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The Journal of African Elections (JAE), founded in 2002, is the only internationally accredited Journal that is devoted entirely to African elections.

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JAE Volume 22 Number 2 Oct 2023 [Entire Journal]
JAE Volume 22 Number 2 Oct 2023 [Entire Journal]

Volume 22 Number 2 Oct 2023vol-22
The Alternative Vote for Zimbabwe? A Rhodesian Retrospective
The Alternative Vote for Zimbabwe? A Rhodesian Retrospective

Roger SouthallVolume 22 Number 2 Oct 2023zimbabwe2023vol-22
Déjà vu With Difference: A Gramscian Interpretation of Zimbabwe’s 2023 Elections and their Pasts
Déjà vu With Difference: A Gramscian Interpretation of Zimbabwe’s 2023 Elections and their Pasts

Violence – ranging from barely detectable to genocidal to coups and post-coup mêlées – has marred most if not all of Zimbabwe’s elections since its 1980 birth. Electoral brutality has been almost normalised since Zimbabwe’s first meaningful opposition, coupled with the ‘fast track’ land reform-inspired crises, accompanied the millennium’s turn. This article suggests that elections are signposts of what Antonio Gramsci might have considered the balance of coercion and consent during the long interregna between colonialism and an uncertain end. Evidence from Zimbabwe’s 2023 election and its predecessors illustrates the changing techniques between the coercion/consent poles as ZANU-PF’s leaders gain and maintain power along the rocky road to an unknown destination.

David MooreVolume 22 Number 2 Oct 2023, , , , , , , zimbabwe2023vol-22
Future Pandemics and Elections: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Central African Republic, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania
Future Pandemics and Elections: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Central African Republic, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania

Pandemics and other health crises are predicted to become more common in the future. This is likely to pose a variety of threats to electoral integrity. This article argues that, by learning lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, the negative impacts on elections of viral outbreaks and other emergencies can be mitigated in the future. It will begin by reviewing academic and grey literature on COVID-19 and elections, before presenting research findings from case study elections in Tanzania, Ghana, the Central African Republic, and Kenya. The article will highlight specific challenges facing low- and middle-income countries and argue that the protocols that were introduced in these case study countries ultimately failed to adequately ensure the safety of voters and election administrators by not addressing issues of compliance and enforcement. It will then present: 1) recommendations designed to be implemented in advance of future health crises, and 2) measures that should be taken once such emergencies are …

Robert Macdonald and Thomas MolonyVolume 22 Number 2 Oct 2023, , , , central-african-republic ghana kenya tanzania2023vol-22
Technology, Cyber Security and the 2023 Elections in Nigeria: Prospects, Challenges and Opportunities
Technology, Cyber Security and the 2023 Elections in Nigeria: Prospects, Challenges and Opportunities

Nigeria’s Electoral Act 2022 legitimises the use of technology in different aspects of the electoral process. The steady increase in technology adoption in the electoral process continued in 2023, after successful pilots in the Anambra, Ekiti, and Osun state elections. This article investigates how technology has been deployed to conduct elections in Nigeria, comparing it to other jurisdictions, notably Estonia. This study adopts a qualitative case study approach, synthesising expert views and reviews from the available literature, official documents, and press releases to produce emergent themes. The article considers the emerging legal, regulatory, and technical concerns from both a scholarly and industry perspective. The article also examines potential risks, such as reliability issues, cybersecurity concerns, gaps in technological capability, information governance and data protection concerns.

Robinson Tombari Sibe and Christian KaunertVolume 22 Number 2 Oct 2023nigeria2023vol-22
Nigeria's 2023 Presidential Elections: The Question of Legitimacy for the Tinubu Administration
Nigeria’s 2023 Presidential Elections: The Question of Legitimacy for the Tinubu Administration

This article raises concerns about the legitimacy crisis likely to confront the government of Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu, following the nature of the conduct and outcome of the 2023 presidential elections. While legitimacy is crucial to government and governance, citizens’ compliance and cooperation with the government, and how elections and their outcomes are perceived can influence the government’s legitimacy. The study reveals how INEC’S
conduct, Tinubu’s personality crisis and the burdens facing the ruling APC in a pluralistic society, as well as the emerging youth category, would affect Tinubu’s legitimacy as Nigeria’s president. The analysis relies on careful
observation of Nigerian politics and elections as well as the views expressed by experts, political parties, local and international observers and newspaper reports before, during and after the 2023 elections. It offers an empirical
contribution to our understanding of the relationship between elections and the legitimacy of Nigeria.

Akinbode FasakinVolume 22 Number 2 Oct 2023nigeria2023vol-22
Preparations of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Outcome of the 2023 General Elections in Nigeria
Preparations of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Outcome of the 2023 General Elections in Nigeria

While many scholarly works have been dedicated to the study of elections in Nigeria, the preparations for and outcome of the 2023 elections have not received adequate attention. This article seeks to address that gap with an assessment of the preparations of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the outcome of the 2023 general elections. Despite earlier concerns about the conduct of Nigeria’s 2023 general elections, assurances from the electoral umpire calmed this anxiety and raised some hopes. However, the outcome of the election betrayed the hopes of not only most of the electorate but also local and international observers. The article argues that the outcome should not be a surprise because of the failure to reckon with endemic problems. These include the nature of Nigeria’s politics, its elite, a lack of political will, lack of rule of law and constitutionalism, unpopular government policies, and a distrust of the system, particularly INEC and the …

Olasupo Thompson, Ridwan Idris, Oluniyi Ademola and Modupe ObiVolume 22 Number 2 Oct 2023, , , , nigeria2023vol-22
Electoral Manipulation in the Grey Zone: Evidence from Ghana’s Parliamentary Elections in 2008 and 2012
Electoral Manipulation in the Grey Zone: Evidence from Ghana’s Parliamentary Elections in 2008 and 2012

Electoral manipulation undermines the function of elections as a mechanism of representation and accountability, and erodes public trust in government institutions; however, our theoretical understanding of its causes is still limited. Research has focused on the blunter forms of electoral manipulation. Less attention has been given to the more subtle forms, although these are more common. This paper investigates one type of subtle electoral manipulation: miscounting, meaning election officers who selectively reject ballots during the counting. It suggests that miscounting (one of the ways in which political candidates can rig elections) is characterised by low risks and high direct costs. On one hand, it is almost invisible, embedded in the sociocultural norms and practices surrounding elections in many African countries. On the other, it is expensive, requiring large amounts of patronage to co-opt election officers. This makes miscounting attractive only to incumbents who fear electoral defeat and have deep clientelist networks. The paper tests this argument against data from the 2008 and 2012 parliamentary elections in Ghana. It shows that the number of ballot rejections is positively correlated with the number of years the party of the incumbent MP has held the constituency seat, but negatively correlated when this variable is interacted with the win-margin in the last parliamentary election. This pattern is consistent with the model, supporting the argument that the effect of electoral uncertainty on miscounting is conditional. When MPs do not have resources at their disposal, they choose other types of electoral manipulation or opt out of electoral rigging altogether.

Halfdan LyngeVolume 22 Number 2 Oct 2023, , , , ghana2023vol-22
Ensuring Peaceful Elections in Ghana: The Role of Civil Society Organisations in the 2020 Elections
Ensuring Peaceful Elections in Ghana: The Role of Civil Society Organisations in the 2020 Elections

This paper explores the role civil society organisations (CSOs) play in promoting peaceful elections in Ghana. Preventing electoral violence is a key factor in the support of functioning democratic societies, and the role of CSOs in promoting peaceful elections continues to grow with each electoral contest. This paper reviews secondary sources to interrogate the questions about the nature, interventions, impact, and challenges of CSOs in Ghana before, during and after general elections. Specifically, the paper examines the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections using the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) and the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) as case studies. Overall, the recommendations in this study suggest CSOs must build synergies to increase collaboration in order to promote peaceful elections and political transitions. In addition, to strengthen their election observation, civic/voter education, peace promotion and violence monitoring roles through sustainable funding, CSOs in Ghana must review their funding strategies to include donations from non-partisan organisations and individuals. Furthermore, to maintain the integrity of CSOs in Ghana, they must develop internally-built transparency and accountability mechanisms such as legal structures to govern their operations.

Felix Danso, Festus Kofi Aubyn and Bettina BoatengVolume 22 Number 2 Oct 2023, , , ghana2023vol-22
Political Vigilante Violence in Ghana: Its Human Rights Implications
Political Vigilante Violence in Ghana: Its Human Rights Implications

The primary goal of this paper is to consider the incontrovertible links between political vigilante violence and human rights violations in Ghana. In particular, it pays attention to the ways in which politically-related violence thrives. To achieve this, the paper will be guided by the following research objectives: First, to explore the nature of political vigilantism in Ghana’s Fourth Republic. Second, to analyse the human rights issues in political vigilantism within this period. Drawing mainly on experiences of general elections of Ghana’s Fourth Republic, the paper purposes to interrogate the scale of political vigilante violence in Ghana. It contends that there is an intricate link between political vigilante violence and human rights. The paper relies on frustration-aggression theory to consider the ways in which the desire to gain political power leads to rivalry and eventually to violence.

Seth Tweneboah, Linus Nangwele and Paul Akwasi BaamiVolume 22 Number 2 Oct 2023ghana2023vol-22
Promoting Electoral Governance in Togo: An Analysis of the EMB and the Electoral System, 2010–2020
Promoting Electoral Governance in Togo: An Analysis of the EMB and the Electoral System, 2010–2020

The death of Gnassingbe Eyadema ushered in a new era for Togolese politics. With the transition from military to civilian rule many political actors and citizens had renewed hopes for the birth of a new political dispensation. More
than four decades later, under the new leadership of Eyadema’s son Faure, they have been met with scepticism, even though considerable measures have been taken to ensure the promotion of electoral governance. Most political actors continue to question the legitimacy of elections held, and the alternation of power remains highly unlikely. This has led to voter apathy and deepening distrust in electoral management bodies and the electoral system. This paper therefore examines efforts by the Togolese government to promote electoral governance between 2010 and 2020 by analysing two of its important instruments: the electoral system, and the electoral body, the CENI. The paper argues that, despite all efforts made by the government to validate the credibility of elections, ensuring that the proper functioning of these mechanisms is credible, inclusive and transparent remains of paramount concern for the promotion of electoral governance in the country.

Maureen Namondo Lifongo, Anna-Mart van Wyk and Victoria GrahamVolume 22 Number 2 Oct 2023togo2023vol-22
Book Review: Everyday Identity and Electoral Politics: Race, Ethnicity, and the Bloc Vote in South Africa and Beyond
Book Review: Everyday Identity and Electoral Politics: Race, Ethnicity, and the Bloc Vote in South Africa and Beyond

Kealeboga J. MaphunyeVolume 22 Number 2 Oct 20232023vol-22
JAE Volume 22 Number 1 Jun 2023 [Entire Journal: Special Issue, Lesotho's 2022 Elections]
JAE Volume 22 Number 1 Jun 2023 [Entire Journal: Special Issue, Lesotho’s 2022 Elections]

Volume 22 Number 1, June 2023, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , englishlesotho2023vol-22
Editorial
Editorial

Hoolo ‘NyaneVolume 22 Number 1, June 2023englishlesotho2023
The Independent Electoral Commission in Lesotho's 2022 Parliamentary Elections: Preparedness and Performance
The Independent Electoral Commission in Lesotho’s 2022 Parliamentary Elections: Preparedness and Performance

Most assessments and analyses of Lesotho’s elections have focused on the post-election conflict. There has been little attention to the role of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) as the key player with the constitutional mandate to ensure credible, free, and fair electoral processes. During the polls on 7 October 2022, the role of the IEC came to the fore in terms of the extent of their preparedness for and actual performance in managing the electoral processes. Adopting a qualitative approach that relies on interviews with purposefully selected respondents and document analysis, this paper assesses these two main aspects of the IEC. The paper argues that compared to previous elections from 2012, the IEC does not seem to have been adequately prepared to manage the October 2022 elections, and as such, it had a poor performance this time.

Pulane Selinah Mahase and Motlamelle Anthony KapaVolume 22 Number 1, June 2023englishlesotho2023 2022
The Transition and Formation of Government after Lesotho's 2022 Elections
The Transition and Formation of Government after Lesotho’s 2022 Elections

The process of transitioning from one government to another and forming a new government after elections in Lesotho is often fraught with controversy and uncertainty. These problems can be attributed, by and large, to the lack of adequate rules and consistent constitutional practice. The 2022 elections have once again shone the spotlight on these longstanding problems. Like all other elections since 2012, the 2022 elections were inconclusive: no political party received an outright majority to form a government. Since the country uses a parliamentary system, the government depends on the confidence of the National Assembly and the life of the government is pegged to the life of Parliament. The end of the parliamentary term effectively means the end of the government. In terms of the Constitution, once Parliament is dissolved, elections must be held within three months. Within one month after the elections, a new Parliament must sit. While the Constitution provides for the appointment of the prime minister – the king appoints as prime minister a member of the National Assembly who will have the confidence of the House – there are no rules stipulating how the confidence of the House is to be determined. Likewise, the government’s position between the dissolution of Parliament and the forming of a new government is often opaque and precarious. This article examines these inadequacies in the context of the 2022 elections. The article uses content analysis – the examination of primary and secondary documents – to analyse the activities that took place during the transition and formation of a new government in the 2022 elections. The article concludes that the 2022 elections serve to confirm a longstanding problem of inadequate rules and consistent practice relating to the transition and formation of government.

Hoolo ‘NyaneVolume 22 Number 1, June 2023, , , , , englishlesotho2023
Screening Political Party Candidates and the Implications for Electoral Performance: The Case of the Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) in Lesotho's 2022 General Elections
Screening Political Party Candidates and the Implications for Electoral Performance: The Case of the Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) in Lesotho’s 2022 General Elections

The formation of the Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) party in March 2022
has radically altered Lesotho’s political landscape. Apart from the new calibre
of political leadership, the party has, in line with its name, revolutionised
some of the traditions long held by Lesotho’s political parties. Contrary to
the closed primary elections that most parties use, the RFP introduced a
combination of centralised and technocratic approaches in determining the
list of party candidates for the October 2022 elections. With the former, the
party reserved candidateship in eleven constituencies for persons appointed
by the leader. Four front runners in the primary elections in the remaining
constituencies would be subjected to various screening methods with the
final determination to be made by the party leadership. The detractors have
mocked the RFP’s approach as undemocratic and undermining the will of
the people. The party also experienced internal resistance that led to it being
taken to the law courts where some decisions were reversed. Using various
data collection methods, this paper discusses the strategies used by the RFP
and shows that much as they are not common in Lesotho, these strategies
are not entirely new in politics as they are used in other democratic systems.
An examination of the October 2022 elections results shows that despite
the court challenges, the RFP’s candidate selection strategies had a positive
impact on the party’s performance as well as on the profile of the resultant
National Assembly.

Tlohang W. LetsieVolume 22 Number 1, June 2023, , , english2023vol-21
The Impact of Intra-Party Conflicts on the Electoral Performance of the All Basotho Convention in Lesotho's 2022 Elections
The Impact of Intra-Party Conflicts on the Electoral Performance of the All Basotho Convention in Lesotho’s 2022 Elections

The literature on Lesotho’s politics and political parties, particularly after 2012, focuses on their alliances and coalitions, their relationships with the military and the seemingly instability of coalitions. There is less focus on intra-party instability and its impact on political party electoral performance. This article uses a critical literature review to analyse the poor electoral performance of the All Basotho Convention (ABC) in the October 2022 elections and how this is a consequence of its internal conflicts. The ABC experienced intra-party conflicts that increased with the removal of its leader, Prime Minister Thomas Thabane, in 2020. The argument advanced in this article is that the ABC experienced a dramatic decline in electoral support in October 2022, with the drastic loss of forty seats, as a result of its internal conflicts. The party’s support had grown gradually since its formation in 2006 but dropped suddenly and dramatically in the 2022 elections. This article will contribute to the scholarship on the analysis of the electoral performance of political parties in the …

Frank LekabaVolume 22 Number 1, June 2023, , , , , , lesotho2023vol-22
Ethics in Electoral Democracies: A Critical Reflection on Lesotho's 2022 Elections
Ethics in Electoral Democracies: A Critical Reflection on Lesotho’s 2022 Elections

This study is a critical reflection on how the positive impact of ethics in Lesotho’s political elections and democracy could be amplified for lasting peace and political stability. It is based on secondary data from available literature against the background of Lesotho’s existing, mixed-member proportional (MMP) electoral system. The MMP system has given birth to the political phenomenon of inconclusive electoral results and unstable coalition governments in recent years. This political phenomenon emanates from intra- and inter-party conflicts, which often led to undesirable and premature dissolutions of parliament and snap elections. Here, ethics should be understood as an essential component of a healthy process in electoral democracy and a practice necessary for rresting the enduring political instability in Lesotho.

Khali MofuoaVolume 22 Number 1, June 2023, , , , , , englishlesotho2023vol-22
Reasons For The Low Voter Turnout in Lesotho's 2022 Elections
Reasons For The Low Voter Turnout in Lesotho’s 2022 Elections

Voter turnout in Lesotho’s 2022 National Assembly elections was at an all-time low of 37%. Since the country returned to multi-party electoral democracy in 1993, voter turnout has steadily decreased. Studies have been undertaken in Lesotho and globally to investigate the reasons for this phenomenon. While the turnout in the 2022 elections is a continuation of the pattern of declining voter turnout in Lesotho and globally, factors specific to each election may provide further insight into this intractable problem. The purpose of this article is to critically analyse the main reasons for the low turnout in the 2022 elections. The study uses qualitative methodology: it relies on primary and secondary data sources such as reports, targeted interviews, newspapers and literature, and legislation. The paper uses Stockemerian clustering of turnout variables to contend that election-specific factors can help to explain the steep decrease in voter turnout in the 2022 elections in Lesotho. Those factors are poor civic and voter education, political fragmentation, and some institutionalist variables.

Paul Mudau and Hoolo ‘NyaneVolume 22 Number 1, June 2023, , , , , lesotho
Book Review: Politics, government and governance in Lesotho since 1993 by Francis K Makoa
Book Review: Politics, government and governance in Lesotho since 1993 by Francis K Makoa

Tom LodgeVolume 22 Number 1, June 2023englishlesotho
Two Decades of Democracy in Nigeria: Between Consolidation and Regression
Two Decades of Democracy in Nigeria: Between Consolidation and Regression

The year 1999 marked a watershed moment in the political history of Nigeria with the transition from military to civilian rule and the beginning of the Fourth Republic. Two decades later, the country has not only witnessed the longest period of civilian democratic rule but has also achieved a milestone with the alternation of power between the two dominant political parties. The augury, however, points to a democracy oscillating between consolidation and regression. This paper therefore interrogates two decades of democratisation in Nigeria in the context of the two main parties, the conduct of elections, and the level of representation of marginalised groups, particularly women. The paper contends that while it may be uncharitable to discount the incremental gains since the return to civil rule, the country is far from attaining the status of a consolidated democracy.

Kelvin Ashindorbe and Nathaniel DanjibVolume 21 Number 2 Oct 2022, , , , , nigeria2022
The Transformative Power of the Oromo Protests in Ethiopia: Resilience and Political Change
The Transformative Power of the Oromo Protests in Ethiopia: Resilience and Political Change

This article explores why the Oromo protests have transformed the Ethiopian political landscape since monstrators took the streets in November 2015. It also examines the relationship between the two pillars of the ruling Ethiopian
People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), ethnic federalism and developmentalism, and the Oromo protests. The study aims to illustrate the connection between the Ethiopian state’s fundamental strategies and the capacity of popular movements to bring about political change. The study has used a qualitative research approach with both primary and secondary data. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted and recorded with a voice recorder, and data was analysed through thematic analysis. The findings of the research show, first, that the securitisation of development strategy performed by the EPRDF triggered the protests. And second, that the primordial understanding of ethnicity, as defined in the Constitution, contributed to the articulation of the Oromo protests as a movement. The study concludes that the Oromo protests will pave the way for reform because they reflect the regime’s failures and also represent the demands of the larger part of Ethiopian society.

