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11 African countries head for the polls this month

By News Express on 05/10/2015

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This month will be critical for African democracy, with 11 African countries scheduled to hold presidential and/or legislative polls.

Burkina Faso

A national election was initially scheduled for Oct. 11 – the country’s first poll since Blaise Compaore was toppled one year ago after 27 years in power and replaced by Interim President Michel Kafando.

Burkina Faso’s transition to democracy was shaken, however, by a failed coup attempt on Sept. 16. Although Kafando was reinstated after being briefly arrested by the coup leaders, a new date for the polls has yet to be set.

Guinean presidential polls: Conde vs. Diallo

Incumbent President Alpha Conde will face Cellou Dalein Diallo in presidential elections slated for Oct. 11.

The two politicians clashed five years ago in the country’s first post-transition poll. Moussa Dadis Camara, the former head of Guinea’s military junta, has also announced plans to run for highest office.

Ivory Coast: Presidential elections

Presidential polls will be held in Ivory Coast on Oct. 25 in which incumbent President Alassane Dramane Ouattara is expected to win a second term in office.

The poll will be the country’s first presidential race since a deadly bout of post-electoral violence in 2010/11 led to the death of some 3,000 people.

Tanzania: Presidential election

While many Francophone sub-Saharan African countries have revised their constitutions to allow more than two presidential terms, Tanzania’s incumbent president, Jakaya Kikwete, will not be running in Oct. 25 polls after serving two terms in office.

Since John Pombe Magufuli, the ruling party’s candidate, lacks popularity, it could be the first time for the opposition to win a presidential poll in Tanzania, where the ruling party has been in power since 1964.

October will also see Tanzanians vote in parliamentary and local elections.

Mali: Local elections amid violence

Following the signing of a peace deal this summer between the government and a Tuareg insurgent group, Mali will hold local elections on Oct. 25 in over 700 communities across the country. 

The polls will face major security challenges, however, as the country continues to witness frequent militant attacks in the volatile north.

Democratic Republic of Congo: Local elections

DRC’s local elections on Oct. 25 come as part of a series of polls scheduled to the end of 2016. In addition to serious financial problems, the country also faces security challenges, especially in the country’s east, which hosts numerous rebel groups.

Morocco: Parliamentary elections

Members of Morocco’s House of Councilors, the upper house of parliament, will be elected on Oct. 2.

Morocco’s regional councilors, meanwhile, will be elected – for the first time by direct vote – on Sept. 4, while prefectural and provincial elections are slated to be held on Sept. 17.

Algeria: Parliamentary elections

Algeria plans to hold parliamentary polls before the end of the year in which half of the members of parliament’s upper house will be chosen, although an exact date for the polls has yet to be set.

Egypt: Parliamentary elections

The Egyptian authorities, meanwhile, have pledged to hold legislative elections before the end of the year. They will be the first parliamentary polls since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi assumed the presidency last year after leading a military coup against Egypt’s first democratically-elected president in mid-2013.

Namibia: Regional and local elections

Namibia plans to hold regional and local elections in November, although the exact date for the polls has yet to be decided.

Central African Republic: Presidential elections

Presidential elections in CAR are slated for October, but could be delayed due to the transitional government’s inability to safeguard the polling.

Lesotho and other southern African countries, for their part, may hold local elections in September, but these, too, have yet to be confirmed.

Madagascar, meanwhile, has announced plans to hold senatorial elections before 2016.

•Photo shows ballot boxes.

Source News Express

Posted 05/10/2015 02:21:15 AM


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