African elections - just democrazy!
More than half a century ago European colonial powers started to cede control over their African colonies opening the door for independence. This move towards black majority rule was applauded by the US and the international community. However, with this handing of sovereignty back to African nations all that has really changed is that white minority rule has now been replaced by black minority rule, the new APARTHEID. This objectionable discrimination brooks no protests in the West this time round yet all Black Lives Matter!
It is a
regrettable fact that in the intervening 50-60 years since independence
swept over the African continent, only on TWENTY-EIGHT occasions* have
ruling parties lost in presidential/leadership elections in the 48 countries
which comprise the land mass of Africa. That is a staggering stat! That
is worth repeating:
Though elections are held periodically in most African nations they are largely meaningless and rarely offer citizens the freedom to choose who leads them. This is because rulers/governing parties are addicted to power and are singularly adept at holding on to control through a combination of harassment of opponents, vote buying, ballot rigging, excluding opposition candidates from the ballot as well as getting the dead to vote! And for anyone brave enough to challenge the establishment in African elections you might just as well jump into a river of crocodiles for they will be after your blood, you are going to need bait, you are swimming against the tide and you are likely to get hurt!
At the same time, the opposition is often fragmented meaning there is no single group to get right behind to try to leverage change. And the former president of the Republic of Congo, Pascal Lissouba, could be said to have publicly admitted to all this when he said that 'one does not organise elections to end up on the losing side.' Tanzanian Foreign Minister, Benjamin Memba, also underlined this sham when he stated recently that 'in Africa, when it comes to elections, irregularities and errors are a given.'
Little wonder, then, that ruling elites are perpetuated in power no matter how contemptuously they govern for there is nothing to prevent them doing so. Certainly not the African Union, whose own constitution even espouses democracy and free elections, as it is controlled by all the heads of African governments who want to stay in power for as long as possible. And certainly not western governments who, although they preach to their African counterparts about the need for free and fair elections and are even happy to finance them, rarely take governments to task for the way they monopolise power. And certainly not the United Nations whose 193 members, the latest being the unfortunate and war-torn South Sudan in 2011, may have signed the UN Declaration of Human Rights but which all too many prefer to ignore. As a result, in Africa, more governments are toppled through popular uprisings/military coups - in August 2020 in Mali; in April 2019 in Algeria and Sudan; in November 2017 in Zimbabwe; in January 2016 in The Gambia; in October 2014 in Burkina Faso; in 2013 in Central African Republic and Egypt; in 2012 in Mali and Guinea-Bissau; in 2010 in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Niger; in 2009 in Madagascar and in 2008 in Guinea and Mauritania - than through the ballot box.
It is this unchallenged rule and the lack of censure from within or without which is the principal factor as to why, today, Africa is the home of many of the world's longest serving autocrats, some of whom have been in power for 40 years - Obiang Nguema in Equatorial Guinea since 1979 and Paul Biya in Cameroon since 1982. At the same time, dynasties are being established in Togo and Gabon, with sons taking over from fathers, which has led to the same families ruling these two nations since 1967 - more than half a century.
According to 'African Insiders', the typical African political leader is old, male and in many cases of questionable legitimacy. Of the 90 presidents, prime ministers and other top ranking politicians on the continent, only two are female. The median age is 62 years, compared to a median age of 19 for the entire population of the continent. Of the 54 politicians who can be considered to lead their countries, 24 originally came to power under extra-constitutional circumstances like coups and fraudulent elections, changed constitutional term limits to their own benefit, or were preceded by a close relative, usually their father, in office. And perhaps the most striking aspect of all this is that there is a complete lack of women in the continent's leadership.
A survey of public opinion across Africa in April, 2015 showed that nearly 3 in 4 Africans want their presidents to serve no more than 2 terms in office. However, how many leaders care what their people think! Therefore, in order to get round this limiting procedure constitutional coup d'etats are starting to take place. In July 2015, in Burundi, President Pierre Nkurunziza bulldozed his way to serving as president for at least another 5 years by ignoring the constitution and 'winning' a ballot that the opposition boycotted. Since then a referendum in May 2018 found 73% of the electorate voting to allow Nkurunziza to stand for 2 more 7 year terms after his current mandate expires which could see him extend his 'reign' until 2034. (Nkurunziza finally was persuaded to step down before the election in May 2020 and has since died.) The same happened in Rwanda, Congo Republic and Guinea whilst in Uganda and Sudan members of parliament saved the citizens the trouble though people power later brushed al Bashir aside in Sudan in April 2019.