Aden Dejene Tolla and Alvaro Oliver RoyoVolume 21 Number 2, Oct 2022, , , , , ethiopia2022vol-21
Some are Empty Shells without Groundnuts: Social Construction of Female Political Candidates in Urban Masvingo, Zimbabwe
Some are Empty Shells without Groundnuts: Social Construction of Female Political Candidates in Urban Masvingo, Zimbabwe

In view of the low levels of women’s representation in political office in Zimbabwe after the 2018 elections, questions arise regarding whether young people can, or will support female candidates in future elections. The youth is seen as a critical group that may shape the future of politics in Zimbabwe. We conducted a qualitative study to explore the views young people have of female political candidates, through focus group discussions and indepth interviews with participants aged between 19 and 24 in the city of Masvingo. Drawing on social constructionism, poststructuralist feminism, and intersectionality analyses, the study found that young people in urban Masvingo have a predominantly negative perception of female candidates, although this is mediated by factors such as gender, class, sexuality, disability, and education. Nonetheless, some of the youth in Masvingo appear to be redefining or countering gendered societal norms and values, as they appear to accept women as political candidates.

Hellen Venganai and Charles DubeVolume 21 Number 2, Oct 2022zimbabwe2022vol-21
Information Controls and Internet Shutdowns in African Elections: The Politics of Electoral Integrity and Abuses of Power
Information Controls and Internet Shutdowns in African Elections: The Politics of Electoral Integrity and Abuses of Power

Internet shutdowns in Africa are becoming increasingly widespread, particularly when governments face competitive or contentious elections. They have also come to symbolise a widening fracture between competing conceptions of the global Internet and its regulation. Governments in Africa are justifying shutdowns as able address misinformation and disinformation, protect the election process, and ensure national security. International organisations, NGOs, and social networking platforms condemn these as an inadmissible form of censorship and information control, an abuse by political actors seeking to silence critics or manipulate elections. This article offers an alternative reading on internet shutdowns by placing them in the historical context of the wide range of information controls around elections, many of which are widely regarded as being acceptable and legitimate mechanisms to support competitive elections. By offering this context, we can ask what is new about shutdowns and whether they can ever be regarded as a proportionate response to real concerns of social media and election manipulation. We conclude by highlighting the inequalities of online content moderation as an often-overlooked factor in driving the use of shutdowns, and the failure of social media companies to effectively address misinformation and disinformation in Africa, particularly around elections.

Nicole Stremlau and Nathan DobsonVolume 21 Number 2, Oct 20222022
Gender Mainstreaming in Nigeria's 2019 General Elections: Evidence and Perspectives from Kano and Oyo states
Gender Mainstreaming in Nigeria’s 2019 General Elections: Evidence and Perspectives from Kano and Oyo states

Nigeria’s politics have been accused of gender imbalance since independence, and scholarship is replete with discussions of factors responsible for the low level of women’s participation and representation in politics, and women’s poor showing in electoral contests. Most studies of women’s political participation in Nigeria have taken a unidirectional approach of analysing or discussing women’s marginalisation in both appointive and elective offices. This study replaces the unidirectional approach with a multidirectional and multistakeholder analysis of the gender mainstreaming effort in Nigeria’s 2019 general election. With a focus on Kano and Oyo states, we argue that increased gender consciousness has not translated to any significant improvement in women’s representation in politics, thus implying that mainstreaming gender is of no effect if women’s participation in politics does not translate to a substantial representation of women in both number and influence.

Sharon Adetutu Omotoso and David Uchenna EnweremaduVolume 21 Number 2, Oct 2022, , nigeria2022 2019vol-21
Elections and Electoral Processes in Somaliland: A Fading Democracy
Elections and Electoral Processes in Somaliland: A Fading Democracy

After declaring its independence from Somalia in 1991, Somaliland has built
a system to deliver basic services to its citizens. Despite having relatively
good security, Somaliland has to date received no international recognition.
With the presidential term extension made by the House of Elders (the
Guurti) in October 2022, politics in Somaliland is at fever pitch. Public
demonstrations, sporadic clashes, mass arrests, and hate speech add to a
general sense of political disorder. Several factors have shaped the current
outlook for democracy in Somaliland, including clan politics, a rent-seeking
mentality, and weak institutional and legal frameworks. This study seeks
to emphasise the contentious way in which elections have been held in
Somaliland, and which have led to a loss of confidence in the country. The
results, as witnessed in the 2017 presidential election, led to disputes, mass
protests, and loss of life. Election time in Somaliland has therefore been
a cause of concern for both political parties and the Somaliland Election
Commission. In the battle for political leadership, the pre- and post-electoral
aftermath has become conventional. But the main victim of the battle for
political leadership has been the Somaliland Election Commission which is
torn between contesting political parties.

Hamdi I. AbdulahiVolume 21 No 2, Oct 2022, , , , , 2022vol-21
JAE Volume 21 Number 2 Oct 2022 [Entire Journal]
JAE Volume 21 Number 2 Oct 2022 [Entire Journal]

2022vol-21
Covid-19 Pandemic and Electoral Participation in Africa: Likelihood of Ugandans Voting in the 2021 'Pandemic Elections'
Covid-19 Pandemic and Electoral Participation in Africa: Likelihood of Ugandans Voting in the 2021 ‘Pandemic Elections’

The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on political dynamics, as it did on other aspects of human life. The outbreak of the pandemic in 2020 almost brought the world to a standstill. This was mainly due to pandemic mitigation measures put in place, including social distancing. These actions greatly affected all levels of human interaction – politically, socially, and economically. Politically, it meant minimal or no electoral activities, no local or international face-to-face meetings, and the abuse of power. The restrictions saw elections postponed indefinitely in some countries, rescheduled or delayed in others, or held with minimal interaction elsewhere. Uganda is one of the few African countries that went ahead with holding elections in 2021 amid the pandemic. The study sought to examine and contribute to the broader understanding of the effects of COVID-19 on electoral participation by analysing available literature, Uganda’s electoral laws and reports, and Afrobarometer survey data collected in Uganda before and during the pandemic. The focus was on individual-level predictors of voting intentions by Ugandans: demographic, political, social, and economic. Descriptive and inferential analyses were performed on citizens’ likelihood of voting. The results demonstrate that party affiliation/identification and ethnic/regional identity are the strongest predictors of the likelihood of voting during the …

Martin OswaldVolume 21 Number 2, Oct 2022, , , , , uganda2022 2021vol-21
BOOK REVIEW: Spoilt ballots: the elections that shaped South Africa, from Shaka to Cyril Michael Blackman and Nick Dall
BOOK REVIEW: Spoilt ballots: the elections that shaped South Africa, from Shaka to Cyril Michael Blackman and Nick Dall

Tom LodgeVolume 21 Number 2, Oct 20222022
An Assessment of Election Administration in Zambia, 1991-2011
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 regulations, as well as election monitors and observers’ reports. The investigation was centred on five core election administration activities, namely voter registration, monitoring funding of political parties, collaborating with the media, validating election results, and electoral conflict prevention and management. The article utilised the democratic governance theory and principles embedded in the principles for election management, monitoring and observation (PEMMO) to examine the performance of the ECZ in these five core election administration activities during the period under consideration. Based on the democratic gauge, the study found that the performance of the ECZ in election administration was worse between 1991 and 2006 but significant improvements were attained from 2006 to 2011. Subsequently, in 2016, the Constitution of Zambia was amended and the electoral laws were repealed and …

Hyden Munene, Rosemary Chiufya and John BwalyaVolume 21 Number 2, Oct 2022, , , , , zambia2022 2011vol-21
Zimbabwe’s post-2000 elections: More hotly Contested yet less Democratic than in the Past
Zimbabwe’s post-2000 elections: More hotly Contested yet less Democratic than in the Past

This article investigates Zimbabwe’s post-2000 elections, why they have been more hotly contested than previously, and whether they have been undemocratic. The post-2000 period marked what is arguably the most turbulent phase in the electoral history of the country since independence in 1980, and Zimbabwe’s elections were de facto degraded, becoming a means of sustaining incumbents in power. The paper asserts that Zimbabwe’s elections are mainly a front for hoodwinking both the electorate and observers. They are not used to provide for the free expression of the will of the people, but to endorsethe incumbents rather than effectively challenge them. To this extent, they are manipulated to produce a pre-determined outcome confirming the current leaders, irrespective of their performance. Supported by empirical data from interviews and primary sources together with statistical records from electoral institutions such as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT), and Afrobarometer, the article concludes that elections are mainly for show, to entrench the incumbents.

Mark NyandoroVolume 21 Number 1 Jun 2022, , , , , , , zimbabwe2022vol-21
South African Communists and Elections
South African Communists and Elections

In South Africa the Communist Party has a one-hundred-year history of contesting elections, making it the oldest electoral campaigner in Africa. South Africa’s elections were increasingly racially restrictive and segregated until 1994. Even so, from the mid-1920’s the Party began to focus on the concerns of its black membership though it continued to seek support from white workers. This article explores the Party’s reasons for continuing to participate in elections, and the circumstances that helped it achieve occasional victories at the polls. It also considers the effects of electoral participation on an ostensibly revolutionary …

Tom LodgeVolume 21 Number 1, Jun 2022, , , , , , , , 2022vol-21
The political participation of youth in Mozambique’s 2019 general elections
The political participation of youth in Mozambique’s 2019 general elections

This article discusses the political participation of youth in Mozambique’s electoral processes, specifically the 2019 general elections. The results were obtained through interaction (semi-structured interviews) with young members and institutional representatives from four political parties, who explained their views on youth and political participation during elections. The interviews were conducted between April and September 2021 through virtual platforms. We also carried out a detailed analysis of the manifestos of three political parties. The study finds that Mozambican political parties do not have a clear vision of young people’s aspirations, since the definition of the ‘youth problem’ is dominated by adults. In addition, young people’s issues have been generalised without considering the specific concept of what it means to be young. However, in order to maintain the social and economic benefits provided by their political parties, the same young people assume that adults continue to be an example to follow in guiding the destiny of the …

Dércio TsandzanaVolume 21 Number, 1 Jun 2022, , , 2022 2019vol-21
Judicialising party primaries: Contemporary Developments in Nigeria
Judicialising party primaries: Contemporary Developments in Nigeria

Cet article explore la judiciarisation des primaires des partis dans le Nigeria contemporain, qui constitue une caractéristique déterminante de la politique électorale du pays. Depuis la création de la Quatrième République, le manque de démocratie interne au sein des partis a été à l’origine de crises prolongées lors des nominations, et cela dépend souvent de la sérénité des tribunaux. Les études dominantes en théorie juridique soutiennent que les primaires contestées sont des affaires internes au parti ; ils ne sont donc pas justiciables. S’appuyer sur des données primaires et secondaires – Entretiens sur YouTube, Constitution, loi électorale, décisions judiciaires, reportages médiatiques et observations personnelles – cet article soutient que dans la mesure où les partis politiques sont des entités juridiques, les élections primaires contestées sont justiciables, d’où une question juridique qui doit être résolue par le judiciaire. Pour valider notre argument, l’article s’appuie sur la notion de compétence universelle et obligatoire de Raphaël (1970). Notre enquête révèle que l’incapacité des mécanismes internes des partis à résoudre les primaires contestées explique pourquoi les candidats lésés ont eu recours à des recours légaux. Bien que cette approche ait été remise en question d’un point de vue légaliste, la constitutionnalité de la demande de réparation juridique trouve son origine dans le changement de régime juridique régissant les primaires des partis, qui a façonné, remodelé et eu un impact positif sur la démocratie électorale au Nigeria.

Martin Ihembe and Christopher IsikeVolume 21 Number, 1 Jun 2022, , , , nigeria2022vol-21
Free, Fair and Credible? An Assessment of Kenya's 2017 Election
Free, Fair and Credible? An Assessment of Kenya’s 2017 Election

Periodic, free, fair, and credible elections are one of the undisputed principles
of liberal democracy. Kenya embraced multiparty democracy at independence
in 1963 and has since used periodic elections as a means of selecting leaders to
office. Focusing on Kenya’s national election held on 8 August 2017, this paper
evaluates the fundamental requirements for a free, fair, and credible election. To
this end, the paper assesses Kenya’s electoral legal framework and its application
during the 2017 national elections. In addition, the paper uses primary data by
Afrobarometer to explore public opinion on the performance of the Independent
Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), political parties, and the media
towards free, fair, and credible elections. This study finds that despite some
institutional challenges, Kenya’s 2017 national elections were conducted
under a comprehensive electoral legal framework and met the threshold of free,
fair, and credible as affirmed by the citizenry through Afrobarometer’s public
opinion survey. The positive assessment of universally accepted electoral practice
indicators by most of the people affirms that, notable challenges notwithstanding,
Kenya’s 2017 national elections were free, fair, and credible, thus endorsing the
legitimacy and authority of elected leaders. This argument is cognisant of the
election outcome as a fundamental factor in shaping public perception of freeness
and fairness in the electoral process.

Mercy Kathambi KaburuVolume 21 Number 1 Jun 2022, , , kenya2022 2017vol-21
Election Petition and the Future of Electoral Reforms in Ghana
Election Petition and the Future of Electoral Reforms in Ghana

The results of Ghana’s 2012 and 2020 elections were challenged in the nation’s
Supreme Court. Even though the court processes in both cases did not alter
the election results, they nevertheless exposed monumental flaws in the
electoral processes. The flaws in the 2012 electoral processes were exposed at
the Supreme Court and featured in the final judgment of the court in a manner
that allowed the Electoral Commission to initiate moves towards electoral
reforms. However, the challenges of the 2020 elections, though exposed at the
courts, were never featured in the final judgment of the Supreme Court. This
paper discusses the implications of the 2020 election petition for the future of
electoral reforms in Ghana. It argues that the rigid application of the letter
of the law by the Supreme Court and the relegation to the background of the
thorny issues of electoral challenges in the 2020 elections, would render the
quest for further electoral reforms difficult. This would then make the future
of any attempt to fine-tune the electoral processes quite bleak.

Ransford Edward Van Gyampo, Akpeko Agbevade and Emmanuel GrahamVolume 21 Number 1 Jun 2022, , ghana2022vol-21
JAE Volume 21 Number 1 Jun 2022 [Entire Journal]
JAE Volume 21 Number 1 Jun 2022 [Entire Journal]

Tom Lodge, Martin Ihembe, Christopher Isike, Mercy Kathambi Kaburu, Mark Nyandoro, Dércio Tsandzana, Ransford Edward Van Gyampo, Akpeko Agbevade, Emmanuel …

Volume 21 Number, 1 Jun 20222022vol-21
BOOK REVIEW: The Moral Economy of Elections in Africa: Democracy, Voting and Virtue
BOOK REVIEW: The Moral Economy of Elections in Africa: Democracy, Voting and Virtue

Nic Cheeseman, Gabrielle Lynch and Justin WillisVolume 21 Number 1, Jun 20222022
Book Review: Marriages of Inconvenience: The Politics of Coalitions in South Africa
Book Review: Marriages of Inconvenience: The Politics of Coalitions in South Africa

Roger SouthallVolume 21 Number 1, Jun 20222022
Book review: Democracy and Electoral Politics In Zambia
Book review: Democracy and Electoral Politics In Zambia

Tom LodgeVolume 21 Number 1, Jun 20222022
Book Review: Study of Coalitions and their Implications for Governance
Book Review: Study of Coalitions and their Implications for Governance

Roger SouthallVolume 21 Number 1, Jun 20222022
Women's Representation in Lesotho's Legislative Bodies: A Politico-Legal Analysis of the Effectiveness of Electoral Gender Quotas
Women’s Representation in Lesotho’s Legislative Bodies: A Politico-Legal Analysis of the Effectiveness of Electoral Gender Quotas

Women are under-represented in legislative bodies in the majority of
countries, and Lesotho is no exception to this worldwide trend. In an
attempt to address this problem, the country has adopted, through electoral
laws, electoral gender quota systems for both local and national legislative
structures. The country has introduced a 30% gender quota requirement
for election to the local councils at the local level. At the national level, it
introduced a ‘zebra list’ – the condition that when political parties submit
lists for the purposes of 40 proportional representation (PR) seats in the
National Assembly, the names must alternate between those of men and
women. The idea was to attain 50% representation of women in the National
Assembly, at least for the 40 PR seats. The effectiveness of these two quota
systems in enhancing women’s representation has been the subject of
intense disagreement. The animating question is whether, since the adoption
of gender quotas, the representation of women in legislative bodies has
improved. The article investigates this question using the qualitative content
analysis method. The central hypothesis is that electoral gender quotas in
Lesotho, particularly at the national level, have not significantly improved
the representation of women. The paper critiques the models used and makes
some recommendations for reform.

Hoolo ‘Nyane & Mamello RakolobeVolume 21 Number 1, Jun 2022, , , , , , lesotho2021vol-21
A Silent Revolution: Zambias 2021 General Election
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

Hangala SiachiwenaVolume 20 Number 2, Oct 2021, , , , , , zambia2021vol-20-volumes
The Rural Electorate in Zimbabwe's Elections 1980-2018: Consciousness and Voting Preferences
The Rural Electorate in Zimbabwe’s Elections 1980-2018: Consciousness and Voting Preferences

This article analyses rural electorate consciousness and urban voting
preferences during Zimbabwe’s elections from 1980 to 2018. The article gives
agency to the rural dwellers in elections, contrary to the general perception
of a captured rural voter and liberal urban voter. To analyse rural voters’
electoral consciousness, the paper uses primary sources (electoral statistical
records), oral interviews (notwithstanding the prevailing COVID-19
lockdown environment) and secondary literature to derive research data. The
data helps to determine the differences between urban and rural ideologies,
culture and ethics which manifest in the political party preferences of the
social groups in the two geographical spaces. The paper concludes that rural
dwellers tended to support the ruling party at elections, though they were
more vulnerable to political patronage and seemingly forced participation
in electoral processes than the urban voters. Nonetheless, complex cultural,
economic, social and historic factors compelled them to participate in elections
more than their urban counterparts. Thus, rural voters can be viewed as
conscious participants in electoral processes with varied, albeit mobilised
participation and political ideologies.

Terence Tapiwa Muzorewa and Mark NyandoroVolume 20 Number 2, Oct 2021, , , , , , zimbabwe2021 2018vol-20-volumes
The Plough and the Kalashnikov: Ethiopia After the Elections - and Tigray
The Plough and the Kalashnikov: Ethiopia After the Elections – and Tigray

No Excerpt

Greg MillsVolume 20 Number 2 , Oct 2021, , , , ethiopia2021vol-20-volumes
Party Nominee or Independent Candidate? Examining Electoral Reforms and the Use of Digital Technologies for Voter Participation in South Africa
Party Nominee or Independent Candidate? Examining Electoral Reforms and the Use of Digital Technologies for Voter Participation in South Africa

This article discusses electoral reforms and the use of digital technologies
for voter participation in South Africa. The study employed focus group
discussions and in-depth interviews through semi-structured questions
to engage with voters and politicians. Informed by theories on politics and
technology, the articles notes that the current electoral system has advantages
and disadvantages, though it can be enhanced by the inclusion of a mixed
proportional or constituency-based electoral system whereby voters elect
political party candidates or independent candidates to represent their
constituencies. The article argues that digital technologies alone cannot
enhance voter participation without electoral policies that promote voter
participation in the candidate selection processes for provincial and national
elections. The article further highlights the fact that the use of digital
technologies and a mixed electoral system are desirable for maximum citizen
participation in national and provincial elections. However, some political
parties enjoying dominance in the multi-party democracy might perceive
reform as unfavourable. The article concludes that consensus and political
will are fundamental to harness all progressive electoral reforms and digital
tools for sustainable democracy.

Limukani MatheVolume 20 Number 2, Oct 2021, , , , , 2021vol-20-volumes
The Nullification of the 2019 Presidential Election in Malawi: A Judicial Coup d'Etat?
The Nullification of the 2019 Presidential Election in Malawi: A Judicial Coup d’Etat?

