Africa This Week: March 1, 2021

March 1, 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.

Côte d’Ivoire’s National Assembly building. Photo credit:
Wikimedia/Zenman (public domain)

Upcoming Africa Elections

Côte d’Ivoire Parliamentary Elections: March 6, 2021

Cote d’Ivoire holds legislative elections on March 6, 2021, following the October 2020 presidential election, in which President Alasanne Ouattara sought and won a controversial third term. The opposition boycotted the presidential election. Protests followed, as well as arrests of opposition members. However, following discussions and the release of some opposition figures, the opposition has not called for a boycott of the legislative elections set for March 6, and has called on supporters to vote for a balance of powerMore

Vincent Duhem, The Africa Report (March 1, 2021): Côte d’Ivoire: All signs point to the imminent return of Gbagbo

France24 (March 1, 2021 – in French): Legislative elections in Côte d’Ivoire: more than 1,500 candidates running

Le Point (February 24, 2021 – in French): Côte d’Ivoire: Legislative elections decoded

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

Jerry Fisayo-Bambi and Cedric Sehossolo, Africanews (March 1, 2021): Expectations of Congolese as election day nears

Jeune Afrique (March 1, 2021 – in French): [Editorial] Denis Sassou Nguesso, stainless candidate?

Guiseppe Liguori, Focus on Africa (February 28, 2021 – in Italian): Republic of the Congo: Sassou-Nguesso, a bloodthirsty and ruthless tyrant

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

Reliou Koubakin, DW (March 1, 2021 – in French): In Chad, the repression of the opposition before the election

Al Jazeera (March 1, 2021): Chad opposition leader quits presidential race after shoot-out

DW (April 28, 2021): Chad: Several killed during arrest of opposition figure

Central African Republic Partial Legislative Elections and Runoffs: March 14, 2021

The Central African Republic (CAR) held presidential and partial legislative elections on December 27, 2020 in the midst of a worsening security situation. Rebels disrupted voting in some areas, so consequently, those constituencies will hold the first round of their legislative elections on March 14, 2021. In addition, some of the constituencies that did vote on December 27 will hold runoff elections for their legislators.

These elections are taking place in the context of a humanitarian crisis and a crisis of governance. Sectarian clashes have been taking place since 2013. Moreover, Russia has ramped up its political and military involvement in exchange for mining rights. More 

Peter Fabricius, Daily Maverick (February 28, 2021): Central African Republic democracy and justice channels tested amid violent chaos 

Adrienne Suprenant, AP (February 28, 2021): Thousands flee rebel violence in Central African Republic

Reuters (February 24, 2021): Central African Republic retakes rebel stronghold in north

Tigranna Zakaryan, African Arguments (February 23, 2021): Russia in the Central African Republic: New allies, same challenges

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 conflictMore

Barbara Arvanitidis and Nima Elbagir, CNN (March 1, 2021): CNN EXCLUSIVE: Leader of Tigray’s forces accuses Ethiopian and Eritrean governments of genocide

Kane Farabaugh, Voice of America (February 26, 2021): Carter Center Battles Online Misinformation Ahead of Ethiopia Elections

AP (February 25, 2021): Hunger-striking Ethiopia politicians ‘deteriorating’ in jail

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 crisisMore

Abdi Latif Dahir, New York Times (March 1, 2021): Amid turmoil over elections, rising cases in Somalia fuel talk of a new lockdown.

Max Bearak, Washington Post (February 26, 2021): Somalia’s politicians strike a last-minute deal, but fears of conflict remain high

Mohamed Sheikh Nor, RFI (February 25, 2021): What next for angry anti-government protesters in Somalia?

Past Africa Elections

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

Melissa Sou-Jie Brunnersum, DW (February 28, 2021): Niger elections marred by ‘fraud,’ Ousmane tells DW

Aneeta Mathur-Ashton, Voice of America (February 27, 2021): Journalist’s Home Set Ablaze Amid Niger Violence

Chrispin Mwakideu, DW (February 26, 2021): Niger: A daunting presidency awaits Mohamed Bazoum

Reuters (February 25, 2021): Deadly Protests Rock Niger Over Contested Election Result

Mathieu Olivier, The Africa Report (February 24, 2021): Niger: Mohamed Bazoum elected president, beating Mahamane Ousmane

Al Jazeera (February 24, 2021): Niger opposition leader alleges election fraud, declares victory

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 Bobi Wine. Following the elections, the government launched a brutal crackdown on the opposition. More

RFI (February 24, 2021): Uganda defiant as US threatens sanctions over contested elections

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