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With Elections Ahead, Some African Presidents Try Engineering Results

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Rigging outcomes on Election Day, by stuffing poll bins or altering vote tallies, has grow to be tougher lately, mentioned Mathias Hounkpe, a specialist in political governance on the Open Society Initiative West Africa. Politicians are altering their techniques consequently, he mentioned.

“Little by little, those in power are realizing that it’s becoming harder to cheat,” Mr. Hounkpe mentioned in an[0]=68.ARBfcOyAgO2Ta3Pl8g3Q9d9PwW-2iHqQ1FUY_ZstNwSIr_NMCfaIzMdJU1X13edjOWQas4kCzKp1xPZUpi8IOA0ZgUBJ9v3kDm4z9cvQ-qHREZSkCdbJIbocHh3G0bUiNvC_5ieRhu2dBeTXmdXARLHmXcQ_WGxxrEOc4Lywej54zAxCoUR1pnOiAihMN_nOM38qOcgQxSNVmPuzRBdKitBBF6f76Gp7tqkCkVnSrv0AboPaDylgR2Z3hKE4_rjA6xSXX5Y9ObPAVO_ab6U7PxKX2MiTAj7gSZRdVjZPUPzAIy6eZK1aSzGzp_N_-_CBoqcKDcgthSfU05z7en9IyxY&__xts__[1]=68.ARA1ncQoX7lKLf120Q-VT1JJ5VAkoaVNCfsLYVGkRcGflJ39BrGCPN3LwBoEstqgcgrVVGWEroJzxSo_4iHchTawN9VtZfwlau1UIOdOSiCA1qoCugUdU11l8Z5pN1lqMQ2Y6ZTtjIFuwoEpdE9sr4JwZqvybI_rvLr4sgCfjNdjCaSM9epePYJQul2bU-m6ALSgSWXSBHbTeeTyV14tjTJStXuN7-qM4coqfpJ8Dch79BCMT-xNfug46jipX33bWj8XID4M_2Z3XXDBEReWNT2flhX3pFuDAJSFxxXFfcWwWje9-h_SiUYRiGGS8MEBGteZamdHNLuTMS0DbusvRnTIq4wGbzlHY7YHog&hc_ref=ARRsYQqTC7oWbuhehftb5siUaI4QA7Ziwjsv4Zs14LqE-OxmhuXmmp8ro2K17tG3Bcc&__tn__=kC-R” title=”” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>on-line debate. “They use the means they have to keep the political space in check.”

Across French-speaking West Africa, civic area is shrinking, in order that residents attempting to carry their governments to account face repressive legal guidelines, arrest and typically dying, in keeping with a report back to be printed by the worldwide nonprofit Civicus.

Case in level: current lethal clashes in Guinea, over the brand new structure pushed by the nation’s first democratically elected president, Alpha Condé.

His success at maneuvering to remain in energy is partly the fault of Western negligence, mentioned Cellou Dalein Diallo, the Guinean opposition chief.

“The Europeans are less attentive, and the Americans, with the arrival of Trump, are less demanding when it comes to democracy and human rights,” Mr. Diallo mentioned on a current marketing campaign journey to Dakar, Senegal, the place a big Guinean diaspora lives.

U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo issued a two-paragraph assertion final week about “upcoming elections in Africa,” warning that “repression and intimidation have no place in democracies.” But many Africans commented on social media that such a skimpy, blanket assertion in regards to the continent, relatively than particular nations, was proof that there’s little curiosity from the administration of President Trump, who denigrated African nations with a memorable epithet in 2018.

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