African Politics IAFF 2093
Popular in Africa: Problems and Promise
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Popular in International Affairs
This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Amaris Mae on Sunday February 22, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to IAFF 2093 at George Washington University taught by Shinn in Winter2015. Since its upload, it has received 130 views. For similar materials see Africa: Problems and Promise in International Affairs at George Washington University.
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Date Created: 02/22/15
African Politics amp Democratization News Zambia appointed the rst female vice president President come from the incumbent party Mogadishu hotel attack Turkish prime minister bomb was near the Turkish delegation Burkina Faso currently has an interim president military got rid of the last one and are holding elections in Feb Democratic Republic of the Congo Kabila Issues with national elections Tunisia39s government is working on an election process The campaign against Boko Haram is being proliferated by quotcowardsquot in the army yet military men are not paid South Africa is moving against poachers of rhino horn Libyan extremist groups acknowledged the death of one its leaders that attacked on Benghazi in 2012 The death has been known but the only South Sudan rebel leader after signing peace agreement has called for President Mayardit to resign Egyptian court has freed of 2 of former President Mubarak39s sons Ebola vaccine is to be tried in Liberia Notes Prime Minister of Guinea ran in 2010 and lost is running again IF elections are held currently in doubt Lost in 2010 when he had 44 of the rst vote then at the run off he lost to the candidate who had only 18 in the rst ballot Democracy in Africa Variety of democratic systems in Africa Ex in Guinea you have to have 50 1 vote Elections require a multiparty system Survey of National Elections 19902002 It39s not very often that you have close election in Africa Even when the election is free and fair Winning party achieves an average of 60 of all the seats Main opposition party won on 16 percent of all seats A change of party occurs in about 13 of all free and fair elections Which is probably around 12 of the elections In fraud election the opposition never managed to gain power And even in fair elections where there was a change of power half of those were contested by the losing party this is 12 of 13 of elections that are 12 of all elections in Africa Free and Fair Elections vs Fraud There was not difference in the amount of regime breakdown postelections Whether the country falls apart or not didn t depend on whether the people were able to really truly vote or not Why would a flawed election not have more breakdown Because the authoritarian regime in the flawed election would be able to suppress revolt and uprising thus no break down Democracy Elections and Political Parties Elections as prerequisites of democracy Democracy a political system designed to widen the participation of ordinary citizens in government the power of which are clearly de ned Elections are the primary instruments that compel or encourage the policy makers to pay attention to citizens Require multiparty systems Power sharing formed when the ruling party39s con dence and legitimacy are severely weekend even though it remains strong enough to exercise control over the most important institutions Gives the ruling party legitimacy without discrediting the opposition But it might assuage the opposition39s anxiety that the ruling party may have rigged the elections Ex Kenya in 2007 Postelection turmoil killed 1000 citizens Elections in Africa Some say that multiparty systems are not appropriate for countries with deep ethnic divisions lt legitimizes the rule of one group or a coalition over others African states have been continuously suffering from in ation and food shortages inadequate reserves external imbalances and the burden of debt servicing America and European countries have a low threshold of democratic practice in order to ignore all the political fallacies in African government and to provide further assistance to Africa African elections are seen as windowdressing rituals A sign of good conduct from African governments to western states quotA flawed election may be better than no election at allquot With al lathe ethnic groups elections seem to provide the opportunity to legitimize the political ND economic preeminence of one group Electoral Systems In developing countries the type of electoral system is rarely debated among political leaders electoral administrators and civil society elements While the electoral formula impacts the form of representation of parties in the legislatures so does the presidential rule and the regional distribution of voters D contribute to the observed dominance of one party firstpastthepost Winner take all Based on territorially demarcated single member constituents with the candidate or party getting the greater number of votes winning in only one round even if the votes do not constitute the majority Could be that if you have 10 candidates and you win 30 of the vote you win Votes casted for the loser are considered wasted Most common form of elections in Africa candidate only wins if heshe wins an absolute majority 50 of the vote both the plurality system and majority system tend to exaggerate the parliamentary representation of the largest political party If there is no majority the top two candidates engage in a runoff election Ex Guinea in 2010 treats the entire state as one constituency All political parties are guaranteed a place in legislature The legislature may then chose the new head of government Prime minister normally But it may also entrench political engagement along ethnic lines Most people in class think this is probably the best option But I want to point out that the moment someone gets a majority they can steam roll in their favor Ex Ethiopia it seems effective elections every 5 years Problem last election 2010 the prominent party won 99 of the seats So it doesn39t always work In the 2005 the opposition party got at least 13 of the seats The Institutional Framework The most important institution is the Ought to be independent and competent Not always the case Underfunded and may are generally not able to feasibly be effective not enough people not enough breadth not enough technology quotMacho Menquot in Ghana that would put pressure on voters to change their minds and vote one way or another Ex Kenya where quotthe electoral commission was long ago captured by the leadership of Kenya39s ethnically driven political partyquot The aggrieved party after the elections should be able to turn to the judiciary if they believe the elections were rigged They are appointed transferred or removed at will South Africa has the most independent judiciary in its constitution The judiciary should also be nancially independent Military Important in elections although not noticed in the US Military backs a candidate for positions Used for intimidation not as common today for the electoral process Civilian supremacy over the military is an essential requirement to the functioning of any democracy Allows the military to develop professionally and is obliged to strictly remain politically neutral However in Africa the ruling party attempts to guarantee a loyal and pliable