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Tag Elections

Zimbabwe: Why elections will never work

Zimbabwe is heading to elections next year, but anyone who hopes that the polls will translate into a better life for the majority of the people is deluded. Elections are merely contests for state power and never about finding the best vision and leadership for the country. With the ruling ZANU-PF party determined to remain in power, the likelihood of election-related violence in Zimbabwe is high.

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What does opposition leader Tshisekedi’s death mean for DR Congo’s road to elections?

The death of prominent opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi has deprived the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) of a unique political figure who was at the forefront of the fight for democracy for over three decades.

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Elections in 2017 – can the African Union up its game?

The presidential elections that took place in Benin and Ghana in 2016 were thankfully peaceful and transparent. If it hadn’t been for the polls that led to a change of leadership in these two West African countries, last year would have been defined almost exclusively by its contested election outcomes. The African Union’s Department of Political Affairs could play a leading role in keeping this year’s elections free and fair. 

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The market decides if we are free

Before Nana Akufo-Addo’s inauguration as Ghana’s new President, the Financial Times sent its Africa correspondent to interview him. Akufo-Addo won Ghana’s presidential elections, on  December 7, 2016, by a wide margin over incumbent John Dramani Mahama. The Financial Times report follows the typical prescription for foreign-correspondents-commenting-on-African-elections. Read it if you are bored.

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The struggle for moral authority in Zimbabwe

One of the most remarkable protest acts in Zimbabwe in 2016 was a little-publicized act by a small group of female Christian worshippers who dressed up in sacks, and prayed and wailed for three days. It was indicative of a year replete with seemingly symbolic and performative acts of defiance against President Robert Mugabe and the ruling party ZANU-PF’s chokehold on power.

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Joseph Kabila knows young people in Congo want him gone

One year ago, on December 15, 2015 in the capital Kinshasa, the president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Joseph Kabila’s security forces kidnapped youth activist Jean-Marie Kalonji, the coordinator of “Quatrième Voie” (the Fourth Way in English) and “Il Est Temps” (The Time is Now). Kalonji was detained for 134 days during which time he was held in a hole and tortured. He did not know whether he would live or die.

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