|French elections, Gaddafi factor|
|Wednesday, 02 May 2012 21:58|
The countdown to the French presidential runoff poll is just days away, and by the look of things, incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy will need to do a lot of praying before Sunday — opinion polls are not in his favour.
In Britain, one of his major allies, screaming headlines are already doing the rounds, “If Sarko is toppled, the tremors will shake Downing Street too”.
Some will say that for late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, it’s not over until it’s over. He could be down, but not out — which is what I’m writing about.
Incidentally, in 2007, a year before Zimbabwe’s contentious harmonised poll, France had been in a similar position. It is pointless to discuss how Sarkozy eventually won that election, because most of us forgot that run-off polls were not Zimbabwe’s creation.
Anyway, the French run-off poll this Sunday is pitting Nicholas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande. Who is monitoring and observing the French polls? Is democracy shaped by different rules and regulations? As Sarkozy’s destiny gets shaped out by this election, one cannot but help miss out the irony.
Of the four permanent members of the UN Security Council that will have change of governments this year, Russia, which held its polls in March, will have its president-elect Vladmir Putin sworn into office on May 7, a day after France’s run-off poll.
What it means is that both the Kremlin and Élysée Palace might have new personalities, come next week Monday. Africa has not paid a lot of attention to the French election.
Since Sarkozy’s days as interior minister when migrant youths protested for days in some French cities, his actions regarding Chadian children taken by a French non-governmental organisation, Zoe’s Ark in what looked like child trafficking, then his heavy involvement in Cote d’ Ivoire where he made sure that Laurent Gbagbo was sent to The Hague, we still did not put our act together.
When you hear their own media describing Sarkozy as “combative, pugnacious”, etc then you realise that you are dealing with someone who learnt that politics is a dirty game, and the dirtier, the more exciting. He is not worried about the consequences, as long as he gets the top job. Chad, Cote d’Ivoire and Libya are case analyses.
We also saw how Sarkozy ran the African Union like European property during his tenure as president of the EU. But what Africa has really ignored are the allegations levelled against candidate Sarkozy: that he sought financial assistance from late Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi to help him run his first presidential campaign in 2007. It was as if it was never said, which made me wonder how many Western elections we have sponsored, and what we have gotten out of it.
An investigative website Mediapart alleged as far back as March that Gaddafi agreed to give Sarkozy 50 million euros (US$66 million) towards the 2007 campaign. Mediapart also claimed last week Saturday that the 2006 document was provided by “former senior (Libyan) officials, who are now in hiding.”
They also alleged that the document came “from the archives of the secret service,” and was signed by Gaddafi’s former intelligence chief and later foreign minister, Moussa Koussa. In it, Koussa noted “an agreement in principle to support the campaign for the candidate for presidential election, Nicolas Sarkozy, for a sum equivalent to 50 million euro.”
The allegation was authenticated by Saif al-Islam, Gaddafi’s son who is currently being held captive in Libya. Saif has been clamouring that Sarkozy returns the Libyan people’s money. There is also a photos-galore on the Internet authenticating the claims — showing Sarkozy and Gaddafi when the latter became one of the first heads of state and government to make an official visit after Sarkozy won the 2007 election. It was only last week that Sarkorzy threatened to sue the website. He has ridiculed the allegation by saying that “If (Gaddafi) had financed it, I wasn’t very grateful. It’s obviously an attempt to draw away attention after Dominique Strauss-Kahn is back on stage.”
Despite the denials by Sarkozy, it did not stop the Western media from writing about that deal, although it was not an election issue among the French people and, although his challengers did not push that hard.
Below is a sample of headlines on the story, which I picked up a few days ago: Nicolas Sarkozy faces renewed claim Gaddafi agreed to fund 2007 campaign — The Guardian: Sarkozy says Socialists using Gaddafi as distraction, Reuters; Sarkozy rejects Gaddafi funding claim, Sky News Australia; Gaddafi ‘aid’ adds to Sarkozy’s woes, Times of India, and many more.
But we still wonder why Sarkozy was so enthusiastic to see Gaddafi out of the picture — not at The Hague, but dead if indeed Libyan money sponsored his first presidential term. We follow Sarkozy into the ballot box with Gaddafi’s story and many others, and what this French election means for Africa.
Gaddafi might be the worst person the West wanted out of power, but as Africa, it’s time to ask candidate Sarkozy about these allegations. What happened to the Libyan money candidate Sarkozy was allegedly given by Gaddafi, and why did the relations between them sour since Sarkozy was the first person to send Nato planes to bomb Libya last year in March, in contravention of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973? Maybe the answer lies with what Mahmoud Jibril told RT in an exclusive interview, recently.
Jibril, who is now part of the new governing authorities and was at one point the head of the National Transitional Council had also served in Gaddafi’s government from 2007 to early 2011 as head of the National Economic Development Board (NEDB), where he promoted privatisation and liberalisation policies. Jibril told RT that “too many powers wanted Gaddafi dead”.
Jibril claimed that Gaddafi was wanted dead so his secrets would die with him. “Too many parties who have real interests that Gaddafi doesn’t talk, that he should be silenced forever. I would love to know who was behind (Colonel Gaddafi’s) killing,” he said.
Who wanted Gaddafi dead and what was the motive? According to another report by Voltaire Network, the anti-Gaddafi plot was conceived in Paris in November 2010. Thierry Meyssan, a political analyst and founder of the international NGO Voltaire Network, claimed in an interview with RT that the French and British had been preparing the operation in Libya since November 2010, and that the stakes were high.
“Sarkozy was in big trouble with (the Libyan leader Muammar) Gaddafi because he (Gaddafi) cancelled a huge contract they signed together four years ago for Rafael fighters and a lot of nuclear (power) plants,” Meyssan said. Meyssan argued that the situation turned against Gaddafi when his ex-chief of protocol, Nouri Massoud El-Mesmari, defected in October and went to Paris. According to the analyst, the operation was planned for March 21, 2011.
“And you can verify that because the French military was asked to perform a big exercise with the British called Southern Mistral. And this military exercise is in fact exactly what is happening now, with the same people and the same strategy,” Thierry Meyssan concluded.
Whatever happens on Sunday, it is still prudent that we know for sure whether or not Gaddafi sponsored Sarkozy’s first presidential bid, and why he got into that deal, apart from the sale of Libyan oil.