Election Watch - Africa

Bleblocoula Sylvain (foreground) lost eight members of his family during a March raid in Diboke, Ivory Coast.  Credit: Robbie Corey-Boulet/IPS

LIBERIA: “Security Risk” at Ivory Coast Border Ahead of Elections

As Liberia gears up for Tuesday’s presidential and legislative elections, officials stationed near the border with Ivory Coast have expressed concern that insufficient border security - a problem highlighted by two recent cross-border attacks - could fuel electoral violence.

Opposition party supporters demanded that Nobel Peach Prize winner Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf be out of office.  Credit: Robbie Corey-Boulet/IPS

LIBERIA: Mixed Reviews for Johnson-Sirleaf’s Nobel Peace Prize

As the Norwegian Nobel Committee named Liberian President Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf a joint winner of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, opposition party supporters were flooding the streets of Monrovia to demand that she be voted out of office in the upcoming election.

Zambians went to the polls on Sep. 20 and elected a new president. Credit: Ephraim Nsingo/IPS

ZAMBIA: New President, New Governance Yardstick

The election of Michael Chilufya Sata as Zambia's new president shows that Zambians are more interested in issues of accountability and transparency than mere service delivery, say analysts.

Zambians went to the polls to elect a new president and government on Tuesday.  Credit: Lwanga Mwilu/IPS

ZAMBIA: Largely Peaceful Elections

Only two incidents of violence, triggered by the late start of voting and the suspicion of electoral fraud, were reported as Zambians went to the polls to elect a new president and government on Tuesday.

Edith Nawakwi, the only woman presidential candidate, attended the electoral commission

ZAMBIA-ELECTIONS: Perpetrators of Violence Warned: ‘Expect No Mercy’

As Zambians go to the polls on Tuesday to elect a new government and president they do so amid fears of election violence.

A poster asking people to vote for Edith Nawakwi, the only woman presidential candidate.  Credit: Ephraim Nsingo/IPS

ZAMBIA: Social Media to Monitor Elections

When Zambians go the polls on Sep. 20 they will have the most effective team of observers monitoring the electoral process – themselves. Citizens, through social media, will be able to report offences and irregularities during and before the general elections.

Temporary refuge in Duékoué: Civilians displaced by fighting in western Côte d'Ivoire in April 2011. Credit:  Basile Zoma/UN Photo

COTE D’IVOIRE: Disagreement Over Scope of ICC Investigation

Government and civil society in Côte d'Ivoire are divided over the scope of the investigations to be undertaken by the International Criminal Court into atrocities and serious violations of human rights committed during the post- electoral crisis.

Brothers James and Peter Mabior lost each other during the war, reunited in Nairobi and went back to South Sudan together to vote for independence. Credit: Danielle Batist/SNS

SUDAN: The Point of No Return

From across the border, they anxiously watch the drama unfold. As their home land of South Sudan prepares itself to split from the Islamic north, fighting continues across the disputed oil-rich areas. During the decades of civil war, almost 400,000 refugees dreamt of the day independence would come. But now it is finally there, many are not ready to go home.

SOUTHERN AFRICA: Reforms First, Elections Later

A new constitution, voters’ roll and electoral law, among other things, have to be in place before elections in Zimbabwe can be held but observers doubt if this can be implemented.

COTE D’IVOIRE: Challenge of Restoring Security

In a shelter covered by a tattered blue tarpaulin, Ibrahim Traoré sits beside his militia commander to hear complaints from residents of the Abidjan neighbourhood of Abobo-Avocatier.

Explosions Greet Nigerian President’s New Term

Bomb blasts hit a military base in the northern Nigerian city of Bauchi on Sunday, killing ten and injuring more than a dozen just hours after the swearing in ceremony of President Goodluck Jonathan in the capital, Abuja. News reports also said three others died in a bombing in Zuba, just outside the capital.

Mirriam Kauseni has been conducting door-to-door campaigns, telling people to vote for her in the country

ZAMBIA: Hope for Women Politicians

Mirriam Kauseni is on a quest to become her town’s first ever female parliamentarian. She has yet to be elected to run for the post by her party, the Patriotic Front (PF), but Kauseni has already been conducting door-to-door campaigns, telling people to vote for her in the country’s national elections.

ZIMBABWE: Rural Women Voting With Their Feet

At independence in 1980, Loyce Tshuma (55), a villager in rural Tsholotsho in Matebeleland North, was a loyal believer in politics as a powerful vehicle to change and better lives. Since then she never missed an opportunity to cast her vote.

Only 17.25 percent of councillors who made it onto South African municipalities are women. Credit: Tinus de Jager

SOUTH AFRICA
: Women Candidates Struggle in Local Government Elections

Political parties should be forced, through changes in legislation, to bring more women into government.

SOUTHERN AFRICA: Little ‘Extraordinary’ About Latest SADC Summit

Inaction marked the Extraordinary Summit of Southern African Development Community heads of state in Windhoek this weekend, despite an agenda covering Zimbabwe elections, political deadlock in Madagascar, the suspension of the regional court and allegations of corruption within SADC itself.

Victoria Zanele KaMagwaza-Msibi has navigated through South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA: Woman Navigating a Tough Political System

Victoria Zanele KaMagwaza-Msibi admits she is no angel. But for 30 years she’s navigated through South Africa’s tough political landscape, mainly as a member of a male-dominated party, and now as the leader of her own political party.

 Civil society is calling for women's issues to be prioritised by political parties. Credit: Zukiswa Zimela/IPS

SOUTH AFRICA
: Women’s Issues Missing from Election Manifestos

Come rain or shine, single mother of five, Sylvia Mathebula,* can be found selling fruit and cigarettes at the roadside because it is the only way her family can survive. "Since the government is not helping us with jobs, rather than work as a maid for a white person I decided to start this little business by myself," she says lamenting the lack of opportunities for unskilled women.

Uganda Police and Opposition Supporters Clash

Up to five people were killed when Ugandan police clashed with opposition supporters who attacked cars carrying African leaders at the inauguration of President Yoweri Museveni.

The Democratic Alliance election posters that have people talking. Credit: Zukiswa Zimela/IPS

SOUTH AFRICA: Do More Women Politicians Mean Better Politics?

The Democratic Alliance (DA) election posters, which feature party leader Helen Zille, Cape Town mayoral candidate Patricia de Lille and party spokeswoman Lindiwe Mazibuko, do not necessarily mean that a vote for the party is a vote for women, analysts say.

Former Minister Warns of Tunisia Coup Risk

Tunisia's former interior minister has warned that lingering members of the country's former political elite may carry out a coup d'etat if Islamists win a majority in the upcoming election.

NIGERIA: Uneasy Finale to General Elections

Nigerians will return to the polls Tuesday to elect state legislators and governors. Government at this level plays a key role in delivering services and infrastructure, but in northern states the choice of credible leaders could be overshadowed by lingering anger over the Apr. 16 presidential election.

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