Now longevity of rule would not matter so much if these governments were inclusive with the goal of seeking to improve the lives of all of their people by delivering on economic growth, strong institutions of state, good governance, social welfare and human rights. However, the majority of regimes in the world's poorest continent by far, are more concerned with looking after the interests of their families and friends, amassing personal fortunes and selling off the country's natural resources to the highest bidder. No wonder then that the majority of Africans today are still subsistence farmers scratching a living from the soil as they have done since biblical times. Perhaps Black Lives Matter less in Africa!
In some countries, though, a few green shoots of democracy have started to appear and ruling parties have relinquished power. But this has only happened in a few countries like Ghana, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Benin, Zambia, Senegal, Lesotho, Nigeria and just recently The Gambia and Liberia. And with freely elected governments in only 10 out of 48 nations after a period of half a century, the holding of elections in too much of Africa only seeks to give legitimacy to one party rule and is surely a waste of everyone's time, effort and money. For until things change, for the European Union and the US to continue to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into supporting fatuous elections in most of Africa is just 'democrazy'. Instead the West would be far better off encouraging improved leadership and bureaucratic competence in all developing countries through the targeting of overseas aid and practical support at the better governed countries.(see RECOMMENDATIONS)
Nevertheless, although the chances of change at the ballot box are few, for record purposes, just1WORLD will produce below a timetable of forthcoming leadership elections in African nations. As each country's election draws closer we shall show what happened in the previous election and present the main opposition candidates/parties in the contest about to be fought. After the election we shall give the result and report the findings of the 'international' election observers which will undoubtedly be along the lines of that, although there were problems in certain areas, the election itself probably reflected the will of the people.
(Only 3 nations in Africa do NOT currently hold leadership elections - Eritrea, Morocco and Eswatini, formerly Swaziland, the last two being ruled by monarchs. In Africa, men/women are allowed to vote at 18 in all countries except in Cameroon, Central African Republic and Gabon where the voting age is 21. However, in Sudan the voting age is 17)
NEXT LEADERSHIP ELECTIONS 2020
December 7 - Ghana - in the last election in December 2016 Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party defeated President John Mahama of the National Democratic Congress with 53.9% of the votes against 44.4%. Ghana has changed its government 3 times in the last 20 years and is considered the most democratic country on the continent.. This election though will be overshadowed by the death of former President Jerry Rawlings who once staged a military coup in 1979 which overthrew the government. Allowing free elections soon afterwards he then stood back but fought and won the elections held in 1992 and 1996. In a close run contest this year incumbent Akufo-Addo probably edges Mahama again to retain the presidency. There are ten other cnadidates.
FUTURE LEADERSHIP ELECTIONS 2020
December 27 - Central African Republic - will there be a ceasefire in place ahead of this election where the government currently controls less than 50% of the country? Former PM Faustin Touadera won the run-off election in February 2016 defeating Anicet Dologuele in the process but has singularly failed to unite the divisions in this wretched country of around 5 million people. Touadera has promised to run again in 2020. The main problem lies in the fact that the country is divided into two warring factions: the anti-Balaka (Christian) militias and the Seleka (Muslim) group. A UN peacekeeping force has been in the country since 2014. In recent years the EU has invested tens of millions of euros to help rebuild the country both economically and politically as well as support in disarming the militias and their integration into civil society. However, this has not worked and currently half a million people are still living as refugees in their own country. This country does not need another election; it needs the African Union to come in to establish reconciliation and the introduction of a government of technocrats who can, without favour, start to lay the foundations for this people poor, mineral rich nation to advance both politically and economically.
December 27 - Niger - on this day Niger will elect a new president and a new national assembly. This means that President Mahamadou Issoufou, of the Parti Nigerien pour la Democratie et le Socialisme (PNDS), is adhering to the constitution and stepping down. In March 2016 Issoufou won a run-off against Hama Amadou winning 92% of the vote. Perhaps this was not surprising as Amadou had to fight the election from behind bars. Issoufou has on the whole disappointed failing to live up to the political promises he made in the 2011 transition from military to civilian rule. The country is still beset with the same problems it has had since independence - an inefficient civil service, a backward agricultural sector and a dependency on the world market price of uranium. At the same time, though, the West has seen him as a guarantor of political stability and a reliable partner in an unstable region. However, the country has not been immune to conflict with 5 of the country's provinces under a state of emegency as a result of Boko Haram insurgencies and the influx of 200,000 refugees. Mohamed Bazoum, the interior minister, will represent the PNDS in this election. Hama Amadou, now out of prison, will again try to prise the presidency from the PNDS whilst Seyni Oumarou, a former PM, will try to do the same. A fourth candidate is Salou Djibo a figurehead in he 2010 coup. In the unlikely event that no candidate scores more than 50% a second round will contested 4 weeks later.
