Election example

EDITOR - In Cote dIvoire, an election was held. Ouattara won, said the first announced result, and the whole world agreed. But then, the incumbent (the man in power who lost the elections) said: No, they are not allowed to announce results. And the people who are allowed to announce the results (in what was very visibly a shambles) said: Gbagbo wins! Imagine that. Not only is Gbagbo in power but the power, (army and police), say yes yes, we agree with the result.

So, the winner stays in a hotel, surrounded by UN peacekeepers who are under threat, and the loser pretends to continue to rule his country (certainly not the peoples country).

It becomes an example for the African nation of Tunis, which ripples on to the African nation of Egypt, and then the Middle East, but no ripple in sub-Saharan Africa. Perhaps Africa is really a black racial construct, because the geographical construct seems deconstructed.

However, staying with Cote dIvoire, lets review. Ouattara, the election winner, equals legitimacy. Gbagbo, the election loser, but with the army and police behind him, equals power. Who is in control of the country, power or legitimacy?

Another however – what is the point of power? Money? In Cote dIvoire, the bank is run by ECOWAS, who are not letting Gbabgo have access to his (I mean Cote dIvoires) accounts. So he cannot pay to keep himself in power. This will take some finesse. And time.

So time is what he will play for. So long as he remains in power while he waits. He will wait for distractions (Tunis, Egypt, Yemen). He will wait for no notice to be paid. He will wait for the night, and darkness to fall.

Gbagbo (or his boys) are busy telling others the vote was rigged. Rigged in favour of Ouattara. However, if the Army, Police, civil service and electoral commission were neutral, then surely Gbagbo could be content to leave power, sit back, and allow new elections to be held (by someone else!). If he is legitimate, he will win (again), even though he is not in power.

And the other problem with leaving power – power means money. You need power to keep what has flowed there, to stay there. You need power to keep things in the dark. Or someone, of a different power (like your nation), may put her hand in your pocket (which used to be the nations pocket anyways). This is the underlying reason (but never the given excuse) for the attempts to create dynasties. Fathers grooming sons to take over the reigns (as in Syria).

All this leads me to believe, more strongly than before, that local government is really important. It deals with REAL people and REAL issues, not some distant three letter acronyms: AU,UN, ECOWAS, SPD, MDC, ZNA, CHRA, ANC.

After all, a people get the government they deserve, and there are two kinds of people in the world; those who do politics, and those who have politics done to them. So, make politics rise up from the bottom. They are not called public servants for nothing. MICHAEL LABAN, Harare

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