15 May 2009

Elections and Bankruptcy

A couple of comments on Alex De Waal's latest article - (correction - the article is actually by Brian Adeba on Alex de Waal's blog)

"the SPLM may perform well in its stronghold in the South mainly because it is still riding on the cusp of what can be termed as the "liberation dividend," 
May perform well? Lets take a look at a couple of other African liberation movements shall we? African National Congress (South Africa) Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front National Resistance Movement (Uganda) Rwandan Patriotic Front Eritrean People's Liberation Front Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front Patriotic Salvation Movement (Chad) How many of those do you think have lost elections? OK so that is just a biased selection of parties who are still in power. Lets look at the data. Robert Bates has a spreadsheet online with all of the African leaders between 1960 and 2004 and how they left office. How many of those do you think lost elections? Of 249 leaders, 18 lost power through an election. That is all leaders - if you restrict your sample to the guys who came to power through a successful military struggle, I'd expect you'll find even fewer election-losses. I know that nothing is ever certain, but I'm really surprised at how cautious well-informed people are in their election predictions. I would bet everything I own on the SPLM not losing this one. Any takers?

"Bankruptcy, spurred on by corruption and NCP foot-dragging on oil revenue remittances, has resulted in public servants and soldiers in South Sudan braving it out for months without pay." 
I'm killing this rumour right here. The Government of Southern Sudan is not bankrupt! Salaries are being paid. Thank you.


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