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AD417: Elections in Uganda: A better mechanism for accountability than for representation?

Elections play a crucial role in every democratic system of government as a mechanism for producing a legislature that is representative of the policy preferences of the electorate (Thomassen, 2014), linking citizens’ priorities to the behavior of their policy makers (Powell, 2000). By the same logic, elections enable voters to select leaders and hold them accountable for their performance in office. In other words, the electoral process determines who should stay in office, who should be thrown out of office, and who should replace those who are thrown out (Harrop & Miller, 1987).


Overwhelming majority of Ethiopians support democracy, seek accountable governance

Large majorities of Ethiopians support democracy and reject non-democratic regimes such as one-party rule, military rule, and one-man rule, the most recent Afrobarometer survey shows.

Most Ethiopians want a government accountable to citizens, a prime minister monitored by and answerable to Parliament, and elected officials who are accountable to their constituents.


AD399: Fear and trust: Explaining professed popular trust in Zimbabwe’s presidents

Popular trust in public institutions and officials is an important indicator of political legitimacy, a key resource for the development and functioning of modern democracies (Freitag & Bühlmann, 2009; Chingwete, 2016; Mishler & Rose, 2001; Newton, 2001). However, some analysts argue that while trust is important in a democracy, citizens would be naïve if they didn’t have a certain level of distrust as well (van de Walle & Six, 2004).


AD392: La démocratie guinéenne est-elle piégée?

La Guinée vient d’adopter une nouvelle Constitution suite au référendum controversé du 22 mars 2020, qui a été couplé avec des élections législatives ayant conduit à la mise en place d’une nouvelle Assemblée Nationale. Ce double scrutin a été boycotté par bon nombre de Guinéens. La nouvelle Constitution stipule que le Président de la République est élu pour un mandat de six ans, renouvelable une fois.


AD381: Disenchanted with democracy, Basotho want reforms limiting PM powers, expanding King’s

In 2015, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) recommended that Lesotho undertake wide-ranging reforms of the Constitution, Parliament, the judiciary, and the public and security sectors (Post, 2017). These recommendations followed a 2014 coup attempt, then-Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s escape to South Africa, the assassination of army commander Lt. Gen. Maaparankoe Mahao, and an SADC intervention.  


Public trust in institutions, satisfaction with democracy decline in Mauritius

According to the most recent Afrobarometer survey, about three-fourths of Mauritians prefer democracy over any other system and almost as many say it’s more important for the government to be accountable than to be efficient.

However, the survey reveals that only half of Mauritians are “fairly satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the way democracy is working in their country – a decline of 15 percentage points from 2014.


Slowly growing or stunted? Examining Uganda’s gains in demand for democracy

At a glance

Declining demand and supply for democracy: Despite increasing demand for democracy early in the new millennium, recent trends suggest declining demand and supply of democracy in Uganda, and on the continent.

Poor quality of elections negatively impacting democracy: Ugandans who view their elections as of poor quality, or see poor delivery of political or economic goods, tend to demand democracy more.


Poor quality elections erode support for democracy in Uganda, new Afrobarometer survey shows

More Ugandans say they prefer democracy over any other system, but fewer are satisfied with the way their democracy is actually working, a new Afrobarometer survey shows.

Popular preference for democracy has been remarkably cyclical, rising before and falling after presidential elections. But satisfaction has been on a 17-year slide.


State of the nation: Malawians’ reflections on political governance

At a glance

Trust: Most Malawians trust religious leaders and the Malawi Defence Force, but only about one in three trust the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), the ruling party, or the president.

Democracy and freedoms: A majority of Malawians say their country is “not a democracy” or “a democracy with major problems.”


WP5: Democratic and market reforms in Africa: What ‘the people’ say

Africa is a latecomer to globalization.  In terms of timing, African countries have followed rather than led the reform movements that installed democratic and market systems around the world.  And, as foreign aid dependencies, African countries experienced considerable external pressure to liberalize.  One should not automatically conclude, however, that the impetus for reform originated from outside Africa rather than from within.


AD146: Au Bénin, les citoyens préfèrent limiter les mandats présidentiels à deux – pas à un seul


Une grande majorité de Béninois ont constamment soutenu la limitation de leur président à un maximum de deux mandats. Mais ils ont résisté à la révision de la constitution qui visait la limitation du nombre de mandats présidentiels à un seul. Et les nouvelles données d'Afrobaromètre montrent que cette résistance se poursuit, mais avec une plus petite majorité.


PP40: Beyond the Arab Spring: Will economic and security challenges further test Tunisia’s democracy?