In February 2020, the High Court of Malawi nullified the May 2019
presidential election and ordered a fresh election. This judgment was later
confirmed by the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal. These two judgments
are monumental and unprecedented because this was only the second time
a presidential election had been judicially nullified in Africa. The fresh
presidential election also scored a first in Africa when it was won by an
opposition candidate. These judgments carved new terrain for electoral
law in Malawi and divided legal and political opinion. This paper offers a
critical analysis of the two judgments. It focuses on the court’s treatment of
the burden and standard of proof in electoral disputes; the interpretation of
‘majority’ to mean 50% + 1; and the effect of the nullification of the 2019
presidential election and consequential transitional issues. Overall, the
paper concludes that while the outcome of the litigation garnered plaudits,
the reasoning in the two judgments is not wholly persuasive.

Mwiza Jo Nkhata, Anganile Willie Mwenifumbo and Alfred MajamandaVolume 20 Number 2, Oct 2021, , , 2021 2019vol-20-volumes
JAE Volume 20 Number 2 Oct 2022 [Entire Journal]
JAE Volume 20 Number 2 Oct 2022 [Entire Journal]

Volume 20 Number 2, Oct 20212021vol-20-volumes
The 2020 Chadema Special Seats Dispute in Tanzania: Does the National Electoral Commission Comply with the Law
The 2020 Chadema Special Seats Dispute in Tanzania: Does the National Electoral Commission Comply with the Law

This article focuses on the CHADEMA dispute regarding the selection of its 19 women to special parliamentary seats after the completion of the 2020 general elections in Tanzania. It argues that the dispute is caused by the failure of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) to provide political parties with a uniform and transparent modality for the selection of women to special seats against the requirement of Article 81 of the 1977 Constitution. The NEC’s failure has led to modalities of implementing women’s special seats that are incompatible with the international standards governing ‘Temporary Special Measures’ (TSM). This has led to conflict, the marginalisation and discrimination of women in special seats, ridicule of the special seats system, and a slow transition of women from special to constituency seats. The article provides suggestions on how the special seats system could be reviewed and repositioned to achieve its intended objectives.

Victoria LihiruVolume 20 Number 2, Oct 2021tanzania2021 2020vol-20-volumes
Zimbabwe's 2018 Harmonised Elections: An Assessment of Credibility
Zimbabwe’s 2018 Harmonised Elections: An Assessment of Credibility

Zimbabwe’s 2018 Harmonised Elections: An Assessment Of Credibility
This paper assesses the credibility of Zimbabwe’s 2018 harmonised elections
using an electoral cycle approach, arguing that the free expression of voters’
choice is a sine qua non for credibility. A study of Election Observer Missions’
reports (EOMs), media reports, and observation in relation to the 2018
elections, points to inadequate legal reforms; questionable independence and
impartiality of the Elections Management Body (EMB); media bias; partisan
distribution of aid; abuse of state resources; vote buying; partisan involvement
of traditional leaders and of the military; intimidation; and suspicious results
management. The paper concludes that the 2018 harmonised elections did
not pass the credibility test owing to the cumulative effect of structural
inadequacies. There is thus a need to comprehensively reform Zimbabwe’s
electoral laws, improve elections administration, and ensure a level playing
field for contestants by addressing the political environment within which
elections are held.

Rekai RusingaVolume 20 Number 1, Jun 2021englishzimbabwe2021 2018vol-20-volumes
Voting Rights of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora
Voting Rights of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora

The Constitution of Zimbabwe states that citizens who have reached the age
of 18 years may vote in local and national elections. However, the Electoral
Act states that only Zimbabwean citizens who are on diplomatic missions,
civil servants and members of the armed forces on external missions may vote
from abroad. This legal requirement effectively disenfranchises millions of
Zimbabwean citizens who live and work in other countries. Why the current
Zimbabwean authorities do not allow or enable their citizens to vote from
abroad in Zimbabwe’s national elections is contentious, especially ahead of
the 2023 general elections. This article uses the desktop approach to argue
that the right to vote in one’s country of origin by citizens working and living
abroad is a barometer of a nation’s deepening democratic practices, of which
elections are a lynchpin. This study hopes to contribute to international
human rights law. A study of voting from abroad contributes to discussions
regarding the evolving and multifaceted relationship between sending states
and their diaspora communities.

Maurice Taonezvi VambeVolume 20 Number 1, Jun 2021, , , , , zimbabwe2021vol-20-volumes
South Africa's 2016 Municipal Elections: How the ANC and DA Leveraged Twitter to Capture the Urban Vote
South Africa’s 2016 Municipal Elections: How the ANC and DA Leveraged Twitter to Capture the Urban Vote

This paper focuses on how South Africa’s governing party, the African
National Congress (ANC), and main opposition, the Democratic Alliance
(DA), leveraged microblogging site Twitter. This was part of their urban
election campaign arsenal in the 2016 local government elections (LGE) to
promote party-political digital issue ownership within an urban context.
Using each party’s corpus of 2016 election-related tweets and election
manifestos, this three-phased grounded theory study found that each party
used Twitter as a digital political communication platform to communicate
their election campaigns. The DA notably leveraged the social networking
site more for intense focused messaging of its negative campaign against the
ANC while simultaneously promoting positive electoral messages around
its own core issues and metro (urban) mayoral candidates. Furthermore,
battleground metros were identified, narrow-cast and subsequently audience segmented by the party in Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg, Tshwane (in Gauteng)
and Nelson Mandela Bay (in the Eastern Cape). This led to an emphasised
campaign to either activate the party’s own urban support base and/or to
suppress the ANC’s turnout in these highly-contested areas. The results of
this study further indicate that the ANC and DA both used Twitter to claim
explicit and implicit digital party-political issue ownership in the 2016 LGE.

Ronesh Dhawraj, Danie du Plessis and Charmaine du PlessisVolume 20 Number 1, Jun 2021, , , , , , , englishsouth-africa2021 2016vol-20-volumes
Social Media Penetration, Party Politics and Elections in Tanzania: Emerging Practices and Challenges
Social Media Penetration, Party Politics and Elections in Tanzania: Emerging Practices and Challenges

Tanzania has witnessed an increased use of social media in political party
campaigning over the last decade. Use of social media was nonetheless
curtailed by a changing techno-political framework regulated by acts relating
to cybersecurity and statistics. This study was guided by two hypotheses:
firstly, that despite restrictive cybersecurity laws, social media in recent years
has been effectively institutionalised as a new civic cyberspace for political
party campaigns during elections. Secondly, increasing use of social media
in elections has had a transformative effect on the way party structure was
organised to conduct political mobilisation, promote party ideology and both
inter- and intra-party interaction, and for fundraising. The study interviewed
party members and leaders from five political parties which participated in
the 2015 and 2020 general elections and concluded that social media had a
transformative effect on core political party campaign activities.

Christopher Simeon AwiniaVolume 20 Number 1, Jun 2021, , , tanzania2021vol-20-volumes
Exploring the Socio-Demographic Distribution of Independent Swing Voters in Ghana
Exploring the Socio-Demographic Distribution of Independent Swing Voters in Ghana

Ghana has become a two-party state by default, with the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) emerging as the only political parties with sufficient national appeal to win elections and form governments. Through the power of the ballot, each of them has had the chance of being in government as well as serving as the official opposition. Notwithstanding their dominance in Ghana’s democratic politics, neither party has the support of more than forty percent of the country’s electoral population. This leaves a significant proportion of the electorate unaligned to any political party. Given that candidates in presidential elections in Ghana can only win with more than 50% of valid votes cast, swing voters undoubtedly hold the balance of power. Yet, scholarly attention to this category of voters in emerging democracies has been marginal. Using a Ghana national opinion poll survey conducted in 2019 in which 27% of respondents self-identified as independent voters, this paper explores the social and demographic characteristics of these voters. The result is surprising and indicates that the regions and ethnic categories considered as strongholds of the two major parties also hold the highest proportion of independent swing …

Michael Kpessa-WhyteVolume 20 Number 1, Jun 2021, , , , , englishghana2021vol-20-volumes
Elections, Legitimacy and Democratic Consolidation in Southern Africa: Lessons from Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi
Elections, Legitimacy and Democratic Consolidation in Southern Africa: Lessons from Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi

Regular elections are now the norm across most of sub-Saharan Africa,
but repeated elections have not guaranteed the consolidation of democracy.
Election legitimacy is crucial for democratisation. When losing political
actors and their supporters are not satisfied with the electoral process, there
is potential for growing political tensions. Fraudulent or controversial
elections fail to confer legitimacy on the winners, and undermine the
integrity of elections and democracy. Drawing on Afrobarometer data and
media accounts, this paper focuses on the most recent elections held in three
southern African countries: Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi. We show that
when citizens believe that elections were not free and fair, there is a decline
in their satisfaction with democracy and the trust they have in institutions
such as electoral commissions and courts of law. The absence of political
reforms to address disputed election outcomes increases the likelihood that
future elections will not be contested fairly. This sets countries on a path of
democratic decline rather than consolidation.

Hangala Siachiwena and Chris SaundersVolume 20 Number 1, Jun 2021, , , , , , 2021vol-20-volumes
Journal of African Elections Vol. 20 No. 1 June 2021 [Entire Journal]
Journal of African Elections Vol. 20 No. 1 June 2021 [Entire Journal]

Volume 20 Number 1, Jun 20212021
Collapsing Electoral Integrity in Mozambique
Collapsing Electoral Integrity in Mozambique

Excessive secrecy has always compromised the integrity of Mozambique’s
elections. The National Elections Commission secretly changes results with
no records kept nor any public notice that changes have been made. The
official final results of the 2019 elections were changed three times by the
Constitutional Council with no comment and identical document numbers.
The political parties want a politicised electoral machine with party nominees
to all electoral bodies, and integrity has steadily declined. By 2018–9 elections
had become dominated by the ruling party, Frelimo, which was able to openly
change the outcome of municipal elections and create 329 430 ghost voters
in the national elections. Civil society observers had become an important
check on elections; but in 2019, independent observation was blocked in
several provinces and the head of civil society observation in one province
was assassinated by a police hit squad. The judiciary, which ordered a rerun
in one town in the 2013 municipal elections, has become politicised and will
no longer intervene. This paper is an empirical account of those events.

Joseph HanlonVolume 20 Number 1, Jun 2021, , , , , englishmozambique2021vol-20-volumes
Biometric Technologies and the Prospect of Sustainable Democracy in Africa
Biometric Technologies and the Prospect of Sustainable Democracy in Africa

The paper interrogates the prospect of attaining sustainable democracy in
Africa using biometric technology (BT) for elections. Technology has become
relevant in virtually every aspect of human endeavour, including election
management and democratic development. In Africa, BT has also been
deployed to improve the quality of elections and democracy. Using document
analysis and review of relevant literature, findings indicate that to a large
extent, BT is charting the path for sustainable democracy in Africa. However,
the deployment of BT for African elections still faces serious challenges such
as its high cost, inability to address some forms of electoral fraud, and lack
of technical know-how. The paper concludes that the cultivation of political
will to improve the quality of elections is important in order to address the
current challenges of using BT in African elections and increase the prospect
of attaining sustainable democracy.

Harrison Adewale IdowuVolume 20 Number 1, Jun 2021, , , , englishafrica2021vol-20-volumes
Succession Politics and State Administration in Africa: The Case of Zimbabwe
Succession Politics and State Administration in Africa: The Case of Zimbabwe

The paper is a critical inquiry into the influence of succession politics on
state administration in Africa, with particular reference to Zimbabwe, and
unpacks the interactive boundaries and conceptual overlaps in this field.
This study was based on 18 qualitative in-depth interviews conducted with
key informants using the purposive sampling technique, complemented by
extensive document review. The findings of the study show that succession
politics in Africa includes executive dominance, egocentrism and excessive
appointive powers. These are compounded by the lack of an institutional
framework of succession, which in turn undermines the professional
independence of the bureaucracy and inhibits the pursuit of comprehensive
governance. The findings also isolate Zimbabwe as a victim of political,
societal and historical factors that exacerbate the succession dilemma. In its
recommendations, the paper argues that the succession challenge faced by the
continent, in particular Zimbabwe, will continue to hound succession trends
and responsive administration unless broad-based reforms are instituted to
dismantle the historical legacies embedded in the political systems.

Arthur Fidelis Chikerema and Ogochukwu NzewiVolume 19 Number 2, Oct 2020, , , , zimbabwe2020vol-19
Prisoners' Right to Vote in Uganda: Comment on Kalali Steven v Attorney General and the Electoral Commission
Prisoners’ Right to Vote in Uganda: Comment on Kalali Steven v Attorney General and the Electoral Commission

Article 59 of the Constitution of Uganda (1995) provides for the right to
vote. Although the Constitution does not prohibit prisoners from voting, the
Uganda Electoral Commission has never made arrangements for prisoners
to vote. On 17 June 2020, in the case of Kalali Steven v Attorney General
and the Electoral Commission, the Ugandan High Court held that prisoners
and Ugandans in the diaspora have a right to vote and that the Electoral
Commission should put in place arrangements for them to vote. Uganda
will have elections in 2021. The purpose of this article is to suggest practical
ways in which the Electoral Commission can comply with the High Court
judgement. It is argued, inter alia, that there is no need for legislation to be
enacted or amended to give effect to the High Court judgment.

Jamil Ddamulira MujuziVolume 19 Number 2, Oct 20202020vol-19
The History of Elections in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda: What We Can Learn from These "National Exercises"
The History of Elections in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda: What We Can Learn from These “National Exercises”

A large literature has described the years after independence from colonial
rule as a period of ‘departicipation’. Africa’s new rulers – whether driven by
personal venality or a sincere commitment to nation-building – swiftly gave
up on elections, or at best held elections that, by denying choice, left violence
as the central dynamic of African politics. This article draws on the cases
of Kenya, Ghana and Uganda in the late 1960s to argue that the emphasis
often placed on the ‘speed and ease’ of this process has been overstated.
Instead, Africa’s politicians and civil servants valued elections as a means to
educate and discipline the public, even as they feared their possible outcomes.
Building on a literature that focuses on the individual experience of elections
rather than the presence or absence of parties, we argue that the rhetoric of
politicians and civil servants shows that they saw elections as ‘exercises’ – a
revealing term – that would train and test their new citizens. Yet this is not
the whole story: voters understood their participation in their own terms
and played a role in how early experiments with elections played out. The
political closures of these years were real, but their course was unplanned
and contingent, shaped partly by popular involvement. These points are not
only of historical value, but also provide important insights into the extent to
which contemporary elections are instruments of elite power or the drivers
of democratisation.

Justin Willis, Nic Cheeseman and Gabrielle LynchVolume 20 Number 2, Oct 2021, , , , , , , ghana kenya uganda2021vol-20-volumes
The Impact of Cross-Boundary Electoral Demarcation Disputes in South Africa after 1994: The Case Study of Moutse
The Impact of Cross-Boundary Electoral Demarcation Disputes in South Africa after 1994: The Case Study of Moutse

The article investigates the impact of cross-boundary electoral demarcation
disputes between the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces after 1994. The
article further examines how the electoral demarcation disputes can be
resolved by negotiating with the dissatisfied communities. Moutse is located
within a community that straddles north-western Mpumalanga and southern
Limpopo provinces in South Africa. In 2005 the community members of
Moutse wards 5 and 6 were dissatisfied by the decision of the South African
national government, Limpopo and Mpumalanga provincial governments for
relocating them under a newly demarcated administrative boundary without
hearing the views of the community. The article used community dialogues
for its research. This approach is explained predominantly by qualitative
and quantitative approaches to indicate processes of data collection, to
explain the nature of the problem and explore the findings of communitybased research. The study reveals that violent disruptions and protests by
community members can be avoided if community voices are taken into
consideration. The article recommends that state institutions that support
constitutional democracy need to show the administrative and political
will to transform electoral demarcation challenges and implement effective
democratic principles. In conclusion, advanced institutional planning and
its transparent application must be emphasised.

Beauty Vambe and Sipho MantulaVolume 19 Number 2, Oct 2020south-africa2020vol-19
JAE Volume 19 Number 2, Oct 2020 [Entire Journal]
JAE Volume 19 Number 2, Oct 2020 [Entire Journal]

2020
Covid-19, Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Future of Elections in Africa
Covid-19, Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Future of Elections in Africa

The initial focus of this study was on exploring the potential impact of
the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) on future elections in Africa. The
Fourth Industrial Revolution is fundamentally changing the way we live,
work and relate to one another. In its scale and complexity, 4IR could change
humanity and human existence as we presently know it. The suddenness
with which the novel coronavirus pandemic has shut down life across the
globe, including the cancellation and postponement of scheduled elections,
led to a realignment of the research goals. The study thus includes ways in
which 4IR and unforeseen global emergencies like pandemics can impact
future elections, with specific reference to Africa.

Joseph Olusegun Adebayo, Blessing Makwambeni and Colin ThakurVolume 19 Number 2, Oct 2020, , , , africa2020vol-19
Courts and the Mediation of Public Resource (Ab)use During Elections in Malawi
Courts and the Mediation of Public Resource (Ab)use During Elections in Malawi

The (ab)use of public resources during elections in Malawi is a recurrent phenomenon. The judicial mediation of the (ab)use of public resources has, however, not been extensive. In instances where courts have intervened, their pronouncements have done little to stem the practice, especially by incumbents. This paper interrogates the judicial regulation of the (ab)use of public resources during elections in Malawi. Among other things, it establishes that state media remains one of the most highly contested resources during elections. The paper demonstrates that the judicial understanding of public resources is narrow and may shield politicians from censure. In addition, political actors in Malawi seem interested in questioning the (ab)use of public resources only in the period immediately preceding polling without concern about any (ab)use during the rest of the electoral …

Mwiza Jo NkhataVolume 19 Number 2, Oct 2020, , , , , malawi2020vol-19
Challenges to the Single-Party Dominance of the African National Congress: Lessons from Kwazakhele
Challenges to the Single-Party Dominance of the African National Congress: Lessons from Kwazakhele

This article explores the challenges to the African National Congress (ANC) in its traditional stronghold of the Port Elizabeth working-class township of Kwazakhele. The authors argue that this area has been the embodiment of single-party dominance for decades. Using exit polling and a post-election survey, the article details the challenges to the ANC from both reduced voter turnout and rising support for the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). The article concludes that the end of the ANC dominance in Kwazakhele in coming elections is possible but is not a foregone conclusion.

Janet Cherry and Gary PrevostVolume 19 Number 2, Oct 2020, , , , 2020vol-19
The Challenges and Opportunities of Web 2.0 Elections: The Case of Zimbabwe
The Challenges and Opportunities of Web 2.0 Elections: The Case of Zimbabwe

This study analyses different perspectives of the challenges and opportunities of using Web 2.0 technology with specific reference to Zimbabwe’s 2018 general elections. It discusses digital tools and resources such as social networking sites (SNSs) and biometric voter registration (BVR) for the management of the voters’ roll. The study includes in-depth interviews with several politicians and ZEC officials to discuss the challenges and opportunities of Web 2.0 in Zimbabwe’s elections. Informed by theoretical concepts on technology and politics, the study establishes that technology is not a panacea but can be used as an apparatus. This study concludes that political institutions in Zimbabwe should reach consensus that the country will not conduct another election until electoral reforms are implemented because technology alone cannot overcome political challenges. Thus, the election monitoring body should be sufficiently credible to ensure a free and fair election.

