Thursday, May 31, 2007

Goodbye to the 90's

Corrupt Non-General to Run Nigeria For a Change

Umaru Musa Yar'Adua
was sworn in as President of Nigeria on Tuesday, despite the chronic irregularities that marked his election last month. Most of the western world called for a re-vote, but evidently the government did not agree.

I say "the government" because Mr. Yar'Adu was the establishment candidate, and his "victory" signaled the continuation of the ruling regime. He was the hand-picked successor of outgoing President Olusegun Obasanjo, the former military dictator turned civilian politician. General Obasanjo ruled for two full terms after Nigeria's military regime ended in 1999. He then tried to get the constitution changed to allow him to run for a third term, but that scheme fell through. So then he talked his pal Yar'Adu into running. Yar'Adu was the Governor of Nigeria's biggest state at the time, and a loyal member of General Obasanjo's party, the "People's Democratic Party" or PDP. Despite no longer being President of Nigeria, Obasanjo is still President of the PDP, a fact which has led critics to characterize Yar'Adu as a mere puppet to be controlled by Obasanjo from behind the scenes.

The controversy over Yar'Adu and his dubious election has cast something of a shadow over what should be a happy event for Nigeria- their first civilian-to-civilian transfer of executive power since the 1960's!

Fun Nigeria Fact! The logo of the People's Democratic Party is an umbrella.

Traitorous Scot to Run Scotland

Alex Salmond was sworn in as First Minister of Scotland by Queen Elizabeth the Second on May 17. He is the leader of the separatist Scottish National Party, and as such his assumption to the top job comes as something of a disappointment to those who had been hoping that a coalition government could be cobbled-together to keep him out of power. But no luck, and now Her Majesty's Scottish government is being run by a nationalist whose ultimate political goal is the removal of Scotland from Her Majesty's realm.

Tyrants Re-elected

On Sunday President Bashar al-Assad of Syria was re-elected with 97% of the vote in an election in which he was the only candidate and "yes, I love the President! Now please don't shoot me!" was the only option.

Patrick Ahern was also re-elected as Taoiseach of Ireland. In power since 1997, Mr. Ahern is evidently one of the few European leaders who has ruled for a decade and not yet been forced out of power.

A lot of Euro-leaders came to power in the late 1990's, and only left power in the last little while. This means that we're seeing a rather marked "wave" of regime change across the continent at present. It would be interesting to chart, but for now, amuse yourself with these statistics:

France, Jacques Chirac (1995-2007)
Spain, José María Aznar (1996-2004)
Sweden, Göran Persson (1996-2006)
United Kingdom, Tony Blair (1997-2007)
Germany, Gerhard Schroder (1998-2005)

I see it as a sort of symbolic "end of the 90's" thing. In fact, with Mr. Chirac gone, I believe Mr. Ahern is now the longest-serving leader in all of Europedom, and the only one left who came to power in the '90's.


James said...

The son of the Mr Obasanjo works for Microsoft, and blogs at

Rain said...

Glad to see this blog continues. Why is the link gone from the comic website?

Did you intentionally put the Irish president under the heading "Tyrants reelected"? :)

By the way, Latvia just got a new president elected as well.

Anonymous said...

Davíð Oddsson, a former Prime Minister of Iceland, also had a remarkable run (1991-2004).

Anonymous said...

Jean-Claude Juncker, the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, took office in 1995, so there's at least one left.

j_major said...

It is claimed that gibing Scotland an own parlament was one of the biggest mistakes in Blair administration. lt seems that the critics were right, as the scotish parliament not only hasn't stop the separatist movement but it has fueled and now they have the prime minister (that's the office term?)

Anonymous said...

now they have the prime minister (that's the office term?)

First Minister, to be exact. (To clearly differentiate him from the British Prime MInister, to whom ultimately he is below)

As for the content "Traitorous Scot to Run Scotland" section... um, whilst I'm not an SNP supporter myself, the SNP didget more seats than any other party, so if anyoen else had formed a coalition to keep them out it would have looked decidedly uncool. (Though it really was touch and go for a bit as to how they were going to govern - I can't see their minority government surviving longer than a year, TBH)

Still, considering how every other party opposes the referendum on Scottish independance, your fears are mostly pointless: and since the SNP have sod-all well-known policies apart from that, it remains to be seen what exactly they will do.

From, a Glasweigan reader.