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Cote d'Ivoire-28 Nov 2010
Niger-31 Jan 2011
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Malawi-20 May 2014
Mozambique-28 Oct 2009
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Le projet sur les elections en Afrique: votre portail exclusif et credible d'information et de connaissance en ligne, qui couvre les élections à travers le continent
News
Date:09 Jan 2019
2019 African Elections outlook

 
Since the 1990s, elections have become the bedrock of democracy in many African countries. Even though elections alone are insufficient for a successful democracy, they have become an avenue for citizens to participate in the governance process and used as a platform to hold elected officials to account through their votes and a channel for civil society and the media to play an active oversight role.
 
Year 2019 presents yet another opportunity for citizens in over 20 African countries to exercise their franchise to further entrench democratic gains in presidential, parliamentary and other local elections. (https://www.eisa.org.za/calendar-comprehensive.php)
 
A major interest for the African elections project (AEP) will be the use of new digital technologies such as biometric voter registration and identification systems, database management systems, optical scanning, block chains among others to enhance voter confidence, increase the integrity, accuracy and transparency of the electoral process and at the same time, find innovative solutions to cure some of the ills that hindered the smooth usage of digital tools in past elections. Another key interest will be the observation of how technology can or will be used to reduce or eliminate the spread of misinformation and fake news both offline and online which has become a new avenue for inciting violence and irregularities during African elections.
 
In Ghana, preparations ahead of the 2020 general elections would also be in earnest. Particularly keen to electorates is the lead opposition party’s (National Democratic Congress) election of its flagbearer. Per the statutes of the party, the election of a flag bearer was to have taken place by December 7, 2018; 24 months before the 2020 general elections.
 
However, the delegates’ conference was postponed and held on November 17, 2018, a change that subsequently affected the date for the election of a flag bearer, which is now the 19th of January 2019. This election is expected to be an eye-opening moment for the political party and its supporters as well as the ruling party. 
 
 Most observers’ radar will be focused on presidential elections in Nigeria and South Africa as the outcome of these two elections has the potential to impact on the socio-economic and political well-being of the continent. We shall also take a look at other significant elections, which will serve as a watershed in resolving disputes and setting a pathway for peace and entrenchment of democracy in their respective countries.
 
 
Nigeria 
About 84 million registered voters will participate in both presidential and national assembly elections slated for the 16th of February 2019. 
 
Key contestants for the presidential elections include the All Progress Congress (APC) incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, aged 76, who is seeking re-election with his key campaign message focusing on the fight against corruption, economic reforms and infrastructure development. His main rival is the former Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who is campaigning on economic transformation, job creation and finding a lasting solution to Nigeria’s energy crisis.
 
Both candidates are from the northern part of Nigeria and many experts believe this will split the majority of votes from that part of the country paving the way for a third force such as former governors Donald Duke and Olusegun Mimiko. Another key contender is Obi Ezekwesili, a former minister of education who has been at the forefront of the campaign for the return of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls.

 
Senegal 
Senegal will go to the polls on 24th February 2019 to elect a president to serve the country for the next five years. Electorates decided in a referendum in 2016 to reduce the presidential term from seven years to the current five years. Incumbent President Macky Sall, 57, will be seeking a second term in office with his campaign anchored on a strong economy and infrastructural development. 
 
Macky Sall is set to win this presidential race as the two leading opposition figures, former Minister Karim Wade (son of former president, Abdoulaye Wade) and former Dakar mayor, Khalifa Sall will be unable to contest due to convictions and legal hurdles. 


 
Algeria 
Algerians will go to the polls on 17 April to elect a leader for the next five years.  The incumbent President Abdelaziz Bouteflika looks set to emerge the winner as he has received endorsement from the leading “pro-government bloc” of political parties comprising the National Liberation Front and the National Rally for Democracy to run for a fifth term. 
 
Since his re-election in 2014, he has rarely appeared in public due to ailments compounded by bouts of brain stroke, which has placed him on a wheelchair. 
 
There is a consensus amongst election observers that potential candidates will opt out of the presidential race if the president declares his intention to contest. 
 
The 81-year-old Bouteflika has been in power since 1999 and his supporters insist he is the best to serve the natural interest of the country.
 
 
 South Africa 
Three leading parties and their respective candidates appear to dominate the presidential race of South Africa set to take place between May 7 and the end of the month in 2019. They are the governing African National Congress (ANC) led by incumbent President Cyril Ramaphosa; the official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) led by Mmusi Maimane; and the radical third force, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) led by Julius Malema.
 
