There are elections scheduled for five southern African nations: the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Eswatini next year.
Elections for president will be held in the DRC, Madagascar, and Zimbabwe. The elections for the senate, house of parliament, urban locals, and tinkhundla will be held in the monarchy of Eswatini.
Mozambique will host elections for local authorities. Dates, however, have not yet been made public.
In a meeting with leaders from the DRC, Gabon, Liberia, Nigeria, Madagascar, and Sierra Leone last week at the United States-Africa Leaders Summit, US President Joe Biden discussed impending elections in 2023 and sought assurances that there will be free and fair elections.
Additionally, he disclosed plans to provide roughly R2.8 billion in 2023 to promote elections and sound governance in Africa
Nigeria, the largest democracy on the continent, will elect a president, house of representatives, senate, state assemblies, and governors in what will be the most carefully followed election outside of southern Africa.
Bola Tinubu of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party are running for president of Nigeria.
The current president, Muhammadu Buhari, is serving his final term under the constitution. There would be pressure on Tinubu to continue serving as president of the APC, which is Buhari’s party.
The new Electoral Act of 2022 will be used to conduct the elections in Nigeria.
West African publications claim that the new law will “decrease irregularities in Nigeria’s elections and increase opportunities for transparency, which will enhance citizens’ engagement in the electoral process.”
Nelson Chamisa of the Citizens’ Coalition for Change and Emmerson Mnangagwa of the Zanu-PF are certain to face off again in Zimbabwe.
The majority of the fringe political parties, who support the ruling party, will reactivate once a date is established.
In Zimbabwe, there will probably be more than ten presidential contenders on the ballot. This is true even though the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) increased the cost of running for president to roughly R350 000 in an effort to weed out shady candidates.
ZEC is already facing pressure to organise one of Africa’s most contentious general elections in a transparent manner.
Leading election-monitoring group Pachedu has been revealing what it called irregularities intended to benefit the ruling party. According to Zimbabwean media sources, it was discovered that ZEC was reassigning older.
The most unstable nation in southern Africa, the DRC, may not be able to organize free and fair elections if there is unrest in its eastern regions.
DRC has not experienced peace since the “Lumumba curse” of 62 years ago, when the nation’s independence prime minister Patrice Lumumba was killed.
Beginning with Mobutu Sese Seko, who renamed the nation Zaire, to the killed Laurent-Désiré Kabila, who renamed it DRC, the nation has been controlled by coup rulers.
Later presidents Joseph Kabila and Felix Tshisekedi attempted to restore democracy to the nation, but their efforts were unsuccessful due to persistent outside involvement.
They have also been charged with ring-fencing authority and undermining democracy.
A date will be announced for the election of local authority leaders in the oil-and-gas-rich nation. The elections will serve as a practice run for the 2024 presidential election.
The National Elections Commission (CNE) of the nation estimated its operating expenses and voter registration for the plebiscite at roughly R5 billion.
Freedom of expression is under attack prior to these elections. According to the International Press Institute (IPI), there are a lot of legal, political, and financial demands on journalists in the nation.
The difficulties journalists confront may prevent them from carrying out their responsibilities in trying to ensure that democracy survives in Mozambique, a nation with a history of civil violence.
The election may represent Filipe Nyusi’s Frelimo, which has ruled the nation since its founding, to be the greatest threat yet.
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