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The African Elections Project :  your authoritative African Elections Information and Knowledge online portal, covering elections across the continent

Projecto Eleições Africanas: seu portal autorizado para informação e conhecimento sobre Eleições Africanas. Cobrindo eleições por toda Áfrca.

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:17 Jan 2022
7 African Elections to Watch In 2022

Seven countries are expected to hold presidential elections in 2022 across the continent. Beyond constitutional mandated elections cycle, some of these elections are as result of delays in election processes, conflicts and coups in some countries like Libya and Somalia, Chad and Guinea.

These delays and their causes have undone a lot of democratic progress in Africa in the past decade. Therefore holding these elections in 2022 as quick as possible with all the credibility that comes with the processes will be very crucial in putting these destabilized countries and democracies back on track.

Libya, Somalia, Mali, Guinea, and Chad are five elections that will be very contentious due to the history behind these elections. The frameworks and timings of these elections are yet to be finalized and could be prolonged. The other three countries are Somaliland, Angola and Kenya.

The following are details of the expected elections on the African continent and the status of each country:

Libya

After protracted conflicts, the Libya presidential election was originally scheduled to come off on December 24 2021 but was delayed due to questions of legitimacy and lack of a clear framework to regulate the process. The electoral situation in the volatile country has raised fears that mistakes and questions of credibility of the elections could be far more dangerous than the current state of the country.

International bodies including the United Nations have been mounting pressure and calling for early elections in order to stabilize the country but the electoral commission has no legal authority or framework to allow it conduct the elections.

Over 100 candidates have declared their intentions to run for the presidency. Frontrunners include ICC-wanted Muammar Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, Khalifa Haftar, the eastern Libya-based warlord who led an 18-month offensive on the Capital, Tripoli. Abdulhamid Dabaiba, who as interim Prime Minister was barred from running is also expected to join the race. Speaker of the Libyan parliament, Aguila Saleh, a close ally of Haftar, is also running.

To be successful, the Libya election must triumph sharp divisions, polarization and external influence.

Guinea

Just like Libya, a presidential election in Guinea also faces an uphill climb due to the takeover by the military Junta, led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, which arrested President Alpha Conde in September 2021. Conde manipulated the laws to run for an “illegal” third term in 2020.

The Junta has set out conditions for handing over to a civilian rule including drafting a new constitution amidst a myriad of other reforms. In a charter released by the Junta, four institutions have been identified to steer the transition to civilian rule. However, there are no timelines to when the transition will end.

ECOWAS, the West African regional bloc has refused to recognize the military leadership and imposed sanctions on Guinea. ECOWAS has given the junta 6 months to organize constitutional elections. By the ECOWAS timeline, Guinea is expected to hold elections by March 2022.

The regime however claims it needs more time to institute its flagship reforms and a return to democratic rule, a call which jeopardizes hopes of an election this year.

Somaliland

Although not recognized as a sovereign country by any state, Somaliland will hold its presidential elections in November 13 2022. In May 2021, the country held its first parliamentary elections since 2005.

Elections in the self-imposed independent country were delayed in 2015, 2017 and 2019 due to political disagreements between its three political parties and other factors including natural causes. The government blamed administrative problems for the recent postponement of the October 2021 election date.

Analysts say the results of the legislative election will influence the outcome of the November 2022 presidential elections in which the incumbent, President Muse Bihi Abdi of Kulmiye party is seeking another 5-year term.

Somalia

Somalia’s election has faced several delays since 2020. Being originally scheduled for December 2020, aggrieved leaders have now made a deal to hold the elections on February 25.

The delays resulted from the country’s complex electoral system in which clan elders nominate 27,775 delegates who then select 275 members of Somalia’s Lower House of Parliament. 54 senators are also elected by 5 state assemblies. Together the senators and parliamentarians then select the president among a list of candidates approved by the Somalia Election Commission (IEC).

The Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble sacked seven members of the Dispute Resolution Committee for bias following allegations that the electoral process was being manipulated in favour of the incumbent president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed who is seeking a second term.

Members of the federal member states have accused the president of using manipulative tactics to delay the electoral process such as asking for a 2-year extension of his term which ended in February 2021.

Angola

The Angola presidential election is scheduled to come off in August 2022. This will be the second elections since former president José Eduardo dos Santos who ruled the oil-rich nation for 38 years stepped down in 2017.

The ruling party Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) has ruled the Southern African country since 1975. Moves being made by the incumbent president President João Lourenço towards the electoral process marking his second term bid seem to be geared towards prolonging his party’s firm grip over the Angolan political landscape.

The Lourenço led administration has forcefully pushed through constitutional revisions which could centralize the counting of ballots and lead to opacity in the counting process after voting.

Kenya

Kenya will go to the polls on August 9 2022 to elect a replacement for President Uhuru Kenyatta who is completing his second term.

Although, a pool of candidates are vying for the highest office of the land, deputy president William Ruto and popular opposition figure, Raila Odinga are leading the race to lead the country which has proven to be a beacon of democracy in East Africa.

Bedeviled by ethnic inclinations especially during elections, Kenya’s flourishing democracy could be partly credited to its judiciary which has shown growth in its independence.

Presidential elections in Kenya have been very competitive in the past and same is expected during the August polls due to several dynamics including the outgoing president endorsing his nemesis, Raila Odinga against his own vice-president.

Chad

A 13-member military council seized power in Chad after dictator, Idriss Déby died at a war front in April 2021. Power was supposed to be handed over to the speaker of parliament but that did not happen. The military chose Mahamat Déby to replace his father as the leader of the country.

The self-imposed leadership gave an 18-month timeframe to organize democratic elections in Chad but there are enough signals to prove that the timeline could be violated as the junta is not showing much commitment to holding elections soon.

The junta has managed affairs with a lot of exclusion of opposition and leading civil society groups in the country. They have also rejected proposals from the African Union and have signaled that the transition will be handled on their terms.

The Mahamat led junta has also indicated that the elections will only come on when Chadians get along with the new norm and if the transition received international financial assistance.

 

 


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