Five worrying signs of Africa’s poor election quality

Marching on: The ANC in South Africa hopes to maintain its rule at the general elections later this month PIC: SOWETAN LIVE
Marching on: The ANC in South Africa hopes to maintain its rule at the general elections later this month PIC: SOWETAN LIVE

Globally and in Africa, many electoral processes suffer from a lack of transparency, trust and oversight. ENOCH RANDY AIKINS & MARAM MAHDI* write

This is a crucial election year for Africa, with 180 million eligible voters making their mark in 17 polls across the continent. Over the past three decades, many African countries have transitioned to multiparty liberal democracies – and political power is generally now garnered through the ballot box rather than the barrel of a gun.

However, despite decades of democracy, many countries still struggle to have free, fair and transparent polls, and seamless power changes. While a highly contested election is a sign of a working democracy, five concerning trends undermine the integrity of Africa’s electoral processes and quality of elections.

Editor's Comment
Women in Politics caucus NGO, a welcome development

In the 2014 General Election, women who stood for parliamentary elections were a mere 17 out of a total of 192 aspirants, and sadly the number dropped to 11 out of 210 parliamentary aspirants in the 2019 General Election. Hopefully, registration of the Women in Politics Caucus will give women the necessary support to join politics. While things were slowly improving, women for a long time were at the receiving end as compared to their male...

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