Election Universe

Africa’s Election Season 2017

Africa’s Election Season 2017
August 16 2017, 19:52

Following recent elections in Algeria, Gabon, Republic of Congo and Senegal, the African continent is preparing to observe several more elections- including the first local elections in Tunisia, legislative elections in Angola, general elections in Somaliland, and presidential elections in Rwanda.

This dynamic region has historically drawn much attention to their electoral processes, and as a result, the international community will be observing closely.

Local – Tunisia

In a historic election, Tunisia will be hosting its first local vote in December following the revolt in 2011. The proceedings will land on the anniversary of Mohamed Bouazizi’s death by self-immolation, which served as the catalyst for both the Tunisian Revolution and the Arab Spring. The elections will concern the fate of 350 Tunisian municipalities, which have since been led by “special delegations”.

Legislative –Angola

Legislative elections will be held in Angola on the 23rd of August to elect 220 members of the National Assembly and a winning party leader- who will automatically become the Angolan president. The official campaigning term recently ended on July 22, making way for voters over 18 years old to assess their options.

General – Somaliland, Liberia, Kenya

Somaliland is a self-determined state with a de facto government within what is international recognized as Somalian territory. Although the United Nations only formally recognizes Somaliland as a de jure territory of Somalia, Somaliland still acts autonomously and will be holding general elections on November 13th. The elections were initially intended to be held in late March, but were postponed due to severe drought. A new president and House of Representatives will be elected, although the incumbent president will not be running for a second term.

Liberia will be electing a new President and members of its House of Representatives on October 10. Incumbent president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, will not be assuming office again. Her abdication paves the way for proceedings that will decide the next presidential office holder with a two round system. House of Representative members will otherwise be elected using a “first-past-the-post” system-  form of majority plurality.

General elections in Kenya are expected to identify a new President, a deputy, members of the Senate, members of the National Assembly, county governors, and ward representatives. By tradition, the proceedings will be held on the second Tuesday of August in the fifth year using a combination of a two-round system and first-past-the-post method. Parties taking hold of the seats following the election will be assigned quotes for women and disabled participants.

Presidential – Rwanda

Elections will be held on August 4 to elect a president for a shortened term of 5 years- following a referendum in 2015 that truncated terms from 7 years. Incumbent president Paul Kagame will be allowed to run a third time for the office in an election decided by a single plurality vote.

The year has already been busy by preceding standards, but elections in Africa are sure to captivate an international audience once more.

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