Impasse On The Ivory Coast

Here we have another example of where an election was held and the loser refuses to give up power peacefully.

African Presidents Urge Gbagbo to Resign

Three African heads of state are in Abidjan, on behalf of West African regional bloc ECOWAS, to urge incumbent Ivorian president, Laurent Gbagbo, to step down and bring a peaceful end to a violent, month-long, political power struggle.

It has now been a month since Ivory Coast’s November 28 presidential runoff that was meant to mark an end to more than a decade of internal division in the post-conflict country, but has instead led to a tense political showdown that the United Nations says has killed more than 170 people.

The presidents of Benin, Sierra Leone and Cape Verde are set to meet with incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo, in Abidjan Tuesday to deliver an ECOWAS ultimatum: Gbagbo can step down peacefully or face removal by force.

. . .

The United Nations and much of the international community say challenger Alassane Ouattara won the presidential election.

. . .

Original electoral commission results said Ouattara won the poll with 54 percent of votes. The constitutional court, led by a Gbagbo ally, then annulled 10 percent of ballots as fraudulent and proclaimed Gbagbo the winner with 51 percent of votes.

. . .

ECOWAS has threatened a military intervention if Gbagbo refuses to step down, but some analysts doubt whether West African nations have the operational capability, manpower or political will for such an effort and worry that any attempt at a forceful removal could trigger open conflict.

Gbagbo has warned any attempt to remove him by force could reignite civil war.

See also:
African leaders meet with Gbagbo to deal with Ivory Coast crisis
Three West African presidents try to convince incumbent Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo to step down
African Leaders Visit Ivory Coast to Pressure President Gbagbo to Quit
Ecowas pressures Gbagbo to step down, as refugees flee to Liberia
Ivory Coast’s incumbent president locked in crucial negotiations
Gbagbo defiant at African ultimatum
Ivory Coast Leader Insists He is Rightful President
News Analysis: Cote d’Ivoire at crossroads of war and peace
UN convoy attacked in Ivory Coast
UN says crowd attacked peacekeepers in Ivory Coast
Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS)
Cote d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire

Judging by the mutually exclusive stances of the two sides, it sure doesn’t look like there’s going to be a peaceful transition of power here.

/I hope I’m wrong, but I predict there will be blood

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An Election Worthy Of Tammany Hall

This weekend’s parliamentary election in Afghanistan would make Boss Tweed blush. You can try and put lipstick on the pig, but it’s quite obvious that the election results are overwhelmingly fraudulent and illegitimate.

Election Complaints Overwhelm Afghan Voter Commission

Afghanistan’s U.N.-backed Electoral Complaints Commission says it has received nearly 3,000 formal complaints about Saturday’s parliamentary elections, casting doubt on the legitimacy of the vote.

The commission says it received more than 1,300 of those complaints since election day, while the rest came before the vote. Tuesday was the official deadline for Afghans to file complaints.

Shortly after the polls closed Saturday, the ECC said it received allegations of fraud and misconduct that included late-opening polling centers, ballot shortages and voter registration fraud.

Ahmad Nader Nadery is the head of the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan, which was one of the monitors of the vote.

“Frauds did happen in different forms. We have seen ballot stuffing, proxy votes, underage voting and also multiple voting,” said Nadery. “The most serious one is the ballot stuffing, our observers have observed in around 280 centers, in 28 provinces where the ballot stuffing did occur.”

Some election observers also voiced concerns that local warlords intimidated or coerced voters in some instances.

Afghan election commission reports new evidence of serious fraud

Internal reports from Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission on Tuesday provide new evidence of serious fraud in Afghanistan’s parliamentary elections, including turnouts that exceeded 100 percent in many southeastern districts under the control of the Taliban or other militants.

One district in Paktika province recorded 626 percent voter turnout, according to reports obtained by McClatchy Newspapers.

The new indications of fraud appear to strengthen allegations of widespread intimidation, vote rigging and violence that independent Afghan poll monitors began making almost immediately after the polls closed on Saturday and cast new doubts on the commission’s assertion that it knew of no instances in which commission staff members stuffed ballots.

See also:
Voter fraud claims abound after Afghan elections
Observers cite ‘serious concerns about quality’ of Afghan elections
After Afghan Vote, Complaints of Fraud Surface
Afghan election watchdog amasses evidence of fraud
Fraud, violence tarnished Afghan vote, watchdog group says
Karzai Hails Afghan Election as ‘Serious’ Flaws Found
Karzai praises Afghan balloting, but monitors say election was rigged
Low bar
Are Afghanistan elections hurting democracy?
Afghan Elections: Corruption Could Again Thwart Democracy
Bodies of 3 Afghan election workers found

Welcome to “”democracy”, Afghan style, smells like “nation building” gone wrong and behaving badly.

/and our brave troops are right in the middle of this fiasco, fighting and dying for something or other, does anyone really know anymore?

It’s No Longer Illegal To Be A Lying Lowlife Scumbag

You still can’t legally yell fire in a crowded theater, but thanks to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, it’s now your Constitutional right to pretend that you’re a member of the military and fraudulently wear fake medals in public.

Court again strikes down Stolen Valor Act

A federal appeals court panel ruled Tuesday that people have a right to lie about receiving military medals, the second federal court decision in a month to go against the Stolen Valor Act.

Xavier Alvarez, who falsely claimed in 2007 to have received the Medal of Honor, challenged the law on appeal after he was charged with violating the act, which makes it a crime to falsely claim to have won a military medal.

Alvarez said the act is a violation of free-speech rights.

A panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Alvarez in a 2-1 decision.

The majority said there was no evidence that such lies harm anybody, and there is no compelling reason for the government to ban such lies.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles said it is deciding whether to appeal the ruling.

See also:
Appeals court: Stolen Valor Act unconstitutional
Court: Lying about Medal of Honor is no crime
9th Circuit finds a right to lie
Ninth Circuit Declares Stolen Valor Act Unconstitutional
Public Law 109–437
Stolen Valor Act of 2005

No evidence that such lies harm anybody, how about the psychological harm to all the real veterans who actually served and were awarded real medals for their real sacrifices and real wounds? And what about the pain felt by the families of those medal recipients who gave the ultimate sacrifice?

/this ruling is such bull[expletive deleted], why does it not surprise me that it came out of California and the 9th Circus?