Democracy Suffers as Africa’s Strongmen Learn to Fly without Perching

H. E. Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda, disembarks from an airliner. (Photo: SRA Gerald B. Johnson)

While many African countries are holding more regularly scheduled elections, democracy is nonetheless in retreat. Opposition candidates face roadblocks to effective participation, leaders are defying democratic norms by evading term limits, and violence and irregularities affect the preparation, conduct, and counting of votes. Some high courts have asserted their independence, refusing to certify votes and ordering new elections. But the number of inclusive, credible, and fair electoral processes, that reflect the will of the people, remains limited and in some regions, in decline.

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