Africa This Week: November 9, 2020

November 9, 2020 (Updated November 14, 2020)

Your weekly roundup of news and analysis of elections in Africa. For a full electoral calendar and interactive map, click here

Tanzanian opposition leader Tundu Lissu, who has fled the country following a post-election crackdown. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Likumbage (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Upcoming Africa Elections

Burkina Faso Presidential and Parliamentary Elections: November 22, 2020

Burkina Faso is scheduled to hold presidential and parliamentary elections on November 22, 2020. The elections are taking place in the context of a growing security crisis as well as political uncertainty as the country’s democrats seek to consolidate the young, fragile democracy. More

Henry Wilkins, Voice of America (November 3, 2020): Burkina Faso Election Excludes Hundreds of Thousands of Displaced People   

Liberia Senate Elections: December 8, 2020

Liberia will elect half of its Senate on December 8, 2020. The country’s 2017 election brought the first peaceful transition of power since 1944, but Liberia still faces some challenges as it seeks to consolidate democracy. More

E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor and Othello B. Garblah, The New Dawn/AllAfrica (November 8, 2020): Liberia: 2.4 Million to Vote in December Election

Obediah Johnson, Front Page Africa (November 9, 2020): Liberia: Collaborating Political Parties Disappointed Over Delay in The Cleaning of Voters Roll; Intends Going to ECOWAS Court or Stage Peaceful Protest

Central African Republic Presidential and Legislative Elections: December 27, 2020

The Central African Republic (CAR) has scheduled presidential and legislative elections for December 27, 2020. The upcoming elections are taking place in the context of a humanitarian crisis and a crisis of governance. The country has had multiparty elections since 1993, but a series of coups and instability have prevented democracy from flourishing. More

Corbeau News (November 7, 2020 – in French): RCA: presidential election of December 27, Catherine Samba-Panza, twelve candidates registered with the Election Authority

RFI (November 9, 2020 – in French): Elections in the Central African Republic: “I will not be a candidate” declares Michel Djotodia

Jean Fernand Koena, DW (November 9, 2020 – in French): Central African Republic: François Bozizé: candidate for the presidency – Former President François Bozizé applied for the seat of the national electoral authority. His case could however be rejected.

Charlotte Cosset, RFI (November 8, 2020 – in French): Legislative elections in the Central African Republic: for women candidates, an obstacle course

Ethiopia General Elections: Postponed due to COVID-19 with no new date not set yet

Ethiopia planned to hold general elections on August 29, 2020, but has postponed the elections indefinitely due to COVID-19 and other factors. These elections are taking place in the context of political change in Ethiopia, and in the midst of both the opportunity to build a democracy and the threat of ethnic violence or even a breakup of the country. Most recently, the brewing crisis Tigray broke out into fighting. More

Eyder Peralta, NPR (November 13, 2020): What To Know About Ethiopia’s Tigray Conflict

BBC (November 7, 2020): Ethiopia parliament dissolves Tigray leadership

Declan Walsh and Simon Marks, New York Times (November 6, 2020): Having Made Peace Abroad, Ethiopia’s Leader Goes to War at Home

Desta Gebremedhin, BBC (November 5, 2020): Tigray crisis: Why there are fears of civil war in Ethiopia

AP (November 6, 2020): Ethiopia aims to remove leadership of defiant Tigray region

Angola Local Elections: Due in 2020, no date set

Angola is due to hold its first-ever local elections in 2020. However, the elections have already been delayed multiple times (most recently in September 2020), and no date has been set. Meanwhile, COVID-19 provides an excuse for additional delays. In short, it is unclear when – or whether – the local elections will actually happen. Moreover, the country has never held free elections, and the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), a former armed group, has ruled since independence in 1976.

