Thursday, January 26, 2012

Elections and Soccer...who knew how closely linked they were!?

Last night Senegal lost its second match in the African soccer cup to Equatorial Guinea, which means that we are now eliminated from the competition.  I'm pretty sure that everyone with a television was watching the game last night because every time something exciting happened you could hear cheering or yells quite clearly throughout the neghborhood.

As soon as Equatorial Guinea scored the final goal, my host mom remarked, (and I'm paraphrasing a bit) "Now there will be more trouble with the elections.  If the team had won, maybe people would have been happy long enough to last until February, but now, mon dieu!"  I have heard similar remarks from other people as well.  People are making comments like, "Nothing is working in this country!  The President, the strikes! Not even our soccer team is any good!"

Perhaps Senegal should have offered to pay its players to win like the son of the President of Equatorial Guinea supposedly did.  It may have been a good investment!  My host mother is also convinced that President Wade is going to commit election fraud again come February.  There is a committee that is supposed to decide within the next few days if he actually has the right to run for a subsequent term since the new version of the constitution was instituted after he was elected the first time.  It looks as if the committee is rather linked to the present administration so he probably won't run into any problems getting himself on the ballot.  I believe the government just stated that it is forbidden to protest or to make big demonstrations about the elections until the decision is released.  I'm not sure how official the prohibition is though.  Either way, there have been quite a few more armed policemen standing around the busy streets in case something develops.

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