It’s been a whirlwind week on the global stage, but if you’ve been too preoccupied with SA’s own dramatics, here is what you missed. 

🔹UK elections coming in July 

Brits will head to the polls on 4 July after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called a general election yesterday, an earlier date than many predicted. This despite his Conservative Party, aka “Tories,” facing widespread public dissatisfaction and trailing the opposition Labour Party in recent polls by over 20 points. 🤔 What can he be thinking?

The Guardian calls it damage control and says that had he waited, the competition would have done even better, especially as the sluggish UK economy is finally showing positive signs. 

Sunak became Prime Minister in October 2022 after the turbulent tenures of Boris Johnson and Liz Truss. That’s right, he’s the third Conservative Prime Minister in just five years. It’s like an uptight game of musical chairs but with zero safety net, social or otherwise, and losers are sent to Rwanda. 😆

The Conservative Party has been in power for 14 years, the longest reign for a UK party in the modern era. However, its popularity has waned since 2019, with many voters feeling that the chaotic ruling party has turned the UK into a “sinking ship”. 

🔹Iran’s President dies in tragic helicopter crash

Iran’s President, Ebrahim Raisi, has died in a helicopter crash, along with nine other officials, including Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian. 

What does this mean for Iran? Well, it’s a bit of a shake-up. Raisi, a hardline president at 63, was seen as a possible successor to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. His death leaves a significant gap in Iran’s political scene in the midst of ongoing tensions with the West, especially the USA and Israel. For now, Vice President Mohammad Mokhber has stepped in as acting president, but new elections are set for 28 June. (So many elections across the world this year!)

🔹Slovakia Prime Minister survives failed assassination attempt

Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico is in stable condition and communicating after an assassination attempt last week that left the nation in shock. The 59-year-old PM was shot five times while leaving a meeting but is now in stable condition.

The suspected shooter, 71-year-old Juraj Cintula, has been charged with attempted murder. The political fallout has been immediate and intense. Fico’s allies are pointing fingers at the opposition and the media, accusing them of stirring up hate, deepening divisions in an already polarised country.

Fico’s stance against military aid to Ukraine and his attempts to control the media have sparked protests and criticism. The recent attempt on his life has only intensified the spotlight on these issues.