Articles on Elections in Africa

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A Zambian opposition protester is arrested during a past election: Instances of serious violence have increased dramatically this time around. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Zambia’s 2016 elections: democracy hovering on the precipice

As Zambia prepares to go to the polls again the entire party system is in flux, electoral violence has been worryingly frequent and the country's democratic credentials are increasingly in doubt
Supporters of South Africa’s governing ANC during President Jacob Zuma’s election campaign in Pretoria. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Sharp-tongued South African voters give ruling ANC a stiff rebuke

For more than 20 years the ANC's electoral support has appeared unyielding to the obvious weaknesses of its performance in government. To fall below 60% is psychologically significant for the party.
Voters wait their turn outside a polling station at Nkonjeni village in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The country is gearing up for local elections. Reuters/Radu Sigheti

Opposition aims for upset in South Africa’s high-stakes election

The opposition Democratic Alliance is hopeful that the African National Congress will fail to win a majority in three metros. This will open the door for it to rule in coalition with smaller parties.
Supporters of Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters hold a mock coffin of the governing ANC during an election rally in 2014. Reuters/Skyler Reid

South Africa’s politicians must guard against killer narratives

Unscrupulous politicians are adept at using regressive story lines that feed insecurities. That could be dangerous ahead of South Africa's hotly-contested municipal elections.
Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa unsuccessfully pleads for calm with angry ANC supporters. EPA/Ihsaan Haffejee

Violence in South Africa’s capital leaves ANC vulnerable at the polls

Some of the factors behind the riots by ANC supporters in Tshwane are not new. They include gripes within the governing party about its process for choosing mayors and divisions over Jacob Zuma.
Residents of Zandspruit, a shanty town north-west of Johannesburg, during a violent protest against the removal of illegal electricity connections. EPAKevin Sutherland

What rising protests in South Africa say about attitudes towards local government

The brouhaha over South Africa's upcoming high-stakes municipal elections hides critically important questions about the continued relevance of local government amid growing public disaffection.
Refugees waiting to receive essential items, including food, jerry cans, blankets, soap and plastic sheeting, at Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp. Jo Harrison/Oxfam

Kenya’s threat to close Dadaab camp plays on international refugee fears

The timing of Kenya's announcement that it will close the world's largest refugee camp, and its reasons for doing so, hold important lessons for understanding refugee situations around the world.
South African President Jacob Zuma, flanked by ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe (left) and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Reuters/Mike Hutchings

South Africa’s politicians will have to adjust to many more coalitions

A key question ahead of local government elections in South Africa is whether the African National Congress will retain control of seven of the country's eight metropolitan municipalities.
Supporters of South Africa’s ruling ANC cheer at a rally to launch the party’s 2016 local government elections manifesto in Nelson Mandela Bay. Reuters/Mike Hutchings

How South Africa’s Nelson Mandela Bay may be the ANC’s mini Waterloo

Poor attendance at the launch of the ANC’s local elections manifesto shows the party no longer holds much weight with the electorate in the key Nelson Mandela Bay, which it has dominated since 1994.
Riot police detain a supporter of Forum for Democratic Change, Uganda’s leading opposition party, as they break up a campaign procession. Reuters/James Akena

Heavy-handed police tactics raise concerns about democracy in Uganda

The heavy-handed tactics used by Uganda's authorities during the 2016 elections have raised questions about a return to an oppressive past.

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