Bureau Chief, Southeastern U.S. and Caribbean
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Feb 27, 2012

Voters show faith in health of Senegal’s democracy

DAKAR, Feb 27 (Reuters) – In one polling station in
Senegal’s dusty capital Dakar, election officials counted votes
in a civic health bureau, surrounded by peeling posters giving
advice on how to avoid malaria and have a healthy pregnancy.

The West African state went into Sunday’s presidential
election overshadowed by dire warnings that its precious
democracy and stability, unsullied by coups or civil war since
independence from France in 1960, was sick and in mortal danger.

Feb 27, 2012

Senegal’s Wade in tight race for new term

DAKAR (Reuters) – Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade is in a tight race with chief rival Macky Sall, according to early unofficial tallies from the West African state’s most contentious poll in recent history, signaling a possible run-off between the former allies.

The election follows weeks of violent street protests against the 85-year-old Wade’s bid for a third term in office despite a two-term limit, and warnings that Senegal’s reputation as an established democracy hangs in the balance.

Feb 25, 2012

Senegalese to vote in test of nation’s stability

DAKAR (Reuters) – Senegal’s President Abdoulaye Wade faces re-election on Sunday, having defied opposition efforts to block him from standing and warnings that his candidacy risked destabilizing the usually tranquil West African state.

Overshadowing voting is a row over whether the octogenarian leader should be able to run for a third term. It has sparked violent street protests and a stream of warnings that Senegal’s reputation as an established democracy now hangs in the balance.

Feb 23, 2012

Insight: Limpopo “looting” tests South Africa’s ANC on graft

POLOKWANE, South Africa (Reuters) – When the premier of South Africa’s Limpopo province gave his “state of the province” speech this month, he announced that his region led the nation in good financial record keeping.

It left some in his audience blinking in disbelief.

Was he talking about the same platinum- and coal-producing northern province that is the target of corruption probes by a posse of South African law enforcement agencies after being declared “technically bankrupt” by the national treasury?

Feb 23, 2012

Limpopo “looting” tests S. Africa’s ANC on graft

POLOKWANE, South Africa, Feb 23 (Reuters) – When the
premier of South Africa’s Limpopo province gave his “state of
the province” speech this month, he announced that his region
led the nation in good financial record keeping.

It left some in his audience blinking in disbelief.

Was he talking about the same platinum- and coal-producing
northern province that is the target of corruption probes by a
posse of South African law enforcement agencies after being
declared “technically bankrupt” by the national treasury?

Feb 4, 2012

Fallen firebrand Malema ignited S.African politics

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 4 (Reuters) – In less than four
years, ANC youth leader Julius Malema turned himself into an
outspoken irritant for South Africa’s ruling party as he
regularly and pointedly reminded its leaders how they had failed
the country’s poor majority.

On Saturday, after an African National Congress appeals
panel upheld his suspension for bringing Africa’s oldest
liberation movement into disrepute, the banishment of the
youthful rebel from party ranks seemed complete.

Feb 1, 2012

“Sit-tight” rulers risk African Spring: Nobel Laureate Soyinka

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Aging African presidents who try to cling to power by manipulating constitutions and judiciaries risk the same popular rebellions that toppled rulers in last year’s Arab Spring, Nigerian Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka said Wednesday.

Citing as examples Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, who are both well in their eighties, Soyinka criticized “sit-tight rulers” who sought to hang on in office despite being “obviously beyond their prime.”

Jan 8, 2012

On uneasy ANC centenary, a call for cleansing

BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa (Reuters) – A black bull bellows and snorts in its death throes, sacrificed with a ceremonial spear in an age-old African cleansing ritual to ward off evil spirits and appease the souls of ancestors.

South African President Jacob Zuma led the purification ceremony at the weekend at the site where the ruling party he leads, the African National Congress, was born 100 years ago. The birth launched decades of exile, protest and armed struggle that finally ended apartheid white-minority rule in 1994, when elections ushered in a multi-racial democracy.

Jan 8, 2012

Insight: On uneasy ANC centenary, a call for cleansing

BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa (Reuters) – A black bull bellows and snorts in its death throes, sacrificed with a ceremonial spear in an age-old African cleansing ritual to ward off evil spirits and appease the souls of ancestors.

South African President Jacob Zuma led the purification ceremony at the weekend at the site where the ruling party he leads, the African National Congress (ANC), was born 100 years ago. The birth launched decades of exile, protest and armed struggle that finally ended apartheid white-minority rule In 1994, when elections ushered in a multi-racial democracy.

Dec 1, 2011

World Bank grants $255 million for Haiti’s recovery

MIAMI, Dec 1 (Reuters) – The World Bank is allocating $255
million for Haiti’s post-earthquake reconstruction over the
next 12 months, including support for education, agriculture
and disaster risk management, the bank said on Thursday.

The announcement of the grants came in the same week as
President Michel Martelly’s government hosted hundreds of
foreign investors and declared itself “open for business” in an
ambitious strategy to boost rebuilding of the Western
Hemisphere’s poorest economy after last year’s earthquake.

    • About Pascal

      "I am based in Miami, heading the editorial reporting team covering the southeastern United States and the Caribbean. This includes Cuba and Haiti and we are also in charge of covering the annual Atlantic hurricane season and Space missions from Cape Canaveral. Previously, I was Chief Correspondent for West and Central Africa, and chief correspondent, Venezuela, following earlier postings in Cuba, Brazil, southern Africa, Portugal and Spain."
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