The ANC has been the governing party since the 1994 transition from apartheid to “non-racial” democracy under Nelson Mandela.
 
The leadership of the ANC will seek to use this election to legitimize the power of President Cyril Ramaphosa, unite the ANC and campaign to reverse its tarnished image of corruption and poor governance during the term of former president Jacob Zuma. 
 
The ANC benefits substantially from being a party of the 80 percent black population of South Africa. 
 
Key issues that will dominate the elections are land reforms, education, healthcare and the fight against corruption.
 
 
Malawi 
Malawi has made significant progress in consolidating democratic governance, through the conduct of elections, since 1994, which has been characterised by a series of peaceful polls and the alternation of power through the ballot box. All these have contributed towards establishing Malawi’s credentials as a stable and mature democracy. 
 
The May 2019 elections will be the sixth general elections since the introduction of the multi-party system in Malawi in 1994. The last elections held in the country was the Tripartite Elections of 2014, for 462 elected seats across 35 Local Councils, the 193-seat parliament and for the office of president. It was the first time that Malawi had held all three levels of elections at the same time
 
The incumbent President Peter Mutharika of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party will face fierce challenges from his former vice president Saulos Chilima of the opposition United Transformation Movement party, whom he sacked and ex-president Joyce Banda of People’s Party, who has called on Mutharika to resign after allegations of corruption against himself and his government 
 
 
Mauritania 
Current President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz who completes his constitutionally mandated second term in 2019 has assured Mauritanians that he will not contest the next presidential elections scheduled to take place tentatively in June 2019 as required by the Constitution.
 
However, the opposition are skeptical about his pronouncements not to seek a third term and are of the opinion he will chose a loyalist he can control from the governing Union for the Republic Party who have an absolute majority of the seats in the national assembly (89 out of 157 seats) and control all thirteen regional councils, and majority of the municipal councils.
 
 
Mozambique 
Mozambique will undertake tripartite elections - presidential, legislative and provincial elections on October 15 2019.
 
RENAMO and the ruling FRELIMO fought a 16-year civil war that ended with a peace deal in 1992. Key issues expected to dominate the elections campaign will be maintaining the peace deal between the two dominant parties and contract issues surrounding the nation’s recently discovered huge offshore fields of liquefied natural gas. 
 
Analysts suggest that current President Filipe Nyusi of FRELIMO, who is eligible to run for one more term, is expected to win the elections, as RENAMO has been growing its support.
 
These elections will be RENAMO’s first election under the leadership of Ossufo Momade, who replaced long-serving RENAMO president Afonso Dhlakama, who died in May 2018.

 
Botswana 
The National Assembly chooses the president of Botswana and the country will go to the polls in October 2019 in an elections considered to be the trickiest for the Botswana Democratic Party which has been in power since 1966.
 
Incumbent President Mokgweetsi Masisi will face a stiff challenge from Democratic Change, led by Duma Boko, who is seeking to maintain party unity and court support from the disgruntled followers of former President Ian Khama. 
 
 
Namibia 
The South Western country has been ruled by SWAPO (which started off as an independence liberation movement formed in 1960) since it attained independence in 1990. 
 
The incumbent President Hage Geingob won the 2014 presidential elections with 87% of the vote. SWAPO also won the National Assembly elections, taking 80% of the vote.
The leader of the opposition, Popular Democratic Movement, McHenry Venaani, will seek to improve on his electoral fortunes even though he is not expected to make any inroads on the SWAPO electoral gains. Key issues expected to dominate the electoral landscape ahead of the October 2019 polls will be land reforms and economic transformation. 
 
 
Tunisia 
Tunisia is considered as the only country to have successfully emerged from the 2011 'Arab Spring' to transition to a competitive, multi-party democratic system with credible elections conducted in parliamentary elections in 2011 and 2014, and presidential elections in 2014.
 
The presidential elections slated to take place in December will be a two-horse race between President Essebsi, 91, and Prime Minister Chahed, 43, who is seen as representing a younger generation of politicians.
 
Key issues expected to dominate the electioneering atmosphere will be employment, peace and economic reforms.
 
After the downfall of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, Tunisia adopted a semi-presidential system, with power shared between the president and prime minister.
 
The upcoming election is considered as a breakpoint that will prove to the world the citizens have fully adopted democracy. 


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