Limukani MatheVolume 19 Number 2, Oct 2020, , , zimbabwe2020vol-19
Campaign Communication in Nigeria's 2019 General Elections: Unfulfilled Party Pledges and Voter Engagement without a Social Contract
Campaign Communication in Nigeria’s 2019 General Elections: Unfulfilled Party Pledges and Voter Engagement without a Social Contract

Broken campaign promises challenge the sanctity of the electoral process in Nigeria. Six decades after political independence and six electoral cycles in the last two decades of the Fourth Republic, there are inadequate legal frameworks and a lack of political will to change the narrative. Ambushing the voters with plans of action on the eve of every election remains a constant ritual to legitimise party campaigns in both digital media and at heavily mobilised rallies, often with limited substance. The general purpose of this study is twofold. First, to provide analysis of campaign communication and the extent to which it influences the participation of citizens in the electoral process. Second, to investigate the electorate’s understanding of policy issues inherent in the 2019 election manifestos of the two dominant political parties, All Progressive Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and how other elements shape perception and trust in elected representatives/ government. The research design relies on sample surveys and in-depth interviews, and seeks to identify, within the context of an electoral cycle, why conversations between public office seekers and voters do not translate into a concrete social contract or generate time-bound inclusive …

Mike OmilusiVolume 19 Number 2, Oct 2020, , , nigeria2020 2019vol-19
Zuma versus Ramaphosa: Factors Influencing Party Choice of South Africans in the Run-up to the 2019 Elections
Zuma versus Ramaphosa: Factors Influencing Party Choice of South Africans in the Run-up to the 2019 Elections

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 …

Yolanda Sadie and Leila PatelVolume 19 Number 2, Oct 2020, , , , south-africa2020 2019vol-19
Voting with the Shilling: The "Money Talks Factor" in Kenya's Public Policy and Electoral Democracy
Voting with the Shilling: The “Money Talks Factor” in Kenya’s Public Policy and Electoral Democracy

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
bodies 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.

Wilson Muna and Michael OtienoVolume 19 Number 1, Jun 2020kenya2020vol-19
South Africa's Democracy: The Quality of Political Participation over 25 Years eisa
South Africa’s Democracy: The Quality of Political Participation over 25 Years eisa

L’Afrique du Sud a réalisé des progrès considérables depuis 1994 dans l’institutionnalisation et la consolidation de la qualité de sa démocratie. Cependant, des problèmes graves et persistants de gouvernance et des problèmes socio-économiques ont provoqué la colère et la frustration de la population et motivé une augmentation des actions de protestation par le biais de canaux conventionnels et moins conventionnels. La possibilité pour les citoyens de participer au processus politique est essentielle pour une démocratie saine. Il est donc important que des procédures et des mécanismes appropriés soient en place. lieu pour faciliter cette participation. En utilisant la méthodologie de la qualité de la démocratie, le document aborde plusieurs questions importantes, à savoir : dans quelle mesure les opportunités de participation conventionnelle sont-elles développées en Afrique du Sud, et dans quelle mesure sont-elles exploitées ? et quelles formes non conventionnelles de participation existent et quelle est la réponse du gouvernement ? En abordant ces questions, cet article explore le lien entre citoyenneté active et participation politique.
au cours des 25 dernières années en vue de vérifier la qualité de la participation politique de l’Afrique du Sud.

Victoria GrahamVolume 19 Number 1, June 2020, , , , , south-africa2020vol-19
The Religious Factor in Nigeria's 2019 Presidential Election
The Religious Factor in Nigeria’s 2019 Presidential Election

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 …

Emmanuel O. OjoVolume 19 Number 1, Jun 2020, , , nigeria2020 2019vol-19
Political Finance and the 2019 General Elections in Nigeria
Political Finance and the 2019 General Elections in Nigeria

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 …

Dhikru Adewale Yagboyaju and Antonia Taiye SimbineVolume 19 Number 1, Jun 2020, , , , nigeria2020 2019vol-19
Operational and Procedural Integrity of elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Operational and Procedural Integrity of elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo

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 …

Tadjoudine Ali-DiabactéVolume 19 Number 1, Jun 2020, , , , , , , democratic-republic-of-congo2020vol-19
Ghana's 2016 Elections: An Overview of Selected Relevant Background Themes
Ghana’s 2016 Elections: An Overview of Selected Relevant Background Themes

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 …

Isaac Owusu NsiahVolume 19 Number 1, Jun 2020, , , , , 2020 2016vol-19
Journal of African Elections Vol. 19 No 1, June 2020 [Entire Journal]
Journal of African Elections Vol. 19 No 1, June 2020 [Entire Journal]

Volume 19 Number 1, Jun 20202020
Opinion: The World Robert Mugabe Left Behind
Opinion: The World Robert Mugabe Left Behind

Stephen ChanVolume 18 Number 2, Oct 20192019
Using On-line Platforms to Observe and Monitor Elections: A Netnography of Mozambique
Using On-line Platforms to Observe and Monitor Elections: A Netnography of Mozambique

This article aims to understand the political impact of social networking platforms on the general elections in Mozambique held on 15 October 2014. It focusses on how electoral observation and monitoring were carried out in Mozambique using online tools, and is based on an ongoing research project exploring young people in politics in Mozambique through the internet. It uses a qualitative approach of both interviews and digital ethnography to sketch the landscape of online electoral observation in Mozambique. The positions here are the result of abstraction and generalisation – the particular positions of individuals or groups will only ever approximate these generalised positions, which are reconstructed from the complexity of everyday situated experience. As a preliminary conclusion, we have noted that the internet allows the emergence of new perspectives in political participation in Mozambique, despite its limited access to the …

Dércio TsandzanaVolume 18 Number 2, Oct 2019, , , 2019vol-18
Political Parties and Electoral Offences in Nigeria: A Critical Analysis
Political Parties and Electoral Offences in Nigeria: A Critical Analysis

The paper examines the Nigerian Constitution and Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) on the role and complicity of political parties in electoral offences in Nigeria. It explores the extent to which political party activities or inactions constitute or contribute to electoral offences. The objective is to find out whether political parties are complicit in electoral offences, and whether the Electoral Act needs to be reformed to accommodate political party culpability, reduce the criminal complicity of political parties, and improve political party accountability. The paper adopts a mixed method of normative and critical analysis. Normative analysis arises from examination of doctrinal data which consist of the principles of law, provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) 1999 and other relevant laws regarding jurisprudence in democracy and constitutionalism, in order to determine their coherence and validity. Critical analysis, on the other hand, is applied to electoral and democratic principles in extant literature and policy in order to justify the necessity of reforming electoral laws. The paper finds that the Electoral Act is silent in many instances of potential political party complicity in electoral offences. However, the law could be reformed to improve political party accountability and reduce the incidence of electoral offences in Nigeria. It recommends some policy reforms and amendments to improve the effectiveness of the Electoral Act …

Bethel Uzoma Ihugba and Charles AlfredVolume 18 Number 2, Oct 2019, , , , nigeria2019vol-18
Manifesto Experiment and Internal Electioneering in the Botswana Democratic Party
Manifesto Experiment and Internal Electioneering in the Botswana Democratic Party

Written manifestos seem to be a rarity in intra-political party electioneering in Africa, and there is a view that African party electioneering is largely nonissue based, instead being personality-driven. This article observes that the phenomenon seems applicable even to Africa’s supposed ‘senior democracy’, Botswana. Yet, the enduring, issueless factional electioneering of the longruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) resulted in a significant, albeit one-off, interregnum in 2015. In the 2014 general elections, the combined opposition had garnered 53% of the popular vote, while the BDP received just 47%. The BDP managed to hold onto power, however, due to the country’s first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral system. This development appears to have shaken and confused the elites of the BDP and caused concern among the party’s hard-line factionalists. Subsequently, Botsalo Ntuane did extremely well in the party’s 2015 central committee elections. In an unprecedented move he competed for the influential position of secretary general as an independent candidate and with an actual policy manifesto. This move was outside of the traditional factional sponsorship method long-dominant within the BDP. However, the factionalists soon regrouped and acted to marginalise him and his manifesto. Ntuane consequently performed quite poorly in the later 2017 elections, which once again were fought along strict factional lines with no space for ideas or policies. This article argues that Ntuane’s manifesto may have been perceived as too radical and unacceptably ambitious by the conservative party elites. This manifesto also seems to have threatened entrenched personal interests and corrupt practices within the BDP-led government. The article concludes with a note on the dynamics and results of the 2019 general …

Christian John MakgalaVolume 18 Number 2, Oct 2019, , , , 2019vol-18
Gambia's Billion Year President: The End of an Era and the Ensuing Political Impasse
Gambia’s Billion Year President: The End of an Era and the Ensuing Political Impasse

The Gambia’s presidential election in December 2016 marked the end of an era for Yahya Jammeh, the man who had vowed to rule the country for ‘one billion years if Allah says so’. The resulting political impasse following Jammeh’s rejection of the results ‘in its entirety’ and his refusal to step down plunged the country into political uncertainty. This paper explores the end of Jammeh’s 22-year rule in Africa’s smallest mainland country, focussing on the 2016 polls which he lost to former realtor, Adama Barrow. The election offers relevant lessons to students of political transitions and contemporary election discourse in Africa and provides an analysis of some of the factors that accounted for his …

Essa Njie and Abdoulaye SaineVolume 18 Number 2, Oct 2019, , , 2019vol-18
Facebook Image-Making in Zimbabwe's 2018 Election Campaigns: Social Media and Emerging Trends in Political Marketing
Facebook Image-Making in Zimbabwe’s 2018 Election Campaigns: Social Media and Emerging Trends in Political Marketing

This article explores changing political communication and marketing trends in Zimbabwe when presidential candidates used Facebook to reach out, largely to the youth and urban voters, during the 2018 election campaign. Recent studies have identified the power of social media as a platform on which politicians portray images that convince the electorate to vote for them. These images can be created through the photographs, video footage and texts that politicians post on their Facebook pages. The study employed a qualitative approach to establish the role played by political imagery used by contesting parties and candidates in the campaign period ahead of the 2018 elections in Zimbabwe, in particular the frontrunners and larger political parties. MDC-Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa and ZanuPF candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa were both serious contenders for the presidency. The analysis sheds light on the implications of image-making and modern political trends in Zimbabwe and how Facebook manages to reach out to the targeted …

Wishes Tendayi Mututwa, Oluyinka Osunkunle and Brenda MututwaVolume 18 Number 2, Oct 2019, , , , 2019 2018vol-18
Electoral Governance and Democratisation in Southern African Post-Conflict States: Electoral Management Bodies in Angola, Mozambique and South Africa
Electoral Governance and Democratisation in Southern African Post-Conflict States: Electoral Management Bodies in Angola, Mozambique and South Africa

Democratisation is a complex process that includes crafting political institutions. These institutions reflect existing power relations at the critical juncture of their genesis, thus influencing the development of subsequent political processes. The study uses this perspective to examine the impact of electoral governance on democratisation with a focus on three southern African post-conflict states. Specifically, the paper investigates the role of electoral management bodies (EMBs) in accounting for the distinctive regime trajectories in Angola, South Africa and Mozambique. The analysis suggests that successful attempts by incumbents to redesign EMBs after the founding elections have led to the establishment of self-serving institutions of electoral governance. This has had a negative impact on the credibility of subsequent electoral processes and the nature of the emerging regimes in the countries under …

Albano Agostinho TrocoVolume 18 Number 2, Oct 2019, , , , 2019
JAE Volume 18 Number 2, Oct 2019 [Entire Journal]
JAE Volume 18 Number 2, Oct 2019 [Entire Journal]

Volume 18 Number 2, Oct 20192019
Book Review: Election 2019: Change and Stability in South Africa's Democracy (Jacana Media)
Book Review: Election 2019: Change and Stability in South Africa’s Democracy (Jacana Media)

Ivor SarakinskyVolume 18 Number 2, Oct 20192019
Book Review: How to Rig an Election (Yale University Press)
Book Review: How to Rig an Election (Yale University Press)

Tom LodgeVolume 18 Number 2, Oct 20192019
The South African Elections: Incumbency and Uncertainty
The South African Elections: Incumbency and Uncertainty

The 2019 South African elections marked the country’s sixth iteration of free and fair electoral contests since its democratisation in 1994. Although the outcome gives the African National Congress (ANC) yet another five-year mandate, the party has not gone unchallenged at the polls. It registered its lowest national vote share since the transition, a major concern for the party of liberation. The most recent contest also demonstrates the resilience of the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), and the continued upward trajectory of its closest rival, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). In this article, we analyse available survey data on South Africans’ attitudes and offer some empirical answers to account for the election results. We argue that race continues to feature prominently in electoral decision-making but it does so in ways that deviate slightly from conventional wisdom. Further, we put forth an explanation that the parties’ leaders played a central role in shaping citizens’ voting behaviour, especially among their own partisan …

Robert Nyenhuis and Mattias KrönkeVolume 18 Number 2, Oct 2019, , , , 2019vol-18
Limits of Peace Journalism: Media Reportage of kenya''s 2017 General Elections
Limits of Peace Journalism: Media Reportage of kenya”s 2017 General Elections

In 2008, Kenya hovered on the brink of a war arising from the political violence that followed the general elections. In reportage akin to that of the infamous Rwandan genocide of 1994, the Kenyan media pitched the country’s different ethnoreligious groups against each other. The result was a wanton loss of lives and property, as well as a highly volatile socio-political climate. By 2013 when the country was about to conduct another general election, apprehension ran high amongst the populace. However, in what seemed like a sharp deviation from what had happened in 2008, media reportage of the election was more conflict-sensitive. Although there were pockets of irregularities, the 2013 election recorded less violence and the media was lauded as a key reason for that. In the 2017 election, the media was once again at the centre of public discourse, this time accused of sacrificing democracy in the cause of peace. Public observers accused the media of downplaying and/ or underreporting irregularities and outright election rigging for fear of a possible outbreak of violence. The argument by many journalists and media practitioners was that the media practised peace journalism. By analysing selected articles from Kenya’s mainstream media, this article examines peace journalism in its many complexities and contextual dynamics, in order to clarify the thin line between peace journalism and …

Joseph Olusegun Adebayo and Blessing MakwambeniVolume 18 Number 2, Oct 2019, , , , , kenya2019 2017vol-18
Free and Fair: Observation of Selected African Elections
Free and Fair: Observation of Selected African Elections

The first large-scale election observation was of Zimbabwe’s 1980 independence elections. Since then, election observation has become a regular worldwide feature and many international organisations, official agencies, and non-governmental organisations field observation teams. They all use similar methodologies, largely derived from the original 1980 model. A third of a century later, it may be time to consider whether the use of electoral observation has outlived its usefulness – or is itself being used to mask forms of electoral cheating. This paper considers five 21st century African elections – in Kenya (2007), Zimbabwe (2008, 2013 and 2018) and Zambia (2016), through the reflections of a pioneer of the 1980s observation …

Stephen ChanVolume 18 Number 1, Jun 2019, , , , 2019vol-18
Electoral Violence and Young Party Cadres in Zambia
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 conditions, leadership manipulation and incentives as well as the perception of plural politics all contribute to the susceptibility of young people to electoral violence. The violence witnessed in 2016 included molestation and intimidation, seizure of public property, public disorder, vandalising of party property, lawlessness and aggressive rhetoric. The paper also notes that events of 2016 were counterweight to the consolidation of democracy as the activities of young party cadres undermined the free political participation of other …

Kabale Ignatius MukuntoVolume 18 Number 1, Jun 2019, , , zambia2019vol-18
Electoral Violence in Kenya 2007 - 2008: The Role of Vernacular Radio
Electoral Violence in Kenya 2007 – 2008: The Role of Vernacular Radio

This article examines how the shifts in vernacular radio narratives influenced intergroup relations during the 2007-08 electoral violence in Kenya. Using media as an analytical framework, together with original in-depth interview data collected over four months of fieldwork in 2010, the article explores how vernacular radio listeners in Kisumu, Eldoret, and Nyeri interpreted the 2007-08 electoral violence prior to, during, and after the event. It argues that the framing of electoral stakes and subsequent violence by vernacular radio stations is mainly between differentiated and concerted frames, depending on the stage at which the violence manifests itself. Differentiated frames reinforce divisive and/or rebellious attitudes, and are likely to increase intergroup competition and further violence along ethnic lines. Concerted framing underpins the perceived areas of common interest believed to transcend disparate group allegiances, and this establishes the possibility of intergroup dialogue and collaborative attitudes. These findings also highlight the central role of ethno-linguistic proximity and ethno-regional polity as potential drivers of vernacular radio frames, particularly in situations of electoral …

Philip OngunyVolume 18 Number 1, Jun 2019, , , , , 2019 2008 2007vol-18
Electoral Politics and Political Transition in Post-War Angola: Progress, Problems and Prospects
Electoral Politics and Political Transition in Post-War Angola: Progress, Problems and Prospects

The southern African nation of Angola was included in the third wave of democratisation which began rolling over the African continent in the late 1980s. Structural political and economic reforms, including multiparty elections, were introduced in Angola as part of a peace settlement designed to set the country on a path to effective democratisation. However, the resumption of the armed conflict in the aftermath of the country’s founding elections in 1992 blocked Angola’s transition towards the consolidation of a multiparty democratic dispensation. The end of the civil war in 2002 renewed hopes for normal democratic development through a return to electoral politics. Building on the conception of elections as both instruments of democracy and tools of authoritarian rule, this article examines the progress, problems and prospects for democratisation brought about by the resumption of electoral politics in post-war Angola. The analysis of the evidence gathered from qualitative secondary sources suggests that, since the end of the war in 2002, Angola has seen the establishment of electoral hegemony. The MPLA has total dominance of not only the electoral process – its rules, their implementation and adjudication – but also of electoral results, allowing the winner to rule unchallenged. This has subsequently been used to engender other types of political domination, including constitutional and central government hegemony, thus ensuring regime …

Albano Agostinho TrocoVolume 18 Number 1, Jun 2019, , , , angol2019vol-18
Journal of African Elections Vol 18 No 1, June 2019 [Entire Journal]
Journal of African Elections Vol 18 No 1, June 2019 [Entire Journal]

Volume 18 Number 1, Jun 20192019
Crimes Involving Dishonesty or Moral Turpitude in Malawi's Elections
Crimes Involving Dishonesty or Moral Turpitude in Malawi’s Elections

The Constitution of the Republic of Malawi disqualifies any person for election as president, vice president or member of parliament who has, within the last seven years, been convicted by a competent court of a crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude. The Local Government Elections Act also disqualifies such a person from being elected as a councillor on similar grounds. In addition, once elected, these office holders can lose their seats on similar grounds. The question becomes, what are crimes involving dishonesty or moral turpitude? Worldwide, courts have struggled to define this amorphous concept. In Malawi, a few cases have been heard in both the High Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal to determine whether the offences in issue were crimes involving dishonesty or moral turpitude. The courts have labelled some offences as involving dishonesty or moral turpitude, in other instances have rejected this label and in yet others have avoided expressing an opinion one way or another. What is clear is that these words remain vague but will keep coming up in the courts for determination in relation to various offences. This paper is of the view that this disqualification is an unlawful limitation of various political rights guaranteed under section 40 of the Constitution. While exploring different approaches to clarify the phrase moral turpitude, it is ultimately recommended to simply scrap this disqualification from the law and to empower the electorate to freely choose whoever they …

Gift Dorothy MakanjeVolume 18 Number 1, Jun 2019, , , , , 2019vol-18
Biometric Election Technology, Voter Experience and Turnout in Ghana
Biometric Election Technology, Voter Experience and Turnout in Ghana

This study investigates the experiences of voters with election technologies such as the biometric system for voter registration and verification (BVRV), as well as whether such technologies affected both turnout and trust in Ghana’s 2012 and 2016 elections. The paper also explores whether the introduction of BVRVs increased or decreased levels of voter trust in the Electoral Commission (EC) and election outcomes. Using both primary and secondary data, the study found that the introduction of BVRV in election management in Ghana influenced the turnout for both the educated and the uneducated. While most of the former were eager to experience this novel approach, the same could not be said of the latter, less educated group. The study noted that state institutions do not take population diversity into consideration when introducing technological interventions. They take it for granted that citizens have the same capability, resulting in the marginalisation and neglect of a large section of the populace; this lack of trust in turn has a negative effect on voter turnout. The study recommends that such inequities in society should be taken into consideration when implementing interventions like BVRV in election management, specifically in Ghana but also in other African countries with similar socioeconomic and political …

Samuel Adams and William AsanteVolume 18 Number 1, Jun 2019ghana2019vol-18
Public Participation, Electoral Dispute and Conflict Resolution Mechanisms: The Case of Moutse, South Africa, Wards 5 and 6, 2013-2016
Public Participation, Electoral Dispute and Conflict Resolution Mechanisms: The Case of Moutse, South Africa, Wards 5 and 6, 2013-2016

This study examines the concept of public participation and the dispute resolution mechanisms that can be utilised to resolve electoral disputes and conflicts at the level of local government in South Africa. The study stems largely from community-based participatory action research, also referred to as café conversations. This research project was conducted in Moutse, Wards 5 and 6 of the Ephraim Mogale Local Municipality, a category B municipality that is the smallest of the four municipalities in the Sekhukhune district. It is a cross-border district that extends across the north west of Mpumalanga and the southern part of Limpopo. Sekhukhune is 94% rural and 5.3% urban and approximately 50% of the population are under the age of 18. Moutse comprises four villages: Mamaneng-Matatadimeng, Ga-Matlala Ramoshebo, Mokgwaneng and Tshikannosi. Research data collected in the form of community dialogues are used in this article together with relevant journal articles, books and media reports on the same subject. The aim of the article is to explore the importance of public participation by community members in the affairs of their community. The article argues that enhanced public participation can properly facilitate members of the community to take part in the resolution of disputes and conflicts in their community. The findings of the research are that public participation remains an important element of a democracy, and that the public at all times wants to be involved in making decisions that affect their …

Tshepo Aubrey Manthwa and Lefa Sebolaisi NtsoaneVolume 18 Number 2, Oct 2019, , , , south-africa2018 2016 2013vol-18
The Judiciary and Democracy in Ghana's Fourth Republic
The Judiciary and Democracy in Ghana’s Fourth Republic

Since the advent of multi-party elections in 1992, Ghana has successfully held six free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections, including the peaceful alternation of power on three occasions. Despite this impressive record, transparent and peaceful elections are never a guaranteed outcome in Ghana. General elections in the country are highly competitive and tightly contested by the two main political parties, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and their support bases. The 2016 general elections season was a fierce fight marked by apparent attempts at fraud and corruption on the part of the Electoral Commission. Although there was a tense lead-up to the vote, the elections proceeded without incident, largely due to the actions of the Supreme Court. These Supreme Court rulings on electoral transparency and fairness during the 2016 elections continue a long history of judicial intervention in electoral disputes. Nearly three decades of judicial activism has effectively constrained the major political parties in their ongoing attempts to use fraud and corruption for gains at the polls. This study thus supports the early work of Ruti Teitel on judicial policymaking in transitional states by demonstrating how an activist Supreme Court has effectively preserved and advanced democratisation in the face of weak political …

Isaac Owusu-Mensah and Joanna RiceVolume 17 Number 2, Oct 2018, , , , , ghana2018vol-17
Is Voting in Ghana Ethnically Based?
Is Voting in Ghana Ethnically Based?

