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  • Author: Stephanie Regalia
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: On May 21st 2019, Malawi will hold its tripartite elections, where voters will vote for the President, Members of Parliament and local Councillors. 2019 will also mark the 25 years of multiparty politics in Malawi since the one-party regime presided by Hastings Kamuzu Banda came to an end in 1994. The transition to multiparty democracy has been encouraging with the number of large political parties steadily growing and power peacefully changing hands between the four presidents, the country has known since 1994. In this context, the race to the 2019 elections is particularly competitive. The most recent polls place voter intention for the outgoing president Peter Mutharika and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) at a near tie with the lead opposition candidate Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP). The MCP used to be the only authorized political party under Hastings Kamuzu Banda’s rule. Its return to the forefront of voter intentions signals important changes in the landscape of political actors in Malawi. This paper explores some of the reasons behind this changing political landscape. It looks at the DPP’s recent loss of support due to discontent with rampant corruption and a controversial land reform passed in 2016. It also examines the landscape of challengers, including the current Vice President Saulos Chilima, following his departure from DPP ranks to form a new political movement, the United Transformation Movement (UTM). Given the diversity of large political parties in contention, which also includes Atupele Muluzi’s United Democratic Front (UDF) and Joyce Banda’s People’s Party (PP), the possibility of securing victory in the 2019 presidential election may rest on the ability of political parties to form strategic electoral alliances. This may require moving past political parties formed solely around the personality and identity of their leaders to a more issue-based political debate.
  • Topic: Corruption, Politics, Elections, Land, Political Parties
  • Political Geography: Africa, Malawi
  • Author: Rhoda Osei-Afful
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Ghana Center for Democratic Development
  • Abstract: The ANC's 50-50 policy ensured that 50% of its candidate list for Natonal Assembly seats were women.
  • Topic: Politics, Elections, Democracy, Political and institutional effectiveness
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Inken von Borzyskowski
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Drawing on extensive field research in Kenya and Liberia around the 2017 elections in those countries, this report uses local survey data to evaluate the effectiveness of seven prevention measures thought to reduce the risk of election violence. Its recommendations, directed primarily to the international community but offering utility for regional and national agencies, offer ways to strengthen existing practices or address shortcomings and gaps in programming and enhance their ability to shape environments conducive to peaceful elections.
  • Topic: Politics, Elections, Violence, Peace
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Liberia
  • Author: Charles Nyuykonge, Nonjabulo Buhle Mazibuko
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: With Africa having steadily begun the litany of elections billed for 2017, the orderly manner in which Somalia’s elections took place restored a glimmer of hope in those who think only the worst for Africa’s democratic and electoral maturity. With over 20 elections scheduled to take place before December 2017, the African Union Commission (AUC) has identified potential fault lines across Kenya’s election processes, and those in Liberia, as sites for election-related violence. Accordingly, among other things, the AUC has trained approximately 50 long-term election observers to be deployed to Kenya, Liberia and other states – based on empirical evidence that these particular cases could be cause for concern. This Policy and Practice Brief (PPB) examines the prospect for a peaceful election in Kenya, and offers insights on what can be done to mitigate any possible election-related violence. With respect to the state of readiness of election management bodies (EMB), the Supreme Court and the government to deliver credible elections, this PPB examines and brings to light challenges that could potentially trigger election-related violence, with the view to make recommendations on how to mobilise key stakeholders to invest in supporting local and under utilised institutions or existing processes and practices capable of mitigating election-related violence. Some of these stakeholders are critical in ensuring the identification of conflict triggers, forewarning about them and preventing their escalation to national crises and conflict. Civil society organisations (CSOs), regional and international organisations should, in the build-up to the 8 August election, effectively co-ordinate their pre-assessment field visits to Kenya so as to identify potential options to avert the likelihood of election-related violence in the country.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, Elections, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Liberia, Somalia
  • Author: Brown Odigie
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD)
  • Abstract: The years 2015 and 2016 were crucial for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) from the perspective of its efforts to ensure sustainable peace and stability in the region, through supporting the conduct of peaceful elections and the orderly transfer of power. A total of 10 of its 15 member states held elections in 2015 and 2016. ECOWAS has a rich history of managing political transitions and elections in the past 18 years, following the adoption of the 1999 Protocol Relating to the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peace-keeping and Security (referred to as “the mechanism”), as well as the 2001 Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance. This Policy and Practice Brief (PPB) examines ECOWAS’ interventions around the electoral processes of its member states, with particular focus on its management of the 2016 post-election impasse in The Gambia. This highlights how effective a mediation process can be when mandates are grounded within institutions’ normative and legal instruments, and when international actors work in partnership with regional organisations with respect to the principles of subsidiarity, complementarity and comparative advantages. The lessons from this intervention might therefore be relevant to other regional economic communities (RECs), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) in avoiding the pitfalls of working in silos or engaging in a multiplicity of interventions, which are often at cross-purposes.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, Democratization, Peacekeeping, Elections, Democracy, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Gambia