As 2019 comes to a close, so does another year of political scandals. While the biggest was undoubtedly the chain of events leading to the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
Here are the top political scandals of 2019:
The Ibiza Scandal:
It was a warm, summer night at a luxury villa in Ibiza. For dinner, there was sea bass carpaccio and tuna tartare, with champagne, vodka and lots of Red Bull, one of the favorite drinks of far-right Austrian politician Heinz-Christian Strache.
He had come to the villa to meet an elegant woman in a black designer dress and high heels, who said she was Alyona Makarova, the wealthy niece of the Russian oligarch Igor Makarov.
Mr. Strache was excited, not just because of the woman, whom he described as "hot", but also because of her apparent proposals of support for his far-right Freedom party, in return for shady deals.
The scandal that followed the publication of the "Ibiza-gate" video saw not only the resignation of Mr. Strache as vice-chancellor but the collapse of Austria's coalition government made up of the Freedom Party and the conservatives led by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
Matteo Salvini: Beachside Campaign Rallies
Italy’s deputy prime minister has faced growing anger from friends and foes over his beachside campaign rallies, at which he has appeared half-naked while surrounded by dancing women. His beach appearance, in which he acted as a DJ to launch a techno version of the national anthem on the Papeete beach at Milano Marittima caused an outcry.
Justin Trudeau: Canada Prime Minister in 'brownface' 2001 yearbook photo
Justin Trudeau, Canada's prime minister wore brownface makeup to a party at the private school where he was teaching in the spring of 2001.
The picture was taken at an “Arabian Nights”-themed gala. It shows Trudeau, then the 29-year-old son of the late former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, wearing a turban and robes with his face, neck, and hands completely darkened. The photograph appears in the 2000-2001 yearbook of West Point Grey Academy, a private day school where Trudeau was a teacher.
Trudeau apologized: “I shouldn’t have done that. I should have known better and I didn’t. I’m sorry.” When asked if he thought the photograph was racist, he said, “Yes it was. I didn’t consider it racist at the time, but now we know better.”
France: Expenses scandal has destroyed Emmanuel Macron’s promise of clean politics
French Environment Minister François de Rugy announced his resignation after a controversy over his lavish spending.
De Rugy was the former president of the National Assembly (the lower house of parliament) and the minister of energy and ecology. In an article published on July 10, investigative website Mediapart described de Rugy and his wife as “living like royals on public funds” and inviting friends to “sumptuous receptions” in the Hôtel de Lassay, the official residence of the head of the National Assembly.
Tunisia: Leaks attributed to Nessma TV director and presidential candidate Nabil Karoui
The leaks attributed to Nessma TV director Nabil Karoui, which contains direct incitement against IWatch organization's staff and members. These leaks come after the revolution of freedom and dignity and include dangerous messages:
- Questioning the patriotism of the organization's staff and members.
- Purchasing and extorting journalists' accounts by threatening them through"files".
- Contempt for the judiciary and its provisions: "They bring us a case and after five years, we pay them 700 dinars."
- The outright call to alienation and defamation of the workers of the organization and the indecent assault of their relatives and families.
The television mogul was arrested later in August on 3-year-old charges of tax evasion and money laundering. An article published on July 11th, IWatch organization investigated What Lies Behind the Karoui brothers TV of financial scandals and tax evasion.
U.S. President Donald Trump Faces Historic Impeachment
The House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump, making him just the third president ever to be impeached. The two votes fell almost perfectly along party lines, with 229 members supporting both articles of impeachment against Trump, all of them Democrats except for Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, who is an independent, and 197 members opposing both articles, including every Republican and two Democrats.