旺旺首页 > 英语 > 俱乐部 > BBC新闻英语回顾 > Former Presidents in Africa 非洲卸任总统之活动
更新时间:2006/11/8
 » Download Audio

Former Presidents in Africa
非洲卸任总统之活动

There's been much talk recently among leaders of western governments (as they look ahead to the G8 summit in Scotland in July) about what can be done to help Africa. There's been discussion about increasing aid, cancelling debt and providing fairer trading conditions. Meanwhile, fifteen of Africa's former heads of state have been meeting in Mali to consider what THEY can do to assist political and economic development. But as Elizabeth Blunt's been learning, many of the former leaders have already been putting their skills to good use.

African presidents used to be notorious for only leaving State House feet first.  Some were murdered by the men who took over from them in a coup d'etat; Those who survived clung on grimly to power, for ten, twenty, thirty years.  The late president of Togo was a man in that tradition. He murdered his predecessor, and then held on tight to power and ruled for thirty eight years until he finally succombed to a heart attack. Ex-presidents used to be rare as hen's teeth.   

The main exception was Nigeria where military leaders were quite prepared to overthrow each other but then on the whole treated their fellow predecessors as fellow officers and gentlemen -- presumably because they had all been to staff college together. And President Nyerere of Tanzania did famously go into voluntary retirement (although only it has to be said after a pretty long innings).

In Bamako last week much was made of the fact that things have now changed enough in Africa for a meeting of ex-presidents to be possible -- and ex-presidents who have stood down or accepted defeat in elections, and who are able to live in retirement in their own countries, as would be considered perfectly normal elsewhere in the world. The organisers sent out twenty five invitations and fifteen were able to attend.

As old boys clubs go, this one was pretty good. There were delighted reunions with former colleagues not seen for years, and the ex-leaders were treated with full honours and always scrupulously addressed as Mr President.

But under it all lay a serious issue -- how to find a role after retirement, and how to make a success of what can be a tricky relationship with those who come after.

Having your predecessor around can be a bit of an embarrassment for anyone.  No one who is new in a job likes to have the person who did it before, hanging about and criticising what he is doing -- especially if that person never really wanted to leave. And Presidents are no exception.So those ex-heads of state who live harmoniously with their successors are usually very careful not to interfere, and to choose their activities wisely.

Some simply go back and pick up the threads of their old lives, before they lived in State House. Liberia's Professor Amos Sawyer returned to academic life, and former President Albert Zafy of Madagascar is once again a doctor.  Sam Nujoma, whose own education lost out to the independence struggle, is studying geology at university in Namibia, going off on field trips with his fellow students and -- I'm told -- enjoying it hugely.

But it's not always easy. Sir Ketumile Masire told his colleagues at this meeting that when he finally retired from the presidency of Botswana he wanted nothing more than to go back to his farm and to raise cattle. But he was pressured to get involved first with the enquiry into the massacres in Rwanda, and then with the inter-Congolese dialogue. The cattle are still waiting, but Sir Ketumile has enhanced his reputation both inside and outside his country.  He did good work, and, crucially, neither project had anything to do with Botswana.

Similarly with election monitoring. Ex-presidents can make very good monitors (cynics would say because they already know all the tricks) but it's only a good idea to do it abroad -- never in your own country. And probably not in the country next door either. The one political row here was over the elections in Togo, and that involved three ex-leaders -- Jerry Rawlings, Nicephore Soglo and Yakubu Gowon all of whom had past personal history with Togo.

If you must work at home then the trick is to find a good cause which is totally uncontroversial. So health issues are very popular. Several ex-presidents have campaigned on AIDS. It's something that sitting presidents are often reluctant to do; in traditionally modest societies they may have doubts about the dignity and propriety of talking about sex -- and that, after all, is what you have to do if you're running an AIDS campaign. But old men, true elders, can rise above these concerns. Sir Dawda Jawara, the former President of the Gambia, said this was something that someone of his age and his stature could now do.

And a much younger retiree, Jerry Rawlings, plays on these social tensions for deliberate effect, as a UN special representative on sexually transmitted diseases. He electrified the session of health with stories of his attempts to persuade old men in rural Ghana that they didn't actually have to stop having sex in order to avoid aids and unwanted babies. And after all, if your former president comes to your village and tells you that he too is only human, and he knows that sex is sweet, then it's going to be a lesson that you certainly won't forget.


