Editor: Denis Kadima
Managing Editor: Heather Acott
Contributors: Zefanias Matsimbe, Nelson Domingos, John Rabuogi Ahere, Moses Nderitu Nginya, Adriano Nuvunga, Joseph Hanlon, Emeka C Iloh, Michael E Nwokedi, Cornelius C Mba, Kingsley O Ilo, Atanda Abdulwaheed Isiaq, Oluwashina Moruf Adebiyi, Adebola Rafiu Bakare, Joseph Olusegun Adebayo, Nicodemus Minde, Sterling Roop, Kjetil Tronvoll
Key terms: Mukendi Tshimanga Rossy, Angola, 2017, , Dos Santos, Era, Compatriot, Foe, Political Parties, Violent , Kenya, South, Africa, International Election Observers, Impartial, Partisan, Local Media, Mozambique, Voting Rights, Internally Displaced Persons, Nigeria, 2015, General, Elections, Ethnicity, Outcomes, Presidential, Gerontocracy, Youth, Quest, Participation, Rise, Fall, Government of National Unity, Zanzibar, Critical Analysis
Zefanias Matsimbe is a lecturer in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique and elections consultant in the EISA Mozambique Office
Nelson Domingos António is a lecturer in the Department of Political Science, University Agostinho Neto, Luanda, Angola and a member of the Angolan Association of Political Science (AACP)
ABSTRACT: 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 Angola.
John Rabuogi Ahere is a conflict management practitioner and researcher with interest in international politics and its linkage to peace, security and development. He is currently a PhD candidate of Peace Studies at the University of New England in Armidale, Australia
ABSTRACT: 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 lists.
Moses Nderitu Nginya is a Graduate Student in the School of Peace, Diplomacy and Security Studies, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya
ABSTRACT: 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 interests.
Adriano Nuvunga is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Faculty of Arts and Social Science, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, and Director of the Public Integrity Centre, Centro de Integridade Pública) in Maputo
Joseph Hanlon is a Visiting Senior Fellow, Department of International Development, London School of Economics and Political Science Adriano Nuvunga and Joseph Hanlon are deputy editor and editor Mozambique Political Process Bulletin
ABSTRACT: 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 system.
Emeka C Iloh is Research Fellow African Heritage Institution, Enugu, Nigeria
Michael E Nwokedi is a lecturer in the Social Science Unit, School of General Studies, University of Nigeria
Nsukka Cornelius C Mba is a lecturer in the Department of Public Administration Madonna University, Okija, Nigeria
Kingsley O Ilo is a lecturer in the Social Science Unit, School of General Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka
ABSTRACT: 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 election.
Atanda Abdulwaheed Isiaq is a lecturer in the Department of Political Science, University of Ilorin, Nigeria
Oluwashina Moruf Adebiyi is a lecturer in the Department of Political Science, University of Ilorin, Nigeria
Adebola Rafiu Bakare is a lecturer in the Department of Political Science, University of Ilorin, Nigeria
ABSTRACT: 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 backgrounds.
Joseph Adebayo is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town
ABSTRACT: 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 youth.
Nicodemus Minde is a PhD candidate in the United States International University - Africa, Nairobi, Kenya
Sterling Roop is a political analyst in Telluride, Co, USA
Kjetil Tronvoll is Director, Oslo Analytica and Professor and Research Director, Peace and Conflict studies at Bjorknes University College, Oslo, Norway
ABSTRACT: 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 victory.