Shoe throwing and the need for maturity

Published: August 18, 2010

A recent wave of negative propaganda against President Zardari is rather disturbing from a national perspective

It was a matter of shame when a shoe was allegedly thrown at the President of Pakistan in Britain. Yet, in some twisted way, many people felt proud of what happened. No, I do not support President Zardari, but I respect the position of the President of Pakistan. Before jumping to conclusions, please read on.

A recent wave of negative propaganda against President Zardari is rather disturbing from a national perspective.  Institutions form the government structure, not individuals. Asif Zardari, Yousaf Gilani, and Iftikhar Chaudhry are temporary, but the structure they represent will last. People in power have always suffered criticism, and this is not a local phenomena. But patience has no alternative. Every institution needs time to grow and become mature. Sadly, the only institution that was allocated time and money to groom was the Pakistan Army which has, on various occasions, misused its authority. Without diverting to a new debate, it should be noted that the legislative bodies and the courts of justice have been neglected, or even tempered with, in Pakistan.

On a national level, President Zardari is constantly criticised through the various forms of media. He has been maligned to the extent that international publications have started taking pleasure in throwing dirt on him. What we need to realise is, that on a national level, we may be talking about Asif Ali Zardari but to the international audience, he is the President of Pakistan, the head of state. This article is not meant to justify the wrongs President Zardari has done. It is meant to highlight national interest over growing frustration. The emotional instability that exists clearly overshadows the rational thinking required for the foundations to grow.

At the same time, Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry may have done some very valuable services to the nation but our loyalty should remain with the institution and not the individual. It is the position of the Chief Justice of Pakistan that would always bear the burden of delivering justice to the people. We need to ensure that the civil society continues to support every Chief Justice in the same way. Chaudhry has started a process that must continue if we want to enjoy the fruits in the long run.

Individuals will not live forever. Institutions will be run by one person after the other, and will define the route Pakistan takes. We need to strengthen the foundations of the institutions by positively criticizing the personalities and giving the institutions room to grow. Without stooping to an inappropriately low level, we must get our voices heard through various forums and tell the government what mistakes they are making.

By openly criticising the President of Pakistan, the international community is starting to lose faith in the Pakistani government. At a time when Pakistan is in dire need of funds and support, continuous harping about President Zardari’s alleged cases will not help. It is the flood affected who will suffer, not Zardari. BBC reports that aid agencies blame Pakistan’s ‘image deficit’ for the slow response. To start with, that is the most absurd thing I have ever heard. While millions of innocent people are helpless seeking humanitarian support, such an argument is a shame for the global community. Nonetheless, it is a fact. When Pakistanis label their own government as not utilising the funds properly, obviously the international community will have its doubts. There is a time for everything, and now is the time to stand united and help the government deliver to the people.

While the constitution clearly defines the importance of institutions, the masses have always focused on individuals. This myopic view has led to the stagnation of Pakistan – politically, economically and socially.


Samir Butt

A former Youth Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Fulbright undergraduate scholar, freelance writer, public speaking trainer, IT consultant and marketing professional. He blogs at

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Ghausia

    A British newspaper published an article titled “Cameron should count his fingers after shaking hands with Mr. Ten Percent.” You think the international world doesn’t know what Zardari is like? Personally, I wouldn’t want them to think we’re idiots for just sitting my idly and letting him get away. Recommend

  • Z.

    ” [Our] own government [is] not utilizing the funds properly” For the reason that, our HEAD OF STATE is going country to country asking for such funds, that they will utilize God knows where.
    Well to some extent you are right we, as Pakistanis should not always point fingers at our “leaders” yet we never get to see any improvements of any kinds. And when people do want to make a difference they are labeled as ‘dictators.’
    “Individuals will not live forever,” but by the time they will leave(which is a doubt since our country is fond of dynasty) we will be in much worse condition nationally and internationally.
    PS: please mention ONE good thing PRESIDENT OF PAKISTAN has done in last 6months.Recommend

  • Ashlin

    With due respect Mr.Butt.
    your opinions of concern taken well absorbed, still the opposite theory takes a toll.
    putting aside the issue of shoe throwing as a mere display of uncontrollable rage and sorrow (by zardaris own political party member btw), a massive upheavel has been sweeping across pakistan eminent ofcourse to condemn the spanning diabolism displayed by the chair of president.
    nobody,mind you,nobody cares a damn about the man himself ,but yes a powerful shot of awareness doesnt allow a major sector to just ignore their tax money being poofed off on international family trips!
    in todays situation where our pakistan has nothing more to lose,defending the president is hardly the concern,and from whom? the global community? who prbably have more insight(more then you n me)into the destruction?erosion? dat the chair has inflicted?…
    people would tend sticking to their pakistan ,determined to abash the problems now from the grass root level. no time to sheathe any more zardaris. for wanting to survive,internal damages n weeknesses need be uprooted.
    let the revolution begin.

  • Tippu

    What a lod of croc!!
    Who was the last leader you recall who kept enjoying a foreign tour while 20 million went homeless in his country??
    Is anyone is abusing the office of the president of pakistan, it is zardari!Recommend

  • Rao Amjad Ali

    Not sure what your point is but it smacks of Monticelloist philosophy (a philosophy that allegedly originates from the University of Monticello, whose only surviving graduate is the Reverend Daktar Babar Awan), in other words it is bunkum!

    To argue that by remaining a silent spectator as blunders flow faster than the mighty Indus would somehow serve to preserve or elevate the seat of the presidency, the PM or that of the CJ is simply preposterous.

    Each institution is exactly worth the man who heads it – did you notice how in a matter of a few hours Judge Dogar had managed to smear the image of the SC? If the people, media and civil society organizations stay silent as state institutions begin to cascade from being merely weak to an outright embarrassment, losing not only their esteem but raison ‘d’tere, then you are near the very end of a democratic dispensation. We have been on that bumpy path many times before and let’s not pave the way for another Musharraf-like incursion, it is extremely important to create checks and balances through public discourse!

    Hurling shoes on the president whether the target is George Bush or someone else is not necessarily the best way to protest. However, the Birmingham episode calls for a serious examination of what caused such behavior to occur in the first place, commissioned by a Jiyala to boot. I sense that “Something is Rotten in the State of Denmark”, dont you? Recommend

  • Asad

    Finally an article without the excessive emotion that is evoked when mentioning Mr. Zardari. While he may not be the best person to lead us, the positive thing is that he can be removed once his term is over. It is surprising how people are more willing to give the benefit of the doubt to a military dictator who rips the constitution, and can not be removed by any process. As for the show throwing, as was said in the article, people have grievances from their leaders everywhere, but when the head of the state is visiting another country, he is the symbol of that country.
    I also want to take issue with Ashlin. What taxes are you talking about? Other than the salaried class which gets its taxes cut at source, how many Pakistanis actually pay tax? It has become a habit of our countrymen to complain, and shout about all the wrong happening, while playing an active part in making things worse. Recommend

  • Sher Khan

    Proven guilty in Swiss courts (do i need to paste all the links here?), giving Presidential pardon to interior minister (mr. Rahman Malik) when judiciary found him directly responsible for corruption, French paper have concluded that he did make money on Navy deals and their own president was involved in that corruption, on a joyride personal trip while the whole country was facing the worse flood ever( and btw i laugh when people say he was visiting the UK to raise funds or for any awareness, whatsoever, since that trip was planned 3 months in advance without any idea about flooding and it was to launch his own son – he has been called as a playboy in British media). What really PPP supporters think? All of us are stupid enough not to realize what’s going on? I’m just glad that every Western country is realizing that they can’t trust PPL govt even with AID(s) Money. That’s how corrupt they are. Take it or leave it, doesn’t matter. It’s proven so many times, internationally, again and again. Recommend

  • Khadim Husain

    Zardari should not have to join politics prior to clearance of his criminal records. Presidential post is a public office and everyone before joining must realize that scrutiny is must for any public office. Whereas each and every action of Zardari after death of Benazir is soaked in doubts and mysteries. Right from drama of “Wasiat”, changing caste of children, trying to occupy lands of other descendents of Zulfiqar Bhutto, mockery on NRO, highjacking swiss boxes, governor rule in Punjab and case of Justices of SC.
    He jumped into war of terror without calculating risks and further mysteries surrounding death of Benazir.
    Whenever ever we thought to give benefit of doubt to him, next day a new controversy was standing in front of nation.
    He deserves such treatment because tactfully he has sidelined all voices with the help of army. So peoples have no choice except to search venues like show throwing.Recommend

