journal of african elections vol21 number 1 transparent democratic governance in africa

An Assessment of Election Administration in Zambia, 1991-2011

The purpose of this study was to establish whether there had been an improvement in the governance of electoral processes in Zambia, in tandem with democratic principles, between 1991 and 2011. The study used interview material and secondary data on election administration activities gathered from Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) documents on electoral laws and […]

journal of african elections vol20 number 2 transparent democratic governance in africa

A Silent Revolution: Zambias 2021 General Election

This paper discusses Zambia’s 2021 election which was held in a context
of democratic backsliding and poor economic performance. The election
resulted in Zambia’s third alternation of power between political parties
since the democratic wave of the 1990s. The ruling Patriotic Front (PF)
used its incumbent advantages to control institutions that were crucial for
promoting democracy and ensuring a credible election. The election was also
characterised by political violence which limited the ability for the opposition
United Party for National Development (UPND) to mobilise freely. Further,
an Afrobarometer survey conducted in December 2020 showed that half of all
citizens surveyed were unwilling to declare who they would vote for, thereby
suppressing the extent of UPND’s support. Yet, the UPND won 59% in the
presidential election and won the most parliamentary seats in an election that
had one of the highest voter-turnouts since the advent of Zambia’s multi-party
democracy. This paper argues that there was a ‘silent revolution’ in Zambia
that resulted in the defeat of the PF. It also shows that Zambian citizens have
not been complacent in the face of democratic backsliding

journal of african elections vol18 number 1 transparent democratic governance in africa

Electoral Violence and Young Party Cadres in Zambia

Zambia’s 2016 general elections were a turning point in the country’s political history, with electoral violence threatening its democratic fabric. This paper analyses accounts of electoral campaigns by one private online newspaper, the Lusaka Times, to reflect on the relationship between electoral violence and young party cadres. Evidence from the study indicates that negative socioeconomic […]

journal of african elections vol9 number 1 transparent democratic governance in africa

Public Participation: The Political Challenge in Southern Africa

Placing ‘liberal democracy’ as a polar opposite to ‘participatory democracy’ is less than helpful, particularly in the African situation. In this article I suggest an alternative approach to democracy which I think is more constructive, and which, equally, I think, will prove useful in guiding our thinking about political participation.

Opposition Party Alliances and Elections in Botswana, Lesotho and Zambia

The Southern African Development Community has made significant democratic progress since the 1990s following a wave of ferocious internal conflicts, as in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In order for the achievements to be sustained the region requires viable political parties, which are key role players in a democracy. The majority of the […]

Electoral Reform in Southern Africa: Voter Turnout, Electoral Rules and Infrastructure

Elections are the most important elements of democracies and, with referenda, the only way to organise mass participation and to promote government accountability. Low voter turnout can be seen as an indicator of low legitimacy and limited political stability. The African Union, the Southern African Development Community and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development champion […]

Democracy and Security in West and Southern Africa

This paper offers a comparative analysis of security and democracy in West and Southern Africa. It examines the popular notion that political liberalism leads to security, maintaining that it is too elitist, statist and exclusive to offer socio-economic security to all the regions’ peoples. The paper shows that state-driven regional institutions stifle public participation in […]

Independent Candidature and the Electoral Process in Africa

This study reviews the participation of independent, non-partisan candidates in Africa. It examines the development of competitive elections on the continent between 1945 and 2005, a period which includes both decolonisation and democratic transition elections. It also focuses on the participation of independent candidates in these elections at both legislative and presidential levels. It further […]

The Dilemmas of Opposition Political Parties in Southern Africa

This paper focuses on the dilemmas of opposition political parties in Southern Africa as they grapple with the double roles of democratising state and society and attempting to capture state power in an environment that has been ideologically hostile to the existence of opposition political parties. The supremacy of the liberation parties in the region […]