Election Watch - Africa

Opposition Supporters in Abidjan Credit: Alexis Adele

POLITICS: Human Suffering Escalates in Cote d’Ivoire

For three days, 25-year-old Ousmane Traoré attended the private clinic in the populous district of Abobo, north of Abidjan. Suffering from gunshot wounds to the head and abdomen as a result of the Ivorian opposition demonstrations, he was forced to leave the main hospital in Treichville, south of Abidjan, due to a lack of assistance.

Jennifer Massis, one of the few female voices in Kenya Credit: Miriam Gathigah

POLITICS: Women’s Representation Key to Development

Research has shown that women account for more than half of the population of any country. This is reflected in the 2010 Census results, where there are slightly more women than men in Kenya.

MALAWI: Women Candidates Hard Hit by Election Postponement

News that Malawi’s November local government elections are to be postponed yet again has hit female candidates hard – and mostly in their pockets. And it could mean that the country will have less female candidates to vote for when they finally go to the polls.

Rights groups fear women will not fully participate in the 2011 electoral process because of current election violence.  Credit: Richard Mulonga/IPS

ZAMBIA: Election Violence Could Mean Fewer Women Participants

There are growing fears that increasing numbers of women candidates and voters may not participate in the 2011 general elections because of an upsurge in election-related violence.

For a long time, Zambian women's participation in politics has ended at voting. Credit: Richard Mulonga/IPS

ZAMBIA: Calls for Political Parties to Field 50 Percent Female Candidates

With women having achieved little in terms of representation in decision-making positions in Zambia, a national women’s lobby group is hoping to change this in the 2011 general elections.

Brigitte Rabemanantsoa Rasamoelina, a female politician from Madagascar says a women

INDIAN OCEAN ISLANDS: Women Join Forces for Political Equality

"Instead of moaning all the time, why don’t you create your own (political) party?" some men asked Brigitte Rabemanantsoa Rasamoelina, a female politician from Madagascar. She accepted the challenge and in February formed Ampela Mano Politika, a political party which started with only 22 female members and now has over 5,000 female members ... and 10 men.

Women voters are ambivalent on the need to increase female representation in the Mauritian parliament. Credit: Nasseem Ackburally/IPS

MAURITIUS-POLITICS: Voting for the Future

Incumbent Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam has won the Mauritian election, retaining a third term of office.

A Sudanese voter casts his vote during the elections. Results will be announced on Apr. 22. Credit: Nichola Mandil

SUDAN: Election Results Expected Soon

Poor access to telephone networks and lack of roads in some areas of South Sudan is delaying the submission of voting results to the election commission.

POLITICS-SUDAN: African Leaders Call for Peaceful Elections

With less than a month to the historic multi-party poll in Africa’s largest country, Sudan, eminent African leaders are calling for a peaceful and calm election process.

DEVELOPMENT-CAMEROON: Are Women the Magic Bullet for “Electoral Apathy”?

A support network for women's political participation, is challenging head-on what it calls "electoral apathy", after noting a growing trend in electoral abstention.

Women's rights organisations want political parties to nominate one female candidate for every three candidates in the next election. Credit: Nasseem Ackbarally/IPS

POLITICS-MAURITIUS: Plea for More Female Candidates

Sandhya Boygah considers herself a victim of male-dominated politics. In 2007, she was asked by her party, the ruling Labour Party, to step aside and allow a man to stand for the elected post she sought.

POLITICS-TOGO: First Female Presidential Candidate

Brigitte Kafui Adjamagbo-Johnson, head of the opposition Democratic Convention of African Peoples party, is Togo's first female presidential candidate. But she has withdrawn from the electoral process.

POLITICS-SUDAN: Security Essential to Ensure Peaceful Elections

Peace in Sudan remains an uncertainty ahead of the country’s first general elections in 24 years, according to the African Union Commission chief.

KENYA: Documenting Sexual Violence

The testimonies of women who survived sexual violence during post-election conflict in 2008 should be heard, say advocates. The magnitude of the crimes committed against women because of their gender must be recorded and prosecuted to prevent such violence from occurring again.

ZAMBIA: Scarcely Room for Women in Male-dominated Politics

Charity Mwansa, a former minister and member of parliament, knows just exactly what being one of the very few female politicians in Zambia means. When she left politics it had nothing to with not being able to do the work and instead had everything to do with the mad world of male-dominated politics.

Experts believe women need to show what value they can add to the lives of the south Sudan people as they work towards rebuilding the country. Credit: Tim McKulka/UNMIS/IRIN

SOUTH SUDAN: A More Gender Representative Leadership

As the general elections scheduled for April 2010 draw nearer in Africa’s largest country ravaged by a long drawn war, the scramble for political positions is rife as women struggle to make their presence felt.

Paramount Chief Mwata Kazembe of the Lunda people being presented to the people. Credit: Lewis Mwanangombe/IPS

ZAMBIA: Let our Chiefs Govern

The Litunga of Barotseland, King of the Lozi, has no judicial or legislative authority. No supervisory control over government projects, and worst of all he cannot stand for elected office. Yet successive Zambian presidents have deferred to him.

UGANDA: Political Parties Fail to Declare Funding

The Electoral Commission of Uganda says if they tightened the noose around parties which fail to declare election funding, all of them would probably be deregistered.

The ECZ has failed to drag offenders of election violence to court. Credit: Lewis Mwanangombe/IPS

ZAMBIA: Violence Threatens Polls

Prisca Musonda is an ardent supporter of Patriotic Front leader Michael Sata and his party. She has travelled with him to most parliamentary constituencies campaigning in elections.

 Elizabeth Kumba Simbiwa Sorgboh Torto has declared herself available for the position of paramount chief in the Nimiyama chiefdom.  Credit: Mohamed Fofanah/IPS

SIERRA LEONE: Woman Breaking Traditional Walls in Chieftaincy Elections

A war is raging in the eastern part of the country, once the centre stage for battles during the 10-year civil war and the place where "blood diamonds" were once mined. But this time the war is not for diamonds, but about whether a woman has the right to stand for paramount chief in the local chieftaincy election.

POLITICS-AFRICA: Seeking a Democratic South Sudan

The atmosphere is heavily charged with political tensions, alliances are already in the offing, expectations are high and the pressure for the country to achieve a successful transition from an interim government to a democratically elected one is immense.

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