The Dangers of Elections

People from the four corners of the globe are eagerly awaiting the November 4 elections – although they don’t live in the US, they will be affected in one way or another by who becomes president. Now not everybody knows that elections pose a few dangers not only in this country but our neighboring countries as well. Here are a few election dangers you might encounter in a country you’re visiting.

In Congo, street children are used by political parties to create public disorder during mass demonstrations. In order to curb this, the authorities use excessive force which sometimes lead to death of these innocent children. Those who survive are thrown in jail where they experience physical and sexual abuse.

A study says that traffic death spikes up during elections day. Strange how this happens but it’s true. According to US news… “A total of 3,417 people were killed in car accidents — including pedestrians — on the eight election days and 16 comparison Tuesdays. The risk of death on election days was 18 percent higher than the other days, or 158 deaths per day versus 134 deaths per day. The researchers estimated that resulted in an extra 189 deaths over the period studied.”

In the Philippines, a small town woke up with their village chairMEN (not just a man, but men!) dead. Apparently, the losing candidate gave out tons of cash to those chairmen to ensure victory, but surprisingly a priest won for elections which turned his opponent’s world upside down (he gave out money that could fill a room).

The burning of the house of a certain Dr. Rajah Johnpulle in Sri Lanka, who happens to be the district organizer of the largest opposition party in the country. Damages were estimated to be around $ 460,000. Winning by any means, at any cost, is the name of the game in this country. What’s even worse is that the police seemingly let it happen (for fear of the ruling party who’s rumored to have instigated this).

Media people are also victims. Normally they just report on incidents, but this particular journalist got into the middle of the heated elections in Armenia. Lusine Barsegian of the newspaper haikakan had not only her camera and voice recorder stolen – but she got beaten up. In fact in that election alone, several human rights violations were reported by the Human Rights Watch.

It’s ironic how a symbol of democracy, of freedom of choice can result in so much violence and death. Although I’m sure the authorites in these countries have stepped up their efforts to curb political violence, the other side seems to be winning. What other dangers of elections can you think of and what’s your stand on election violence? Do share!

Election Dates: INEC Postpones Nigeria’s Elections To March 28 And April 11

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