February 22, 2021
Your weekly roundup of news and analysis of elections in Africa, usually posted on Mondays and occasionally updated throughout the week. For a full electoral calendar and interactive map, click here.
Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo,” whose term in office has expired. The failure to hold Somalia’s presidential election on schedule has sparked a constitutional crisis. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Orcastomini (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Somalia Indirect Presidential Election: Set for February 8, 2021 but postponed
Somalia was supposed to hold an indirect presidential election on February 8, 2021, following indirect parliamentary elections in December 2020. However, the elections have been delayed, and the current president’s term has expired, leaving Somalia in a political and constitutional crisis. More
Abdullahi Boru Halakhe, Al Jazeera (February 23, 2021): Why the result of Somali elections are crucial for the region
AFP (February 22, 2021): UN calls for Somalia elections ‘as soon as possible’
Political violence in Somalia over delayed elections & Farmaajo's refusal to leave office:
“The outgoing president is shedding the blood of citizens who are preparing for a peaceful demonstration to express their views.”https://t.co/oSgoDIGhAB
— Michael Scott Moore 🍑 (@MichaelSctMoore) February 19, 2021
Max Bearak, Washington Post (February 19, 2021): Clashes in Mogadishu throw Somalia’s political crisis into dangerous new phase
Matt Bryden and Theodore Murphy, European Council on Foreign Relations (February 16, 2021): Somalia’s election impasse: A crisis of state building
Republic of the Congo Presidential Election: March 20, 2021
The Republic of the Congo (sometimes called Congo-Brazzaville) is due to hold a presidential election on March 20, 2021. Denis Sassou Nguesso been president almost continuously since 1979, and rules with an iron fist. Elections have not been free or fair. More
Khadija Sharife and Mark Anderson, OCCRP: Congo-Brazzaville Strongman Buys Secret Weapons Haul from Azerbaijan
Benin Presidential Election: April 11, 2021
Benin is due to hold a presidential election in March 2021. Incumbent Patrice Talon is running run for a second term, and he has largely kept the opposition off the ballot. Previously a model democracy in the region, Benin has seen democratic decline since Talon’s election in 2016. More
RFI (February 22, 2021 – in French): Benin: the Constitutional Court confirms the three presidential tickets validated by the Election Commission
Chad Presidential Election: April 11, 2020 and Parliamentary and Local Elections: October 24, 2021
Chad plans to hold a presidential election on April 11, 2021 and long-delayed long-delayed parliamentary elections on October 24, 2021 and local elections in April 2022. Originally due in 2015, the legislative elections have been delayed multiple times.
President Idriss Déby seized power in a rebellion in 1990, and although the country holds elections, there has never been a change in power by a free or fair vote. More
RFI (February 22, 2021): Chad: Human rights defender gets 3 years in jail for posting about Déby’s health
Ethiopia General Elections: June 5, 2021
Ethiopia has scheduled general elections for June 5, 2021, after several postponements. These elections are taking place in the context of the growing crisis in Tigray region in the north that subsequently exploded into violent conflict. More
Michael Rubin, The National Interest (February 19, 2021): Abiy Ahmed: The First Nobel Laureate On Trial at the International Criminal Court?
Mike Cohen, Samuel Gebre and Simon Marks, Bloomberg (February 18, 2021): Why Ethiopia’s Tensions Are Boiling Over in Tigray
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. However, the process of establishing democracy and recovering from Jammeh’s brutal dictatorship has not been easy.
Although Barrow had initially pledged to serve only one term, he plans to run for re-election, which has sparked controversy and protests. More
Sankulleh Gibril Janko, The Point (February 19, 2021): Barrow calls for unity, reconciliation ahead of December polls
Niger Presidential Runoff: February 21, 2021
Niger held a presidential runoff on February 21, 2021 amid security threats and violence. Despite that, the historic election will lead to Niger’s first peaceful transfer of power from one elected president to another. More
Isaac Mugabi, DW (February 22, 2021): Niger ruling party candidate takes the lead in presidential runoff
Jason Slotkin, NPR (February 21, 2021): 7 Poll Workers Killed By Landmine Amid Historic Niger
Reuters (February 18, 2021): Candidates for continuity, change compete in Niger’s historic runoff vote
Uganda General Elections: January 14, 2021
Uganda held presidential and legislative elections on January 14, 2021. President Yoweri Museveni has held power since 1986, but this time faced possibly his biggest challenge yet in the form of 37-year-old pop star Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, better known as Bobi Wine. Following the elections, the government launched a brutal crackdown on the opposition. More
Halima Athumani, Voice of America (February 22, 2021): Uganda Opposition Leader Bobi Wine Accuses Court of Bias, Withdraws Election Petition
NPR (February 20, 2021): Ugandan Opposition Leader Says Country’s Leader Is Capturing Dissenters
Rodney Muhumuza, AP (February 17, 2021): UN Urges Uganda to Probe Reporters’ Beating at Rights Office
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