Ghanaian scholars often argue that ethnicity is the leading factor shaping the electoral choices of voters in Ghana, and that voting in Ghana, like that of many other African countries, is ethnic-based. This paper seeks to test the validity of these perceptions. Voters in three key constituencies were selected and asked about considerations that shaped their voting preferences in Ghana’s latest election in 2016. Their answers indicate a complicated mixture of motives which suggest that in areas believed to have been politically shaped by ethnic identities, voter choice is instrumental and rational, influenced more by bread and butter concerns than by ethnic …

Ransford Edward Van Gyampo, Tom Lodge and Ricky AppahVolume 17 Number 2, Oct 2018, , , , , ghana2018vol-17
Election Administration in Nigeria: A Researcher’s Account of the 2015 General Elections
Election Administration in Nigeria: A Researcher’s Account of the 2015 General Elections

Using empirical field accounts of the 2015 general elections in the Ibadan South-East local government area, this article investigates the problems and prospects of election administration in Nigeria. It argues that while the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Nigeria’s electoral management body, made elaborate preparations for the conduct of the general elections across the country, the conduct of the elections in Ibadan SouthEast local government area was characterised by logistics, manpower and security challenges. The combination of the character of the electorates and that of the electoral officials, as well as the attitude of the dominant political parties at grassroots level, shaped the outcomes of these …

Olajide O. AkanjiVolume 17 Number 2, Oct 2018, , , , , nigeria2018 2015vol-17
Journal of African Elections Vol 17 No 2, Oct 2018 [Entire Journal]
Journal of African Elections Vol 17 No 2, Oct 2018 [Entire Journal]

Volume 17 Number 2, Oct 20182018
A Critique of Proceduralism in the Adjudication of Electoral Disputes in Lesotho
A Critique of Proceduralism in the Adjudication of Electoral Disputes in Lesotho

One of the characteristic features of electoral democracy in Lesotho is disputed elections. Since 1993, when the country returned to constitutional democracy after a long haul of dictatorship and monarcho-military rule, every election has been subjected to one form of discontent or another. The aggrieved parties use various ways to vent their dissatisfactions, and more often than not, disputes end up in the courts of law. The courts are then called on to determine the validity or otherwise of the election results declared by the election management body. All seven elections since 1993 have been challenged in the courts of law. Despite this determination by political players in Lesotho to resolve electoral disputes through the courts of law, amongst other means, there is no court in Lesotho that has overturned an election result or ordered the reallocation of seats since 1993. The petitions are almost invariably dismissed on procedural grounds or on the basis of misapplication of the substantial effect doctrine. This approach to the adjudication of disputes in Lesotho has not only jeopardised substantive electoral justice in the country but has also arguably perpetuated the electoral violence that has been one of the characteristic features of electoral politics in Lesotho. The purpose of this article, therefore, is to critique this approach. Methodically, the paper uses the politico-legal approach to critique the pattern as it manifests itself through the many court decisions that have been handed down on election petitions since …

Hoolo ‘NyaneVolume 17 Number 2, Oct 2018, , , , , 2018vol-17
The Concept of Agency Theory in Electoral Democracy
The Concept of Agency Theory in Electoral Democracy

This essay analyses the doctrine of the law of agency in the context of electoral democracy in assessing the rights and liabilities of the political elite and the voting public. The principal-agent model was employed to expatiate challenges in the relationship between the agent’s performance and how the principal can reward or punish the agent through competitive elections. In doing so, the elected political authorities are deemed to be agents of state governance while the voters, and by extension the population, are seen as principals of the state. The principal-agent relationship generates the electoral accountability of representatives to constituents by checking and controlling the behaviour of the political elite to ensure that national programmes, policies and laws are applied for the benefit of the general public. The study concludes that voters, as principals, expect political agents to deliver public goods and services to their benefit and that failure do so attracts a vote of censure. This means that competitive elections create a relationship of formal accountability between political leaders and voters. This accountability minimises the ability of political leaders to use the advantage of information …

Joseph Kwaku AsamoahVolume 17 Number 2, Oct 2018, , , , , 2018vol-17
When a Compratriot Becomes a Foe: Political Parties and Violent Elections in Kenya and South Africa
When a Compratriot Becomes a Foe: Political Parties and Violent Elections in Kenya and South Africa

This paper examines the operations of political parties in Kenya and South Africa and provides an analysis of how such operations have become drivers of election violence. The paper contends that as a result of the structure of political parties and how they operate, they have contributed to the violence that has become an endemic feature of the electoral processes in both countries. In Kenya, most election violence has been between supporters of different political parties who contest election outcomes. In South Africa, even though there were many incidents of inter-party violence in the 1990s, recent trends indicate reductions of the same but with an increase in intra-party violence, especially over disputed party …

John Rabuogi AhereVolume 17 Number 2, Oct 2018, , , kenya south-africa2018vol-17
Voting Rights of Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria's 2015 General Eections
Voting Rights of Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria’s 2015 General Eections

The study examines the extent to which Nigeria’s electoral body complied with existing legal frameworks on Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDP) voting during the 2015 general elections. The existing legal frameworks in question consist of two international frameworks which Nigeria adopted, and two domestic frameworks. The United Nations Guiding Principles on Internally Displaced Persons, and the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa, otherwise known as the Kampala Convention, are the two international frameworks. The domestic legal frameworks include the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended). Data for the study was generated through interviews with officials of the electoral body of Nigeria. This was complemented by documentary evidence based on secondary sources, including Nigeria’s election reports, the Electoral Act 2010, the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and other relevant materials. Data were analysed using content analysis rooted in logical deduction. The result of the data analysis shows that the handling of the voting rights of IDPs in Nigeria’s 2015 general elections by the electoral body contravened all the existing legal frameworks that guide IDP voting. The study therefore recommends that a system of electronic voting should be introduced in Nigeria to enable all eligible Nigerians, including IDPs, to vote in whichever part of the country they are resident at the time of the …

Emeka C. Iloh, Michael E. Nwokedi, Cornelius C. Mba and Kingsley O. IloVolume 17 Number 1, Jun 2018, , , , , nigeria2018 2015vol-17
The Rise and Fall of the Government of National Unity in Zanzibar: A Critical Analysis of the 2015 elections
The Rise and Fall of the Government of National Unity in Zanzibar: A Critical Analysis of the 2015 elections

This article analyses the pitfalls that characterised the emergence and eventual demise of the Government of National Unity (GNU) in Tanzania’s semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar. Drawn from continuous political and electoral observations in Zanzibar, the article analyses how the 2015 general elections contributed to the eventual dissolution of the GNU. The GNU in Zanzibar was a negotiated political settlement between two parties – the incumbent Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and the Civic United Front (CUF). In particular, this article looks at how the start of the constitutional review process in Tanzania contributed to the withering of the GNU. Despite its undeniably noble agenda, the constitutional review process resuscitated old enmities between CCM and the CUF. The two parties’ divergent stances on the structure of the Union revived the rifts that characterised their relationship before the GNU. We analyse the election cycle rhetoric following the run-up to the elections and how this widened the GNU fissures leading to its eventual demise after the re-election in March 2016. After the 2015 elections were nullified, the CUF, which had claimed victory, boycotted the re-election. As a result, the CCM won an overwhelming electoral …

Nicodemus Minde, Sterling Roop and Kjetil TronvollVolume 17 Number 1, Jun 2018, , , , , tanzania zanzibar2018 2015vol-17
Local Media Observation of Mozambique's Elections
Local Media Observation of Mozambique’s Elections

Local journalists working together in Mozambique have overcome many of the limitations of international and domestic election observation. In a system developed during three pairs of municipal and national elections (2003-4, 2008-9, 2013-4), journalists from community radio and other local media reported to a national daily newsletter on registration, campaigning, voting and counting while continuing to work for their own organisations. Reports of local violence and misconduct were published nationally, usually bringing rapid responses. Evidence from local journalists, together with continued media pressure, forced elections to be re-run. This led to changes in the electoral law which reduced misconduct. Two aspects proved central: accuracy and local knowledge. Nothing was published in the cooperative newsletter unless it had been verified or sourced, thus providing an effective counter to exaggerated or false reports on social media. Local journalists known and trusted in their own communities received complaints about electoral malfeasance and had appropriate contacts to verify or refute these claims. Because central editorial control of their reports demands detail and authentication, these reports are both accurate and trusted. In addition, daily publication also meant that their reports had more immediacy than that of other election observers. As a result, this collaboration by local journalists ensured the accountability of political parties and the electoral …

Adriano Nuvunga and Joseph HanlonVolume 17 Number 1, June 2018, , , , , , 2018vol-17
International Election Observers in Kenya's 2017 Elections: Impartial or Partisan
International Election Observers in Kenya’s 2017 Elections: Impartial or Partisan

Recently, questions have emerged concerning the professionalism and impartiality of election observers. In Kenya, concerns arose after the August 2017 elections when the Supreme Court of Kenya nullified Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory, despite observers suggesting that the elections were credible. Proceeding from this foundation, this paper examines the conduct of election observers in the elections and the claim that their behaviour was equivalent to being impartial. The data that informed the study was collected through interviews and analysis of previous research. The findings of this research demonstrate that election observation cannot be detached from the social, political and security context in which it takes place and the methodologies used by observers also influence their findings. Importantly, the technological expertise of observer missions is becoming increasingly important as states turn to more sophisticated electoral technology. In addition, the study reveals that elections have become a polarising factor in Kenya due to the rise of ethnic politics and prevalence of dysfunctional institutions. The bitter power struggles that unfold during elections have tended to implicate international observers as each political contender expects observers to support their position. We conclude that allegations of impartiality levelled against the observers are intended to serve the political goals of those who raise them. Our findings suggest three circumstances under which observers may be accused of bias. The first is when politicians feel that the odds are stacked against their chances of clinching victory in elections. Secondly, accusations of bias may be advanced as a campaign tool to whip up public sympathy or consolidate support. Thirdly, claims of bias may be used by the opposition to justify post-election protests intended to force a repeat poll or extract a political deal to cater for its …

Moses Nderitu NginyaVolume 17 Number 1, June 2018, , , , kenya2018 2017vol-17
Gerontocracy in African Politics: Youth and the Quest for Political Participation
Gerontocracy in African Politics: Youth and the Quest for Political Participation

By the late 1950s and early 1960s most African colonies had attained independence from British and French rule, resulting in great optimism regarding the future of the nascent democracies on the continent. A buoyant populace transformed their memories of harsh political struggles into images of heroism and confirmed the victory of the national movement for liberation. There was hope that these new nations would soon steer their own ships of state and conduct free, fair and regular elections that would be true reflections of the wishes of the majority of the population. Sadly, what transpired afterwards was (and still is) far from what had been expected. Civil unrest and anarchy soon reigned in most African countries as the so-called ‘founding fathers’ considered themselves above the law. In a bid to retain power, they initiated a system of electoral manipulation and violence that continues to pervade the continent. More worrisome was the birth of a culture that excluded Africa’s youth from active participation in politics; this resulted in the retention of old politicians, evident in a leadership occupied mostly by septuagenarians and octogenarians. This study examines gerontocracy in Africa and its impact on the political participation of Africa’s …

Joseph Olusegun AdebayoVolume 17 Number 1, June 2018, , , , , 2018vol-17
Ethnicity and Election Outcomes in Nigeria: Interrogating the 2015 Presidential election
Ethnicity and Election Outcomes in Nigeria: Interrogating the 2015 Presidential election

The objective of this paper is to investigate the effects of ethnicity on the outcome of the 2015 presidential election in Nigeria. In order to achieve this, the descriptive-statistical analysis of the official election results released by the country’s Election Management Body (INEC) as well as a historical analysis of past presidential elections in Nigeria was adopted. The findings revealed that the major contestants received bloc votes from their various states and geo-political zones. This indicated that candidates appealed to ethnic sentiments to garner votes. The policy implication of this scenario includes the fact that ethnic bloc voting destroys inter-ethnic accommodation and efforts at nation building. It is, however, recommended that efforts should be intensified towards providing a compelling statutory set of principles for nation building and national integration which will in turn guarantee the peaceful co-existence for people of diverse ethnic …

Atanda Abdulwaheed Isiaq, Oluwashina Moruf Adebiyi and Adebola Rafiu BakareVolume 17 Number 1, June 2018, , , , nigeria2018 2015vol-17
JAE Volume 17 Number 1 Jun 2018 [Entire Journal]
JAE Volume 17 Number 1 Jun 2018 [Entire Journal]

Volume 17 Number 1, June 20182018
Angola's 2017 Elections and the Start of a Post-Dos Santos Era
Angola’s 2017 Elections and the Start of a Post-Dos Santos Era

For the first time in the history of its multiparty democracy, Angola held general elections in August 2017 without President José Eduardo dos Santos on the ballot paper. In 2016 dos Santos decided not to run again for the presidency but he remained the party chair. Instead, João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço was nominated to replace dos Santos as the MPLA candidate. The departure of dos Santos raised expectations that there would be political change in the country. However, this did not happen because the MPLA won a qualified majority in the National Assembly despite their decreased support compared to the results of the 2012 general elections. Though the 2017 elections were considered to have been well prepared and executed, the outcome was challenged by the opposition on the grounds of irregularities in voter registration, the accreditation of party agents, and problems in both counting and announcing the results. The change of leader raised a number of questions regarding the implications of a double centre of power in the MPLA and presidency. How João Lourenço will manage the question of the factions created by his rise to power is a matter of concern, together with whether he will be able to end the hegemony and economic power of dos Santos and his allies. He will also have to deal with the ongoing economic crisis and boost declining public trust in the MPLA. By addressing some of these issues this article provides an important contribution to understanding the electoral processes in …

Zefanias Matsimbe and Nelson DomingosVolume 17 Number 1, June 2018, , , , , english2018 2017vol-17
Youth, Protests and the 2014 National Elections: The Case of Zamdela, Sasolburg
Youth, Protests and the 2014 National Elections: The Case of Zamdela, Sasolburg

There is a general perception that youth are apathetic to local politics and national elections. At the same time, young people are often at the forefront of protest. Both electoral politics and protest are forms of political participation; however, the relationship between the two is under-explored. In Zamdela, young people were politicised by two events: the January 2013 protest, and the formation of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in mid-2014. In addition, many youth are simply conflicted by the lack of service delivery by the ruling party and the lack of viable alternatives in elections. Using qualitative data, this article traces and thematically analyses the political attitudes of youth in Zamdela between the demarcation protest of January 2013 and the May 2014 national elections. Quantitatively, the article provides practical data describing the way in which young people engaged with the 2014 national elections, given the fluctuating perspectives throughout 2013 and 2014. Against this background the article analyses the notion of youth apathy towards politics and elections, as well as Booysen’s (2007) ‘ballot and the brick’ analysis of political engagement, protest and elections. The article demonstrates that a high proportion of young people are politically aware, participated in the protest, voted in elections, and evinced an increased likelihood of voting for parties other than the …

Mahlatse RampediVolume 16 Number 2, Oct 2017, , , , , south-africa2017 2014vol-16
Voters' Roll Crises and the need for Electoral Reforms in South Africa
Voters’ Roll Crises and the need for Electoral Reforms in South Africa

This paper considers the implications of the Constitutional Court ruling that declared the 2013 Tlokwe by-elections unconstitutional. This ruling was because the voters’ roll did not contain the addresses of voters as required by electoral legislation and it has cast a shadow on the credibility of elections in South Africa. The Constitutional Court gave the Electoral Commission until the end of June 2018 to correct this problem which affects over 10 million voters. The question that this paper discusses is whether the Electoral Commission will find a solution to this conundrum before the national general elections scheduled to take place in 2019. This is especially urgent because the Electoral Commission has already indicated its incapacity to perform this task in the face of inadequate resources. The paper also looks at the nature of the problem regarding the voters’ register and the voting district within which it is premised. In an attempt to find a solution to this problem the author undertook a small survey to establish whether political parties used the addresses of voters to conduct their campaign work. The paper concludes by suggesting electoral reforms that may resolve the problem of the voters’ roll and improve the overall management of elections in South …

Raynauld D RussonVolume 16 Number 2, Oct 2017south-africa2017vol-16
Social Media, Elections and Political Engagement: The 2014 General Election in Mauritius
Social Media, Elections and Political Engagement: The 2014 General Election in Mauritius

Mauritius has preferred the ballot to the bullet, earning its status as a democracy to be emulated within Africa. Elections are a regular feature of the Mauritian political landscape, and since it became independent in 1968 the small island has already held ten elections deemed to be free and fair. Another notable feature is the relatively high level of voter turnout, which has hovered at between 70% and 85% for the past ten general elections. With such an impressive scoreboard all should be fine, but unfortunately this is not the case. Over the past few years a number of gnawing democratic deficits have been noted, in particular the advent of dynastic politics, the rise of ethno-politics and the presence of big money in politics. Elections have seen the alternation of power but unfortunately it has been with the same parties and the same leaders. In fact, across the world established politics is in crisis and Mauritius is not exempt from this state of affairs. The objective of this paper is to explore the possibility of doing politics differently through the use of new technology and social media. The paper will explore whether Mauritius has followed the trend of what is now being termed direct democracy, and the possibility for a new kind of political engagement and in the process the construction of a new political …

Roukaya Kasenally and Dooshweena AwatarVolume 16 Number 2, Oct 2017, , , mauritius2017 2014vol-16
Parties in a Plurality System: Candidate Nomination in Ghana's Minor Parties
Parties in a Plurality System: Candidate Nomination in Ghana’s Minor Parties

