African dictatorUnpopular at home? Down in the polls?

Don’t despair. Help is at hand! I just hope you don’t mind my remaining anonymous. You know how rumours spread!

Elections don’t need to be won. With a little careful preparation they can be – how shall I put it? – helped along!

The right result can be assured.

Here’s how!

  1. Make sure you have your man in place in the Election Commission. After all, they will be running the show, so get your pal on board!
  2. Electoral register: now this is important information. You don’t want to share it with everyone! Keep it safely under wraps until the very last minute – then only give it out in paper form. Can’t be searched electronically!
  3. Electoral register: you don’t want to keep it up to date! Why? So there are plenty of very old people on it, who can be ‘helped’ to make their mind up.
  4. Voters registration: now we all are a little, shall we say, less than popular in some areas. So best to make sure in regions or cities where your opponent is king, the registration process goes verrryyyy slowly. If necessary it doesn’t happen at all – but that’s a bit extreme! Just keep these numbers down!
  5. Tribal elders, community leaders: You have helped them down the years – right? Payback time. They need to suggest that anyone voting for your pesky rival is just not playing ball. No more credit, fertiliser or seeds for them! Just put the word around, that should be enough to change minds!
  6. Intellectuals: Now these can be tricky. Tend to vote the wrong way. So suggest they might need a little assistance in the voting booths. After all, they might be able to write, but still be illiterate!
  7. Security forces: The boys and girls in blue and khaki. You can almost always rely on them, so make sure they vote early, and then put them in civies and get them to vote again on polling day!
  8. Local media – press and TV: Now I hope you have your own media well and truly under control. Why else own that great radio and TV station? For the independents, well, best to have a few traffic accidents in the run-up to the election. They soon get the message!
  9. Foreign media: I used to argue that you don’t let them in, but they find ways of creeping about under cover. Best to keep them waiting, then give them visas at the last minute. Insist they take your helpful media minders along with them. They will be so delighted to be on the ground, they will nice and polite – and have no time for those pesky investigations that dig up unhelpful facts!
  10. Election monitors: A piece of cake! African Union monitors only have one stamp in their luggage – its the one with ‘free and fair’ on it. Who needs anyone else?

And there you have it.

An election with the right result and all carefully endorsed ‘free and fair’ by the international community!

No need for all that violence and beating. So last century!

And if all else fails, never forget what my old mentor, Joseph Stalin used to say: “It’s not the people who vote that count. It’s the people who count the votes.”

Finally, when you win that thundering majority, its always best to offer your rival a ‘small boy’ job in a unity cabinet. Sort of cherry on the cake.

Happy election time!

PS: I cannot recommend the Israeli firm Nikuv too highly!