Will democracy ever reach Africa – Part 1
Where in many countries transparent elections are considered a possibility and democratic changes are brought through the ballot box, they seem impossible in many states across the continent of Africa. It is sad to note that even in this time of historic
opportunity when the political powers could Africans enjoy the new world order to regain their political destiny, there is conflict.
The problem has appeared to have reached a solution in North Africa. However, the problem of the transparency of elections and democratic alternation of power through the ballot box is growing in the sub-Saharan Africa.
Is there a way out of the final round of the manipulation of constitutions, the monopolization of political power, electoral fraud, the election boycott and protest against the election results?
In sub-Saharan Africa, three factors are known to contribute to the problem:
The mistrust between the government and the opposition comes in the form of boycott of the elections and the results are contested, the violence that is often observed in also a result of the election fraud, and general ethnic vote. Côte d’Ivoire Democratic
Republic of Congo, Gabon, Cameroon, Guinea, Togo, Benin, Kenya and Zimbabwe, have all boycotted the elections and their results are challenged. Their transparency is in doubt. When, in rare cases, as in Côte d’Ivoire, the ruling party refuses to concede defeat.
Exceptions to the Niger, Zambia, Sao Tome and Cape Verde, only confirm the general rule. In Sudan, for example, the political unity of the country was broken by separatist conflicts caused by religious and racial contempt, which is also part of the legacy
of slavery. The elections taking place right now, in North Africa have been observed to be fair. There has been little doubt about the result, there is no boycott and no international observers were needed. Hence, we can highlight the striking contrast between
North Africa, which seems to have fully engaged in the democratic system and a sub-Saharan Africa, which is struggling to become involved in the process.
The creation of independent electoral commissions and the presence of international observers fail to restore confidence among stakeholders.