March 29, 2007

‘Democracy’: Easy to Say, Difficult to Do

Riots flared up and victims traded sides in Nepal, as young Maoists were first set upon by minority separatists, then teamed up with ruling party members to attack supporters of the former kingdom’s monarchy.

In Egypt, parliament approved new constitutional amendments that would ban religious parties, boost government security powers, and eliminate judicial oversight of ballot boxes. The vote provoked a walkout by Islamist lawmakers, who said it would encourage dictatorship.

Pakistan’s President Musharraf continues to feel the heat for his suspension of the country’s chief justice, which one analyst says results from a disdain for inclusive politics that dates back to the British Raj.

Writing in, Boston University academic Husain Haqqani says that without real democratic reform, Pakistan will “continue to hurtle forward from crisis to crisis,” ultimately at Musharraf’s — and America’s — expense.

And Zimbabwe’s downward spiral continues, with the opposition claiming that the government is now using “hit squads” to target dissidents. South Africa is feeling pressure to intervene, most staple food crops have failed, and even the head of Zimbabwe’s central bank admits that the system there is almost irredeemably corrupt.


“Political attacks flare in Nepal”
BBC, March 18, 2007

“Egyptian MPs in protest walk-out”
BBC, March 18, 2007

“Crisis for Musharraf over justice chief’s sacking”
The Telegraph (U.K.), March 17, 2007

“Southern African nations feel pressure to act on Zimbabwe”
Associated Press, March 20, 2007

“Mugabe using ‘hit squads’ – MDC”
Agence France-Presse, March 20, 2007

“Zimbabwe says drought will worsen food shortages”
Reuters, March 20, 2007

“Our corrupt system is failing, admits bank chief”
The Telegraph (U.K.), March 19, 2007

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