Court, which appears unlikely to succeed. Bolsonaro repeatedly made unfounded claims against the country’s electoral system ahead of the 2022 vote implying that a Lula win would amount to electoral fraud – and ultimately led to the 8 January riots in the capital Brasilia. Although Bolsonaro will not be able to run in the 2026 election, he has publicly backed his wife Michelle’s potential candidacy. The risk of protests by Bolsonaro’s supporters will remain heightened across major cities in the coming days.

Asia Pacific: Thailand’s pro-democracy parties break impasse on house speakership row

Sectors: all
Key Risks: political instability; political impasse; civil unrest

In Thailand, on 3 July the Parliament convened for the first time following the 14 May general election which saw pro-democracy parties trounce military-aligned parties. Newly-elected lawmakers in the lower house will select a speaker on 4 July. The position remained contested between the Move Forward Party (MFP) and the Pheu Thai Party – two of the largest parties in the pro-democracy coalition – until a last-minute compromise was reached to nominate the leader of a minor pro-democracy party to break the impasse. The focus will now turn to MFP leader Pita Limjaroenrat, the coalition’s prime ministerial nominee, whose candidacy has yet to garner enough support in a bicameral vote from conservative military-royalist senators. Concerns over the prime ministerial nomination process, which remains heavily stacked in favour of military-aligned parties, are expected to further stymie government formation. Political uncertainty and civil unrest risks will likely persist.

Eurasia: Tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh high as Armenia-Azerbaijan talks make little progress

Sectors: all
Key risks: war on land; political instability

In Nagorno-Karabakh (NK), on 28 June four Karabakh soldiers were killed by Azerbaijani forces near Martuni and Martakert, according to local authorities. The incident came as Armenian and Azerbaijani delegations began a round of three-day talks on 27 June in Washington as part of efforts to reach a peace agreement. Following the talks, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated on 29 June that Baku and Yerevan had agreed on some matters – without providing more detail – and added that “hard work” was still needed to reach an agreement. Tensions soared in the region after Baku moved on 23 April, to install a border checkpoint on the Lachin Corridor – the only land route connecting the region to Armenia. Stepanakert claims that Baku has also prohibited the movement of goods and people through the corridor since 15 June, a claim that Baku denies. Tensions will remain high in the coming weeks.

Europe: Chances that Turkey and Hungary ratify Sweden’s NATO bid ahead of Vilnius summit slim

Sectors: all
Key Risks: all; defence

NATO and Sweden are expected to make the last diplomatic push aimed at convincing Turkey and Hungary to ratify Stockholm’s application before the NATO 11-12 July summit in Vilnius. There have been hopes that Sweden would become a member of NATO at the summit. However, Budapest and Ankara have not yet ratified its membership and hopes that they would do so in the coming days appear increasingly small. On 28 June Hungarian media reported that parliament further delayed the ratification of Stockholm’s NATO application, claiming that the vote was not included in the coming week’s agenda. Chances that Ankara will ratify it are even slimmer. On 28 June a man burned a copy of the Quran outside Stockholm’s central mosque on ‘Aid al-Adha, further complicating Sweden-Turkey relations.

MENA: Rare Israeli airstrikes in the West Bank signal coming escalation of violence

Sectors: all
Key Risks: internal conflict; political violence

In the West Bank, on 3 July Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) launched a major raid on Jenin refugee camp, killing at least eight Palestinians and injuring dozens more, with casualty figures expected to rise. The early morning raid involved a ground incursion and multiple airstrikes targeting suspected Palestinian militants. Clashes between Jenin-based militants and Israeli ground troops have been reported. This is the second IDF operation involving Israeli airstrikes in Jenin since a 19 June raid when an attack helicopter was deployed to cover the retreat of ground forces. The latest operation is significant for its use of airstrikes, a first since the start of Operation Breakwater in March 2022 – aimed at curbing Palestinian militant activity in the West Bank. Following the IDF raid, Palestinian militant groups are likely to retaliate with attacks against Israeli military positions in the West Bank.

Sub-Saharan Africa: Senegalese opposition leader calls for countrywide protests

Sectors: all
Key Risks: civil unrest, political instability

In Senegal, on 2 July Ousmane Sonko, leader of the Patriots of Senegal (PASTEF) opposition party, called for countrywide protests to denounce President Macky Sall. Sonko’s call for demonstrations came ahead of Sall’s planned 3 June address to the nation where he is expected to announce his intention to run for a controversial third term in the February 2024 presidential election. On 1 July Sall strongly implied that he’ll seek re-election during a Benno Bokk Yakaar (BBY) coalition meeting with a collective of mayors and local officials. Sall – elected in 2012 and re-elected in 2019 – revised the constitution in 2016, which prohibits more than two consecutive terms in office. Sal’s supporters state that the constitutional revision resets the counters to zero. If Sall announces his bid for re-election, protests are likely in the city of Dakar and the Ziguinchor, Oussouye and Bignona regions.