In contrast to sub-Saharan Africa, where many countries experienced political liberalization during the late 1980s and early 1990s (Bratton, 1997), the authoritarian regimes of North Africa were largely able to resist popular demands for transformation by introducing limited, topdown reforms. In Tunisia, there were some improvements to political freedoms after Zine El Abidine Ben Ali took office in 1988 and was elected as president the following year in the country’s first election since 1972 (Abushouk, 2016).


AD140: Algerians’ darkening outlook on economy and democracy predates recent anti-austerity protests

Six years after protests swept Northern Africa in the Arab Spring, Algeria entered 2017 with unrest in the streets. Like many other petro-economies, Algeria relies heavily on high state spending and subsidies. But in recent years, plummeting oil and gas prices have hit the county’s economy hard. Algeria generates about 95% of its export earnings from oil, and faced with dwindling revenues and reserves, the government has been tasked with reducing state spending by 9% in 2016 and another 14% at the beginning of this year (Falconer, 2017; Stratfor, 2017; Wrey, 2017).


WP171: Do electoral handouts affect voting behavior?

Vote-buying is defined as a transaction whereby candidates distribute private goods such as cash and gifts in exchange for electoral support or higher turnout. The direct implication of this definition is that vote shares and turnout would have been lower in the absence of electoral handouts. While there is ample evidence that candidates target certain voters with cash handouts, it is unclear whether these handouts actually result in greater turnout or higher vote shares in favour of the distributing candidate.


AD133: A second spring for democracy in post-Mubarak Egypt? Findings from Afrobarometer

In early 2016, five years after the beginning of the Arab Spring, the Economist (2016) reported that hopes raised by the uprisings had been destroyed. “The wells of despair are overflowing,” the newspaper said, the uprisings having brought “nothing but woe.” In addition to stagnant economic growth, rent-seeking was “rampant,” security forces continued to repress the population, and grounds were more fertile than ever for the emergence of radicals “who posit their own brutal vision of Islamic Utopia as the only solution.”


Kenya: Improving democracy in spite of political rhetoric

At a glance

  • Democratic preferences: A majority of Kenyans prefer democratic, accountable governance in which:
    • Leaders are elected in free and fair elections.
    • Political parties compete in an open field.
    • The president is accountable to the people and Parliament.
  • Democracy improving: Compared to 2014, more Kenyans consider their country a democracy and are satisfied with the way it is working.

Do Africans still want democracy?

A decade-long upward trend in African citizens’ demand for democracy has ended with a downward turn since 2012, according to a new Afrobarometer analysis. But despite these warning signs of a democratic recession, public demand for democracy remains higher than a decade ago, and most Africans still say they want more democracy than they’re actually getting – a good basis for future democratic gains.


Do Africans still want democracy? Afrobarometer findings warn of democratic recession, point to long-term gains

A decade-long upward trend in African citizens’ demand for democracy has ended with a downward turn since 2012, according to a new Afrobarometer analysis.
But despite warning signs of a democratic recession, public demand for democracy remains higher than a decade ago, and most Africans still say they want more democracy than they’re actually getting – a good basis for future democratic gains.

One important factor: the quality of elections. African countries with high-quality elections are more likely to show increases in popular demand for democracy.


AD121: Approaching presidential transition, Liberians supportive and critical of their democracy

After a decade of relative stability that has included two presidential elections, Liberia is looking ahead to its first post-war electoral leadership transition when President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s second term ends in 2017.

Less than a generation removed from civil war, the country is still rebuilding governance and economic structures, and the upcoming elections – which are already drawing candidates from more than 20 political parties – promise to put that progress to the test.


AD118: Even weak demand for democracy not met by supply in São Tomé and Príncipe

Since gaining independence from Portugal in 1975, the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe has experienced 15 years of one-party rule and, starting with a new constitution in 1990, 26 years of fast-moving multiparty competition marked by frequent changes in government and two attempted coups.

August 2016 brought another transition with the election of former Prime Minister Evaristo Carvalho as president over incumbent and former strongman leader Manuel Pinto da Costa.


AD107: Disgruntled opposition or disillusioned democrats? Support for electoral law reforms in Uganda

Reform of electoral laws has been a mainstay of political discourse in Uganda for two decades. Since the issue came to the fore following the 1996 general elections, stakeholders on all sides – opposition political parties, civil-society organisations, election observer missions, government, and the Electoral Commission (EC) – have called for reform to ensure free and fair elections (International Foundation for Electoral Systems, 1996; Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda, 2013a).