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Democracy and Elections in Africa: Critical Analysis. Journal of Human Sciences , 5 2.
Democracy and Elections in Africa. Home Peace Programs Democracy Program. Page Numbers Author Bio. Without a doubt African elections continue to face serious challenges that undermine their credibility and the legitimacy of electoral outcomes. This end-state also requires civil rights and due process of law; checks on arbitrary executive power; civilian control of the military; and an independent press and civil society. We work with democracy practitioners and institutions spanning the globe.
Vol 5 No 2 Make a Submission. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4. This state of affairs makes electoral processes unpredictable and raises serious questions about the integrity with which elections are being conducted in Africa. As mentioned earlier, regular elections are now the norm rather than the exception.
A number of countries have undertaken far reaching constitutional and electoral law reforms with the aim of improving the legal and institutional frameworks within which elections are held — so that the rules of the game are agreed upon and are certain. The continent has also witnessed the evolution of regional and continental norms and standards governing the conduct of elections.
The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance ACDEG came into force in outlawing unconstitutional changes of government and committing member states to conduct credible elections. The African Union AU and regional economic communities e. Voter turnout has generally increased in recently held elections.
Another positive development is the growing role of local civil society organizations in electoral processes. This engagement is through domestic election observation, provision of civic education and advocacy for electoral reforms. An interesting development is the increasing use of information technologies, such as mobile telephony and other social media, by local groups to monitor elections and mobilize young voters.
Predictable process, unpredictable outcome A quick look at some recently held elections show that in some elections the processes were predictable and the outcome unpredictable to varying degrees.
While in some elections the processes were unpredictable and the outcomes unpredictable as well. Yet still there were elections where processes and outcomes were generally predictable.
Ghana probably presents the best case where there is consensus about the rules of the game — making the process predictable while the results are not, reflecting meaningful contestation for political power. Having endured decades of military takeovers and military rule, Ghanaians appear determined to make a break with authoritarian rule.
Since returning to plural politics in , Ghana has seen successful democratic succession by changing government through the ballot box for the first time in when the ruling National Democratic Congress NDC lost to the National Patriotic Party NPP. The election, won by the incumbent NDC with a The electoral process was generally credible although the NPP mounted legal challenges alleging widespread irregularities at more than 10, polling stations.