In theory, plurality electoral systems do not favour the development of minor parties. Scholarly analysis of minor political parties has focused on their electoral performance in national elections, and very little is known about their candidate nomination behaviour at grassroots level. Why minor parties should compete in national elections within a plurality system is a puzzle explained in this paper by an examination of candidate nomination by minor parties in Ghana’s plurality system. Ghana’s minor parties compete in constituencies they know they cannot win. Drawing on poll data, the paper argues that these minor parties use the candidate nomination process not to win parliamentary seats but as a strategy to make their party platforms visible in the political landscape. It reaches three conclusions on candidate nomination: that it is used by minor parties to make their presence felt in the country; that it allows the parties to give the appearance of being strong; and that it is a strategy to boost the campaign of presidential …

Ernest Plange Kwofie and George M Bob-MilliarVolume 16 Number 2, Oct 2017  ghana2017vol-16
Mozambiques's 2014 Elections: A Repeat of Misconduct, Political Tension and Frelimo Dominance
Mozambiques’s 2014 Elections: A Repeat of Misconduct, Political Tension and Frelimo Dominance

The cease-fire that ended the military hostilities between government and Renamo paved the way for Mozambique’s fifth general elections on 14 October 2014. Frelimo consolidated its dominant position in an election underpinned by fraud and misconduct at the polling stations. There was an imbalance of power with Frelimo enjoying better organisation and patronage networks, control of the police and media, and secrecy in the National Electoral Commission (CNE), including altering results. This imbalance is shaped partly by the system of party dominance but also by the weakness of opposition parties who failed to use existing systems. Renamo’s dispute of the electoral results and its endeavour to engage in dialogue with the government as a remedy for the alleged fraud reflects the inadequacy of Mozambique’s elections as the mechanism for a political settlement. This sets the agenda for the next electoral cycle which, in procedural terms, will mirror previous …

Adriano NuvungaVolume 16 No 2, October 2017, , , , mozambique2017 2014vol-16
Journal of African Elections Volume 16 Number 2 Oct 2017 [Entire Journal]
Journal of African Elections Volume 16 Number 2 Oct 2017 [Entire Journal]

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has dominated other political parties in every election since independence in 1966. Debates on factors that account for the dominance of the BDP typically point to weakness of opposition parties, lack of party funding, the electoral system and advantages of incumbency enjoyed by the ruling party. Using performance-based theory, this article contributes to the debate by empirically examining if citizens’ vote for the BDP is based on some selected variables. It aims to find out if Batswana’s voting intentions are determined by an assessment of the economy, democracy, corruption perception, and institutional trust, among others. The study makes use of the 2014 Afrobarometer data, and logistic regression models were used to analyse the data. Therefore the main contribution of this article is the utilisation of empirical data to explain the vote for the ruling party. Theories of voting behaviour suggest that incumbent governments are likely to be voted back into office when they are perceived as performing well in the economy, are trustworthy and not corrupt. This begs the question why some incumbent governments are voted back into office despite poor performance in the economy, declining institutional trust and rising corruption. The article finds that the BDP’s dominance is attributable to its good performance in governance and economic management. The data reveals that Batswana are rational voters, whose voting intentions are based on a careful assessment of the economic performance of BDP government, attitudes towards corruption level and trust in institutions. The paper alsohows that even though Botswana enjoys some good international scores on governance and corruption, citizens perceive that there has been an increase in the number of leaders and organisations involved in corruption. The study has also found that trust is high but decreasing for the ruling party, and low but increasing for opposition parties. …

Batlang Seabo and Kesaobaka MolebatsiVolume 16 Number 2, October 20172017
Botswana's Dominant Party System: Determinants in the Decision to Vote for the Ruling Party
Botswana’s Dominant Party System: Determinants in the Decision to Vote for the Ruling Party

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has dominated other political parties in every election since independence in 1966. Debates on factors that account for the dominance of the BDP typically point to weakness of opposition parties, lack of party funding, the electoral system and advantages of incumbency enjoyed by the ruling party. Using performance-based theory, this article contributes to the debate by empirically examining if citizens’ vote for the BDP is based on some selected variables. It aims to find out if Batswana’s voting intentions are determined by an assessment of the economy, democracy, corruption perception, and institutional trust, among others. The study makes use of the 2014 Afrobarometer data, and logistic regression models were used to analyse the data. Therefore the main contribution of this article is the utilisation of empirical data to explain the vote for the ruling party. Theories of voting behaviour suggest that incumbent governments are likely to be voted back into office when they are perceived as performing well in the economy, are trustworthy and not corrupt. This begs the question why some incumbent governments are voted back into office despite poor performance in the economy, declining institutional trust and rising corruption. The article finds that the BDP’s dominance is attributable to its good performance in governance and economic management. The data reveals that Batswana are rational voters, whose voting intentions are based on a careful assessment of the economic performance of BDP government, attitudes towards corruption level and trust in institutions. The paper also shows that even though Botswana enjoys some good international scores on governance and corruption, citizens perceive that there has been an increase in the number of leaders and organisations involved in corruption. The study has also found that trust is high but decreasing for the ruling party, and low but increasing for opposition …

Batlang Seabo and Kesaobaka MolebatsiVolume 16 Number 2, October 2017, , , , , botswana2017vol-16
Africa's West Meets it's South: A Comparison of Democracy in Nigeria and South Africa, 1993-2016
Africa’s West Meets it’s South: A Comparison of Democracy in Nigeria and South Africa, 1993-2016

Democratic elections in Africa have drawn significant international interest because of their tendencies to generate conflict and violence. Unfortunately, this is not likely to change in the near future, especially with the prevalence of one-party dominance, electoral malpractices, patrimonial leadership and election violence in a number of African countries. Against this background the paper carries out a comparative analysis of presidential elections in Nigeria and South Africa between 1993 and 2016. It focuses specifically on their experiences with election violence, one-party dominance, voter dynamics, and how both countries rate against key global democratic indicators. In doing so, the underlying research question seeks to understand how both countries differ from these variables and what factors contribute to these differences. Using secondary data and responses to the National Democratic Institute (NDI) indicators, the paper argues that while both countries are key players within their respective regions, various factors are responsible for why they differ in their experiences with elections in particular and the democratic process in general. In carrying out an extensive empirical review of relevant literature, this paper is a starting point for comparing the state of democracy in two of the strongest economies on the African continent. The paper also attempts to understand the more recent and urgent experiences and the challenges of democracy in these two contexts. Finally, it presents objectives and challenges for the present and the …

Dorcas Ettang and Oladapo Kayode OpasinaVolume 16 Number 2, October 2017, , , , , nigeria south-africa2017 2016vol-16
Transnationalisation Potential of Electoral Violence in Burundi
Transnationalisation Potential of Electoral Violence in Burundi

Scholars have documented a correlation between different transnational factors and players, and a changing dynamics of civil war leading to the spillover of conflict from one country to another. The effects of diffusion and escalation are the primary causes of the transnationalisation of war. This paper considers whether electoral violence is also prone to these effects and therefore to the transnationalisation phenomenon. Electoral violence carries certain features that distinguish it from general political violence. It relates specifically to electoral events, with motives and timing being the determining factors. Firstly, the article demonstrates that electoral violence prevailed over political violence in the first phases of the 2015 internal conflict in Burundi. Secondly, it shows that there is a potential transnationalisation of electoral violence in the Great Lakes region. This is due to similar regional characteristics and goals of the incumbents, the similar nature of state institutions, and regional linkages among like-minded political …

Lenka HomolkovaVolume 16 Number 1, June 2017, , , 2017vol-16
La Question du Troisieme Mandat Presidentiel au Burundi: Quelles leçons pour la République Démocratique du Congo?
La Question du Troisieme Mandat Presidentiel au Burundi: Quelles leçons pour la République Démocratique du Congo?

Sadiki Koko et Théophile Yuma KaluluVolume 16 Number 1, June 2017, , , , 2017
Presidential Election Disputes in Uganda: A Critical Analysis of the Supreme Court Decisions
Presidential Election Disputes in Uganda: A Critical Analysis of the Supreme Court Decisions

This article analyses the constitutional and domestic legal framework under which the president of Uganda has been elected since 1995. The focus is on the three Supreme Court decisions in the adjudication of presidential electoral disputes in 2001, 2006 and in 2016. It argues that presidential electoral laws are deficient in their capacity to facilitate fair political contestation. This is because they were not adequately constructed to address electoral malpractices pertaining to Uganda, and they have been interpreted to favour the …

Fred SekindiVolume 16 Number 1, June 2017, , , , , 2017vol-16
Ghana's 2016 General Election: Accounting for the Monumental Defeat of the National Democratic Congress (NDC)
Ghana’s 2016 General Election: Accounting for the Monumental Defeat of the National Democratic Congress (NDC)

Ghana is now seen as a thriving African democracy after having gone through seven presidential and parliamentary elections, resulting in three overturns of political power in 2001, 2009 and 2017. The 2016 election was another crossroad for Ghana’s maturing democracy. In this election, the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC) lost to the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP). The margin of defeat suffered by the ruling NDC was puzzling and unprecedented. Using voter behaviour as a theoretical taxonomy, this paper attempts to explain the monumental defeat of the NDC in the 2016 general election. It poses the question: what factors led to this defeat and why was there such a monumental difference of over one million votes? The paper argues that firstly, the defeat was due to regime fatigue anchored in the two-term regime cycle of change and voting based on party identification. Secondly, the defeat was monumental because of poor economic performance; corruption on the part of some government ministers and attempts to shield them; unpopular last minute decisions; the gross display of arrogance by some ministers of state and party officials; a more appealing campaign message of hope from the main opposition party; poor branding and communication of NDC’s campaign promises and ideas; abuse of incumbency; voter apathy on the part of ruling party supporters and the general call for change across the world. The study concludes by offering some useful …

Ransford Edward Van Gyampo, Emmanuel Graham and Eric YoboVolume 16 Number 1, June 2017, , , , , , 2017 2016vol-16
The Evolution of the Swazi Electoral Process: Ideological Contradictions, 1978-2015
The Evolution of the Swazi Electoral Process: Ideological Contradictions, 1978-2015

The subject of the election process has been analysed by different scholars in different historical periods. On the African continent this subject gained prominence after the Second World War when most African countries gained independence from colonial powers. This interest is because of the assumption that both electoral processes and elections are indicators of a transition to democracy and of its consolidation. Evidence indicates that electoral processes in different countries have evolved over time either as a reflection of a positive transition to democracy, or because leaders manipulate the process in order to pursue their own political agendas. This article analyses the evolution of the Swazi electoral process from the time of British colonial rule. The article argues that the Swazi electoral process has evolved over the past fifty years through manipulation by King Sobhuza II and later his son King Mswati III in order to retain their control and dominance over the Swazi population. It shows that as a result of such manipulation, the Swazi electoral process has undermined the transition to democracy in the …

Hamilton Sipho SimelaneVolume 16 Number 1, June 2017, , , , , , , , 2017 2015vol-16
Electoral violence and it's Instrumental Logic: Mapping Press Discourse on Electoral Violence during Parliamentary and Presidential Elections in Zimbabwe
Electoral violence and it’s Instrumental Logic: Mapping Press Discourse on Electoral Violence during Parliamentary and Presidential Elections in Zimbabwe

Elections are one of the key benchmarks for assessing the international perception of a nation’s democratic credentials. However, the credibility of elections is increasingly being tied to questions of whether or not they are conducted in a peaceful atmosphere. Where violence exists as part of the menu of manipulation the press becomes a crucial tool for shaping public perceptions about electoral legitimacy or lack thereof. This study employed a Foucauldian discursive approach to the analysis of election violence in two state-owned newspapers, namely The Herald and The Sunday Mail, and three privately-owned newspapers, namely The Zimbabwe Independent, The Financial Gazette, and the Daily News. Empirical data were drawn from a corpus of news stories published during the 2000 parliamentary and the 2002 presidential elections. The article argues that press construction of election violence was marked by competing discourses reflecting political and ideological bifurcation and this gave way to anti-democratic discursive strategies which could engender political intolerance among the …

Tendai Joseph ChariVolume 16 Number 1, June 2017, , 2017vol-16
Election Observation and the Question of State Sovereignty in Africa
Election Observation and the Question of State Sovereignty in Africa

The fundamental question of whether international election observation strengthens or weakens state sovereignty in African states is examined in this article, using a three-branched hypothesis. Firstly, that the presence of international election observers in the host state does not violate state sovereignty. Secondly, that international election observation enhances democratic legitimacy in the state concerned. Thirdly, that with the advent of the right to intervene in international law, international election observation is a tool used to reinforce the legitimate sovereignty of the state. Many researchers argue that international election observation has been used to infringe state sovereignty, especially in post-conflict states. This paper presents a different view by offering a general analysis of the African continent, demonstrating that international election observation makes an invaluable contribution to restoring and reinforcing legitimate state …

Guy Cyrille TapokoVolume 16 Number 1, June 2017, , 2017vol-16
Election Deposit and Democracy in Developing Countries: A Comparative Overview in Selected Southern African Development Community Countries
Election Deposit and Democracy in Developing Countries: A Comparative Overview in Selected Southern African Development Community Countries

After their independence most African countries adopted constitutions that enshrine democracy and the right to vote and stand for public office. These political rights are important tools for ensuring democracy as they enable citizens to participate in both constituting and having a say in their own government. Despite entrenching these rights in their constitutions, many African countries went further and adopted laws requiring citizens who wish to participate in elections to pay an election deposit fee. Given the fact that most developing countries in Africa experience fairly widespread poverty, many potential candidates may not be able to afford the election deposit fee. Accordingly, the election deposit fee may well hinder the cause of democracy by excluding citizens from exercising their political rights. This paper discusses the effect of an election deposit fee on democracy in developing countries in Africa. The discussion is limited to selected countries in the Southern African Development …

Mbuzeni Johnson MathenjwaVolume 16 Number 1, June 2017, , , , 2017vol-16
Journal of African Elections Vol. 16 No 1, June 2017 [Entire Journal]
Journal of African Elections Vol. 16 No 1, June 2017 [Entire Journal]

2017
Youth Networks on Facebook and Twitter During the 2015 General Elections in Nigeria
Youth Networks on Facebook and Twitter During the 2015 General Elections in Nigeria

In this study I used secondary sources of data to examine how Nigerian youth formed socio-political networks on social media platforms Facebook and Twitter, and how these media influenced the 2015 general elections. I purposively selected four Facebook accounts and four Twitter handles of politicians, political parties and news agencies. The Facebook accounts were those of Goodluck Jonathan, Muhammadu Buhari, Channels Television and Sahara Reporters. The Twitter handles were those of Femi Fani-Kayode, Doyin Okupe, Rueben Abati and Nasir El-Rufai. The Facebook accounts and Twitter handles were selected based on their number of followers and likes. I performed an archival study of posts and tweets between 1 January 2015, when the election campaign started, and 30 April 2015, when all election results were declared by INEC. I also purposively selected five posts and tweets each from the Facebook accounts and Twitter handles, from among myriad posts and tweets, according to which had the highest number of replies on political issues from 1 January 2015. All data obtained were analysed using descriptive analyses. The findings showed that not all followers of political parties and politicians on Facebook and Twitter are their supporters. Moreover the platforms raised the consciousness of Nigerian youth during the 2015 elections in the area of constructive and destructive arguments directly with politicians, which gave birth to new socio-political movements of followers and antagonists. The results also showed that youth networks helped to shape the 2015 elections in terms of exposing and preventing insecurity and fraud. I concluded that social media play a potent role in galvanising Nigerian youth for political discourse, conscientisation and education, which in turn can facilitate effective transformation of electoral processes in …

Ayodeji Anthony AdulojuVolume 15 No 2, October 2016, , , , nigeria2016 2015vol-15
Smart card reader 2015 General Elections in Nigeria
Smart card reader 2015 General Elections in Nigeria

A central issue in the 2015 general elections in Nigeria was the use of the smart card reader, which was a critical component in the election. It was used for the first time in the electoral process of Nigeria and it remains one of the greatest technological innovations of the 2015 general elections. The smart card reader is a technological device set up to authenticate and verify, on election day, a permanent voter card issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission. The fundamental basis for deploying the technological device was to ensure a credible, transparent, free and fair election and thereby to deepen Nigeria’s democracy. However, the use of the card reader generated debate among election stakeholders before, during and after the 2015 general elections. One such debate was the legality of the use of the device. In this paper I examine the debate and the role of the card reader in the elections. I also consider the challenges and impact of the card reader on the election. Considering the massive electoral fraud witnessed in general elections since Nigeria’s independence, I conclude that the smart card reader should be used for future elections. General elections in Nigeria should continue to be technologically …

Emmanuel Adeniran AlebiosuVolume 15 No 2, October 2016, , , nigeria2016 2015vol-15
Politics and the Pulpit: The Rise and Decline of Religion in Nigeria's 2015 Presidential Elections
Politics and the Pulpit: The Rise and Decline of Religion in Nigeria’s 2015 Presidential Elections

Numerous reports show that Nigeria is one of the most religious countries in the world. Thus, it is not surprising that religion features prominently in the country’s elections. The 2015 general election marks another signpost in the interconnection between religion and elections in Nigeria, although with a different pattern. Using an analysis of the 2015 presidential elections, this paper argues that, although religion appeared to play a central role in the pre-election period, it was less significant in the actual voting decision of the electorate on election day. Rather, other factors, especially candidates’ profiles and performance records, took precedence over religious and ethnic considerations. This essay concludes that the voting pattern possibly reveals an increasingly sophisticated electorate and a consolidating democracy in …

Hakeem OnapajoVolume 15 Number 2, Oct 2016, , , , nigeria2016 2015vol-15
Political Advert Campaigns and Voting Behaviour: Akinwunmi Ambode’s 2015 Election Campaign in Lagos State
Political Advert Campaigns and Voting Behaviour: Akinwunmi Ambode’s 2015 Election Campaign in Lagos State

In recent times, the use of political ad campaigns has become increasingly popular, as was evident in the 2015 gubernatorial elections in Lagos State. Advert campaigns of several candidates filled the media, which seemed to be a clear distinction from election campaigns in the past, in which the focus was mainly on political rallies and speeches. This led me to seek to understand the effectiveness of political ad campaigns in shaping the voting behaviour of Nigerian voters. Specifically, I examined political ad campaigns of the All Progressive Congress gubernatorial candidate in Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode. A field survey of eligible voters in Lagos State was carried out to further ascertain the efficacy of political ad campaigns on the electorate. From the field survey, results were collated, analysed and summarised using frequency tables. Findings from the study showed that political ad campaigns do not have a strong effect on the electorate’s voting behaviour but still play a role in the electoral process. I concluded that political candidates and parties should concentrate on other election campaign strategies. I also recommend that further studies be conducted to better understand other factors that influence voting …

Grace Izeghe OjekweVolume 15 Number 2, Oct 2016, , 2016 2015vol-15
Nigeria's 2015 Elections: Permanent Voter's Cards, Smart Card Readers and Security Challenges
Nigeria’s 2015 Elections: Permanent Voter’s Cards, Smart Card Readers and Security Challenges

Voting time in any democracy always involves rigorous politicking. The electioneering exercise in developed democracies tends to have less tension in the polity than in many developing democracies which do witness some hitches, mainly in issues of procedure and security. However, these problems reduce with every subsequent election. Nigeria’s 2015 general elections were no exception to such improvements as there were innovations in the Anti Electoral Fraud Procedures (AEFP). The research in this work questions the extent to which the AEFP prevented electoral malpractices in Nigeria’s 2015 general elections. It also assesses whether, given the security tension in the country, the ratio of actual voter turnout to registered voter speaks of peace in the electoral process. The research methodology adopted is an empirical analysis of data from the Afrobarometer Round 6 survey assessing Nigerians’ perceptions of their electoral environment and of the level of preparedness of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC). INEC’s officially released presidential election result is also critically interrogated. The relative deprivation theory is used to analyse the causes of security challenges. The conclusion is premised on the grounds that there were general improvements in the 2015 general elections and recommendations were posited to the Election Management Body (EMB), the government and the general …

Aremu Fatai Ayinde and Aluko Opeyemi IdowuVolume 15 Number 2, Oct 2016, , , , , nigeria2016 2015vol-15
Ethnicity and Political Transition Programmes in Nigeria, 1960-1999
Ethnicity and Political Transition Programmes in Nigeria, 1960-1999

