elections and democracy
1. Do you think elections can be a good measure of democracy? Discuss this statement in relation to elections recently held in African countries you are familiar with.
The year 2011 experienced serious levels of political activities in Africa such as political upheavals, middle-east uprisings and elections in many countries. Most Islamic nations rose against their long-ruling leaders, hence saw the ousted of Egyptian Hosni Mubarak and the killing of Muamar Gaddafi after a six-month war between the Gaddafi loyalists and the anti-Gadhafi fighters assisted by NATO. However, while this was taking place, other countries like Zambia, Congo DR, Nigeria, Liberia were also exercising their obligation of
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In Nigeria, during the 2011 elections there was a serious witnessing of electoral and ethnic violence where more than 1000 people died. This was attributed to the government’s inability to be transparent in election procedures so much that elections were postponed three times and this gave worse suspicion and more violence. So it’s clear that even though the elections are being held, but then they are far from showing any sort of democracy. African News and Current Affairs(2011) reports that other divisive elements of this year’s ballot include an initial delay to the polls; a result of the implementation of a new voter system. The polls were actually in progress in several states when Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chair affirmed the postponement necessary to ‘maintain the integrity of the elections and retain effective overall control of the process’.This move was met with protest and interpreted variously as; a ploy to rig results, a broad move to block such attempts, pure incompetence or a mixture of all three, theories which undermined the transparency of proceedings before they had properly begun. Additionally election are fair when all the participant be it in ruling or opposition political parties have on a level footing in order to produce the