Compromise and Contestation: Understanding the Drivers and Implications of Coalition Behaviour in Africa

When and why do African political parties form electoral alliances?
And how do these alliances translate into post-electoral governance and
policymaking? To answer these questions, this article presents data on preelectoral coalitions for executive elections formed in all African countries
between 1990 and 2013. Office-seeking motives overwhelmingly explain the
goals of these coalitions but a variety of other factors, including two-round
electoral systems, access to financing and the timing of coalition pacts, help
determine whether such coalitions last until election day. Post-electoral
coalitions have manifested in three main ways, including pre-electoral
pacts that result in post-electoral Cabinet sharing, unity governments
intended to end a political crisis, and parliamentary coalitions. The article
concludes that while coalitions may occasionally lead to party turnover and
end violent conflicts, their long-term consequences with regard to creating
strong ties with voters, helping parties mature, encouraging more efficient
policymaking and eliminating underlying sources of social contention
remain more doubtful.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: Alliance for Democracy in Mali-Pan African Party for Liberty, Alliance of the Future, Alternative 2000 coalition, and Justice (ADEMA-PASJ), Coalition Sopi 2007, Common Electoral Group, Congolese Work Party-United Democratic Forces (PCT-FDU), Crisis Cell Alliance, Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), FARD-Alafia-NCC-RDL-Vivoten Pact, Forces Vives Rasalama (FVR), Jubilee Coalition, Macky 2012, MLP-MMM, MMM-MSM, Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), MSM-MMM, National Convergence ‘Kwa na Kwa’, New Alliance, New Benin Alliance (Alliance du Benin NouveauABN), Pact around Amadou Toumani Touré, Party of National Unity, Presidential Movement Alliance, Progressive Alliance, Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP), Rally of the Presidential Majority, RPP-FRUD, Social Alliance, Solidarity, Tripartite Alliance, Union for the Presidential Majority (UMP), Union pour la majorité presidentielle plurielle (UMPP), Union pour le Triomphe du Renouveau Democratique (UTRD)
journal of african elections vol13 number 1 transparent democratic governance in africa