Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A good year for Africa’s incumbents in elections



President Paul Kagame

President Paul Kagame 

By The Citizen Reporter @TheCitizenTz news@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. One of the major news sources during the year were presidential elections. In 2017, there were as many as four elections that took place across the continent.

Here we give a summary of the 2017 elections and the results, which turned out to be a good for incumbents:

Liberia

George Weah emerged from Liberia’s slums to become a superstar footballer in the 1990s, and has leveraged his status as a revered figure among the country’s young and poor in his second run for the presidency.

Weah faced Vice President Joseph Boakai in yesterday presidential run-off, the culmination of 12 years spent building political credibility to match his huge popularity.

“You know I’ve been in competitions –- tough ones too and I came out victorious. So I know Boakai cannot defeat me,” Weah said ahead of the vote. “I have the people on my side.”

Kenya

Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in as president of Kenya late last month following two disputed polls and waves of deadly protests.

Mr Kenyatta won 98 per cent of the vote as his opponent Raila Odinga’s call for a boycott was held.

He hailed his crushing win as vindication of his August victory, which the Supreme Court declared “invalid, null and void” and ordered a re-run within 60 days.

The annulment is a first for Africa.

Angola

The election saw the end of president Jose Eduardo dos Santos’s 38-year reign after he chose not to stand for office again. His hand-picked successor Joao Lourenco was sworn in as president after the ruling party, the MPLA, won 61 per cent of the August vote.

Rwanda

President Paul Kagame was also inaugurated after winning re-election with nearly 99 per cent of the vote. The longtime president had described the August 4 election as “a formality” while campaigning.

Rwanda has virtually no political opposition, and critics accuse Mr Kagame of being intolerant of dissent. He denies it.

Mr Kagame has been de facto leader or president since the end of the 1994 genocide. Because of a change to the constitution in 2015, he can legally stay in power until 2034. “This is another seven years to take care of issues that affect Rwandans and ensure that we become real Rwandans who are [economically] developing,” Mr Kagame said.

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