January 14 2021 - Uganda - in the 2016 election Dr Kizza Besigye, of the Forum for Democratic Change, challenged President Museveni for the 4th time and failed to win for the 4th time. However, this time Besigye is under pressure to step down. The mantle of the main opposition is now likely to come from 38 year-old Bobi Wine, a pop star turned politician, who is desperate to challenge President Museveni (76) in this election. Born Robert Kyagulanyi, the 6th child of the 4th wife of a Catholic yet polygamous father, he adopted his Christian name to pay homage to his idol Bob Marley and his surname to Wine 'because I shall probably get better with age.' He has formed a new party, National Unity Platform, with an umbrella as its emblem. The musician has been arrested several times and almost beaten to death as he has tried to win the support of the young who are becoming increasingly disillusioned with Museveni's imperious rule. This has been made even more difficult as he is not permitted to campaign outside Kampala by the state security forces. The under-25s make up 77% of the population of 43 million in a nation where 42% of the population live in poverty at the international banchmark of US$1.90 per day. At the same time only half the children complete primary education. It is going to be a tough call for Wine to win as Museveni, who has ruled this country for 34 inglorious years, will have the apparatus of state lined up in his favour. As we say above, and this is certainly true in Uganda, anyone brave enough to challenge the establishment in African elections might just as well jump into a river of crocodiles for they will be after your blood, you are going to need bait, you are swimming against the tide and you are likely to get hurt! As such the Wine will need to be fortified.
February 8 2021 - Somalia - presidential elections in 2009, 2012 and 2017 were decided when 14,000 clan delegates voted in 329 lawmakers who then elected a president. However, the president, Mohamed Farmaajo, in February 2020 signed a bill which will allow ordinary Somalis to vote in parliamentary elections. This will take place from December 10-27, 2020. It will be the first time since 1969 that a one-person/one vote election has taken place. Under this system Somalis will vote directly for parties with the 275 parliamentary seats being allocated according to final tallies. 55 Senate members will also be elected. Members of parliament will then elect the president and prime minister. The PM must come from the majority party in parliament. Somalia faces major logistical hurdles to achieve this vote as parts of the country are controlled by the Islamist militant group al-Shabab whilst relations between the federal government and local administrations are often tense. At the same time Somaliland and Puntland are basically functioning independent entities although people in Puntland will vote in this election.
Among those standing for president are incumbent Mohamed Farmaajo; Abdihabib Warsame, Hayaan Party, who has a PhD in political science; ex-President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud; ex-President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed; former Premier Hassan Khaire; former Planning Minister Abdirahman Abdishakur and Abdikarim Guled. No former president has ever been re-elected. But whoever wins the presidency it will be almost an impossible task to mediate successfully with al-Shabaab in order to start to draw this country out of the spiral of darkness.
May/June 2021 - Ethiopia (postponed from Aug 2020) - in the 2015 election Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democracy Front (EPRDF) won 547 seats out of 547 in the Ethiopian parliament making the country an one-party state! In February 2018 he stepped down in response to the fallout from mass protests and unrest which had started in 2016. The new prime minister was named as Abiy Ahmed who made a point of ending the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea by making an historic visit there almost immediately. For this he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019. He also released political prisoners and promised fair elections. At the same time he plans to liberalise the economy introducing a spate of privatisations of state-run sectors such as energy and telecommunications and the eventual opening up of the financial sector. The EPRDF, whose 4 core parties have controlled the state for 3 decades, is being replaced by a single national party - the Prosperity Party - that also appears to absorb ruling parties from the five regions not governed by EPRDF parties. However, one of the core parties, the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF) is going it alone. That, at least, will mean there should be some opposition MPs in parliament this time! As many as 140 parties will contest 547 seats for parliament when the election is held.
