Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Liberia: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf officially declared election winner

Madam President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia. Congratulations! Today it has become official. Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has been declared Africa’s 1st elected woman head of state in history. Wow, with Angela Merkel’s swearing-in yesterday as Germany’s first female chancellor the ladies might be on a roll in taking charge of the "reigns of power" around the world.

I have been patiently following this important story for weeks in the mainstream media and in the Blogosphere and today the National Elections Commission of the Republic of Liberia has reached its final decision re: the claims of voter fraud by presidential contender George Weah and his CDC party. Ms. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has won the presidential runoff election fair-and-square. She is the next President of the Republic of Liberia, Africa’s first and oldest republic.

Congratulations Madam President and congratulations to the people of Liberia who have chosen peace over war, democracy over dictatorship and fear and chaos. May peace and prosperity and substantial support and respect from your neighbors and the world community be with you from this day onward. I will be writing more about this wonderful new world leader in the next few days as the story of President-elect Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf deserves a great deal of attention and praise.
In the meantime please check out the news links below:

VOA News (text and audio):
Liberia declares Johnson-Sirleaf election winner
Sirleaf-Johnson to become Liberia’s next president

BBC News:
Iron Lady named Liberian leader (article from The Analyst – Monrovia)
Red Letter Day!


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Mission accomplished. Germany elects first female chancellor.

The big news of the day here in Germany is of course the election and swearing-in of the new Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel, Germany’s first woman federal chancellor. My congratulations Madam Chancellor for working your way to the top of German politics; a journey full of danger, intrigue, betrayals, pessimism, personal and political landmines, blame games, and a generally mean-spirited and thankless electorate (sounds like Washington D.C., don’t it?).
Good Luck Angie!

Honestly, Angela Merkel is a real fighter and
her story is well worth the time to read and understand. The shy daughter of a German Lutheran pastor she grew up behind the Iron Curtain in the former German Democratic Republic. After the fall of the Iron Curtain and the Soviet Empire in 1989-1990 she became involved with the East German Demokratischer Aufbruch party that merged with the West German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in 1990. Merkel worked her way to the top of the CDU party elite under the careful guidance of Germany’s longest-serving chancellor, Helmut Kohl.

The recent snap elections called by former Bundeskanzler
Gerhard Schröder in September 2005 was a particularly nasty and hard fought campaign even by German standards. In the end Bozo’s (Schröder) political shenanigans backfired on him and the SPD (Social Democratic Party) and Angie’s party won by a very slim margin (1%). Here is a blow-by-blow account of the German elections 2005 by Der Speigel magazine’s international online edition (English).

The German voters have a great deal of trouble to be worried about, not least of all the issues of jobs and the economy and the highly coveted
transatlantic relationship with the United States of America. What relationship? That love affair is over Sucka! However we might cut Angie some slack at the beginning to see if she can get Deutschland back on track with The Program. The German public is basically worried about only one thing in the transatlantic relationship with the U.S.:MADE IN GERMANY = Please buy our stuff. Pleeaasse!

I was pulling for Frau Merkel in the recent elections by the way, albeit I am not a citizen of Deutschland and cannot vote here. Thank God. Here in northern Germany one is surrounded by voters that continue to have their thick heads stuck up Schroeder’s red (Socialist) rear-end. The atmosphere here today is not one of jubilation, let me tell you. Sort of reminds me of the days shortly after the Berlin Wall fell back in 1989. That was a Black Day for many West Germans. Surprised? Do your research on West vs. East Germans if you don’t believe me.

So Madam Chancellor Angela, although I and many others are pleased that you are finally able to takeover the reigns of power in
Good Old Germany I would like to move on to write about another outstanding Madam President-in-waiting who has earned her right to rule: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of the Republic of Liberia.

In the meantime my readers can catch the latest on Chancellor Angela Merkel by following the German point-of-view links below. Auf Wiedersehen. Y’all.

Technorati search for German and international bloggers:
Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel, German politics, Politik
Deutsche Welle (English language version):
Der Spiegel Online (international edition – English)

Some U.S. political Think Tanks operating in Germany:
Aspen Institute in Berlin: Dr. Jeffrey Gedmin appears on more political talk shows in Germany than Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show.

The GMF (
German Marshall Fund): second only to the Aspen Institute on German "Let’s Talk Politics" TV. However, checkout this November 09, 2005 testimony by the GMF's Dr. Karen Donfried to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on International Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Emerging Threats: Germany after the Elections: Implications for U.S. - German Relations

P.S. I love the title of this U.S. Congressional subcommittee: Europe & Emerging Threats!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Riots in France enter 12th night: Is Paris (still) burning?

It is late afternoon here in Germany. The sun has just dipped below the horizon and the dreary grey skies of a typical rainy November day have begun to shift toward orange and deep reds and violet before night falls. Nighttime. We all know what that means here in Western Europe for the past 11 days. Is Paris still burning? Has the violence crossed the border into our country yet? Aach Du Schei--e! Wirklich?

For my regular readers, my apologies for not posting over the last several days. Plenty of hot stuff going on around the world though, isn't it? In regards to the Paris riots which have now spread to over 300 cities and towns across France, we in Germany and throughout Western and Central Europe are watching these events with great interest. Indeed!

I haven't been totally silent about "le disturbánces" you know, just reserved. I've weighed in with my blogger friend down in the Congo 007 in Africa and left a word or two over at Booker Rising. The Blogosphere heavyweights like Instapundit et Al. have torn into this with a passion and you can follow more of the conversations over at Technorati.

Downright Angst has set in for many people here if you ask me. I mean, if the "Shei--e hits the fan" here in Gemany who's gonna deal with it? Die Polizei? The police need to take orders from people in high places (Politiker), especially here in Deutschland. In Germany there is nobody officially in charge of the government at the moment. That is, not until the three main political parties (CDU/CSU and SPD) from the September 2005 elections finally work out a deal. No deal, no coalition government. Basta.

So, I and others in Europe need a little more time to get a handle on the fast-moving events over on the Western Front. In the meantime, keep your eyes glued to your TV sets and your newspapers and online news sites for the latest nightly developments. Jacques Chiraq has called for a stop to the violence (= a showdown), and the kids with the Molotov cocktails and sawed-off shotguns don't seem to be listening. Not a good combination if you ask me.

Now where did I park my car today? Got my keys, my passport, change of clothes, and my airline ticket. I'm outa here. Gone.