What to watch for as election season sweeps across Africa
There are five countries in East and West Africa slated for elections in the near future. Guest blogger Alex Thurston outlines out the issues at hand in each election.
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In Benin, presidential elections took place on March 13. Incumbent President Boni Yayi won re-election with 53 percent of the official vote, eliciting a court challenge from the opposition. Benin’s constitutional court refused to hear the case, and has certified Yayi’s victory. Opposition leader Adrien Houngbedji has, according to the latest report I could find, refused to concede. Parliamentary elections are thus approaching in an atmosphere of tension. David Zounmenou of the Institute for Security Studies explores some of the issues at stake in the election, and asks what the election means for democratization in Benin, here.
In Mauritania, major opposition leaders Messaoud Boulkheir and Ahmed Ould Daddah, who respectively placed second and third in the 2009 presidential elections, are calling on the government of President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz to delay the senatorial elections scheduled for later this month.
Problems with Chad’s parliamentary elections on Feb. 13 (elections the ruling party won) have provoked opposition boycotts and played into the uncertainty surrounding presidential elections that have already been delayed at least once. The elections will likely return President Idriss Deby to office, but may leave unresolved political tensions behind.
What is your take on these elections?
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