Here are the key elections I will be following in 2012 in Sub-Saharan Africa:
26 Feb 2012. President Abdoulaye Wade is running for a third term claiming that
the constitutional limitation of two terms does not apply to him since his
first term was already underway when the restriction went into effect. The Senegalese opposition has not coalesced
behind a single candidate and more significant candidates announce their
candidacy each week. A recent
shoot-out at a nightclub resulted in the arrest and incarceration of an
opposition leader who claimed he was acting in self-defense when attacked by
PDS. If the opposition can’t
solidify behind a single candidate or create a coalition like Wade did when he
came to power in 2000, then Wade will win a third term. Many Senegalese have
threatened riots if Wade wins.
Sometime 2012. MPLA has controlled Angola since independence and President dos
Santos took power upon the death of the first president Augustino Neto in
1979. Last elections were held in
Sept 2008 and are scheduled again in September 2012. Voter registration is currently underway and scheduled to
conclude 15 April 2012.
c. Kenya- 14
Aug 2012. The 2010 constitution abolished the position of prime minister and
established a bicameral legislature.
The new constitution also requires a second round of voting if no
candidate achieved more than 50% of the vote which may be necessary as current
Kibaki is ending the second of his two allowed presidential terms. Kibaki was first elected in 2002 and
relected to his second five-year term in 2007.
Apr 2012. President Amadou Toumani Touré was first
elected in 2002 and reelected to his second and constitutionally final five-year
term in 2007. In 2007 Touré won
71.2% of the vote running as an independent, but still widely supported by the
Alliance for Democracy in Mali (ADEMA).
Touré was able to run as an independent based on his popularity from his
1991 coup where he led a group that deposed a military government and surrendered
power to civilian authorities the following year. An ADEMA candidate is likely to succeed Touré as they are
the most popular party in the country and control 51 seats and the majority of
7 Dec 2012. President John Evans
Atta Mills narrowly defeated Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in a runoff election
in Jan 2009 and will run for a second and final term in Dec 2012. Popular candidates include the daughter
of Nkrumah, Samia Nkrumah and former first lady Nana Konadu Agymang Rawlings. Elections in Ghana have been generally
free and fair and hopefully will be in 2012 as well.
Leone- August 2012. President
Ernest Bai Koroma (APC) was elected to his first five-year term in September
2007 and will run for his second and final term in 2012. Julius Maada Bio is the candidate for
the largest opposition party (SLPP). The 2007 elections were generally
considered free and fair although there were some irregularities.
2012? President Robert Mugabe isn’t happy with his powersharing agreement with
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in place since the 2008 presidential
elections. Tsvangirai won the
majority in the first round of elections but withdrew before the runoff vote
due to violence against his supporters.
The next round of elections should be held in 2013 but Mugabe has been
trying to move up elections to end the tense powersharing relationship.