Monday, December 6, 2010

Will Ivory Coast go the Kenyan and Zim way?

A disputed election. The losing incumbent is quickly sworn in as president. The supposed victor is left out to dry. Riots and violence break out by angry disaffected youth of the undeclared victor.
International mediation teams jet into the country for talks between warring parties.
After several weeks of negotiations, the losing incumbent remains president and the supposed election winner is declared prime minister , with a few loyalists handed some non descript cabinet dockets in an uneasy,fragile settlement. Sounds familiar? Well this is the script that Zimbabwe and Kenya followed after bitterly disputed presidential elections a few years ago.Is this the future of electoral democracy in Africa?
Are African incumbent presidents becoming too cynical about African electoral democracy?
Hold an election which will leave you as president even when you lose it? Quicly swear in as president, close off your border and then let in a friendly mediator usually one who has been in the presidents club at the AU or EU.
In Ivory Coast this is about to play out between the incumbent and the undeclared victor.
Post election settlements are a real threat to the integrity of African elections and threaten to disenfranchise the African voter. Does national peace have to come at the price of a dashed election?

No comments: