【经济学人】考研英语经济学人文章读译 day 14 Small country, big example
发布于 2个月前 作者 kinglism 369 次浏览 来自 考研

Small country, big example Mar 16th 2006 | PORTO-NOVO From The Economist print edition

Still an unusual success for democracy—★fingers crossed[1]

ON March 5th, Benin went to the polls for the fourth presidential election since multi-party democracy was introduced in 1990: no mean achievement in west Africa. Even more impressive was the fact that President Mathieu Kérékou did not ★stand for[2] re-election, nor did his great rival, Nicéphore Soglo, who was president from 1991-96. Both have passed the constitution’s age l_______① of 70. (1)That respect for the constitution goes admirably against Africa’s trend for heads of state to change the law to stay even longer in office.

Benin has fewer than 8m people. It is one of the p______② countries on earth. And yet, in Africa, it is also a democratic ★exemplar[3]. Many of Africa’s former French colonies brought in multi-party democracy only when forced to by the French—in return for more aid—in June 1990. (2)Having abandoned Marxism, Mr Kérékou, Benin’s president and military ruler, not only legalised opposition parties several months before then, but also ★stood down[4] after his electoral defeat to Mr Soglo in 1991. So Benin became the first African country where an incumbent ran for re-election, lost and graciously ★bowed out[5]. Since then, d_________③ has implanted itself strongly in the minds of Benin’s citizens. “Our history is so terrible, with coups and years of problems, that now we all care about democracy very deeply,” says one of them.

Still, the election did not go smoothly. Electoral materials, i_________④ voting forms, seals for ballot boxes and even the ★urns[6] themselves turned up late or not at all, causing most polling stations to open hours late. Although they all then stayed open for the regulation nine hours, election officials were often absent and many had not been properly trained. Mr Kérékou blamed the independent electoral commission, hinting that the errors were not accidental. (3)All the same, turnout was high. Provisional results suggest that Yayi Boni, a banker, is ahead and will be faced in a second round by Adrien Houngbédji, a former prime minister and long-time rival of Mr Kérékou. Several other more minor candidates have filed complaints about the election process with the constitutional court.

It is, alas, possible that a second round may not take p______⑤. Mr Kérékou has talked ★darkly[7] of following America’s example in 2000 by taking months to verify the first-round results. His critics say he is stalling for time to handpick a favoured successor to run again if the first round is invalidated. (4)So far, however, his promise to give up power has to be taken ★at face value[8]. Benin’s democracy-loving people should make him stick to his word: it could be the former general’s greatest legacy.

NOTES:(LONGMAN) 1.keep…fingers crossed希望能成功,如愿 to hope that something will happen the way you want e.g. We’rekeepingourfingers crossedthat she’s going to be OK.我们衷心希望她能一切都好。Bingham is keeping his fingers crossed that Gray’s withdrawal is the only one.宾厄姆希望除了格雷没人会退出。