July 2021 - South Sudan - (postponed from 2018) the last election was in 2011 when Salva Kir won a landslide victory in this country's first election. Since then civil war has erupted causing death and destruction forcing many to flee their homes all because of the sacking of Vice-President Riek Machar. At the same time 4.8 million people - half the population - are facing extreme hunger. This inexcusable self-immolation was not what was meant to be when the country voted for independence from Sudan in January 2011.
December 2021 - Libya - postponed yet again due to internal strife. General Khalifa Hafter, Libya's most powerful military commander and Faiez Serraj, head of the UN-backed government of national accord in the west of the country, had started to negotiate a peace deal raising hopes for an end to the 3 year civil war. Also at the talks brokered by President Macron in Paris were Aguilla Saleh Issa, parliament speaker based in Tobruk, who opposes the UN-backed administration and Khalid al-Mishri, head of the High Council of State, Libya's highest consultative body. All sides had agreed in principle to hold presidential along with parliamentary elections but there was worringly nothing in writing. There was also hope on an agreement on a unified army under Haftar. The UN had hoped that the Serraj government would unite the country but it has failed to secure the endorsement of the rival parliament in the east which backed Haftar. Libya has been torn apart by civil war since the overthrow and death of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 which led to the country being into east and west. With the current strife in and around the capital, Tripoli, it is looking like wishful thinking that any kind of election will be able to be held this year. The UN also wanted a delay to give Libyans firstly a forum to discuss their future followed by elections 'within months'.
2022 - Sudan - after the removal of President Omar al-Bashir in April 2019 power is jointly held by a transitional government of the military and civilians. This is scheduled to move to civilian control next year with elections for a full civilian government set for 2022. Sudan previously was a military dictatorship.
PREVIOUS LEADERSHIP ELECTIONS 2020
November 22 - Burkino Faso - Roch Kabore, a former prime minister, won the 2015 presidential election with 53.5% of the vote in this land-locked country which has the lowest literacy rate in the world. In second place was Zephirin Diabre with 21.6%. Kabore immediately set out to deal with three fundamental problems on taking office: matters of governance, education and infrastructure. But the opposition reckon he has failed. Opposition parties have agreed to rally round any challenger who reaches the second round of voting. Although there are many aspiring challengers, like Kabore, none of them seem to have a clear plan to defeat the armed insurgents that have cut across the country. As a result 5 out of 13 regions of the country will not be able to participate because armed groups linked to ISIS and al-Qaeda have taken over large swathes of territory. At the same time, the impact of climate change, widespread food and water shortages, and Covid-19 have only made matters worse. The World Food Progrenow says that 3 million are facing acute food insecurity and that the country is one step short of famine. 14 candidates fought it out in 2015 and there are 11 hopefuls this time round including one woman, Yeli Monique Kam, a manager and advocate for women empowerment. Also fighting for the presidency, representing the Congress for Democracy and Progress, is Eddie Komboigo, a wealthy businessman. This was the party of ousted President Blaise Compaore. Diabre, too, will be in there. If no candidate reaches 50% of the votes cast, there will be a run-off 4 weeks later. With most of the votes counted Kabore had secured 58% of the ballot followed by Kombiogo with 15% and Diabre with 12%.
October 31 - Cote d'Ivoire - President Alassane Ouattara (78) announced that he will not seek a third term in office and stand by the constitution. In October 2015 Ouattara secured 84% of the vote ahead of former Prime Minister Pascal N'Guessan with 9%. Favourite to succeed Ouattara was the Prime Minister Amadou Coulibaly who also represents the ruling Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace Party. However, he died on July 8 and this could unsettle the election with Ouattara being encouraged to stand again by his party. And now Ouattara, through party pressure, has agreed to do just this resulting in daily mass street protests in the commercial capital Abidjan. This after Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari had asked Ouattara to adhere to the constitution. Former president 86-year-old Henri Bedie of the Democratic Party of Cote d'Ivoire has entered the fray but age may defeat him. Former president Laurent Gbagbo would like to join the mix and was given the green light to return home in early June by the International Criminal Court but his application was barred. Gbagbo was acquitted in 2019 over his alleged role in the violence following the election victory of Ouattara in 2010. However, his prime minister Pascal Affi N'Guessan has been approved. Another possible candidate, Guillaume Soro, the former head of the National Assembly, is in self-imposed exile in Paris having been accused of embezzlement and laundering of public funds as well as plotting a coup, allegations he denies. He has been sentenced to 20 years in prison in absentia. Both Gbagbo and Soro are now to support Bedie. The introduction of voter identity cards into the mix could become a contentious election issue. Under Ouattara the economy has advanced at a decent rate of 8.5% per annum. Deadline for submitting papers was August 31. There is a lot at stake, of course, in this election as the victor stands to gain almost complete control over the country's economic and political power. And typically, the rewards from this, as usual, are shared along ethnic lines. And now both Bedie and N'Guessan have announced they are boycotting the poll. The only opposition candidate left is former MP Kouadio Bertin. To defeat an incumbent in Africa is almost impossible at the best of times. But for starters it requires is the opposition to unite behind a single candidate. This is another missed opportunity. Predictably Ouattara won a landslide victory with 94% of the votes cast. Turnout was 54%. This will be Ouattara's third term and a fourth term beckons in 5 years time. This is democrazy!
