Brendan Seery
Deputy Editor
2 minute read
16 Aug 2021
5:22 am

Same old, same old in African elections

Brendan Seery

Faced with increasing evidence that the recent polls are going to be convincingly won by his opponent, President Edgar Lungu has cried foul

(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 12, 2021 Zambia's presidential candidate for the opposition, Hakainde Hichilema (C) of the United Party for National Development (UPND) casts his ballot in Lusaka. - Business tycoon Hakainde Hichilema on August 15, 2021 extended his lead in Zambia's hotly-contested polls, partial results showed, after the incumbent president cried foul. This is the sixth time opposition politician Hichilema, who is 59, has run for the top job and the third time he has challenged 64-year-old President Edgar Lungu. (Photo by SALIM DAWOOD / AFP)

As African democracy began with the end of the era of colonialism in the early 1960s, there was a cynical observation that the new electoral processes would lead to “One man, one vote. Once.” It proved to be accurate as leader after African leader tried to cling on to power through the use of military force, coups d’état or stealing elections and killing or jailing any political opponents. We have to look no further than our nearest neighbours, Zimbabwe, to see evidence of that. Although Robert Mugabe was popular for many years, by the early 2000s, he had to resort...