  1. stand for (election)做……(委员会、议会)候选人 (British English)to try to become elected to a council, parliament etc [= run American English] e.g.She announced her intention to stand for Parliament.她宣布打算参加议会竞选。 3.exemplar 样板,模范,典范(exemplar of) a good or typical example e.g. Milt’s career is an exemplar of survival in difficult times.米尔特的生涯可谓逆境生存的典范。 4.stand down 同意撤岗或停止竞选,给其他人机会;引退 to agree to leave your position or to stop trying to be elected, so that someone else can have a chance [= step down American English] 5.bow out 由……退出,从容引退;不反悔(bow out of) 1)to stop taking part in an activity, job etc, especially one that you have been doing for a long time e.g. Reeves thinks it is time for him to bow out of politics.里夫斯觉得是时候告别政治舞台了。 2)to not do something that you have promised or agreed to do [= get out of] e.g. You’re not trying to bow out of this, are you?你不会说话不算话吧,啊? 6.urn 瓮,茶水壶,骨灰盒 7.darkly 悲伤地,生气地,胁迫地 in a sad, angry, or threatening way: e.g. Fred scowled darkly at her.弗雷德恶狠狠地看着她。
  2. take something at face value 不考虑内在含义而接受某种条件或听信别人的话,信以为真 to accept a situation or accept what someone says, without thinking there may be a hidden meaning: e.g. You shouldn’t always take his remarks at face value.你应该注意一下他的弦外之音。 [BACKGROUND]贝宁简况 位于西非中南部,东邻尼日利亚,西北、东北与布基纳法索、尼日尔交界,西与多哥接壤,南濒大西洋。海岸线长125公里。沿海平原为热带雨林气候,常年气温在20-34℃之间,最高可达42℃;中部和北部为热带草原气候,年平均温度26-27℃。 16世纪前后,贝宁出现许多小王国和酋长国。18世纪阿波美王国鼎盛时期统一了南部和中部。16世纪后期,西方殖民者入侵贝宁,大肆进行奴隶贸易。1904年,贝宁并入法属西非,1913年沦为法国殖民地。1958年成为法兰西共同体内的“自治共和国”。1960年8月1日独立,成立达荷美共和国。1972年10月克雷库政变上台,宣布“走社会主义发展道路”。1975年11月30日改国名为贝宁人民共和国。1990年3 月1 日改为贝宁共和国,实行多党制。1991年3月,尼塞福尔•索格洛(Nicéphore SOGLO)在首次多党大选中获胜,当选总统。1996年3月,克雷库在换届选举中击败索格洛重新执政。

参考译文及填空参考答案 小国家,大典范 BY Chenjilong

这总算是一项了不起的民主成就——希望他们得偿所愿。

3月5日,贝宁自从1990年实行多党制以来,举行了第四届投票选举总统——这一成就在整个西部非洲是无与伦比的。令人印象尤为深刻的是,马蒂厄•克雷库并未参加此次换届选举,其最主要对手、1991年至1996年曾任总统的尼塞福尔•索格洛也没有。两人都已年逾70,超过了宪法规定的最高竞选年龄。在非洲,国家领导人往往可以借助篡改法律来延长在位时间。贝宁这两任总统严格遵守本国宪法,虽与此格格不入,却也令人肃然起敬。

贝宁的人口不到800万,是世界上最贫穷的国家之一,但也是非洲民主的典范。1990年6月,迫于法国的压力,非洲许多前法属殖民地国家纷纷推行多党制民主政府,从而谋求更多援助。克雷库,这位不再坚持马克思主义的贝宁总统兼武装部队统帅,不但承认了反对党派的合法地位,并且在1991年选举时败给索格洛后甘愿离职。贝宁因而成为非洲首个在职元首参加换届选举并失败、最后能从容引退的国家。从此,贝宁人民的心里深深地打上了民主的印记。有的贝宁人说:“我们的国家曾经政变不断,问题层出不穷,简直不堪回首,我们现在都深切盼望民主能带来一些变化。”

不过,这次民主选举进行得并不太顺利。选表、投票箱封条、票瓮等选举用材迟迟不能到位,致使大多数投票站推迟开放。这些投票站虽然按规定开放了9个钟头,但是常常连选举监督官员的人影儿都看不到,而且许多人还未没有经过正规培训。克雷库总统对独立选举委员会进行了斥责,而且言下之意指出这类错误并不是偶然的。话说回来,参加投票的人还是很多的。各省选票统计结果显示,银行家亚伊•波尼遥遥领先,可能会在下一轮选举中遭遇前总理、克雷库总统的宿敌亚德里安•温贝吉。其他一些少数党候选人已就选举过程向宪法法院提出了抗诉。

唉,也许下一轮压根都不会开始。克雷库总统已经声称要照搬美国2000年的选举模式、用数月时间来核实第一轮投票结果。批评人士认为,克雷库这样做是故意拖延,他正在给自己挑选称心如意的接班人,一旦认定第一轮选举结果无效,他的接班人就能上台了。不管怎么说,目前对于克雷库承诺放权一事,人们表面上还是得相信。热爱民主的贝宁人民应当敦促他信守承诺——这可是这位曾经的将军能给贝宁留下的最宝贵的财富了。

完形填空答案:1.limit 2.poorest 3.democracy 4.including 5.place


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