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  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Les opérations nationales d'enregistrement des électeurs qui avaient débuté en avril 2011 ont pris fin le 17 juillet. Cet enregistrement, qui aboutit à une augmentation de l'ensemble du corps électoral de presque 6,3 millions de personnes (24,5 pour cent) par rapport aux élections de 2006, a pu avoir lieu dans les délais prescrits, y compris dans les régions troublées que sont les provinces des Ki- vus et le district de l'Ituri. Si les enrôlements se sont rela- tivement bien déroulés, cela tient surtout au fait que la carte d'électeur sert aussi de carte d'identité et qu'elle est aussi utile aux miliciens qu'aux citoyens ordinaires. Ni la société civile ni les partis politiques n'ont fondamentale- ment contesté les opérations d'enregistrement au niveau local mais cela n'est pas synonyme de satisfaction. Les surprenants résultats annoncés par la Commission Electo- rale Nationale Indépendante (CEN I), le déficit de dialogue et l'absence de vérification de leur bonne inscription par les électeurs alimentent une su spicion latente mais généra- lisée dans l'opposition et la société civile. Afin de renfor- cer la crédibilité du processus électoral, il convient d'amé- liorer sa transparence, de respecter scrupuleusement le code électoral et de mettre en place un dialogue formel entre la CENI, les partis politiques et la société civile.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Civil War, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Après l'élection d'Alpha Condé à la présidence en novembre 2010, des élections législatives doivent clôturer une nouvelle étape de la transition politique guinéenne. La récente expérience de politisation violente des ethnicités et le manque de confiance des acteurs politiques dans le dispositif électoral sont des motifs d'inquiétude. Le président Condé a engagé unilatéralement une refonte du système électoral, mais il suscite d'autant plus de méfiance que les perspectives du parti présidentiel pour les législatives sont incertaines. Il n'a prêté que peu d'attention, et bien tard, à la réconciliation et au dialogue avec son opposition, très mobilisée. La Guinée ne peut se permettre ni un bricolage du système électoral ni une nouvelle campagne fondée sur des arguments ethniques. Un accroissement des tensions à l'approche du scrutin pourrait susciter des violences intercommunautaires. Il pourrait aussi offrir une opportunité d'agir à ceux qui, dans l'armée, se satisfont mal d'avoir regagné les casernes. L'attaque lancée le 19 juillet 2011 par des militaires contre la résidence du président confirme la réalité de ce risque. Un véritable accord entre les principaux acteurs politiques sur les modalités des élections législatives est impératif et urgent. Sans une forte implication internationale, les chances de parvenir à un tel accord sont minces.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Political Economy, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Liberia's October 2011 general and presidential elections, the second since civil war ended in 2003, are an opportunity to consolidate its fragile peace and nascent democracy. Peaceful, free and fair elections depend on how well the National Elections Commission (NEC) handles the challenges of the 23 August referendum on constitutional amendments and opposition perceptions of bias toward the president's Unity Party (UP). The NEC, the government, political parties, presidential candidates, civil society, media and international partners each have roles to play to strengthen trust in the electoral process. They should fight the temptation to treat the elections as not crucial for sustaining the progress made since the civil war. But even after good elections five factors will be critical to lasting peace: a more convincing fight against corruption; deeper commitment to transforming Liberia with a new breed of reform-minded political players; sustained international engagement in supporting this more ambitious transformation; economic development; and regional stability, particularly in Côte d'Ivoire.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Political Economy, Mass Media
  • Political Geography: Africa, Liberia
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: A question often asked since the launch of the Arab Spring in January 2011 is what effect will these popular protests have on democracy in the rest of Africa. Frequently overlooked in this discussion is that Sub-Saharan Africa has been experiencing its own democratic surge during this time with important advances in Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, Niger, Nigeria, and Zambia, among other countries. This progress builds on nearly two decades of democratic institution building on the continent. Even so, the legacy of “big-man” politics continues to cast a long shadow over Africa's governance norms. Regime models on the continent, moreover, remain highly varied, ranging from hard core autocrats, to semi-authoritarians, democratizers, and a select number of democracies.
