“Jasmine Revolution”
Symbol of peace: Flowers placed on the barrel of a tank
in very much calmer protests than in recent days in Tunisia

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011
Mannoubia Bouazizi, the mother of Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi. "Mohammed suffered a lot. He worked hard. but when he set fire to himself, it wasn’t about his scales being confiscated. It was about his dignity." (Peter Hapak for TIME)

1 - TUNISIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

How eyepatches became a symbol of Egypt's revolution - Graffiti depicting a high ranking army officer with an eye patch Photograph: Nasser Nasser/ASSOCIATED PRESS

2 - EGYPT Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

''17 February Revolution"

3 - LIBYA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

5 - SYRIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

"25 January Youth Revolution"
Muslim and Christian shoulder-to-shoulder in Tahrir Square
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
(Subjects: Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" (without a manager hierarchy) managed Businesses, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
"The End of History" – Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)
(Subjects:Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.) (Text version)

"If an Arab and a Jew can look at one another and see the Akashic lineage and see the one family, there is hope. If they can see that their differences no longer require that they kill one another, then there is a beginning of a change in history. And that's what is happening now. All of humanity, no matter what the spiritual belief, has been guilty of falling into the historic trap of separating instead of unifying. Now it's starting to change. There's a shift happening."

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

African Union (AU)

African Union (AU)
African Heads of State pose for a group photo ahead of the start of the 28th African Union summit in Addis Ababa on January 30, 2017 (AFP Photo/ Zacharias ABUBEKER)

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
Few words can describe Nelson Mandela, so we let him speak for himself. Happy birthday, Madiba.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Togo goes to the polls

Deutsche Welle, 25 July 2013

Togo voted on Thursday in parliamentary elections delayed by months of protests, with the opposition seeking to weaken the ruling family's decades-long grip on power.

"I expect nothing from these elections," said the Togolese blogger Fabbi Kouassi. "The electoral commission is controlled by the ruling party. This is not about vying for power under a democracy, this is a fake democracy," she said.

Fabbi Kouassi: frustrated by the
absence of political change
The present leader, Faure Gnassingbe, was installed as president by the military eight years ago on the death of his father Eyadema Gnassingbe, who had ruled the country since 1967.

Critics of the government expect that the ruling party, the Union for the Republic (UNIR), will win the elections. Like many people living in the big cities, Kouassi uses social media to express her frustration with prevailing conditions in the country. In her blog, the journalist criticizes Gnassingbe's regime and reports about corruption and the excessive use of force by the Togolese police.

Fabbi Kouassi received Deutsche Welle's BOBS (Best of Blogs) Reporters Without Borders award in May, giving her recognition for her work for press freedom.

President Faure Gnassingbe has ruled
Togo since 2005
Opposition too divided to be effective

Many Togolese are frustrated, but that isn't boosting support for the opposition parties, said Ralf Wittek. Based in neighboring Burkina Faso, he runs the local branch of the Hanns Seidel Foundation, which has links to Germany's conservative CSU party. The foundation promotes democracy and good governance in Togo. Wittek is a frequent visitor to the country.

Wittek said the political parties are far too divided amongst themselves to operate as an effective opposition at national level. "Even if the regime loses votes, they will still benefit from the opposition parties' disarray," he said. Only the Gnassingbe family had the resources and organization to "get their way" up and down the country.

Among the parties competing in the elections is the Union of Forces for Change (UFC). Three years ago, it joined Gnassingbe's unity government and now champions most of its policies. In protest, a splinter group left the UFC to found a new party, the Alliance for Change (AFC). The AFC is the only opposition party fielding candidates across the whole country. It also has a good reputation among the population.

Opposition leaders had threatened to boycott the vote after the government refused to implement sweeping electoral reforms, but ultimately decided to take part.

No Arab Spring in Togo

The international community complained of ballot rigging during the 2007 and 2010 elections. The European Union – among others – has been calling for constituency boundaries to be redrawn, because the present structure gives votes cast in Gnassingbe's strongholds a disproportionate influence over the final outcome.

Authorities were said to have shut down
 a radio station that had aired reports of
fraud on polling day
One party competing for the first time is New Engagement for Togo (NET). Supporters meet and communicate online, on social media like Facebook. The party's founder and leader Gerry Taama is a well-known blogger and former officer, but he has no chance of making any headway in Togolese politics. That at least is the view of Dirk Kohnert, expert on West Africa at Germany's GIGA institute. "The party has been puffed up by western media and the odd diplomat, because they hope that the Arab Spring and social media will start to have an impact on sub-Saharan Africa, but it is not going to happen in Togo," he said.

Polling had been delayed by waves of 
protests amid concern about electoral
Economic woes

The international community hopes that the violence which marred the 2005 poll will not be repeated. The UN estimates that it claimed the lives of between 400 and 500 people. Dirk Kohnert does not expect any disturbances this time. "I think the vast majority of the population are fed up with party political bickering. People in Togo are interested solely in economic growth, in finding a way out of poverty," he said. Togo is one of the poorest countries in the world. The African Development Bank says every third young person is out of work and two thirds of the country's youth - according to the latest UN development report - can neither read nor write. Most of the population live in rural areas and their frustration is growing.

Fighting poverty is on the agenda of the ruling UNIR party, but its efforts are dependent on development aid and on the global economy picking up. 60 percent of Togo's budget comes from foreign aid and loans. Over the next three years, Togo will receive 27 million euros ($36 million) in aid from Germany. Kouassi finds it frustrating that the international community does not bring more pressure to bear on Togo to introduce democratic reforms. But she refuses to give up. "I want to be able to look our children in the eye and say we fought for something worth fighting for," she said.

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