vendredi 16 décembre 2011

In Gambia, the balls are eternal*

The Gambia is perhaps the smallest nation of continental Africa (11,300 km2), but in terms of fantasy in electoral matters, the country shaped finger stuck in Senegal fears no one.
         Not that the election results will be varied. Its president, Yahya Jammeh, has just been elected for the fourth time, with 71.54% of the vote, a score that pushed the two opposition candidates to "apologize" to their constituents.
         A campaign of power to stifle dissenting voices, with the help of an oversized security apparatus, had long guaranteed comfortable score of the Head of State, came to power in a coup in 1994.
         There were few witnesses outside the election. The large regional political body, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which preferred not to send an observer mission, knowing beforehand that they would have to observe may be unpleasant.
         Maybe the other observer missions were do they work in one of the many elections on the continent, the Congo - Kinshasa, for example, where the fiasco of the presidential election, at least, took place before the eyes of world.

Cans electoral drilled a hole.

         Nothing like the Gambia, where nothing is quite like the other day to vote. One would dispense ballots with the names of candidates, replaced by balls. Express his vote with beads is very simple.
         In the voting, the voter is introduced into an isolated room where the eyes are placed three metal cans on the side of which were painted the three candidates. Yahya Jammeh, for example, wearing green clothes in the picture, her favorite color it also commits the country to wear during his swearing in February 2012.
         Before arriving there, the voter is faced with electoral cans, drilled a hole. Inside the container, pipe channels the ball up a bicycle bell. Ding! In the hitting, the characteristic sound informs the assessors in the room next door that the voter has voted.
         For safety, all bicycles are prohibited within 500 meters of the day to vote: you never know, confusion soon arrive.

Yahya Jammeh to power, until the end of voting time.

         The advantage of the system, it is argued on the government side is that it is very economical. Cans are indestructible and the stock of balls is not going to dry up. Taiwan has donated to the Gambia to 1.5 million glass beads, solid electoral material which may reflect on and          Yahya Jammeh to power, until the end of voting time. He just said, during a BBC interview, he could see still remain president "a billion years."
As for criticism of its electoral process ball, he has advice to give them the "go to be seen elsewhere," and again it is polished.
         They are not friends of the Gambia Taiwanese who expose themselves to such extremes. In Taipei, it is more likely to fill this small gift unlike any other nation that African countries that recognize the former Formosa and therefore intersect the largesse of China are not legion. The list of the last four presidents of recognizing Taiwan has, in addition to the Gambia, Burkina Faso, Sao Tome and Swaziland. Of these four, the Gambia is the only ball to need for the elections.
         You can not blame the President Yahya Jammeh to cause boredom or monotony. In politics, clowning can be a clever disguise.          The eccentric President passes through the drops of the international condemnation as if endowed with mystical powers which he makes no secret that they are one of the major concerns of its existence.
         Lt. Jammeh came to power by a coup in 1994. Two years later, he was colonel. Seventeen years later he is still president and the country's largest marabout, self-proclaimed inventor of a treatment against AIDS, a secret concoction of plants mixed with bananas, distributed free throughout the country and compulsorily administered on Thursday.

The Gambia is a particular path.

         While the rest of the world concerned about the consequences of these eccentricities, Gambia is a particular path. Looking to the import-export, the country serves as a platform of smuggling and with its beaches, a magnet one especially for tourists, rather than that of older women, rather solitary, not from Europe, and that a meeting on the beach with a beautiful boy of thought does not frighten, quite the contrary. It is available as beautiful boys on the beaches of Gambia are legion. It turns out that European women lonely too.
         Although recognized by all experts as one of the crossings of the South American drugs arriving in West Africa to take charge of Europe, Gambia has achieved over the past weeks a beautiful entry: 2 , 1 ton of cocaine, worth $ 1 billion ... Three months earlier, the Minister of Fisheries, the number two in the army, police chiefs, Navy and the agency fight against drugs had been arrested for their links to traffickers. President Jammeh said at the time: "For the criminals, I am for zero tolerance. For drugs, for the double zero tolerance."
And it was not a pun.

* Author: Jean-Philippe Rémy
Article in “Le Monde” of December 16, 2011.

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