So, folks, a couple countries have been trying to have elections.

First, we have Mexico. A country with a long and proud tradition, an ancient culture unmatched on the continent and a modern society born from the Spanish Empire. A wealthy country with a modern populace and incredible natural resources and natural beauty. A large nation with vibrant tourism and an economy aided by it’s close proximity to the world’s largest economy on its northern border.

The Times – Protesters occupy city centre and demand recount

THOUSANDS of supporters of the left-wing presidential candidate occupied the centre of Mexico City yesterday, vowing not to leave until their demand for a full recount of the disputed election was met.

Pitching tents and hanging banners in the Mexican capital, they heeded calls to seize the centre by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who lost the July 2 election by less than 0.6 per cent, raising fears of unrest.

Señor Obrador, beaten by Felipe Calderón, a pro-business candidate of President Fox’s ruling National Action Party, accuses the Government of rigging the poll. But he suggested the possibility of violent protest yesterday for the first time. …

“The question is whether we Mexicans are going to resolve our differences with pressure tactics and marches, or with reason and by the law,” he said.

Next, we have the Congo. An African country which endured brutal colonization and riven by years of civil war and political and social turmoil, which has little economy to speak of and a people held back by warlords and dictatorships for forty years, who in that time have never hard a fully democratic vote, whose natural beauty has been ravaged by exploitation and looting, who has suffered four million dead in just eight years, whose women have been forced to withstand rape and sexual slavery, who despite vast deposits of mineral wealth and diamonds, is one of the world’s poorest nations, and whose neighbors do little better.

BBC – Long wait after landmark Congo poll

The first results from Sunday’s landmark elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo are being published outside some of the 50,000 polling stations around this vast country.

And yet the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) says official results will not be published for up to another three weeks.

The CEI says it will take this long to gather together the results from across a country two-thirds the size of Western Europe with just 300 miles of paved roads. …

Sunday may have passed off relatively well but DR Congo’s hopes of a smooth transition into a new democratic era remain in the balance.

Update:

Mail & Guardian – DRC vote ‘an example for Africa’

International officials on Monday hailed Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) landmark elections at the weekend as an example to Africa and called on presidential candidates to accept the results.

After two leading candidates denounced problems during Sunday’s voting, United States Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Jendayi Frazer sent a clear message that the international community would not allow disgruntled losers to derail polls. …

Senior African statesmen, grouped in an International Committee of Elders, said the massive turnout and mostly peaceful voting were an indication the DRC wanted peace, despite pre-election fears of violence.

“This has made the DRC an example for African elections,” head of the committee, ex-Mozambique President Joaquim Chissano, told a news conference. “The international community is here to help because peace in DRC is peace in Africa.”