July 31, 2006

THE END WON'T BE SKIPPING STATES:

A baffling ballot paper is the only hitch in first free election (Jonathan Clayton in Kinshasa and Tristan McConnell in Bukavu, 7/31/06, Times of London)

In scenes repeated across this huge, impoverished country, millions of people waited patiently to vote in the first free elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo in more than forty years, an event organised by the United Nations and monitored by thousands of international observers.

In the far eastern province of South Kivu, the scene of some of the latest war’s worst fighting, eager voters braved the morning chill to join queues outside rural polling stations. About four million people died in the 1998-2003 civil war, making it the world’s costliest conflict since the Second World War.

At Tubimbi primary school the sun rising over the surrounding hills illuminated hundreds of villagers standing in neat lines, the women wrapped in brightly coloured printed fabric, babies strapped to their backs. Pascalina Faida, 18, had queued since 4am. She said: “I want my country to be better and to be peaceful so I will vote.”

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 31, 2006 7:36 AM
Comments

And, if you saw the video coverage of the election on the news, you saw the poor voters, beaten down by years of civil war, presenting their photo IDs to vote. But, this is still too big a hurdle for poor people in America at voting time...

Posted by: M. Murcek at July 31, 2006 9:15 AM

It's harder for the parties to let "illegals" and the "dead" vote if you have to prove who you are when you vote.

Posted by: Jean at July 31, 2006 5:26 PM
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