  • Sofia

    Dear Mr. President,
    How come you never launched any inquiry to probe into Mrs. Benazir Bhutto murder? Shouldn’t you being in the govt. gave you every possible power to find the real culprit behind our leader’s murder? Oh wait, you even blocked UN inquiry and didn’t let them say any names openly. At times, i just ask myself only one question. Who really got benefited from her murder. Mind me asking would you ever be a president should Muhtarma Benazir Bhutto was alive today? I think not :)Recommend

  • Samir

    @Ghausia… Yes, the world does know about Zardari. That article you refer to is one reason I wrote this one. It was a pointless narrative with absolutely no purpose than to defame Zardari. I believe that every writing piece should have an opinion or thought to it. There is nothing wrong with logical arguments that criticize Zardari or anyone. But pointless harping, as done in the article you mentioned, about someones character with absolutely nothing new to add… I feel goes against national interest.

    @Z. I mentioned in the article that this is not meant to highlight anything good about Zardari. All it states is that institutions are more important than individuals. The recent bashing of Zardari is considered a reason for the flood victims getting such low proportions of global aid.

    @Ashlin… You say that nobody cares about the man himself. I beg to differ. From mobile phone text messages to Facebook groups to numerous blogs, they clearly are personal. The chair has not inflicted the destruction, may I add. It is the occupants – be it Musharraf or Zardari. By constantly bashing Zardari, we actually label our own country badly in front of the world. As I mentioned earlier, it leads to low investor confidence and poor flood aid. However, if throwing dirt on Zardari can change Pakistan’s destiny, then I fully support you. Recommend

  • Nauman S

    Agree with author on the respect for the position [state leader]. But the does this person really deserve this position at all? this is the question not from every single Pakistani but also from international community. Look back at history and you don’t find a single record saying he should be the president for another term. Check this report published on NYT in 2008 – From Prison to Zenith of Politics in Pakistan. as my wife told yes’day that a guy was interviewed on Geo TV by Hamir Mir – that poor fellow was badly hit by floods in Sindh province. Hamir asked him as who he had voted in last elections and the reply was for Benazir Bhutto. Hamid shockingly ask him that she wasn’t alive and not competing, so why would you cast vote for her party. The guy was speechless. Yes it’s us rather than Mr. President who chose our fate and now we curse. See what international media has to say before we close down our channels for freedom of speech (yes it’s biased when it comes to judging the character and not the position) – “I don’t care if Zardari is in Europe,” Mian Gul, 50, a laborer who lost his home and two cows, said in an interview. “His government is in Pakistan, but where are they?” – Rage and Floods in Pakistan. Recommend

  • Samir

    @Tippu… He may be abusing the office. That is not relevant to this particular article.

    @Rao… I love criticism. If it is logical and relevant, that is good. If people bad-mouthing Zardari will keep people like Musharraf out of office, then go ahead. But I will not agree with you on that point. There is a difference between criticism and throwing dirt.

    If the institutions are allowed to groom properly, they will automatically be filled by qualified people. There is no rocker science involved here. In fact, this is exactly what has happened in the West. Recommend

  • Samir


    I have said this countless times…starting right at the beginning that this article does not support Zardari. I need not justify proven and alleged cases.

    This article states that institutions must stay on! Institutions must be strengthened. Individuals must be criticized. But pointless abusing in the international media has greatly hampered Pakistan’s image.

    Surprisingly, many people commenting feel that trashing Zardari will prove a point. Someone even mentioned that he is glad that nobody in the world trusts Zardari. What you fail to understand is that while Zardari is the face, he represents this country. If Zardari doesn’t get aid for the flood victims, it is the 20 million who do not get the aid. International aid agencies have limits. Recommend

  • Raza Ullah Niazi

    I failed to understand the link you tried to establish between Mr. Zardari and Honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan. Do you think the World is not aware about Mr. Zardari rather it knows him better than the countrymen of this Nation. Dont you remember how many false promises he made with this nation and subsequently made fun of thses promises. I agree that “Individuals will not live forever. Institutions will be run by one person after the other, and will define the route Pakistan takes” My qeustion is who build up or strengthen the institutions in the first instance? of course individuals. One individual can malign the institution at that extent that no body will have trust on it in future. Previous history of judiciary is glaring example of it as the decision of one individual Justice Munir’ Doctorine of Necessity paved the way for military to rule this country. Later on, it was the one individual who restored the respect and dignity of this institution and who is trying to create values and norms for this institutin so that the people coming after him could not dare to misuse or abuse this institution. Hence, some individual does matter either for the build up instituion like CJP or destroy the institution like Zardari. Recommend

  • Samir

    @Raza… The link is very clear. We need to support the institutions rather than individuals. The public must support every person in the future who becomes the CJ and not limit all this passionate support to Iftikhar Chaudhry.