参考译文:

最近有很多关于欧洲国家领导人将如何帮助非洲国家的言论(八国首脑会议即将在七月份于苏格兰召开)。有人说会增加援助,取消债务以及给非洲国家更公平的贸易条件。同时,十五名非洲国家前领导人在马里开会,讨论他们如何帮助非洲国家政治和经济的发展。但是据伊丽莎白·布朗特的了解,很多领导人只是摆摆样子罢了。

非洲国家总统一向以执政不正常而声名狼藉。有的总统直接被政变者杀掉;那些幸存下来的总统则是握权不放,一执政就是十年,二十年甚至三十年。多哥前总统就是一个这样的人。他暗杀了他的前任,然后紧紧掌权,执政长达三十八年之久,直到最终死于心脏病。这在以前的总统中是很少见的。

有一个国家比较特殊,这就是尼日利亚。他们的军方领导人总是互相争夺,但是总体上他们还是把他们的前任当作是长官或者是同事的——这可能是因为他们都是一丘之貉。坦桑尼亚总统尼雷尔则是因为主动辞职而出名的(尽管已经不是最好的辞职时机了)。

上星期,巴马科的情况发生了很大的变化,这使得前总统会议的举行成为可能,包括一些下台的前总统,一些竞选中失败的总统。他们本可以在他们自己的国家里用国家给予的养老金安静地生活,这在其他国家也是十分正常的情况。会议的组织者发出了二十五张请贴,其中十五个人可以到场。

这个老年俱乐部举行得还不错。很多多年不见的老朋友或者以前的同事在这里相聚,而且这些前首脑也被给予了很高的荣誉,总是被小心地称作总统先生。

但是总得面临一个严峻的问题——在退休之后如何找到自己的位置,如何成功和他们的继任者相处。

如果你的前任在你的身边,这总会让人有一点点尴尬。新接手一份工作的人都不愿意看见他们的前任者在他们身边徘徊并对他们的工作评头论足——尤其是当他们发现他们的前任者根本没有打算要离开。总统们也不例外。所以,这几位前总统能够与他们的继任者相处得很和谐,就是因为他们言行都非常小心,不去干涉继任者的工作。

有些前总统回忆并开始讲述他们当上总统以前的一些事情。利比里亚前总统回忆起了当年当教授时的学术生活,而马达加斯加岛前总统阿尔贝·扎菲则讲述起了他当年做医生的生活。萨姆·诺乔马在争取独立的斗争中失去了受教育的机会,所以现在他正在纳米比亚的一个大学里学习地理。据说他和他的同学们一起旅行,他现在觉得他的生活非常惬意。

但是事情并不总是这样简单的。凯图米莱·马西雷先生告诉他的同伴们,当他从博茨瓦纳总统职位上卸任以后,唯一的想法就是回到他的农场,饲养一些牲畜。但是他在压力之下必须首先参加卢旺达的暗杀事件的调查,然后要参加刚果的对话。牲畜还在农场上等着他呢,他却只能在国内国外继续提高他的声誉。他干得很棒,但问题是,这两件事都和博茨瓦纳没有任何关系。

监督选举也是一样的。前总统是很好的监督者(愤世嫉俗者认为前总统们已经很了解大选的伎俩)。但是最好的办法还是在国外进行,而且绝对不要在临国。多哥的大选就是这样的,其中涉及了三位前总统——杰瑞·罗林斯、尼塞福尔·索格洛和雅库布·戈翁。这三个人以前都与多哥有过私交。

如果你必须在国内举行大选,那么技巧就是要选择一个非常没有争议的话题。所以,健康问题就是一个很不错的选择。有几位前总统都选择了在艾滋病上做文章。这是一个当选后的总统不愿意再去管的问题;在一些传统的社会里,人们会质疑公开讨论性的问题会不会不合适——而如果以艾滋病为竞选的题目,那么性问题毕竟是不可避免的。但是一些真正的老人则不会计较这些顾虑的事情。冈比亚前总统贾瓦拉先生说道,这点是他这个年龄,这个身份的人应该做到的。

杰瑞·罗菱斯是一个更年轻的退休者。如今作为联合国负责性渠道传染疾病的特殊研究员,他操纵着这种社会的紧张程度以达到他的目的。他添油加醋地将一些健康问题讲给加纳农民听,以游说农民不要为了避免艾滋病或者意外怀孕而减少性体验。毕竟,如果一位前总统来到你的村庄,告诉你他也只是凡人,而且性体验是美好的,那么这将是让人永生难忘的一课。

相关主题链接:
Norforce in Australia 澳大利亚护林武装组织
玻利维亚罢工大游行
以色列准备撤离加沙 (2)
以色列准备撤离加沙 (1)
宗教信仰在密西西比州的影响 (2)
宗教信仰在密西西比州的影响 (1)
巴勒斯坦荣誉处决案件(2)
巴勒斯坦荣誉处决案件(1)
语音识别系统智能化程度更高
亚马逊雨林30年记
Hawar Islands 哈瓦群岛
人质事件——别斯兰人挥不去的梦魇 (2)