Surprise election results: West African edition

Recently the Washington Post’s “Monkey Cage” blog published a piece discussing the findings of a 36 nation African survey that asked people for their views on the importance of democracy and the degree to which their own countries were democratically governed. The report found that, while fewer people view democracy positively than did in similar… Continue reading Surprise election results: West African edition

One way to get rid of a dictator

Unless you’re a regular eBay shopper, here’s something you may have missed: That’s Egyptian president/dictator/pharaoh Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and yes, somebody was trying to sell him yesterday, at least for a few hours before eBay took the listing down. Shockingly there was at least one person somewhere in the world who was willing to pay… Continue reading One way to get rid of a dictator

One way to win an election

Uganda’s incumbent president, Yoweri “gay people are disgusting but we probably shouldn’t execute them because it would be bad for business” Museveni, is currently awaiting election results that will determine whether or not he’ll be allowed to serve a whopping fifth five-year term in office (SPOILER ALERT: he will). I think he’s really hit on… Continue reading One way to win an election

You have to start somewhere

I know I can be a bit hard on the Saudis, what with all the authoritarianism, and the corruption, and the extremism, and the regional destabilization, and the support for bad actors, and the human rights violations, and the…well, we’re getting off the point. It’s only fair that I note a case where they’re trying… Continue reading You have to start somewhere

Meet Burkina Faso’s new, democratically-elected president

In what appears, at least for the moment, to be that rare bit of good news, Burkina Faso’s voters elected themselves a new president on Sunday, former Prime Minister Roch Marc Christian Kaboré. The election of Kaboré specifically is almost beside the point; electing anybody is a big deal in a country whose voters have… Continue reading Meet Burkina Faso’s new, democratically-elected president

Third term-itis strikes the DRC and Rwanda, maybe elsewhere

The immediate cause of recent coups and coup attempts in Burkina Faso and Burundi has been moves by presidents in both countries (ex-President Blaise Compaoré in Burkina Faso and current President Pierre Nkurunziza in Burundi) to set aside their national constitutions and run for a third term as president. Several African nations instituted new or… Continue reading Third term-itis strikes the DRC and Rwanda, maybe elsewhere

Hungarian PM tests the E.U.’s limits

I mentioned Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán yesterday, and, with his willingness to say what other people are only thinking, he’s really emerged as the face of Europe’s anti-refugee element. Orbán is an interesting guy, a former advocate of liberal democracy against Soviet hegemony who now models himself after Vladimir Putin and openly talks about… Continue reading Hungarian PM tests the E.U.’s limits