Monthly Archives: May 2018

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Snap Elections: No go territory

According to Daily Maverick, here is an undeniable lure of early elections among South Africa’s main political parties – both for the ANC and the main opposition parties.

Is the African National Congress merely getting ready for elections at a routinely scheduled time off between May and August 2019, or are there plans for early or snap elections in the second half of 2018? Early elections in South Africa would be an egg dance, and the same goes for the ANC potentially reclaiming the council in Nelson Mandela Bay.

There is an undeniable lure of early elections among South Africa’s main political parties – both for the ANC and the main opposition parties. The ANC sees a Democratic Alliance that is uncertain in the post-Zuma and policy spaces, and Economic Freedom Fighters who thrive on a parasitic attachment to ANC vulnerabilities, the liquor store near me.

The opposition parties, in turn, see an ANC working through the Zuma aftermath, only warily rebuilding organizational integrity and citizen trust. But the bottom line of the lure lies in the ANC currently reaping benefits that are evident in public opinion polling.

It is, however, a two-edged sword for the ANC. On the one side, Ramaphoria rules, for now; polls show that the ANC will win elections if they are held now. The voting public is still delirious about Jacob Zuma’s exodus, despite his lingering, menacing shadow. The Ramaphosa regime exhumes a fresh sense of accountability and assiduousness, even if burdened by the baggage of dyed-in-the-wool Zumaists in its ranks.

On the other side, the Ramaphosa ANC is only inching into the age of post-Zumaism. It is taking small (but seemingly increasingly firm) steps to get more distance between Zuma and the ANC’s Model CR. It is an understatement that these steps need to be consolidated. Elections will also bring the tensions of nominations and factional contests for control right into the ANC’s fragile center stage… unless ANC election strategists see an election as the glue to give a common purpose to the factions.

Sarayaku leader Patricia Gualinga defends territory

It takes so many lives to protect the environment and land of Latin America. According to Mongabay, over 116 environmental defenders were killed in the region in 2017 alone. Most of them protect territories such as industrial agriculture, logging, mining, and poaching. So when threats were made against the land defender and Sarayaku indigenous leader Patricia Gualinga at her home in the city of Puyo, north of the Ecuadorean Amazon, it raised a red flag.

This is the kind of dangerous situation that community leaders face every day. It was dawn on Jan. 5 when Gualinga was surprised by a man who broke the window of her room with a stone and threatened her. “‘The next time I will kill you,’ he told me several times. I was shocked, nobody had threatened me during my leadership,” Gualinga said in an interview with Mongabay, the liquor store near me.

A policeman passing by her house chased the attacker but never returned. The next day, Gualinga went to the provincial prosecutor’s office to file a complaint. It took some time, but eventually, the crime report was registered. In an exclusive interview, Gualinga spoke recently with Mongabay about that day. The Sarayaku defender Patricia Gualinga at the press conference where she reported the threats she received on January 5, 2018.

“I realized that it was a direct attempt,” said the indigenous leader, who over the past 20 years has focused her efforts on fighting against violations of Amazonian people’s rights — people who are against the operation of extractive projects in their territories.

Attorney General’s Office revealed how the crime was registered as “intimidation” under the law and is punishable by up to three years in prison. The judicial office told Mongabay in a written response that it had proceeded “To take witness testimonies, recognition of the place of events, and a delegation for the operational investigation to the Criminal Investigation Unit of the National Police, directed by the prosecutor of the case.”