military through a biased system of recruitment reward and deprivation Tools for ensuring an election is free and fair International and Domestic Observers However it is constrained by the fact that it is dif cult for overseers to answer effectively whether elections were actually free and fair Ex Malawi39s 1994 elections were seen as free and fair its 1999 elections as substantially free and fair and its 2004 general elections were free but not fair They need sufficient factual data They want to declare it free and fair because to say otherwise would be predictably destabilizing Groups which originate in the state and include independently operated non generation organizations churches human rights bodies etc But independence and credibility of domestic groups are often questionable De nition Characteristics and Functions of Political Parties Political party established my likeminded individuals with a common set of beliefs and agreeing on important matters of public policy They are determined to gain and hold power on their own or in coaH on Has a recognized degree of permanence and continuity Political parties recruit young leaders train and give them experience and gradually move them to positions of greater responsibility Political parties disseminate political ideas ideologies and programs Anatomy of African Political Parties Historically they emerged as nationalist movements Ultimate objective to achieve independence from the European colonial powers Tendency of one party to rule the party Parties Weak roots in society And a low level of institutionalization Not a lot of money Not a lot of structure Tend to come and go With annoying frequency in Africa Sometime a new one comes along run by the same people These nationalist movements were generally representing one ethnic group Became a one party system Considered the best option for the moment by the international community All African political parties correspondingly display weak roots in society and a very low level of institutionalism Real democracy requires free and fair election regular elections fair allocation of votes and the broadest representation of all political parties Plea for the ending of ethnic politics author is Ethiopian and speaks from that perspective Opposition Weakness in Africa Ranker and de Wale 1989 The date of Namibia s Independence and the beginning of the SubSaharan African democratic wave More than half the region39s multiparty systems are not democratic No little access to media Often government controlled Legitimacy is a problem too Opposition Parties and Electoral Performance Margin of victory for the party in power has remained stagnant The disproportionality between votes and seats has not increased over time With the problems of the economy and resources it is remarkable that incumbents stay in power a testament to how much sway they hold Although the opposition parties appear to have gained strength over time even if not by much Except Niger and Sao Tome and Principe have contested all four legislative elections since then Independent candidates are common in Africa states Sometimes 10 of candidates or something like that In 1998 Madagascar39s elections independent candidates won a higher percentage of the vote 268 than the largest party In Uganda 200639s elections indent candidates gained the same number of seats as the country s largest opposition party Or the independents were not picked by the party so they run on their own In Malawi the MP5 couldn39t change party af liation during the electoral term but they could become independent so if they lost their party39s nomination they ran on their own The Repercussions of Presidentialism Untamed presidential power Three main factors weekend opposition parties The third wave of democratization appeared to have only limited increase in actual political competition The legislature is where opposition has the best hope of sprouting and across the board it is predominantly weak only Ethiopia Lesotho and South Africa opted for a parliamentary system in the 19905 Although many emerged from colonialism with some form of parliamentary system But were weak Ex president was Mtharika of Malawi 2005 left his UDM party and formed the DPP He now faced a legislature with no DPP member so he changed the rules of parliament cut their power and their session and used cabinet appointment for survival This was paralyzing and costly but he remained in power Ex Uganda39s 2006 president and parliamentary elections The NRM the ruling party and that of the president was funded as a government entity So the opposition parties couldn39t challenge the NRM for even a fraction of the 945351 seats at the various levels of government Less ideology now than before Ethnic loyalty takes precedence over policy Term limits So that opposition groups can have an opportunity for speaking out Also gives the party as opposed to just the president some power say The Rules of the Game 25 countries use 2 round majority rule 13 countries use simple majority rule Ex electoral outcomes in Benin and Senegal prove that TRM system increases the chances of an In both of these countries the weakness of the incumbent in the rst round created the sense that an opposition could win which encourage a movement of defecting form the presidential camp to the opposing TRM are associated with Francophone states Though a smaller number of Anglophone states ex Zimbabwe Although some less democratic Frenchspeaking countries moved to sum ex Cameroon Congo Brazzaville and Gabon Opposition Strategies Using local elections as platforms from which to compete at the national level Ex John Ssebaana Kizito head of the Democratic Party served as mayor of Kampala and ran for president in 2001 and 2006 Ex former president Nicephorus Solo of Benin is mayor and using that position to get his son into of ce Controlling a mayoral of ce grants one greater access to resources African populism emphasizes class differences and economic nationalism is being used to mobilize voters Ex Patriotic Front in Zambia Also a group of doctrinaire Islamic Parties that are mobilizing Muslim voters with an Islamictinged social critique of traditional politics Particularly in Western and northeastern Africa African diaspora is begin used to fund elections Help with opposition parties Ex with Ethiopian elections the diaspora funded the opposition party Ex Nigerian diaspora is also fairly active Ex Guinean diaspora Diaspora espouse their view and then want to control things from a distance Doesn t always set will with those that are living under those policies Formal and Informal Institutions Informal political institutions like political clienteles can undermine the formal rules of the game At times the working of formal political institutions is facilitated by a set of informal rules or conventions In Africa informality has been equated with no democracy As democracy matures more weight will be given to rule based behaviors But informal norms and standards must be set the uphold legitimize and strengthen the formal rules Are these emerging through party competition or does competing informality undermined democratic development Some of the most stable countries are those with a single party Tanzania Elections of 2 terms abided by this But it has been the same party since 1963 its independence Has been fairly well run and stable
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