Thursday, December 16, 2004

Have been meaning to post about the elections for a while but its just too depressing. Apathy was enormous, especially in the urban areas. You-know-who are on the brink of declaring victory with most of the votes counted, but on a 40% turnout its not exactly the best mandate ever. Especially considering that only 10 years ago, in the first ever free and fair elections, turnout was over 80%, as everyone was so keen to consolidate the peace after almost 30 years of various kinds of war and civil strife.

Perhaps worse are the subtler points, as they so that not only did this election change nothing, but that there is almost no discernible improvement towards a genuine multi-party system:
- both major parties kept their stronghold areas and most other people didnt seem to bother voting.
- the current bosses succeeded in effectively disabling voting posts in various areas, all of which, strangely enough, were in opposition strongholds
- none of the smaller parties will even get a seat in parliament on current projections. This is a pity, as these parties are some of the hope for the future, as they actually have policies instead of the mixture of truisms, threats and bland lies which the two main parties throw at each other.
- political campaigns are still based around mass rallies and driving round in trucks full of unemployed people paid to sing your party songs. Kind of Weimar Germany without the trade unions, socialists, communists, or economic infrastructure.
- the disillusionment among the many young, educated Mozambicans I know is MASSIVE. They are quick to point out the problems, the corruption, the mismanagement when among friends, even elaborating very subtle analyses of how the system works. But none of them see any point in voting, because:
a) everyone knows who will win anyway
b) the opposition are a poorly-organized mess who have barely evolved from the murderous scumbags they were as guerrilas into a genuine organized political force

Well, I just found out that this blog comes up in 3rd and 4th place on google if you type U-T-R-A-F-E so I had better not say too much in case the wrong person reads it...

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