Everyone I’ve spoken to, most newspaper reports, international observers, everything points to the fact that rigging did took place.
The outgoing government tried every dirty trick in the proverbial book to hang onto power – but the wonderfully heartening news is that the rigging wasn’t enough – the government still got kicked out.
The story which is emerging is the age old one, that of the naked Emperor who fools himself into thinking he’s clothed, while the whole world laughs. The dictator was naked, and like the emperor of old, surrounded by tailors and yes man who wouldn’t tell the truth.
In other news, the government is -busy- “trying to censor videos of rigging uploaded to Youtube”:http://www.teeth.com.pk/blog/2008/02/22/vote-rigging-videos-in-karachi-could-this-be-why-youtube-is-blocked/, which show the the government parties busy rigging away. I wrote up “my own personal brush with censorship here”:http://wiredpakistan.com/2008/02/23/my-personal-brush-with-censorship/, and now it seems the govt. has moved on from targeting individual websites to the Moby Dick of the internet, Youtube.
Yes, “just the last post says that the elections weren’t rigged”:http://ko.offroadpakistan.com/2008/02/the_kings_party_loses_we_were_all_w.html – but I was just being overly optimistic.
I do think that the next time there are elections there will be a lot less rigging, with camera toting webloggers streaming live video of any irregularities straight to the whole country. The technology should be very much in place than, what with Wimax and 3G networks springing up all over the country, and five years from now video cellphones should be just a bit more expensive that a Macdonald’s meal.
It’s not really the rigging which is the issue, it’s the current crop of politicians who equate campaigning with rigging. As it gets harder for the current lot, it leaves space for ‘regular’ people to enter politics.