25 June 2008

Electoral problems you don't hear about every day

We typically hear lots of stories about problems with running elections in developing countries: lack of technical expertise, lack of transparency mechanisms, lack of cash, erroneous voter rosters, etc. Of course, these problems lead to voter intimidation, ballot stuffing and the like. But sometimes things are worse than that.

First, in Zimbabwe, this story of how opposition supporters are concocting elaborate ruses as pro-Mugabe citizens in order to maintain their own security.

More disturbing is this piece from Cote d'Ivoire, about the increase in child abductions in the run-up to elections there, as candidates seek to perform human sacrifices to enhance their chances of winning.

Just goes to show that sometimes the basic problems just barely scratch the surface.

20 June 2008

U.S. Africa policy quick takes

This is what happens when you do nothing for far too long.

This is the kind of thing we should be doing when things goes wrong (give that man a medal).

And this is what we end up doing because we lack sufficient credibility to do anything else.

I think that's all pretty self explanatory.