    If individuals come and go as defined in the constitution, the foundations of our country will become stronger. We need to take an oath that no matter what happens, we will get the next President and Prime Minister through the defined channels. Interventions in the ruling process completely distort the system. Removal of individuals through unconstitutional ways may seem fancy and rewarding at first, but it is a short-sighted view. Recommend

  • Madiha Mustafa

    its a bitter reality..but still a reality that Zardari is our president..atleast we the people should respect our president…but the level of frustation has increase so much that there is no patience left now… Recommend

  • Ghausia

    @Samir it was pointless, British newspapers tend to be more sensationalist but the point is, even the international community know that he’s a joke. There’s simply nothing to hide. The world knows what a bungling good-for-nothing he is, they don’t need our media to tell them.Recommend

  • Ali Haider

    All said and done. I think shoe was rightly thrown.Recommend

  • Sarah B. Haider

    khappe khappe khappe!Recommend

  • Raza Ullah Niazi

    @Samir I reckon you did not get my point. I did not say that one should be removed unconstitutionally. I meant to say that if some individual is dangeroous to the institutino we should think over it. If Public mount pressure to those individuals they are forced to quit. Our recent history shows that change could be brought by way of public pressure and committment. Resotration of judges can be cited as an example in this respect. Recommend

  • Samir

    @Ghausia… I am not suggesting that you develop a liking for Zardari. Sometimes it is better to speak from your mind than the heart. Protecting Pakistan’s image is a greater cause. Whether you and I like it or not, he became the President fairly. If he fails to deliver, we must vote for a new party to take power in the next elections. But until then, we must not disgrace the position of the President like this. Recommend

  • Samir

    @Raza… I would once again stress on the fact that it has been globally accepted that Pakistani flood victims are not getting enough aid because of the fear of corruption in the government. I believe in being pragmatic. No one can guarantee 100% fair use of aid money, but it is essential at this point that the government gets these funds. There is no alternative. Until Zardari holds the office, he represents Pakistan at all international forums.

    Starting a movement for his removal is absolutely fine and logical. But simply throwing filth on Zardari day and night is a meaningless activity that does more harm to Pakistan than good. Recommend

  • Ghausia

    I’m all about protecting Pakistan’s image, but I hardly think Zardari won by a “fair” ‘election.’Recommend

  • Samir

    @Ghausia … Not even his worst enemies deny the fair appointment of Zardari as President. Whether he won using sympathy votes or not, that is a whole different topic. Recommend

  • dr.khurram

    i dont know about it being right or wrong but there is an extremely important matter that no one seems to be adressing… WE NEED TO IMPROVE OUR AIMRecommend

  • Erum Malik

    But Samir what has Zardari done to prove that he deserves our respect ? after all the bad experiences in past do you really think we are going to remain positive? we are just waiting for miracles to happen … there seems to be no hope . Recommend

  • Tippu

    Your thesis that not supporting zardari is somehow tantamount to abusing the office of the presidency doesnt hold much water im afraid. The abuse that is being hurled at him is being hurled at HIM. And it is being hurled at him due to HIS actions that HE is responsible for. And if his actions are against the spirit of the office of presidency, then HE is deminishing the status and stature of the seat and all have the right to protest against him. It is their democratic right and they must express it.

