Martes, 1 de enero de 2008

These were meant to be Kenya's golden days. A booming economy, a mobile phone for every man, woman and child, a robust and lively press. It is a tragedy for the country and the whole of Africa that a few days after Kenya's elections, curfews are being imposed, gangs of young men are fighting on the streets, security police are storming through slums looking for agitators, and disfigured corpses are being discovered around the country. As ever, there is a sense that all this bloodshed could have been averted if only politicians had stepped down when their time has passed.

Kenya had high hopes when Mwai Kibaki moved into the presidential office in December 2002.…  Seguir leyendo »

Prospects of democracy in Pakistan were rising when Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif returned to the country and decided to contest elections. Movement for the rule of law spearheaded by lawyers and civil society actors in response to the unlawful deposition of the chief justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry, since March 2007 was also a healthy development for the country. However, Musharraf started backtracking on the understanding he had developed with Benazir as his political allies were getting uncomfortable with the reception she was getting across the country.

And then came the assassin's bullet - in a professionally executed, targeted killing - raising important questions about the role of elements from within the establishment.…  Seguir leyendo »

Shocked by pictures of death and mayhem on the streets of Kenyan towns, a Kenyan friend in Britain called me to express her shock. “But these things don't happen in Kenya!” she exclaimed, as if Kenya - or Keenya as she pronounced it - was immune from the political ills that have plagued Africa in the past 50 years.

She is wrong. Kenya has been a catastrophe waiting to happen. Every election since multiparty politics was reintroduced in 1991 has involved rigging. So far the margin of victory has always been so great that Western diplomats - keen to maintain “stability” - could claim that the cheating would not have made a difference to the result.…  Seguir leyendo »

There is no law and certainly no order in my country. What happened this past week has shaken every Pakistani. Benazir Bhutto was no ordinary person. She served as prime minister twice and had returned to Pakistan in an effort to restore our country to the path of democracy. With her assassination I have lost a friend and a partner in democracy.

It is too early to blame anybody for her death. One thing, however, is beyond any doubt: The country is paying a very heavy price for the many unpardonable actions of one man -- Pervez Musharraf.

Musharraf alone is responsible for the chaos in Pakistan.…  Seguir leyendo »

Although the United Nations recently lowered its global H.I.V. estimates, as many as 33 million people worldwide are still living with the AIDS virus. This pandemic requires continued attention; preventing further deaths and orphans remains imperative. But the well-meaning promises of some presidential candidates to outdo even President Bush’s proposal to nearly double American foreign assistance to fight AIDS strike me, an H.I.V.-AIDS specialist for 15 years, as missing the mark.

Some have criticized Mr. Bush for requesting “only” $30 billion for the next five years for AIDS and related problems, with the leading Democratic candidates having pledged to commit at least $50 billion if they are elected.…  Seguir leyendo »