On October 24, Angolans protested against – among other things – the delay of the local elections. Another protest is planned for November 11, 2020 – Angola’s independence day. More

Simon Hossi and Dércio Tsandzana, Global Voices (November 6, 2020 – in Portuguese): Police violently repress Angolan demonstration for municipal elections

Manuel Luamba, DW (November 6, 2020 – in Portuguese): João Lourenço’s governance increasingly contested in Angola

Angola Press (November 2, 2020): Angola: Protesters Convicted With Suspended Sentence

Uganda General Elections: January 14, 2021

Uganda will hold presidential and legislative elections on January 14, 2021. President Yoweri Museveni has held power since 1986 and plans to seek a sixth term. For the upcoming elections, 37-year-old pop star Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, better known as Bobi Wine, has emerged as a leading opposition candidate. Security forces remain in a pattern of intimidating and harassing the opposition, and political climate is tense. More

Abdi Latif Dahir, New York Times (November 3, 2020): Two Presidential Candidates Detained as They File to Run in Uganda

Jason Burke and Samuel Okriror, The Guardian (November 3, 2020): Ugandan singer Bobi Wine arrested after confirmation as election candidate

The Economist (November 7, 2020): Bobi Wine, the pop star who would be president of Uganda

Somaliland Parliamentary and Local Elections: May 2021 (tentative)

Somaliland is long overdue to hold parliamentary and local elections, in which voters will elect all 82 members of the House of Representatives, the lower house of parliament, and various local offices. More

MENAFN – Som Tribune (November 9, 2020): Somaliland Women Gear Up for Elections Despite Quota Plan in Parliament Setback

Gambia Presidential Election: December 4, 2021

In December 2016, The Gambia began a remarkable transition to democracy. Citizens removed dictator Yahya Jammeh – who had come to power in a coup and ruled for 22 years – peacefully, via the ballot box, in a surprising result. Opposition candidate Adama Barrow won the presidency with the backing of a coalition of seven opposition parties. The country then began the process of establishing democracy and recovering from Jammeh’s brutal dictatorship.

Pa Modou Cham, The Point/All Africa (November 9, 2020): Gambia: Barrow Sweeps Polls in Niamina, Kerr Jarga By-Elections

Past Africa Elections

Côte d’Ivoire Presidential Election: October 31, 2020

Cote d’Ivoire held a presidential election on October 31, 2020 in a tense environment as President Alassane Ouattara sought and won a controversial third term. Protests followed. More

Katarina Höije, Al Jazeera (November 2, 2020): Ouattara’s election victory could risk Ivory Coast’s stability

Benjamin Roger, The Africa Report (November 5, 2020): Côte d’Ivoire: Guillaume Soro calls on army to block Alassane Ouattara

Tanzania General Elections: October 25, 2020

Tanzania held presidential and legislative elections on October 25, 2020 in the context of a crackdown on the opposition and growing authoritarianism. President John Magufuli, whose Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) has been in power since 1961, won a second term, but the opposition said the elections were neither free nor fair. Opposition figures have been arrested, assaulted, and murdered. More

Reuters (November 7, 2020): Tanzanian opposition leader takes refuge in German ambassador’s residence

Washington Gikunju, The East African (November 7, 2020): Tanzania ex-MP flees to Kenya as Tundu Lissu holed up in German embassy

Abdul Halim, The Africa Report (November 5, 2020): Tanzania: ‘Dark days ahead’ says opposition as Magufuli sworn in for second term

The Economist (November 5, 2020): Democracy is faltering in Tanzania and Ivory Coast

Guinea Presidential Election: October 18, 2020

Amid violence, Guinea held a presidential election on October 18, 2020. Incumbent Alpha Condé ran for a controversial third term, and for the third time, faced off against opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo. Both candidates claimed they won, but election officials declared Condé the winner. However, Diallo is challenged the results, alleging fraud and prompting street protests leading to at least 10 deaths. More violence is likely. More

Al Jazeeera (November 7, 2020): Guinea top court declares Alpha Conde elected president

Lindsey Pruett, World Politics Review (November 4, 2020): Guinea Braces for More Instability as Conde Wins a Disputed Third Term

RFI (November 4, 2020): Guinea opposition call for post-election protest falls on deaf ears

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