October 28 - Tanzania - President John Magufuli, nicknamed 'the bulldozer', was elected in 2015 with a promise to eradicate corruption and public mismanagment. Instead civil liberties and political rights have been curtailed and malfeasance continues to reign supreme across all elements of government. In 2015 Magufuli of the Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Party, which has held power since independence in 1961, won with 58.5% of the vote over former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa with 39%. The leader of the opposition, Tundu Lissu, of the Chadema Party, was fortunate to survive after being shot several times by unknown attackers in 2017 but, nevertheless, is returning home to fight this election after 20 operations and nearly 2 years spent recovering in Belgium. The Magufuli government denies any links to the attacks. He has now been adopted by Chadema. However, the electoral commission suspended his campaign for a week in early October accusing him of making seditious statements. Another opposition party, the Alliance for Change and Transparency, has nominated Zitto Kabwe. He was injured in a car crash while on the campaign trail again in early October. According to Chadema, over the last 4 years freedom has been eroded with opponents of the ruling regime having been killed, kidnapped or disappeared. At the same time they claim people are in prison on false charges, farmers are not being paid for crops, cattle have been expropriated, civil servants have gone unpaid, sick people are unable to access doctors, education is in decline, unemployment rising whilst corruption is on the rise. The foreign national debt now stands at US$28.6bn. Magufuli claims success on electricity generation, improving infrastructure, education, health and water services. No international election observers are being allowed into the country which is not encouraging for a free and fair election. 29 million Tanzanians have registered to vote. Hopes for an opposition victory have been boosted by Zitto Kabwe's backing of Tundu Lissu but the odds are still stacked against it. And it is no surprise to learn that at the final count Magufuli had succeeded with a monstrous 84% of the vote with Lissu left with 13%. That is sheer greed! At the same time many prominent opposition leaders have lost their seats in parliament, some by astounding margins. After the election Lissu, fearing for his life again, sought shleter in the German Embassy before being allowed to fly to Europe. Democracy is well and truly dead in Tanzania! But who cares?
October 22-24 - Seychelles - vice-president Danny Faure became president of this island archipelago in October 2016 after James Michel resigned. Michel of the People's Party had defeated Wavel Ramkalawan of the Linyon Demokratik seselwa (LDS) by the narrow margin of 50.15% to 49.85% in a run-off in December 2015. Faure will stand in this election for the United Seychelles Party (USP) whilst Wvel Ramkalawan is back to fight as the LDS candidate. Alain St Ange will contest for the One Seychelles Party. The USP has been in power since 1977 in various incarnations. There are 115 islands which make up the Seychelles and voting is held over 3 days. It is likely that a second round will be needed if no candidate gets 50%+1 of the vote. Around 90,000 citizens are eligible to vote in the election. Will the massive oil spill from a Japanese tanker which caused a huge ecological disaster to marine life affect the outcome? When the counting was over Wavel Ramkalawan, on his 6th attempt, won the presidency by securing 54.9% of the votes to 43.5% for Danny Faure. It is the first time since 1977 that the opposition has taken power. The Indian Ocean archipelago is a former British colony which became independent in 1976.
