Some short and simple stories

February 9, 2011 § 2 Comments

Some updates and one election to come this week (plus Switzerland is having a referendum on gun laws but Switzerland has a referendum every other week so I’m not covering it). All of them, touch wood, fairly straightforward.

Cape Verde

The Parliamentary elections have happened and the PAICV won with 37 seats to the MPD’s 33 and the centre-right’s UPID’s 2. Meanwhile I’m afraid I was wrong about the Presidential elections, at one point they certainly were going to be coterminous but at some stage they changed their minds and the presidential election will now be later in the year – possibly august.


You may remember I gave an account of what was to be expected in Niger’s elections here. So far it has come to pass: They were thought to be fair. Tandja loyalist Seini Oumarou made the runoffs with 26%, as did Mahamadou Issoufou of the PNDS with 36%. A lot of opposition are rallying around Issoufou, but surprisingly not all: Hama Amadou of the MDN, and a few others backing Oumarou.

The Parliamentary result was similar: Issoufou’s PNDS taking 39 seats, Oumarou’s MSND 26, Amadou’s MDN 24, Ousmane’s CDS 2, and 24 going to a second round.

Central African Republic

It looks like the poll was somewhat less than fair, or at any rate it was not competitive. Bouzize won with 66% in the first round and his KNK party looks to be in the lead in most of the seats in parliament. Here’s some more about the CAR.


Chad has the first round of its parliamentary elections on the 13th. If you feel like you’ve read that before it is because this is about the third attempt at holding elections. All of its 130 multi member seats will be elected and there will be round one voting for its two-round single member seats. Chad is not a model democracy, and forces loyal to president Déby will certainly triumph. The remaining seats will go to parties whose names contain words like “national”, “renewal”, “rally”, “democracy”, “development”, and “progress. I wrote about Chad at length here and it all remains fairly current.


Nani has a life sized marble statue of himself wearing a jester’s hat

February 3, 2011 § 1 Comment

It’s true.

Now that you’re reading: Nani is Portugese, but originally hails from from Cape Verde – Africa’s most successful democracy – which goes to the polls on Sunday (6th). You can read more about the political situation here.

Cape Verde is a two horse race between the centre-left PAICV and the centrist MPD. There are simultaneous Presidential and Parliamentary elections. The Presidential elections are by two round first past the post whilst Parliament is elected by by d’Hondt PR.

Last presidential election Pedro Pires of the PAICV narrowly won with 51% of the vote to the MPD’s 49%. Pires had been Prime Minister from independence in 1975 to 1991. With the restoration of democracy the PAICV lost to the MPD in 1991 but with Pires as a candidate he won the Presidential election in 2001 (by just 17 votes) and has held on ever since. The perennial MPD candidate Carlos Veiga is by far the second most influential politician on the islands.

Meanwhile Parliament tends to be more PAICV dominated as the centre and right are more fragmented. Here is the current makeup:

cape verde parties

This time round Pires is not running again; the PAICV will stand Prime Minister José Maria Neves as a candidate (although this is not obvious – his campaign has been somewhat anonymous). Vega is once again the MPD candidate. It has been a rough old campaign; although both sides are saying the Presidency is in the bag and the focus should be on Parliament – an interesting tactic. There have been a series of powercuts on the island recently and it has been found that these were caused by sabotage of a powerplant. The PAICV accuse the MPD of conducting this sabotage to create dissatisfaction with the government. This has caused bad blood and the election commission has told the PAICV fairly strongly that they cannot continue to publicly make the claim unless they produce evidence.

Then there was this video, broadcast as an MPD campaign advert:

The contentious moment occurs about 30 seconds in: two PAICV candidates approached the MPD whilst they were filming their broadcast and “abusively attacked them” according to the MPD. The MPD then included this footage in the final cut. The PAICV claim the whole thing is faked, and that such a stunt is an abuse of the use of election broadcasts.

Could be interesting then.

Nani lifesize statue of himself wearing a jester's hat

Since it seems to be this site's biggest attraction I drawed a picture

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