    And i fully support the international donors in their efforts to channel the aid through non-governmental channels. Which do exist and will do a much better job then zardari and his cohorts.I am howeever donating via private and non-governmental channels. This is not a reflection on pakistan itself but a reflection of the corrupt leaders that are occupying those seats. It is my responsibuility to ensure that none of my aid money goes towards buying another french chateau for his excellency.Recommend

  • Muhammad Ashaq

    I am agree with Mr. Butt about the respect of president, if we look at international level as head of state but, we can not create liner relationship between presidnet position and Chief Justice, because one person makes you feel shame all over the world, many foreigners asked me ”what your president doing in France and Uk, when your country is in deep crisis”? and otherperson had shown courage and new voice to people of Paksitan.Respect lies in the hand of President, if he do not need it, we can not give.Recommend

  • SARA

    Well Said Samir.. Recommend

  • Samir

    @Erum … I am not asking you to develop respect for Zardari. Infact, if you have strong reasons to criticize him, that is always a good thing. But using unacceptable language purely based on emotional hatred goes against national interest. We must accept that he became the President through the proper, legal channel unlike Musharraf. Once his tenure is over, he will go away and we will have the opportunity to make things right.

    @Tippu… Now that you mention democratic rights, it is the PPPP’s democratic right to complete their term. Once their term is over, vote for someone else.

    It is not a question of who is getting the aid money, rather the world was ignoring Pakistan’s plea for aid based on the international image. I am not saying that, BBC is.

    If saying “Mr.10%” twice a day, every day will make things better for Pakistan, then I get your point. But the way I see it, abusing Zardari hurts Pakistan, doesnt affect Zardari. Sometimes, it is wise to use the brain than the heart. We are an emotional nation in every respect.

    @Muhammad… Yes, I am referring to the international image. And again, I am not saying stop protesting or speaking against Zardari. All I am requesting is that criticize him based on logic and in appropriate language. Recommend

  • Erum Malik

    Samir i dont want to dislike a leader of our country i wish i could admire him and be proud of him ,really … but so far he has not earned my respect and do u really think he will leave this office once the tenure is over ? do u really , like really think so ? we have been waiting for opportunites since Pakistan was born much more do we wait ? not in my life time i guess .. Recommend

  • Chaudhry Noor

    well, this is my first time advice to him. i listen millions complains about him. thanks
    Noor. ChaudhryRecommend

  • Seher

    he who bathes in dirt cannot be thrown dirt at – it is just a way of perception – no one gets less of what he deserves hence what he gets in the shape of criticism or shoe he deserves it well !Recommend

  • Saleem

    Am shocked to see comments from most of the readers.They are totally oblivious of pakistans political dynamics, although they look like educated and literate but to me criticism to Mr. Zardari looks more of ethnic and linguistic bias than a rational opposition.
    If he is so bad why his party is winning by polls from punjab heartland
    every now and then?. Recommend

  • maheen arif

    after reading all the comments i must appreciate what the shooe thrower do!! and if you people are thinkng about our image at international level.then my dear friends we have all ready lost our image n all over the worldRecommend

  • Dr Tahir Naeem Khan

    “If the institutions are allowed to groom properly, they will automatically be filled by qualified people. There is no rocker science involved here. In fact, this is exactly what has happened in the West” I agree with you on that Samir, but you fail to understand that by criticing Zardari we are trying to protect the respect of the office/Institution of President of Pakistan. The uproar on your article above is proof of what majority of us think. No, not at all by abusing Zardari no one hurts Pakistan but brings honour to the people of Pakistan who are not willing to tolerate a slur of Zardari on our Country. Even UK in past had election earlier than the schedule 5 years, why cant we have it in Pakistan? Especially when a person takes over the presidency through manipulation and deceit.

  • Samir

    @Dr. Tahir … By all means, it is the right of the people to criticize Zardari. This article is more focused on how this is done. Using abusive language and derogatory remarks should not be used for anyone, let alone the sitting President (through legal procedure). I have absolutely no sympathies with Zardari and I probably criticize him more than most people who have commented on this article. It is just the way it is done… Recommend

  • M.