October 18 - Guinea - on March 22 the people of Guinea voted in a referendum to decide whether President Alpha Conde (82) should have the right to run for a third term in this election. And in a reduced turnout the president received 92% of the votes cast allowing him to do just that and perhaps even a fourth term. Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari called on Conde to respect the terms of the constitution and stick to two terms. The EU and US dismissed the referendum as illegitimate. In 1958, just before Guinea won its freedomfrom France, Sekou Toure told the French government 'Guinea prefers poverty in freedom to riches in slavery.' And sadly this is what has happened. In 2015 Conde (Rally of the People of Guinea) won the presidential election with 58% of the votes ahead of Cellou Diallo (Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea) who amassed 31% in a field of 8 candidates. Conde will now contest the election. And with the government's stranglehold over the electoral management body, state resources, bureaucracy and security forces, and with limits on opposition groups, the elections are unlikely to be free and fair, thus assuring him of certain victory. 11 other candidates will enter the fray including Cellou Diallo. A run-off will take place on November 24 if no candidate receives 50% of the vote. With all of the votes counted Conde was given 59.5% against Diallo with 33.5%. Supporters of Diallo claim that they have official tallies from 12,744 of the 15,083 polling stations and they show that their man won with 52% of the vote to Conte's 39%! The EU was quick to question the credibility of the result. After the announcement of the winner Diallo was put under house arrest.
just1world has been following leadership elections in Africa since 2004.
BELOW ARE THE DETAILS OF THE ONLY 28 OCCASIONS, SINCE INDEPENDENCE, WHEN RULING PARTIES HAVE BEEN DEFEATED IN LEADERSHIP ELECTIONS ON THE LAND CONTINENT OF AFRICA WHICH CURRENTLY COMPRISES 48 COUNTRIES:-
1. 1967 SOMALIA Aden Abdullah Osman Daar was elected
the countrys first president in 1960 after independence. In the
presidential election in 1967 he was defeated by Abdirashid Ali Shermarke,
his former prime minister, making him the first leader in Africa to peacefully
hand over power to a democratically elected successor. And it was a long
wait until the next time.
9. 2000 COTE D'IVOIRE - in a 1999 coup General Robert
Guei came to power but in the subsequent poll his attempt to claim victory
led to an uprising which carried the poll's victor, Laurent Gbagbo, to
20. 2015 Feb LESOTHO - in a closely fought election Prime Minister Thomas Thabane of the All Basotha Convention lost out in this 'early' election gaining only 46 seats to former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili and the Democratic Congress who got 47 seats. And with the support of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy and smaller parties Mosisili secured the premiership which he held between 1998 and 2012.
21. 2015 Mar NIGERIA - former miltary leader General Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress defeats incumbent Goodluck Jonathan of the People's Democratic Party by 15.4 million votes to 12.9 million. Buhari, president from 1983-5, united the opposition to forge a major single opposing party and along with security concerns over Boko Harem and widespread dissatisfaction with the PDP, romped home to a convincing vistory.
22. 2016 Mar BENIN - Prime Minister Lionel Zinsou taking over the mantle of leadership of the Forces Cauris party from retiring President Boni Yayi went down by 65% to 35% in a run-off against businessman Patrice Talon.
23. 2016 Dec GAMBIA - President Yahya Jammeh, in power since 1994, loses to a coalition of seven opposition parties under the leadership of property developer Adama Barrow. Barrow scored 43.3% of the votes cast to Jammeh's 39.6%.
24. 2016 Dec GHANA - opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo, at the third attempt, won the presidency defeating John Mahama by 53.9% to 44.4%. Mahama, 72, was formerly a justice and foreign minister and a human rights lawyer. This marks the third time in 16 years that Ghana has changed its government.
25. 2017 Dec LIBERIA - with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf adhering to the constitution and stepping down after 2 terms, George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change defeats Vice-President Joseph Bokai of the governing Unity Party by 61.5% to 38.5% of the vote to become president.
26. 2018 Mar SIERRA ELONE - with Ernest Koroma keeping to the constitution and standing down after 2 terms, Julius Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone People's Party defeated Dr Samura Bio of the ruling All Peoples Congress Party in a run-off by 52% to 48%.
27. 2018 Dec DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO - with term limits preventing Joseph Kabila from entering this presidential election, the ruling party nominated Emmanuel Shadary to fight in his place. He came third in the poll behind the winner Felix Tshisekedi who won with 39% of the vote ahead of Martin Fayulu with 35%. First time power changed hands democratically in the DRC. But with Kabila's political coalition winning a decisive majority in parliament he now has the power to 'control' his successor and is doing so! It is estimated that Fayulu actually won 60% of the vote here.
28. 2020 Jun - MALAWI - after the constitutional court annulled the result of the disputed 2019 presidential poll because of irregularities, in the rerun, Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party came back from the dead to defeat President Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party by winning 59% of the votes cast against 39%.