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Things To Look Into When Analyzing Elections In Africa 2015

Saturday, 12 September 2015 1264 Views 0 Comments

At least a dozen countries in Africa this year will be at the polls

The political temperature in most African States is rising as African Democracy is put to test. The following include the 14 states that  should experience or have already experienced elections this year; Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic (CAR), Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Guinea, Lesotho, Nigeria, Somali-land, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo and Zambia.  The following issues will be at the heart of the political scene this year:

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Term Limits:

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There has been an unsettling trend over the role of presidential term limits in Africa. Many leaders are seeking to change the constitution to favor their search for a third term also known as Third Term-ism as stated by Ayesha Kajee in Aljazeera (Kajee, 2015) . Beyond the elections the third term is raising a ruckus that is far reaching and harmful to the countries than acceptable. Much could have been learnt after the fail Burkina Faso’s Blaise Campaore effort to increase his term after a 27 years of rule and the ultimate languish of the country in turmoil and chaos. However, since then the number of third-termist have been on the rise to include Burundi and the sealed deal of Zambia’s interim president, Edgar Lungu who seeks to extended his term beyond the 18 months given adding 5 more years to his cup of tea. The last few months have also seen Rwanda’s very own seek to extend his term as he campaigns to have the constitution changed to accommodate this.  This agenda is clearly proving to have a long lasting hold as we observe that both old and new generation leaders are still holding on to power. Many analyst think that the political socialization of African leaders is what has led to this surge (Dulani, 2015).

Much being said the obvious fact is that African leaders have more to lose out of power than in power; take the case president Omar Al Bashir who is set to go to the ICC on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Darfur when he returns to civilian life and the pending case of Kenya’s vice president William Ruto (Reid, 2014)

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Regression of Disarmed Groups as A result of Election Mal-Practices:

Electoral integrity reflects shared international principles, values, and standards of democratic elections which apply universally to all countries and which should be found at all stages during the electoral cycle, including the pre‐electoral period, the campaign, polling day and its aftermath. With many leaders seeking a third term the once disarmed opposition risk being revived leading to fears of more violence and uprisings in countries that have been victims of political upheavals and unsettling environments

Countries that fit this description include South Sudan, Sudan and Central African Republic.

Nakhumicha

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