Luka Herald
Wednesday, July 25th, 302 AP.

Editorial Column:
Let the races begin

While it may not seem like it, the Utanian Presidential election began
today, with pre-selection voting in the Conservative-Cruisian Democrat
(Con-CDP) joint-electorate of Josst. It is the very first battle in what
looks set to become six months of constant campaigning.

To be sure, the races have not really begun in any other parties than the
Con-CDP and Peoples-Utani Saedaj coalitions, but the Democrats are already
fighting amongst themselves, and the various Party conferences are being
held in September and a week before and after that month, which begins in
only a month.

Yet, the question remains as whether this will be a campaign worth
remembering. Is President Okarvits so completely entrenched in the job that
even the Conservatives cannot make this campaign worth the wait?

Simply, no. While numerous pundits, including the esteemed Professor Kapur,
are quick to assess that the President is "a certainty" for January, the
ability of the non-Government parties to leave the Government reliant on
the Burovians in the last Parliamentary polls suggests that a large number
of Utani voters are voting with the opposition. This could be the
President's biggest threat.

With hospitals straining to keep up with this year's influenza outbreak
that killed dozens two years ago, our education system in disarray,
millions of Utani are still living in poverty -- while only 0.9% of
households earn less than a (Christianan) Crown a day, 13.2% of households
earn less than Û10 a week -- while our defence forces are bulging at the
sides, the President is going to have to do more for the people of this

If President Okarvits does not demonstrate that he is the man to reform
this nation, equitably and fairly, the man who can lead the country into
prosperity, then voters may just decide to make this Presidential election,
our country's first, a most interesting election.

©UPA, 302 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved.