The Impact of COVID-19 on Democratic Elections in Africa

Author
Michael Asiedu
Content Type
Working Paper
Institution
Global Political Trends Center
Abstract
Almost all African countries rolled out significant measure in response to Covid-19. From border closures through to the use of personal protective equipment (PPEs) to restricted gatherings and contact tracing, a combination of diverse public health safety strategies was employed. These same strategies nonetheless would make preparations toward holding smooth and timely elections cumbersome. Ghana’s electoral commissioner announced an indefinite postponement of its voter registration exercise, it is still in consultation with stakeholders on carrying out the exercise with only six months to its presidential and parliamentary elections if the timeline stays the same. Niger also suspended its voter registration exercise; Ethiopia postponed its elections entirely. Other countries that have had some forms of election postponement include Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Kenya.
Topic
Elections, Democracy, Crisis Management, COVID-19
Political Geography
Kenya, Africa, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana