Monday, March 27, 2006

Election update II

Congo, With Iraq in Mind, Faces Voting and Threats - New York Times: "'Compared to the Congo, Iraq's elections were a walk in the park,' said Ross Mountain, the United Nations official who helped run Iraq's elections and is now organizing a similar operation in Congo, a country more than five times as large, more than twice as populous — with scores more tribes and languages — and relatively few usable roads.

Mr. Mountain rattles off the many nightmarish difficulties he faces: getting ballots to remote villages, protecting voters from armed men who still prey on them and encouraging onetime warring parties to compete and, if the results do not go their way, to accept defeat.

The day of reckoning is June 18 — unless, that is, the date to elect a president and members of Parliament is postponed a third time.

The last day for candidates to file papers was Thursday, but that deadline was pushed back a week in an effort to draw the numerous parties that are boycotting the process into the mix, including the part of Mr. Tshisekedi (pronounced chee-seh-KEH-dee) who has served in numerous Congolese administrations but gains most of his popularity by provoking from the outside. 'We are militants,' said Mr. Mulumba, a Tshisekedi advocate. 'We are proud to be militants. Our combat is against dictatorship. We fight for democracy."


Fleur d'Afrique. said...

I'd like to discuss the Tshisekedi problem next time. He made typical and fundamental mistakes, all out of stubborness really (imho). I think he's wasting everybody's patience right now (including that of his followers).

But yeah this election proves to be an organizational nightmare. I don't think we expected this to be a walk in the park but I never thought it would become so complicated. I don't think they'll dare to postpone the vote again - I mean the population's patience has its limits.

TheMalau said...

It's whenever you're ready, Exilee, mere a bana. You should write a piece about that...

Well actually, I always sensed it would be this complicated. I mean I have actually been inside that country, and all our expat friends who have the means to go even further, cannot stop complaigning about how tough and complicated the lack of infrastructure makes their lives.

That is why I was always baffled at the predicions of the team down there. But I figured they knew something I didn't, so I went on and cheered along. I think reality is catching up with everybody. A bit late if you ask me, but who am I to judge? I am just a citizen...

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