Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A Ugandan Activist Speaks Out

I just received this comment on my webblog from "Anne" -- I'm presuming a Ugandan activist. I thought I'd post it rather than just leave it as a comment, since it does relate to the post I just made about Nigeria and Uganda.
Kudos to you Anne!

We the people of the Commonwealth come together to sign this petition to demand that the Commonwealth be held accountable to its own committments under the Harare Declaration of 1991. Two past elections in Uganda in 2001 and 2006 have returned the incumbent after violent campaigns and rigged results as ruled by Uganda's Supreme Court and observed by local and international election observers. Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth for electoral fraud and violence, yet Uganda will be honored by hosting CHOGM 2007. We demand equal treatment of all member states regardless of the color or race of their citizenry. Act Now!

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/983107725

Kudos to Nigerians and their Democracy

Perhaps there is hope for African democracy after all. Ghana, Botswana, South Africa -- leaders in democratization -- and now Nigeria -- an economic powerhouse gives hope to sustainable democracy. Why? The Nigerian senate has rejected an attempt by President Olusegun Obasanjo to run for a third fourth term next year (see The Chrisitian Science Monitor article attached).
This is a good sign for Nigeria -- but a bad one for Uganda -- which just had an election in March that allowed President Yoweri Museveni (in power since 1986) to remain in power for another term after changing the consitution to accomodate a third presidential term.
This brings us to the question of why are some African countries more successful at democratization than others? Both Nigeria and Uganda are former British colonies as is Zimbabwe with Robert Mugabe in power since 1980, and Ghana. What factors account for democratic success? Foreign aid, foreign pressure, civil society, good political leadership?