In Africa, ethnicity has become a versatile tool often used by elites and ethnic organisations to actualise their set goals. The phenomenon of ethnicity is also central to the analysis of Nigerian politics, given its plural nature. Since the commencement of the transition from colonialism to independence and from the guided transitions from military to democratic rule in 1999, ethnic identity and mobilisation have been prominent features of the political arrangement, with serious attendant consequences for political stability. The paper therefore examines some of the impacts of ethnicity on political transition in Nigeria particularly from 1960 to 1999. The methodology is both descriptive and analytical with data drawn extensively from documented sources and subjected to critical …

Chris Ojukwu and Oni Ebenezer OluwoleVolume 15 Number 2, Oct 2016, , , nigeria2016vol-15
Election Rigging and the use of Technology: Smart Card Reader as the Joker in Nigeria's 2015 Presidential Election
Election Rigging and the use of Technology: Smart Card Reader as the Joker in Nigeria’s 2015 Presidential Election

Elections provide the platform for political succession in Nigeria, as elsewhere. They used to provide an opportunity for fraudulent individuals and groups to perpetrate acts of rigging against both other contestants and the electorate. Through no fault of their own stakeholders and the electorate are sidelined through unbridled rigging, thus losing the election or having their votes stolen or cancelled. This was the situation until the arrival of the permanent voter’s cards and the smart card reader. This technological input in Nigerian electoral space made it extremely difficult for results to be manipulated, either by anonymous individuals or through arbitrarily and fraudulently manipulating figures. The transparent application of this electronic device and its embodied security features make it extremely difficult to clone or compromise. This paper, therefore, intends to explore the circumstances that warranted the use of the smart card reader, the polemics surrounding its use, its performance during the 2015 presidential elections, as well as its potential for future …

Osita AgbuVolume 15 Number 2, Oct 2016, , nigeria2016 2015vol-15
Journal of African Elections Volume 15 Number 2 Oct 2016 [Entire Journal]
Journal of African Elections Volume 15 Number 2 Oct 2016 [Entire Journal]

Volume 15 Number 2, Oct 20162016
Democracy Deferred: The Effects of Electoral on Nigeria's Path to Democratic Consolidation
Democracy Deferred: The Effects of Electoral on Nigeria’s Path to Democratic Consolidation

The conduct of free and fair elections provides a yardstick to measure the quality of democracy in a country. Credible elections are the platform on which the populace partakes in democracy by electing representatives of their choice as public office holders. This process enhances the confidence of voters in democratisation, and rekindles the prospect of consolidating democratic institutions, particularly in democratising states. The conduct of elections in Nigeria since 1999 has been inundated with spiralling malpractices in the electioneering process. The trend has worsened with each round of elections, as typified by the 1999, 2003 and 2007 polls. During these three elections, rigging, violence and intimidation flourished. How do such malpractices affect the quality of Nigeria’s democracy? How do electoral malpractices affect the outcome of elections in Nigeria? Can democracy be consolidated in Nigeria in the face of elections that do not reflect the will of the voters? How can Nigeria chart a credible path towards stabilising the country’s democracy? This paper presents qualitative data and an analysis of the above questions. I argue that it is not the regularity of elections that can strengthen democratic heritage in Nigeria, but how transparent the country’s electoral process …

Moses T. AluaigbaVolume 15 Number 2, Oct 2016, , , nigeria2016
Two Decades of Election Observation by the African Union: A Review
Two Decades of Election Observation by the African Union: A Review

Between 1989 and 2013, the African Union (AU) observed 423 elections in Africa. However, these election observation missions were inconsistent at best in terms of approach, methodology, framework and status. The first, which was in Namibia in 1989, was deployed within the framework of the United Nations (UN) statute in terms of which the UN invited the AU. The subsequent election observation missions have to date been deployed either as diplomatic or mediation missions or a combination of diplomatic and independent technical missions. This article shows that the election observation journey of the AU has passed through several stages and regimes. While we recognise the challenges, we also point towards improvement, and identify the missing links that the AU needs to complete to become a truly independent actor in its election observation …

Chika Charles Aniekwe and Samuel Mondays AtuobiVolume 15 Number 1, Jun 20162016vol-15
Paradigm Shift: Youth Engagement in the Conduct of the 2015 Elections in Nigeria
Paradigm Shift: Youth Engagement in the Conduct of the 2015 Elections in Nigeria

This paper examines youth engagement in the conduct of the 2015 general elections in Nigeria, against a backdrop of historical experiences. Discounting the doom youth theory of youth bulge, youth in crisis or lumpen youth culture, the article illustrates a paradigm shift in youth engagement in the conduct of elections. Youth engagement in the 2015 elections was more constructive than in prior elections. Within the context of dual motivation theory, the destructive engagement by youth in the prior elections was motivated by the need to change the outcome, whereas their constructive conduct in the 2015 elections was driven by duty to participate in public affairs in Nigeria. This change in political attitude is explained by a growing consciousness of the potential of young people to act as agents of change. This awareness arises through the aid of social media, coupled with the recent success story of the Arab Spring driven by youth, the inflammable repercussions of previous elections, and the high stakes the 2015 general elections held for Nigerian …

Oarhe OsumahVolume 15 Number 1, Jun 2016, , , nigeria2016 2015vol-15
Electoral Predictions in Africa: Predicting Winners in Relatively Stable Two-Party Systems, using Early and Incomplete Results
Electoral Predictions in Africa: Predicting Winners in Relatively Stable Two-Party Systems, using Early and Incomplete Results

In African elections, the period between polling and announcement can be protracted and tense. In the best cases, this intermission is marked by hopeful candidates urging tense supporters to stay calm. In the worst cases, such periods are used by politicians to hurl accusations of fraud back and forth to work up partisanship and devalue electoral institutions. The days between an election and its results are stressful because incomplete information about this constituency or that trickles out, but partisans have few systematic ways to compare these data with past results or exit polling, and worry that the missing data are somehow being tampered with. This paper shows how OLS regression using past results to fill in partial results can not only reduce uncertainty in the short term, but may also point out whether or not withheld results seem plausible. What began as a simple social media experiment is presented here as an elegant formula that accurately predicts outcomes across Ghana’s Fourth Republic and in Nigeria’s 2015 presidential election. This accuracy was achieved with as little as 10% of the results in, and extremely biased …

Kevin S FridyVolume 15 Number 1, Jun 2016, , , ghana2016vol-15
Journal of African Elections Volume 15 Number 1, June 2016 [Entire Journal]
Journal of African Elections Volume 15 Number 1, June 2016 [Entire Journal]

Volume 15 Number 1, Jun 20162016
Côte d’Ivoire's 2015 Presidential Election: Sign of Democratic Progress?
Côte d’Ivoire’s 2015 Presidential Election: Sign of Democratic Progress?

The 2015 presidential election in Côte d’Ivoire was the first since multiparty elections were introduced in 1990 in which all major parties were able to compete without triggering a civil war. We examine the extent of democratic progress registered by this milestone election, focusing on three democratic qualities of elections: competition, participation, and legitimacy. Whereas competitiveness and participation measures both fell relative to the 2010 election, the 2015 election was contested by all major parties and its results were accepted peacefully, registering a dramatic step forward in the legitimacy of the electoral process and outcome. We support this conclusion with a historical analysis; and by comparing the final 2015 results with parallel vote tabulation for the 2015 election, Afrobarometer survey data from 2014, and a subnational analysis of voter turnout in 2015 relative to …

Tyson Roberts, Joseph Koné, Stéphane Koffi and Kim Yi DionneVolume 15 Number 1, Jun 2016, , , , cote-divoire2016 2015vol-15
A Comparative Case Study of the Voting Behaviour of Poor People in three Selected South African Communities
A Comparative Case Study of the Voting Behaviour of Poor People in three Selected South African Communities

Despite the growing speculation about the electoral power of poor voters, little is known about what influences them to vote the way they do and why. Poor communities are often considered a homogeneous group, with little appreciation for their agency in making electoral choices. In this paper, comparative data are shared from a quantitative study undertaken in two selected poor communities during 2013 in Johannesburg (Riverlea and Doornkop) and a rural community in the Limpopo province in 2014. Two key factors were explored that might explain voter preferences, namely identification and loyalty on the one hand, and on the other clientelism, social grants and vote-buying. Firstly, it was found that long-term party loyalty and party performance are the main predictors of voter preferences, irrespective of geographic location. Secondly, in all three areas, it is unlikely that the majority of poor voters will be persuaded to vote for a particular party on the basis of receiving food parcels before elections. Finally, the study showed that one in six voters would consider voting for a party that provides a social grant, with this trend being most prevalent in the African communities of Doornkop and Limpopo. Therefore, it could be argued that social grants can be used as a campaign strategy of gaining (or retaining) support from grant-holders and could influence the floating …

Yolanda Sadie, Leila Patel and Kim BaldryVolume 15 Number 1, Jun 2016, , , 2016vol-15
'Bunker' Democracy and the Challenges of Sustaining Democratic Values in Nigeria: An Appraisal of the 2011 General Elections
‘Bunker’ Democracy and the Challenges of Sustaining Democratic Values in Nigeria: An Appraisal of the 2011 General Elections

This paper has two focal points. It undertakes a critical review of Nigeria’s 2011 general elections vis-à-vis manifestations of violence across all the regions and zones of the country. It also attempts an in-depth and dispassionate overview of the nexus between democracy and violence. The paper infers that Nigeria is currently operating an ‘insecurity-based democracy’ which can literally be called a ‘bunker democracy’, allegorically describing Nigeria as a country where politicians and the electorate are in constant fear and trepidation for their lives when an election is imminent. I argue that this unwholesome situation should be addressed so that Nigeria does not suffer democratic regression and undue relapse to military autocracy and …

Emmanuel O OjoVolume 15 Number 1, Jun 2016, , , nigeria2016 2011vol-15
Accountability Contract Officers and the Integrity of the 2012 Election outcome in Ghana eisa
Accountability Contract Officers and the Integrity of the 2012 Election outcome in Ghana eisa

The Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) has successfully managed five out of the six elections since the adoption of Ghana’s 1992 Republican Constitution, which gave legal status to the country’s democratisation process despite some administrative lapses over the years. The 2012 presidential election, however, served as a credibility test for the EC. In this paper my main objective is to analyse critically the Ghana 2012 election petition as an expression of mistrust in, and dissatisfaction with, the EC’s performance. I argue that, at least in the case of Ghana, the success of an electoral process is largely a function of the human factor, not necessarily the legal frameworks and regulations in force. Using the theory of accountability, I analyse the role of temporary election officers in eroding public confidence in electoral processes. I also draw attention to some implications of Ghana’s Supreme Court judgment on election administration in future. My recommendations include punishment for officers whose negligence causes avoidable political tensions, to demonstrate the state’s determination to demand accountability from election officers on behalf of citizens. To support this argument, my study uses thematic content analysis of the petitioners’ court affidavit, the court’s judgment and legal opinions proffered through media …

Ishaq Akmey AlhassanVolume 15 Number 1, Jun 2016, , , 2016 2012vol-15
Production, Economic Growth and Conflict in Risky Elections
Production, Economic Growth and Conflict in Risky Elections

This paper analyses typical situations which exist before and after an election. First, the incumbent and his or her challenger make choices that affect the election results. Second, the election itself determines who wins. Third, the loser may or may not accept defeat. If the defeat is not accepted, either a standoff or a coalition between the incumbent and challenger follows. We assume that the incumbent directs his or her resources into the following activities, which affect the chance of winning an election: production, fighting with the challenger, and providing public goods. Similarly, the challenger directs his or her resources into production and fighting with the incumbent. We examine six possible election outcomes based on whether the incumbent wins, the challenger wins, and whether a standoff or coalition arises after either one of the players wins. We draw conclusions about the effect of the various choices which the incumbent and challenger make. Our analysis is mapped to and tested against empirical data from 51 African elections held between 2006 and 2011 (including one in Eritrea in 1993), which are classified into the six outcomes. A variety of regression results are determined. For example, the current empirical material shows that the election outcome depends crucially on fighting between the incumbent and challenger, and less on public goods provision to the …

Kjell Hausken and Mthuli NcubeVolume 14 Number 2, Oct 2015, , , , , 2015vol-14
Nigeria's fourth Republic (1999-2015) and Electoral Outcomes: How long can Patronage or 'Politics of the Belly' Last
Nigeria’s fourth Republic (1999-2015) and Electoral Outcomes: How long can Patronage or ‘Politics of the Belly’ Last

The relationship between elections and the vitality of a democratic society is clear. Elections have proven to be the best means of strengthening the mandate of a performing administration or removing a non-performing one. This paper argues, however, that the outcomes of several elections in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic have proved contrary to the common trend in most advanced democratic systems, in which electoral outcomes are based on performance. While in some cases, especially in political party primaries, candidates with little or no democratic credentials have emerged during general elections, in other instances administrations with relatively high records of infrastructural development have been voted out. This study traces the most probable causes of this paradox to Nigeria’s money politics and a possible misinterpretation of the concept of development. It is essentially a literature-based study, descriptive but also analytical. The paper concludes that the country will have to contend with the politics of underdevelopment for as long as immediate and pecuniary benefits constitute the expectation of the generality of …

Dhikru Adewale YagboyajuVolume 14 Number 2, Oct 2015, , , , nigeria2015vol-14
Nigeria's 2015 Presidential Election: The Votes, the Fears and the Regime Change
Nigeria’s 2015 Presidential Election: The Votes, the Fears and the Regime Change

Nigeria’s 2015 presidential election has been a landmark in the country’s political history. As the fifth round of elections since the restoration of constitutional rule in 1999, it not only resulted in an alternation of power for the first time in the democratic history of Africa’s largest democracy, but its outcome is widely acknowledged as substantially reflecting the wishes of the electorate. This paper reviews the 2015 presidential contest in Nigeria. It observes that, while the election conferred broad legitimacy on the post-election regime, the expectations that accompany the electoral outcome are a huge challenge for the Buhari administration. The paper identifies some factors that may challenge the aspirations of the new government. It also identifies useful lessons that can be drawn from the outcome of the election. These lessons have implications not only for the management of future elections but, more importantly, for efforts at deepening democratic rule in …

Mojeed Adekunle AnimashaunVolume 14 Number 2, Oct 2015, , , , , nigeria2015vol-14
Lesotho's February 2015 Snap Elections: A Prescription that never cured the Sickness
Lesotho’s February 2015 Snap Elections: A Prescription that never cured the Sickness

Within just two years of its existence, Lesotho’s first coalition government experienced serious internal conflicts. These conflicts were mainly the result of the coalition leaders’ failure to balance coalition agreements against the country’s Constitution. The conflicts paralysed the government and the National Assembly, and polarised security establishments. These political developments required mediation by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which in turn led to holding ‘snap elections’ in February 2015. This paper discusses the snap elections. Although the elections helped to form and legitimise a new coalition government, they did not resolve the structural challenges that had paralysed the first coalition government. By calling for an early election, SADC mediation failed to prioritise a solution to the security crisis in Lesotho. Security agencies remain polarised, and some politicians have aligned themselves with those agencies to enhance their influence in national politics. The paper concludes that the snap elections provided only a short-term solution to Lesotho’s political and security problems. The new coalition government is likely to experience the same fate as its predecessor. Furthermore, rule of law is likely to be compromised by the new coalition government for the sake of internal …

Tlohang W LetsieVolume 14 Number 2, Oct 2015, , , lesotho2015vol-14
Language Policies and Voter Turnout: Evidence from South Africa
Language Policies and Voter Turnout: Evidence from South Africa

While many studies have probed the relationship between ethnic diversity and voter turnout, few have examined how voter turnout might be influenced by state policies that afford ethnic groups differing levels of official recognition. This study draws on theories at the intersection of political science and sociolinguistics, to develop and test an argument about the effect that language recognition practices in multilingual democratic societies have on voter turnout. Using data from South Africa, the study finds evidence that inclusive language recognition is linked to higher turnout rates for targeted groups. The study utilises aggregate data collected at ward level, but assesses the results in a preliminary fashion with individual-level data from …

Eric S McLaughlinVolume 14 Number 2, Oct 2015, , , , , , south-africa2015vol-14
Free Elections and Political Instability in Lesotho
Free Elections and Political Instability in Lesotho

Since 1993, Lesotho has had six free elections. Five have been followed by episodes of coercive regional diplomacy or military intervention to maintain order or sustain the elected government. Two of these interventions have occurred as Lesotho’s electoral system was being transformed from a first-past-the-post dominant party system to a mixed member proportional pattern, and a third intervention is presently underway. This essay contends that the effort to remedy the prior lack of inclusiveness in Parliament has accentuated the fissiparous proclivities within Lesotho’s political culture. Following the 2012 and 2015 elections, greater fragmentation among political parties led to hung parliaments and coalition governments with minimal parliamentary majorities. This essay questions whether Staffan Lindberg’s conceptual model regarding the link between the consolidation of democracy and the experience of successive free and fair elections can adequately explain Lesotho’s trajectory. Remarkably, the transfers of power by Pakalitha Mosisili to Motsoahae Thomas Thabane in 2012, and by Thabane back to Mosisili in 2015, were the first such exchanges between an incumbent government and an opposition party in southern Africa during the post-liberation era. Whether this positive development might be translated into more effective governance and regard for democratic norms will be …

Richard F WeisfelderVolume 14 Number 2, Oct 2015, , , , lesotho2015vol-14
Facebook: Revolutionising Electoral Campaign in Botswana?
Facebook: Revolutionising Electoral Campaign in Botswana?

Political candidates and parties harnessed Facebook as a tool for political mobilisation and communication at the time of the Botswana 2014 election. This paper explores the use of Facebook as a campaign tool in the 2014 Botswana general election. It argues that the extensive use of Facebook in political campaigning has added a new dimension to electoral campaigns in Botswana, by allowing political parties a relatively cheap means of transmitting information. Furthermore, Facebook has democratised media access, and has afforded people who have previously been side-lined by traditional media an important platform for political mobilization. Accordingly, Facebook has widened the democratic space and reduced the disparities in the electoral arena. Most importantly, it has generated interest in politics among young people. The intersection between Facebook and traditional media and other social media has augmented their efficiency by amplifying their reach. However, Facebook does not replace traditional campaign approaches but rather serves to augment …

Bontle Masilo and Batlang SeaboVolume 14 Number 2, Oct 2015, , , , botswana2015vol-14
Journal of African Elections Volume 14 Number 2 Oct 2015 [Entire Journal]
Journal of African Elections Volume 14 Number 2 Oct 2015 [Entire Journal]

Volume 14 Number 2, Oct 20152015
American Democratic Support to Ghana's Fourth Republic: Assistance or Encumbrance?
American Democratic Support to Ghana’s Fourth Republic: Assistance or Encumbrance?

