More than 100 days after he stole his latest reelection, it is safe to say that Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe has gotten away with the crime. Other leaders in the region may be studying his methods, which makes it all the more important for democracy advocates to do the same.
For some time now, democracy promotion has been under concentrated attack from authoritarian sources ranging from Robert Mugabe and Vladimir Putin to the leaders of Venezuela. More recently, criticism has spread to the democratic world, with the United States front and center.
The reported execution by firing squad last month of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s ex-girlfriend, along with 11 others, was a sad reminder that dictators still rule by brute force with little pretense of legitimacy. Most current autocrats, however, take on the trappings of democracy to claim a popular mandate for their regime and their actions, even as they trample the rights of their citizens. It’s time to call them out. It’s time for them to go. Read Dennis Blair and Daniel Calingaert's POLITICO op-ed.
Zimbabweans are showing the evidence of having been torn in all directions in the transitional period, according to a new poll sponsored by Freedom House and conducted by South African political analyst Susan Booysen and the Mass Public Opinion Institute in Harare.
Sudan, North Korea and Uzbekistan are prominent among the most repressive regimes in the world, according to a report released by Freedom House. The study, “The Worst of the Worst: The World's Most Repressive Societies 2007,” named seventeen countries with the worst records for political rights and civil liberties, and pointed to thirteen countries which have been on the list for five years or more.
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