|Najib Razak, ex-Malaysian |
prime minister, who lost an
election this month.
The nation I have in mind is Malaysia, the southeast Asian nation which held national elections ten days ago. But I might as easily be talking about Venezuela, which is to hold a vote tomorrow in which its authoritarian president Nicolas Maduro is expected to use a rigged system to get himself reelected, despite running his oil-rich nation into the ground. In both nations, the government used legal charges and technicalities to bar opposition candidates from even running in the election.
To everybody's amazement, Malaysia's opposition party won the election, and the Barisan Nasional coalition, which had ruled Malaysia since independence in 1957 lost power.
That might provide a glimmer of hope for the opposition in Venezuela in tomorrow's voting. There,
|Venezuelan president/dictator Maduro.|
Colombian Pres. Santos reported this week that Colombia had seized a big shipment of food allegedly intended to be used by the Venezuelan government to pay for votes, altho much of the food was already rotten. Santos also charged that the Venezuelan government planned to give Colombians Venezuelan ID cars and have them vote for the government.
But Venezuela differs in important ways from Malaysia, where the opposition candidate who won the prime ministryship had already been prime minister, and so many people had a positive image of him. On the other hand, Malaysia's economy was fairly strong, whereas Venezuela's is in free fall, potentially motivating many people to vote against the government.
But, barring a miracle, Mauro will win reelection tomorrow and continue stiffening his dictatorial rule and worsening his nation's economic disaster. And hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans will continue pouring into Colombia.
And the Malaysian election likely has redoubled Maduro's determination to win at all costs tomorrow. After all, Malaysian's ex-leader may now be put on trial for his alleged monumental corruption.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours