Tunisia’s President, Ben Ali, wins his fifth election since 1987 by a 99 percent margin after he decided on the candidates who could run against him. Before the result is even out he threatens anyone who questions the legitimacy of the poll with libel and possibly prison. According to him the doubters are not patriotic enough and “… have forgotten their moral duty of good behavior.” Oh, and Congo’s Senate President headed the list of foreign election observers who declared the election free and fair. (One of the election monitors compared the election to one run in Surrey in the UK. Apparently Gordon Brown decides who can run against him.)

Ben Ali can’t run again in five years because of age limits. He is 73 years old.

Ben Ali’s government is “… a strong U.S. and European ally.”


Further Reading

Lumumba lives

After his murder in 1961, Patrice Lumumba immediately became a martyr of African independence. What is Lumumba’s “political afterlives” nearly sixty years later?

Back to class

The emphasis on identity and difference act to temper the radical potential of South Africa’s youth. They need an education on class politics.