Editor: Denis Kadima
Managing Editor: Heather Acott
Contributors: Yolanda Sadie, Leila Patel, Victoria Graham, Tadjoudine Ali-Diabacté, Dhikru Adewale Yagboyaju, Antonia Taiye Simbine, Wilson Muna, Michael Otieno, Isaac Owusu Nsiah, Emmanuel O Ojo
Key terms: Ramaphosa, Zuma, vote choice, surveys, trust, political participation, elections, protests, civil society, democracy, South Africa, electoral integrity, biometric voters' registration, manipulation of voting process, electoral conflict and violence, public confidence, parallel vote tabulation, publication of election results, electoral dispute resolution, money, politics and culture, political finance management, administrative inefficiency, Nigeria, campaign financing, campaign spending, election money, electoral outcomes, Kenya, public policy, Ghana, New Patriotic Party, National Democratic Congress, democratic consolidation, electoral politics, cleavages, democratisation, politics and religion, secularism
Yolanda Sadie is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Johannesburg
Leila Patel is the DST/NRF South African Research Chair in Welfare and Social Development at the University of Johannesburg
ABSTRACT: The outcome of the 2016 local government elections in which the ANC lost substantial support, fuelled early speculation on not only the outcome of the 2019 general elections, but also on the factors which were likely to determine party support. Added to this was the deteriorating political and socio-economic situation in South Africa. Against this background, two national surveys were undertaken in October/November 2017 and October/November 2018 to establish the factors at these particular times that were likely to influence the vote choice of South Africans. From both surveys it was found that South African voters increasingly base their choice of a party on rational considerations. Trust in the president was a particularly important predictor of voter choice. In the first survey, loss of trust in the president (Zuma) resulted in a loss of faith in the ANC and in support of the party; while in the second survey, the converse was true: an increase in trust in the president (Ramaphosa) reflected an increased trust in and support for the party. Other predictors of vote choice in both surveys include a desire for socio-economic well-being and hope for a better future; the fear of losing a social grant; age; and racialised party images.
Victoria Graham is an associate professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa; her main research interests are in the quality of democracy in South Africa
ABSTRACT: South Africa has made considerable progress since 1994 in institutionalising and consolidating the quality of its democracy. However, serious and persistent governance and socio-economic related problems have angered and frustrated the people and motivated increased protest action through both conventional and less conventional channels. The opportunity for citizens to participate in the political process is essential for a healthy democracy, therefore it is important that appropriate procedures and mechanisms are in place to facilitate this participation. Using quality of democracy methodology, the paper addresses several important questions, namely: how developed are the opportunities for conventional participation in South Arica, and to what extent are these taken up? and, what non-conventional forms of participation exist and what is government's response? In addressing these questions, this paper explores the link between active citizenship and political participation over the last 25 years with a view to ascertaining the quality of South Africa's political participation.
Tadjoudine Ali-Diabacté is a former lecturer-researcher at the University of Lomé, Togo and former Deputy Director of the UN Electoral Assistance Division
ABSTRACT: Malpractice has affected the integrity of elections in the DRC in its three recent democratic electoral cycles: 2006, 2011, and 2018, particularly the last cycle. However, even though national and international media indicate that the degree of threats to electoral integrity is more critical in the DRC than the rest of Africa, the problems in the DRC are similar to those encountered in the rest of the continent. Moreover, in terms of election integrity the DRC may be better rated than many other African countries. This is particularly true of francophone Africa, as well as the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)1 to which the DRC belongs. There are many good lessons learned from recent elections in the DRC which could inspire electoral authorities elsewhere in Africa and thus contribute to improving electoral integrity on the continent.
Dhikru Adewale Yagboyaju is a professor in the Department of Political Science, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Antonia Taiye Simbine is Research Professor in the Social and Governance Policy Research Department (SGPRD), Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), and is National Commissioner, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Nigeria
ABSTRACT: Money and politics are understandably inseparable because much democratic political activity is dependent on financial resources. This paper examines the effects of the unregulated use of money in political activities in Nigeria. Data for the conceptual and theoretical sections of the paper are drawn from historical and contemporary documents on people, economy and politics. This is complemented by the observation of events by the authors, together with content analyses of reports from primary data generated during the tracking of political finance in Nigeria's recent general elections, particularly those of 2019. For its analytic framework, the paper utilises a combination of structural theory and the institutional approach.
Wilson Muna is a lecturer of Public Policy at Kenyatta University, Nairobi
Michael Otieno is a lecturer at the Kenya Institute of Surveying and Mapping,Nairobi
ABSTRACT: The influence of money in elections has become an important ingredient in determining electoral outcomes worldwide. The use of money in political activities has adversely affected the nature of public policy, governance, competition, the rule of law, transparency, equity and democracy. Although there are laws, policies and guidelines governing the use of money during elections, there is little political will to implement them. This paper examines how money, or the lack thereof, determines electoral outcomes in multi-party democracies with a focus on Kenya, employing both the hydraulic theory and the push-and-pull paradigm. The study found that in most cases, victory in elections follows those with money; in other cases, it is the potential for victory that attracts money from self-interested donors. The study calls on electoral odies such as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to honour their mandate and demand compliance with set laws and regulations in a bid to entrench governance and create a level playing field for contestants
Isaac Owusu Nsiah is a graduate student in the African Studies Centre, University of Oxford
ABSTRACT: Seven successive elections have been held in Ghana since 1992, most recently in 2016 when the country made a fourth attempt to embrace constitutional rule. A burgeoning literature provides explanations for the outcome of the 2016 election, which saw the defeat of the erstwhile incumbent National Democratic Congress and a landslide victory for the New Patriotic Party. Yet, little attention has been given to the various undercurrents, events, and significant background dynamics prior to the elections on 7 December. This research therefore provides a partially analytical but largely descriptive presentation of selected relevant issues that contributed to the build-up to the 2016 elections. The study situates the discourse within the broader context of Ghana's democratisation, revealing how underlying phenomena possibly pose a threat to, and challenge the prospects of democratic consolidation. However, the conclusion indicates that the outcome of elections, which were deemed free and fair, should not be the only area of interest as the processes that lead to the elections are of great concern for a democracy. The work identifies several areas of concern, in particular Ghana's electoral management, intra-party conflicts, unconventional aggression, vituperative outbursts and personal attacks, internal party elections, campaigns, how some chiefs violated a constitutional provision and outwardly portrayed partisanship, and brief issues concerning vote buying.
Emmanuel Ojo is an associate professor of Comparative Politics and Head of the Department of Political Science at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria
ABSTRACT: This study analyses the nexus between religion and political behaviour in Nigeria's 2019 presidential election, and the effect on voting behaviour and patterns across the country. The extent of religious cleavages remains substantial and has not diminished over the years. These cleavages follow the Christian/Muslim divide, aside from the denominational differences in Europe and America or the ethnic pluralism in many African states. The impact of indigenous African religions is negligible because there are too many for consideration. This article therefore contributes to the recent resurgence of interest in religion and politics, with the fundamental research question being: does democracy need religion? The paper infers that Nigeria's nascent democracy must promote a secular state, particularly in the face of the deep ethnic and religious differences that are capable of bringing about a democratic reversal to autocracy and absolutism if not well managed.