Posts tagged elections


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Somalia elects a new president: Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo

Somalia went to the polls to vote for a new president yesterday and the country has elected Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo as the new leader. A former prime minister, Farmajo won the election after two rounds of voting by members of parliament. He beat incumbent President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who conceded. Somalia remains deeply divided across clan lines, and corruption and insecurity remain its most serious concerns. The new president faces a daunting task and the transfer of power presents an opportunity to work towards peace and consolidate security.

Mali et Zimbabwe
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Poles apart? A tale of two African strongmen

Zimbabwe’s governing Zanu-PF party has confirmed President Robert Mugabe as its candidate for the 2018 polls. President Mugabe who will be 94 in 2018 has showed no signs of relinquishing power and naming a successor. Conversely, reports that Angola’s President Jose Eduardo dos Santos will step down before the country’s 2017 elections have raised a few eyebrows. The reports of dos Santos’ retirement come amidst numerous cases across the continent where leaders continue to cling on to power, in some cases against the wishes of the electorate.

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Quiet diplomacy? African leaders’ deafening silence on Adama Barrow’s monumental win

2016 has had numerous surprises, one being the shocking defeat of The Gambian President Yahya Jammeh in the country’s presidential election by property developer Adama Barrow. Jammeh has been in office for the past 22 years, and few people would have predicted a Jammeh loss, let alone the Gambian leader conceding defeat with a smile on his face, and pledging to oversee a smooth transition. Despite the grand gesture by Jammeh conceding defeat, it’s even more surprising that African leaders who took to social media to congratulate U.S. President-elect Donald Trump have been conspicuously silent in congratulating opposition leader Barrow. Could President-elect Barrow’s win be causing some jitters?

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Cartoon: The Gambia’s Yahyah Jammeh angel or devil?

The Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has been in office for the past 22 years. Few people would have predicted a Jammeh loss in the presidential election, let alone the longstanding Gambian leader conceding defeat with a smile on his face, and pledging to oversee a smooth transition. Jammeh, widely viewed as autocratic leader congratulated the winner, property developer Adama Barrow, for a “clear victory”. President Jammeh’s concession is monumental against the backdrop of alleged human rights abuses, and many expected him to win by hook and crook, that failing to cling on to power. Jammeh’s concession and pledge to facilitate a smooth power transfer raises important questions. Is the Gambian leader an angel, whose actions could bode well for democracy, and inspire other African leaders to respect the wishes of the electorate? Or he will remain a villain in the eyes of many because of a record of human rights abuses during his 22 years in power?

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Beyong electoral rhetoric: Should politicians be legally held accountable for election promises?

The High Court in Blantyre recently dismissed a case by lawyer Ambokire Salimu who challenged the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to order a review of electoral laws to compel presidential candidates and political parties to honour their campaign promises. Despite its dismissal, the case raises important questions on political accountability and it resonates with arguments by citizens who argue that the failure by politicians to fulfil election manifestos is electoral fraud.