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Geopolitics

Why The Muslim Brotherhood Lags In Libya

With results coming this week in Libya's first post-Gaddafi election, the Muslim Brotherhood is not expected to fare so well. After Islamists won in Tunisia and Egypt, several key factors are thought to be tipping the Libyan electorate in favor o

Libyan voter (by septimius severus)
Libyan voter (by septimius severus)
Benjamin Barthe and Helene Sallon

BENGHAZI - With partial results coming in from Saturday's vote in Libya, the liberal coalition seems to be largely ahead of its Islamist rivals. In front of polling stations, Mahmoud Jibril's name is mentioned often. The former Prime Minister of the National Transitional Council clearly benefits from being well-known across the country. This is something his main rivals, notably Libyan Muslim Brotherhood leader Bashir Al-Kupti, are clearly lacking. "I voted for Jibril because I saw him on TV, he speaks well and he helped us with NATO," said Abdallad Salam, a Benghazi resident.

Al-Kupti spent 30 years in exile in the United States, only returning to his native country in May 2011, three months after the beginning of the uprising. In November, he was named as leader of the Libyan branch of the Brotherhood, but remains largely unknown from the general public, and wasn't running for the parliamentary elections. In March, the Brotherhood founded the Justice and Construction party, opened in theory to anyone. A tactic similar to the one used by their Egyptian counterparts with the Justice and Freedom party.

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Geopolitics

NATO Entry For Sweden And Finland? Erdogan May Not Be Bluffing

When the two Nordic countries confirmed their intention to join NATO this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his plans to block the application. Accusing Sweden and Finland of' "harboring" some of his worst enemies may not allow room for him to climb down.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO

Meike Eijsberg

-Analysis-

LONDON — When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared his opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO, it took most of the West's top diplomatic experts by surprise — with the focus squarely on how Russia would react to having two new NATO members in the neighborhood. (So far, that's been a surprise too)

But now Western oversight on Turkey's stance has morphed into a belief in some quarters that Erdogan is just bluffing, trying to get concessions from the negotiations over such a key geopolitical issue.

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To be clear, any prospective NATO member requires the consent of all 30 member states and their parliaments. So Erdogan does indeed have a card to play, which is amplified by the sense of urgency: NATO, Sweden and Finland are keen to complete the accession process with the war in Ukraine raging and the prospect of strengthening the military alliance's position around the Baltic Sea.

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