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Articles on Political patronage

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Candidates are always willing to outspend each other to boost their visibility during the campaigns amid fierce competition for the elective posts. Fredrik Lerneryd/AFP via Getty Images

Want to run for office in Kenya? Here’s how much it’ll cost you

The transactional nature of politics reduces opportunities for debate and dialogue between elected officials and their constituents.
The militarisation of the Zimbabwean government raises serious questions about who really wields political power - President Emmerson Mnangagwa or army leaders. Mujahid Safodien/AFP via Getty Images

Shadow states are the biggest threat to democracy in Africa: fresh reports detail how

The extent of democracy capture varies markedly between countries. It’s much higher in states such as Zimbabwe, where the government has never changed hands.
Former Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Athol Trollip, from the DA, third from left, and his deputy Mongameli Bobani, from the UDM, extreme right, help clean up a street in 2017. by Werner Hills/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Marriages of inconvenience: the fraught politics of coalitions in South Africa

South Africa’s political parties would do well to learn from Ireland, where the three largest political parties negotiated a coalition treaty that stipulated mechanisms for conflict resolution.
African National Congress treasurer Paul Mashatile wants more money for political parties from the government. Antonio Muchave/Sowetan/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Why South Africans need to give political parties more money

Since parties always need money, forcing them to depend on private funders means throwing them into the hands of donors who will demand favours for their cash.
The ANC, which has governed South Africa since 1994, has failed to deal decisively against corruption in its midst. EFE-EPA/Yeshiel Panchia

New book shows how corruption took root in democratic South Africa

The election of Port Elizabeth’s first black mayor in 1995 signalled that the democratic change that had started in 1994 was irreversible. But problems lay ahead.

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