Tough economic conditions are fuelling demands for change but authoritarian leaders are thwarting the popular vote
This year's combination of the international commodity price crash and the Chinese economic slowdown, alongside a bumper political season with 16 elections in just twelve months, is proving harrowing for Africa's democracy activists.
Although opposition parties have made breakthroughs in Cape Verde and Nigeria, recent elections in Congo-Brazzaville, Niger, Uganda and Zanzibar, Tanzania, point to three trends that are harmful to political institutions and stability: (1) incumbents are circumventing electoral technology; (2) the rise of 'illiberal democracy' and 'authoritarian developmentalism'; and (3) more marginalised opposition parties are boycotting elections.
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