The end of the Cold War ushered the world into a new era of democratic governance. Citizens in developing countries began to actively contribute to the democratic process, by demanding probity and accountability in existing governance structures. The international donor community added to these efforts by responding to the challenge of the new wave of democratisation in the late 1980s, by embracing ‘democracy assistance’ as a core priority. In January 1993, Ghana inaugurated its Fourth Republic. It was a transition fraught with challenges – which continue to blight the development of a democratic culture. In response, the American Government stepped in with financial and technical support in the hope of helping Ghana to avoid a stall in the county’s democratic development. This aid for democratic development has received plenty of criticism with regard to issues such as as conditionalities imposed by America. The current study used a matched-area comparison to examine the effects of aid programmes. The findings show that the USAID-initiated ECSELL and GAIT programmes have increased local-level democratisation in Ghana by strengthening the capacities and abilities of civil …

Isaac Owusu-MensahVolume 14 Number 2, Oct 2015, , , , ghana2015vol-14
Reproducing Toxic Election Campaigns: Negative Campaigning and Race-Based Politics in the Western Cape
Reproducing Toxic Election Campaigns: Negative Campaigning and Race-Based Politics in the Western Cape

The 2014 election in the Western Cape was once again a high-stakes, fiercely-contested affair. Political parties saw the Western Cape as an ‘open race’ and the province became the centre of vigorous campaign efforts in the lead-up to the election. The African National Congress (ANC), which had lost control of the province because its vote share dropped from 45% in 2004 to 32% in 2009, hoped to unseat the Democratic Alliance (DA), which had won in 2009 by a very narrow margin (51%). The ANC felt that it had done enough to regain control of the province, especially in light of deep-seated disillusionment in many communities and the violent protests that took place prior to the election.While the ANC maintained its support base, winning votes from 33% of the provincial electorate, the type of identity-based campaign it pursued combined with other factors to work to the DA’s advantage. Despite the fact that the DA also engaged in race-based campaigning it won 59% of the provincial vote. This was obtained at the expense of small parties, who received negligible support in the 2014 election. Only the Economic Freedom Fighters and the African Christian Democratic Party won enough votes to obtain a seat each in the provincial legislature. This article examines electoral dynamics in the Western Cape, which saw the consolidation of DA support in the province. It focuses on the 2014 election campaign and the extent to which the negative campaign cycle evident in previous elections continued during the 2014 election …

Cherrel AfricaVolume 14 Number 1, Jun 2015, , , , , 2015vol-14
Public Servant or Censor? The South African Broadcasting Corporation in the Era of Political Television Advertising
Public Servant or Censor? The South African Broadcasting Corporation in the Era of Political Television Advertising

Political television advertising is becoming an important feature of democratic elections and essential to election campaign strategies. In this article we take a close look at the role the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is playing in the new era of political television advertising ushered in in 2009. We focus our analysis on the banning by the SABC of election advertisements by two major opposition political parties before the 2014 elections. The country’s regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) upheld the decision of the SABC when the two parties filed complaints. The banning of the advertisements and Icasa’s decision are assessed on two important principles for public broadcasting – editorial independence and public accountability. We argue in this article that the action by the public broadcaster undermines freedom of expression and the credibility of both the SABC and Icasa, especially when contextualised within other controversial editorial decisions taken by the broadcaster over the years. Further, we argue that laws governing political advertising in South Africa are constitutionally problematic and contain contradictions in how they should be applied and implemented by both broadcasters and Icasa. We conclude by arguing for a review of these …

Sarah Chiumbu and Antonio CiagliaVolume 14 Number 1, Jun 2015, , , , , , , , , , south-africa2015vol-14
The Impending Collapse of the House of Mamphela Ramphele: Agang SA
The Impending Collapse of the House of Mamphela Ramphele: Agang SA

In the 2014 general elections Agang SA won 52 350 votes (0.28% of the 18654 771 votes cast) and only two seats in the National Assembly. The electoral performance of the newly-formed party was dismal, especially in comparison to that of its fellow debutant, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). This article explores the reasons for Agang SA’s poor performance and concludes that they may include both the fact that its political message did not resonate with the wider population and the fact that its campaign strategy was ineffectual. However, it would seem that the main reason for the party’s failure was that it was formed around the character and personal successes of one individual – its founder, Dr Mamphela Ramphele. Ramphele’s reputation wittingly or unwittingly shaped the character and orientation of Agang SA, and her political indiscretions compromised its electoral potential. The future of Agang SA is bleak and its collapse almost …

Mashupye H Maserumule, Ricky Munyaradzi Mukonza, Nyawo Gumede and Livhuwani L NdouVolume 14 Number 1, Jun 2015, , , south-africa2015vol-14
The IEC and the 2014 Elections: A Mark of Institutional Maturity?
The IEC and the 2014 Elections: A Mark of Institutional Maturity?

South Africa’s election management body, The Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), faced an unprecedented situation in the run-up to the country’s fifth elections. Its chairperson, Pansy Tlakula, was found to have behaved in a manner unbefitting an electoral commissioner. Her misconduct raised concerns about whether or not the IEC would manage the elections impartially. These concerns, together with the prescribed censure for conduct unbecoming of a commissioner, led to a clamour for her removal. The proximity of the elections, however, militated against the resolution of the saga, leading to Tlakula staying on to oversee the elections. This article looks at whether the imbroglio had an impact on the reputation of the IEC. To make this determination, the article draws on survey findings about the IEC’s administration of the elections. Part of the spotlight falls on how the responsible institutions, particularly Parliament and the courts, handled the problem. The article employs an institutionalist theoretical framework to explain its …

Mcebisi NdletyanaVolume 14 Number 1, Jun 2015, , , , south-africa2015 2014vol-14
Election 2014 and the ANC's duet of Dominance and Decline
Election 2014 and the ANC’s duet of Dominance and Decline

The African National Congress (ANC) result in South Africa’s national and provincial elections of 2014 sings in two voices – ‘extraordinary repeat victory’ and ‘monolith in gradual decline’. The fact that the party continued to dominate, with 62% of the national vote, was a significant achievement in this fifth set of national-provincial elections in democratic South Africa. In none of these elections has the ANC polled below 60%. Yet, from whatever angle its result is analysed, decline and decay are evident. The national result trend is one of serial decline over the last three elections. The opposition challenge came from both left and right and the ANC took losses on both flanks; turnout was down, as many of its supporters chose abstention over vote-switching; the ANC became more dependent on rural votes in an urbanising South Africa and results in the metropoles suggest further degeneration, unless the party invents turnarounds. A trend reversal remains possible, yet would be exceedingly difficult given the extraordinary campaign that was required to bring in the 62% in …

Susan BooysenVolume 14 Number 1, Jun 2015, , , , , south-africa2015 2014vol-14
JAE Volume 14 Number 1 Jun 2023 [Entire Journal, Special Issue: South Africa’s 2014 Elections]
JAE Volume 14 Number 1 Jun 2023 [Entire Journal, Special Issue: South Africa’s 2014 Elections]

Volume 14 Number 1, Jun 20152015
The Economic Freedom Fighters: South Africa's turn Towards Populism
The Economic Freedom Fighters: South Africa’s turn Towards Populism

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party has made an impact on South African politics since it was launched in 2013. After the general election in 2014 the EFF became the third-largest party in the National Assembly and the official opposition in North West and Limpopo provinces. Some commentators have raised concerns that the EFF’s success represents a turn towards a dangerous populism in South African politics. This article seeks to analyse the EFF as a populist party by arguing that it fits into a global pattern of populism in electoral politics. It uses the category of ‘political style’, as developed by Benjamin Moffitt and Simon Tormey (2014), to discuss the brand of populism espoused by the EFF. The article argues that the performative elements of the EFF’s politics – its uniform and rhetoric, as well as its engagement with national and provincial legislatures – have had the effect of sparking a debate about the relevance of the country’s political institutions 20 years into democratic …

Sithembile MbeteVolume 14 Number 1, Jun 2015, , , , , 2015vol-14
The Democratic Alliance and the role of Opposition Parties in South Africa
The Democratic Alliance and the role of Opposition Parties in South Africa

In the 2014 election the Democratic Alliance (DA) strengthened its electoral support nationally as well as in the Western Cape province, where it governs. It gained over a million new national votes, increasing its total from 2945 829 in 2009 to 4 091 548 in 2014. It also unseated the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) as official opposition in KwaZulu-Natal and became the official opposition in the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and Free State, while strengthening its opposition status in Gauteng from 21.86% of the vote in 2009 to 30.78% in 2014. In the Western Cape it gained 59.38% of the vote, an increase from 51.46% in 2009. This article considers whether the DA’s 2014 electoral gains suggest a strengthening of opposition politics in South Africa. It focuses on whether the DA meets the obligations of an opposition party with regard to providing an institutional space for counter-political elites to organise and providing a viable alternative to the ruling party together with facilitating debate over political issues and public policy while also performing an oversight …

Shauna MottiarVolume 14 Number 1, Jun 2015, , , , , south-africa2015vol-14
A Brief History of Factionalism and New Party Formation and Decline in South Africa: The Case of Cope
A Brief History of Factionalism and New Party Formation and Decline in South Africa: The Case of Cope

There is little analytical literature on the theory and empirical analysis of party factionalism that leads to splits and the formation of new political entities. The existing theoretical literature identifies factors and processes that are split-enabling. When coupled to the dynamics of organisational change, these conceptual tools provide a unique framework for analysing party-political dynamics in South Africa from an historically comparative perspective. This analysis identifies key trends in party splits in both ‘white’ and ‘black’ politics, which serves to illuminate more recent developments with regard to the realignment of opposition politics in South Africa. A conceptual framework combining organisational theory with the literature on party factionalism and party splits has facilitated our case-study focus on the formation, electoral performance and decline of the Congress of the People (Cope) as an opposition party in South Africa. We argue that Cope emerged from factional disputes within the ANC and has subsequently largely been shaped by the dynamics of its split and formation from the ANC, despite its attempt to break ties with the parent party. Existing analyses of Cope examine its performance in terms of policy, electoral and oppositional performance, while the approach this article adopts is to argue that the process of Cope’s formation significantly shaped the conditions of its future internal dynamics and political …

Ivor Sarakinsky and Ebrahim FakirVolume 14 Number 1, Jun 2015, , , , , , 2015vol-14
Introduction: The 2014 Elections: Game-Changer or Continuation of Status-Quo?
Introduction: The 2014 Elections: Game-Changer or Continuation of Status-Quo?

Mcebisi Ndletyana and Mashupye H MaserumuleVolume 14 Number 1, Jun 2015, , , south-africa2015 2014vol-14
The Youth Factor in Zimbabwe's 2013 Harmonised Elections
The Youth Factor in Zimbabwe’s 2013 Harmonised Elections

The youth in Zimbabwe have often been described as disenfranchised, corruptible and susceptible to manipulation by politicians. This narrative assumes that the youth are a homogenous group, uniform in their grievances and consensual about strategies to resolve them. Analysing the case of youth participation in the 2013 harmonised elections in Zimbabwe, this article challenges that assumption by arguing that the youth are polarised and struggling to articulate a national objective that might be able to shift the country’s political discourse. It contends that the majority of Zimbabwean youth act as loosely affiliated individuals seeking personal rather than group benefits. At the same time, by assessing the engagement of youth within political parties either as supporters or officials, the article further argues that the structural dynamics of these political parties deny the youth agency and make them conform. It therefore concludes that participation by the youth in the 2013 elections was mainly driven by individual interests rather than collective grievances or political …

Obert HodziVolume 13 Number 2, Oct 2014, , , zimbabwe2014 2013vol-13
Rigging Through the Courts: The Judiciary and Electoral Fraud in Nigeria
Rigging Through the Courts: The Judiciary and Electoral Fraud in Nigeria

Since Nigeria’s return to democratic rule in 1999 elections in the country have been accompanied by reports of widespread fraud. A number of studies have illustrated the many ways in which electoral fraud is perpetrated in Nigeria. However, there is yet to be a serious study showing the judicial dimension to such fraud. This study reveals the relationship of the judiciary to electoral fraud. Analysing data sourced from written records (newspaper reports, election observers’ reports, law reports and political party publications) and interviews, the study argues that the structure and condition of the Nigerian judiciary can help to explain the incidence of electoral fraud in the country. It also makes a new contribution to the existing literature on the nature and causes of electoral fraud, showing that non-electoral institutions, especially the judiciary, and non-political elites can be relevant to the explanation of electoral fraud in a …

Hakeem Onapajo and Ufo Okeke UzodikeVolume 13 Number 2, Oct 2014, , , , , , nigeria2014vol-13
Reinforcing Authoritarian Rule: Electoral Politics in Angola
Reinforcing Authoritarian Rule: Electoral Politics in Angola

In the aftermath of the conclusion of the peace process in Angola in 1992 the Angolan government managed to establish formal democratic institutions. Foremost on the agenda was the decision to allow for multiparty elections. Yet the launch of electoral politics as part of the democratic landscape in Angola has not led to the development of a culture of tolerance and openness typical of democratic societies. On the contrary, the outbreak of a civil war following the disputed elections in 1992 gave the Angolan government the opportunity to revert to its authoritarian ways. The consequence of this reversal was that the elections of 2008 have not led to the entrenchment or the development of electoral democracy but rather to the reinforcement of electoral authoritarianism. This article posits that while the foundation for the evolution of electoral democracy has been laid, the Angolan government can, at best, be described as an electoral authoritarian state that reinforces its hegemony over Angolan society through electoral processes which do not conform to democratic …

Lesley BlaauwVolume 13 Number 2, Oct 2014, , , 2014vol-13
Monetary Clout and Electoral Politics in Kenya: The 1992 to 2013 Presidential Elections in Focus
Monetary Clout and Electoral Politics in Kenya: The 1992 to 2013 Presidential Elections in Focus

This article sets out to analyse the role and impact of monetary power in Kenya’s presidential elections. It examines the economic advantages or lack thereof which each of the candidates marshalled to fight the elections and the extent to which the economic edge determined the final outcome. The article focuses on the five presidential elections Kenya has held since its first multiparty dispensation. The analysis traces the consistency of trends and the presence, or absence, of patterns in an attempt to draw generalisations and parallels, and demonstrates how economic wealth has been used by Kenyan presidential candidates since 1992 to influence and win elections. The article contributes to a comprehensive understanding of the conceptual, legal and practical development of the role of money in supporting and/or discrediting presidential electoral processes and outcomes in …

Lukong Stella Shulika, Wilson Kamau Muna and Stephen MutulaVolume 13 Number 2, Oct 2014, , , 2014 2013vol-13
The 'Menu of Manipulation' and the 2013 Zimbabwe Elections: Towards explaining the ‘technical knockout’
The ‘Menu of Manipulation’ and the 2013 Zimbabwe Elections: Towards explaining the ‘technical knockout’

A year after Zimbabwe’s July 2013 elections some are still mystified by the results, especially the overwhelming triumph of incumbent President Robert Mugabe and his Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF). The outcome seemed to go against the grain. Zanu-PF achieved a supermajority, capturing more than two-thirds of the parliamentary seats. Its chief rival, the Morgan Tsvangirai-led Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) only offered feeble competition and was left befuddled, wondering what had hit it. To date, few know what exactly happened to the opposition forces and their ‘pro-democracy’ allies in civil society and how it happened. However, there is anecdotal and circumstantial evidence that can be used to deduce what might have taken place. This article seeks to do …

Eldred V MasunungureVolume 13 Number 2, Oct 2014, , , , zimbabwe2014 2013vol-13
Land, Indigenisation and Empowerment: Narratives that Made a Difference in Zimbabwe’s 2013 Elections
Land, Indigenisation and Empowerment: Narratives that Made a Difference in Zimbabwe’s 2013 Elections

The 2013 harmonised elections held in Zimbabwe after the termination of the SADC- facilitated Government of National Unity elicited unprecedented comment following another resounding ‘win’ by the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF). This article reflects on the election and argues that while competitive authoritarianism contributed significantly to the party’s ‘landslide victory’, it is slipshod to ignore the centrality to its electoral success of Zanu-PF’s populist stance with respect to land, indigenisation and empowerment. The article also examines the significance of hate speech as a negative campaign strategy employed by Zanu-PF to portray the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in the most negative light. It concludes that the election was reduced to ‘fantasies of salvation’ by President Robert Mugabe as a charismatic leader, primarily because the electorate was seduced into viewing Zanu-PF as the most credible party to pull the country out of the economic quagmire through its land, indigenisation, empowerment, ‘pro-poor’ and anti-Western policies. These policies resonated well with the growing numbers of wage-less youthful voters,1 who constitute more than 60% of the country’s …

Booker MagureVolume 13 Number 2, Oct 2014, , zimbabwe2014 2013vol-13
Ethnicity and/or Issues? The 2013 General Elections in Western Kenya
Ethnicity and/or Issues? The 2013 General Elections in Western Kenya

It is often assumed that Kenyans vote on the basis of ethnic identification rather than the socio-economic and political issues affecting their lives. However, experience from earlier elections shows that issues and interests are important drivers in giving form and expression to identity politics. This article examines the interaction between ethnic identification and issue differentiation in the March 2013 general elections in Western Kenya by identifying factors that influenced the outcomes in the six simultaneous elections. The article is based on observation, interviews and data collected in a survey of four constituencies inhabited by Luo- and Luyia-speaking people in Western Kenya during the campaign period and immediately after the elections. The study suggests that while constituencies may have voted as a bloc along ethnic identification lines – especially with respect to national politics and the presidential election – their choices were also differentiated and informed by specific issues, especially at the county and constituency …

Frederick O Wanyama,Jørgen Elklit, Bodil Folke Frederiksen and Preben KaarsholmVolume 13 Number 2, Oct 2014, , , kenya2014 2013vol-13
Journal of African Elections Volume 13 Number 2 Oct 2014 [Entire Journal]
Journal of African Elections Volume 13 Number 2 Oct 2014 [Entire Journal]

Volume 13 Number 2, Oct 20142014
Civil Society's Contested Role in the 2013 Elections in Zimbabwe: A Historical Perspective
Civil Society’s Contested Role in the 2013 Elections in Zimbabwe: A Historical Perspective

This article is a critical and historical assessment of the contribution of Zimbabwe’s bourgeoning civil society to the restructuring of political and social relations in post-colonial Zimbabwe. The general objective is to contribute to the debate about how Zimbabwe’s post-colonial civil society has theorised about change and, importantly, the deeply contested nature of the agency that this has generated. The article concentrates on how civil society structured itself and acted before the elections on 31 July 2013, which the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) ‘won resoundingly’. What emerges is that while the economic despair of the 1990s and the breakdown in the national consensus mobilised an almost ‘popular democratic front’ this changed course in the subsequent decade, weakening the ‘popular’ and ‘democratic’ nature of civil society agency. The foundation of ‘liberal rights’ and ‘democracy’ and ‘good governance’ powerfully amalgamated in the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) and the ‘No Vote’ in 2000 became theoretically feeble and revealed a debilitating post-colonial impasse – an interregnum during which an urban-based intelligentsia-led theorisation and agency was momentarily checkmated by a violent nationalist …

Tamuka Charles Chirimambowa and Tinashe Lukas ChimedzaVolume 13 Number 2, Oct 2014, , , , 2014 2013vol-13
Briefing Zimbabwe's 2013 Elections: Two Constitutional Controversies and Comments on Some Structural Matters
Briefing Zimbabwe’s 2013 Elections: Two Constitutional Controversies and Comments on Some Structural Matters

Zimbabwe’s 2013 elections were tainted with illegality. This article focuses on two constitutional issues: the election date controversy and the use of the Presidential Powers (Temporary) Measures Act to effect amendments to the Electoral Act. It is argued that the language of the Constitution was not followed. An artificial interpretation of the relevant constitutional provisions undermined the rule of law and the separation of powers. This is disturbing, since the meaning of the constitutional provisions concerned is not obscure. The article also describes some of the ‘structures’ under which the election was conducted. The powers and composition of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the impact of proportional representation on the legislature and the rules governing the election of the president are therefore outlined and …

Greg LiningtonVolume 13 Number 2, Oct 2014, , , 2014 2013vol-13
Some Preliminary Conclusions on the Causes and Consequences of Political Party Alliances and Coalitions in Africa
Some Preliminary Conclusions on the Causes and Consequences of Political Party Alliances and Coalitions in Africa

Tom LodgeVolume 13 Number, 1 Jun 2014, , , , , , 2014
Kenya's Decade of Experiments with Political Party Alliances and Coalitions: Motivations, Impact and Prospects
Kenya’s Decade of Experiments with Political Party Alliances and Coalitions: Motivations, Impact and Prospects

This article explains the causes, factors and motivations influencing the formation (the survival and the collapse) of pre-electoral alliances and coalition governments in Kenya. It also looks at the consequences of alliances and coalitions for national cohesion and the party system. The paper demonstrates that alliances and coalitions contribute to national cohesion in Kenya by bringing together polarised political parties and ethnic groups and ensuring a more equitable sharing of national resources. Conversely it argues that while party alliances and coalitions do contribute to a degree of national cohesion their disintegration may, in certain circumstances, undo the progress achieved in building national cohesion. Finally the study shows that party alliances and coalitions tend to weaken smaller parties and the party system in favour of the larger …

Denis Kadima and Felix OwuorVolume 13 Number 1, Jun 2014, , , , , , , kenya2014vol-13