Daily Archives: March 8, 2013

Kenyan police officers outside a polling station in Nairobi (Getty)

Foreign election observers have yet to pronounce on the overall credibility of Kenya’s tense elections. But there are already strong indications that they will go along with almost any outcome if it means preserving the Kenyan peace.

“Monday was a great day for Kenyan democracy. They undertook a lot of things to ensure things went in a smooth way,” Alojz Peterle, head of the European Union observer team, said on Friday.

His stance was in marked contrast to his predecessor’s proclamations on fraud at Kenya’s last elections in 2007, which reinforced Raila Odinga’s claims to have been robbed of the presidency.  

  • The daughter of Uzbekistan’s autocratic president, Gulnara Karimova, has for some time been the western-friendly face of the regime. She has released a duet with Gérard Depardieu, launched a fashion line and even has her own perfume. However, attention is turning to her other persona: “that of the ruthless businesswoman, ready to use her family position to crush business rivals.”
  • Bassem Youssef, Egypt’s equivalent of US chat show host Jon Stewart, has been the target of death threats and law suits, but he shrugs them off: “It is a guarantee that freedom of speech will not be oppressed if we continue to speak.”
  • Steven Cook at the Council on Foreign Relations argues that the Egyptian opposition’s feckless approach to politics underscores the need to replace wedge issues and anti-Muslim Brotherhood sentiment with real policies.
  • Why the White House shmooze-fest? The “president’s only route to a so-called grand bargain for deficit reduction is to go around the leaders to build a bipartisan consensus.”
  • As it is International Women’s Day, we thought we’d share with you this cheering article on the media’s double standards for women at the top.