  • Topic: Democratization, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Africa, Arabia, Nigeria, Zambia
  • Author: Assis Malaquias
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: South Africa's transition from apartheid to democracy in 1994 was expected to usher in a new era of peace, stability, and accelerated development. However, despite widespread optimism, political violence has persisted. Although a fraction of that experienced under apartheid, levels of political violence are worsening and indicative of the country's potential fragility. They also map out the fault lines along which South Africa may yet stumble.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Apartheid, Democratization, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Lindsay Whitfield
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Since the Fourth Republic was inaugurated in 1993, politics in Ghana has been increasingly characterized by competitive clientelism. Ruling coalitions are characterized by a high degree of vulnerability in power due to a strong opposition party, by strong lower-level factions within the ruling coalition due to their importance in winning elections, and by a high degree of fragmentation among the ruling elite. These characteristics, combined with a weak domestic capitalist class and high inflows of foreign aid, have led the ruling elites across political parties to pursue and implement policies that have a short time horizon, that do not significantly shift the allocation of resources towards building productive sectors, and which are often plagued by problems of enforcement. The results have led to growth without economic transformation. In particular, the country has witnessed recurrent macroeconomic instability, a haphazard process of privatization of state-owned enterprises, and no serious attempt to build up productive sectors outside of cocoa and gold.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Politics, Social Stratification, Foreign Aid, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: A question often asked since the launch of the Arab Spring in January 2011 is what effect will these popular protests have on democracy in the rest of Africa. Frequently overlooked in this discussion is that Sub-Saharan Africa has been experiencing its own democratic surge during this time with important advances in Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, Niger, Nigeria, and Zambia, among other countries. This progress builds on nearly two decades of democratic institution building on the continent. Even so, the legacy of "big-man" politics continues to cast a long shadow over Africa's governance norms. Regime models on the continent, moreover, remain highly varied, ranging from hard core autocrats, to semi-authoritarians, democratizers, and a select number of democracies.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Governance, Popular Revolt
  • Political Geography: Africa, Arabia, Nigeria
  • Author: Dirk Kohnert
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Recent development cooperation with Guinea-Bissau, focusing on good governance, state-building and conflict prevention, did not contribute to democratization nor to the stabilization of volatile political, military and economic structures. The portrayal of Guinea-Bissau as a failed “narco-state”, as we ll as Western aid meant to stabilize this state, are both based on dubious concepts. Certainly, the impact of drug trafficking could endanger democratization and state-building if continued unchecked. However, the most pressing need is not state-building facilitated by external aid that is poorly rooted in the social and political fabric of the country. Rather, it is grassroots nation-building that is a pre-condition for the creation of viable state institutions.
  • Topic: Democratization, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Africa, Guinea-Bissau
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The African Union (AU) has committed to a vision of Africa that is 'integrated, prosperous and peaceful … driven by its own citizens, a dynamic force in the global arena' (Vision and Mission of the African Union, May 2004).
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Anika Moroff
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Since 1990 the banning of ethnic and other identity-based parties has become the norm in sub-Saharan Africa. This article focuses on Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda as three East African countries that have opted for different ways of dealing with such parties. Using case studies, it traces the origins of the party bans in Tanzania and Uganda and explores the reasons for the absence of a ban in Kenya. The analysis shows that the laws on particularistic parties have actually been implemented by the appropriate institutions. However, these laws have only marginally influenced the character of the political parties in the three countries: A comparison of regional voting patterns suggests that bans on particularistic parties have not ensured the emergence of aggregative parties with a national following in Tanzania and Uganda. In Kenya on the other hand, where such a ban was nonexistent until 2008, parties have not proven to be more regional.
  • Topic: Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Politics
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Kenya, Africa, Tanzania