    First of all @maheen admitting that we have lost our image just goes to show that we as a nation have accepted our fate of being labeled as the sad, underdeveloped-terrorist-failed state, we are painted out to be.
    In so doing, as a nation already immersed in negativity, and with such a mindset-the only route is downhill.
    I, as an average Pakistani welcome a revolution, with such ideals, a revolution is impossible.
    Mr. Butt makes a certain amount of sense, Zardari is everything we know he is, and like it or not, he is our president, and he is there to stay for the moment.
    In such a time when our country is facing the worst natural disaster of its form, Zardari’s lavish vacation/tour is insensitive and uncalled for. However, showcasing government corruption at an international level, at such a time, and showing the world how little trust we as a populace have in our leader, just shows how weak we are as a nation.
    As a nation we have been through a lot, ideally it should make us smarter, unfortunately we never learn.
    Showing the world we are weak, at a time when we need to be strong, is an open invitation to be exploited.
    Already foreign countries are reluctant to give aid, further giving them reason not to, will only damage OUR interests.
    We live in a utopia, the reason we are what we are labeled out to be, is because we let ourselves be exploited time and time again.
    Giving money directly into the hands of the people is creating a further mess out of the situation. At a time like this our country needs to practice solidarity, which will in turn make us come closer as a nation, giving the donor money in such a massive scale through private channels is not as innocent as it seems.
    If the united states really wanted the best interests for Pakistan, we would not be where we are, giving them direct access to the people, allows them to effectively dictate their own terms over those areas.Recommend

  • Balal Naeem

    I didn’t really understand you. Are you asking us not to call wrong what is wrong. Asif Zardari represents Pakistan, he takes the image of Pakistan with him wherever he goes. Had he been a good human being we would have a very good image of Pakistan thrown by him. If international community is not trusting Pakistan they are doing it right. And if you think by criticizing Asif Zardari we are affecting the international aid, it doesn’t matter because even if the international community gives aid to govt. it never reaches down to the people. So calling a person what he is is not anything against the country or any institution. We might have a better image internationally once there is no Zardari.Recommend

  • S.J.

    if any one is justifying/supporting the act of hurling a shoe at the President then he/she ought to support wat happened in sialkot…both the acts show our barbaric mentality which is a result of our lack of trust on the justice system prevailing in the country.Recommend

  • Z.

    @Samir: I completely agree with you…But what I fail to understand is if individuals are messed up how can be expect institutions to work right or show any improvements? Also, we are an emotional nation because we have been hurt, we have failed as a nation to fix things, we have no proper system to start off with.
    PS: I ‘heart’ your opinion!Recommend

  • Samir

    @Z. … Institutions take time. The western democracies took ages to develop, but one common thing in all success stories is continuity. Each government that takes over the democratic institutions will be better than the previous one. There is no shortcut. Recommend

  • Z.

    @Samir…Once again I agree, there is no shortcut, but Samir do you really believe that we are a democratic nation!?
    I will leave you with these two quotes, which might not be relevant, but to me they make h*ll lota sense…

    “In a democracy the poor will have more power than the rich, because there are more of them, and the will of the majority is supreme.”
    “Power is not an institution, and not a structure; neither is it a certain strength we are endowed with; it is the name that one attributes to a complex strategical situation in a particular society.”Recommend

  • Samir

    @Z. … I’m not very fond of democracy. But in the present scenario, it is the only workable structure in my opinion. If not a democratic nation, then what are we and what is our future? Your support for Musharraf in another comment needs some thinking. I recall people tearing down Musharrafs personality when he was in power. People went on to say that they wanted to rip off his wardi and kick him out of the country. The problems we have today are purely Musharrafs creation. Had he not given 100% unconditional support in the Afghan policy of the US, things would have been different. The war cost us 46 billion, and mind you, we have not received ANY compensation. You can refer to any statement by any politician or government official on that.Recommend

  • Dr Tahir Naeem Khan

    @Samir…There is no harm in admitting you opinion did not carry weight with most of us. First of all as I said before don’t equate slur on Zardari as slur on the office of presidency. It is infact Zardari who is disgracing the office of Presidency and not the shoe thrower. I expect your next article should then be on Zardari. You talk of democracy and then criticize people or in other words dictate people how to practice it. Secondly, You said Musharraf 100% support of Afghan war caused us 46 billion but did Zardari or his Govt do anything different? That is why people behave in an extraordinary way -shoe throwing is just one manifestation.Recommend

  • Samir

    @Dr Tahir … I am in absolutely no position to dictate anyone. All my blogs hold my personal opinion only. I strongly believe that Zardari should be criticized for whatever wrong he does. I personally have no good thoughts about the present government. But I believe we must criticize in a civil manner. Hurling abuse and throwing shoes is no way to treat a President, who by the way, is elected. If he was a dictator, I probably would not have written this blog in the first place because a dictator forces himself onto the country. Recommend