Politics of the Democratic Republic of Congo: Old Ways and New Challenges Răspunde

1128-OCONGO-DEMOCRATIC-REPUBLIC-Congo-ELECTIONS-AFRICA-POLITICS_full_600

The post-colonial political landscape of many African countries has been characterized by instability, government ineffectiveness, as well as inequality among regions. It is namely because of the latter two, that many governments have lacked legitimacy, thus giving rise to discontented groups and movements, having more often than not, equally violent counter-responses to government repression. In this respect, the Democratic Republic of Congo( DR Congo) has been a representative case for the institutional failure and the violence surrounding many of the states in this region.

After many years of military rule, tensions and coups d’etat, the year 2014 brings the challenge to the DR Congo of stabilizing its political regime. This has been, in fact, an ongoing issue, as the post-colonial background of DR Congo has been constructed around notions of instability and corruption, starting with the aftermath of its independence in June 1960. In order to better understand such strong criticism, a brief historical understanding of the evolution of the country in political terms is required. More…

A new beginning for the Central African Republic? Răspunde

From the Agencies: AP's Ben Curtis in Central African Republic

After 54 years of independence, 5 coups d’etat, and one of the longest and most profound conflicts in the region, the Central African Republic seems to be facing for the first time an opportunity for improvement in political terms. However, enthusiasm should be kept within moderate boundaries, as the CAR carries the burden of a history of violent political confrontations, which have not yet been put an end to.

In order to better understand the reasons behind such skepticism, let us go back to a moment which marked the beginning of a period of the bloodiest civil conflicts in the CAR, namely the early 2000’s. In 2003, general François Bozizé overthrew president Ange-Félix Patassé in a coup, after a failed attempt in 2001. Later in 2005, Bozizé won the elections in the second ballot. In spite of this, he failed to acknowledge the mistakes of his predecessors and continued the tradition of governing in self- interest, in detriment of the consolidation of his own political support. More importantly, the disregard for the regions of the CAR controlled by his political enemies only enlarged the gap between Bozizé and those who opposed him, thus giving birth to rebellious movements. Two main strands of rebellion were created, one based in the northeast, close to the border with Sudan and Chad, and one based in the northwest in areas close to Chad and Cameroon. The former consists of an alliance led by Michel Djotodia, who would become a key political figure in the crisis of 2012-2013. The tensions escalated to a point where, between 2004 and 2007, the CAR experienced a conflict of unprecedented proportions, involving extrajudicial killings in the north, torture, beatings, and rape of subjects and prisoners. Both the Central African Armed Forces( particularly the presidential guard) and the rebellion were responsible for crimes against humanity. More…

Elections and leadership in the Giant of Africa Răspunde

Goodluck Jonathan

From non-democratic regimes to fully consolidated liberal democracies, the path is never a smooth one, nor does it offer any guarantees. In this process, elections become key-elements, which help provide a better view on where a particular country places itself in this path at a certain moment in time. Like most of the other African countries, Nigeria will face new presidential elections soon. Up to this point it has made remarkable progress since the abolition of the military regime in 1999, but it still has a long way to go.

The next president is to be inaugurated on 31 May 2015, but according to the Nigerian Constitution, national elections must be held six months earlier. What is novel in the framework of Nigerian domestic politics is that for the first time in 14 years, the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is facing a serious national opposition, portrayed by the All Progressives Congress (APC). Moreover, a recent split within the PDP itself has started to take shape. As a result, current president Goodluck Jonathan’s party has lost its overwhelming dominance in the Nigerian political landscape after having towered over all the other political parties since 1999 and winning every election without ever being seriously challenged. Still, optimism should be kept within realistic boundaries, as the APC is a new political construction still facing several internal challenges. More…

The Intricateness of a Regime: Difficulties and Prospects of the Future of Côte d’Ivoire as a Distinctive Political Design 1

ICOAST-POLITICS-ELECTION-GBAGBO

Is transition always progress? Is liberal democracy the ultimate and natural destination for everyone? When it comes to predictions, there are regions of the world that are particularly attractive, due to their complex situations.

Like in many cases of sub-Saharan Africa, the evolution of Cote D’Ivoire in political terms raises many questions regarding especially the direction of this evolution.

The announcement in 2013 of Henri Konan Bédié and Alassane Ouattara that they will be running for president in the 2015 elections leads to a problematic situation. In a first row, both Bédié and Ouattara, having passed the age limit imposed by the Constitution (Art. 35), from a technical point of view, no longer qualify for such a position. In this respect, the decision of the two to run for office clearly undermines the Constitution. However, before looking into such technical features, it is necessary to try and outline the nature of the Ivorian regime in a broader sense. And the answer is never a clear-cut one. More…