Côte d’Ivoire – Reconciliation between political parties paves way for electoral reform

Major Players: Incumbent Allasane Ouattara - Rassemblement des Républicains (RDR); and (2) the Front Populaire Ivoirien (FPI).

Significant progress has been made in reconciling the FPI and the ruling RDR political parties ahead of the presidential election on 25 October 2015. Despite tensions between the two parties, talks have taken place on electoral reform in preparation for the election, including reconfiguration of the independent electoral commission and updating the voters' list.

President Ouattara has confirmed that he will stand for re-election. To be re-elected, President Ouattara must enlist the support of a critical mass of the 2010 winning coalition, the Rally of the Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP), as it is unlikely that any candidate will be able to secure an outright majority.

Ouattara has already secured the support of the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire – African Democratic Rally (PDCI-RDA), his most important ally, and the Union for Democracy and Peace in Côte d’Ivoire (UDPCI).

The leading opposition party, the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) is struggling with internal factionalism. The FPI chairman wants to run in the election but other FPI leaders insist on the release of former President Laurent Gbagbo, currently on trial in the Hague, as a pre-condition for FPI participation in the election.

Ouattara has a good chance of being re-elected but should the FPI boycott the election, it remains to be seen which candidate would gain the support of the FPI voters.

Major post-election issues: citizenship, government impunity, entrepreneurship and full participation of all groups in wealth creation, peaceful coexistence, new government should reflect country's ethnic and religious diversity.

Tanzania: Ruling party names presidential nominee

Election scheduled for October 2015 with incumbent President Kikwete constitutionally barred from contesting a third term.

A new constitution is expected to be adopted before the October 2015 elections

A large number of candidates have come forward but the most important political parties are:

  • Incumbent CCM - Mizengo Pinda - presently the Prime Minister, but is battling an internal challenge to his nomination
  • Chadema - Freeman Mbowe
  • CUF - Mohamed Mnyaa

After a bruising campaign, the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party has nominated John Magufuli, the current Minister for Works, as its candidate for the presidential elections to be held in October 2015. He is likely to become the next president.

There is growing factional competition in the party which some analysts have linked to the increased corruption in the country.

Major post-election issues: rising poverty, high levels of unemployment especially among the young and other vulnerable groups, high prices, particularly of food and fuel, bureaucratic corruption.

Zanzibar: Electoral manipulation?

General elections in Tanzania will be held on 25 October and the prospect of political change has encouraged young Tanzanians to register to vote in large numbers, enduring lengthy queues to obtain voter ID cards.

However, the Zanzibar Electoral Commission faces accusations of electoral malpractice and voter intimidation, including reconfiguring wards sympathetic to opposition parties and manipulation of ID cards. Voters have also been intimidated by armed forces stationed throughout the Isle during the voter registration process.

Guinea Conakry: Opposition demands change to electoral calendar

The opposition party in Guinea Conakry has demanded that the country's independent electoral commission reschedule local elections to take place before the presidential election on October 11 2015, instead of delaying them to Q1 2016.

Opposition parties argue that special delegates appointed in 2011 to replace a number of elected councillors sacked by the incumbent president in 2011 for poor management, cannot be trusted to act independently ahead of the election.

Burkina Faso: Tension ahead of October election

Tension between the President Security Regiment, the Prime Minister Yacouba Izaac Zida, and civil society groups, is threatening to destabilise the country ahead of the election.

The Prime Minister was appointed by senior military officials after the forced resignation of the president in October 2014, after a popular uprising.  However, some believe the uprising was actually a disguised coup.

A new electoral code has been drawn up which bans representatives of the former regime from contesting the forthcoming elections. However, this could lead to legal arguments and threaten compliance with the electoral calendar.

Appeals against the eligibility of candidates will be submitted from early September, and the Constitutional Council could itself be inundated with petitions only one month before the election, which could delay voting.

Central African Republic: Exiled leader to stand at election

The former president of Central African Republic, Francois Bozize, will return from exile to contest a presidential election in October. However, his return is complicated by an outstanding arrest warrant issued against him for crimes against humanity and incitement to genocide. He also faces UN travel and banking sanctions. Mr Bozize fled initially to Cameroon but now spends time in Uganda and Kenya.

Mr Bozize's former Prime Minister, Faustin Archange Touadera, has also announced his candidacy for the election set to be held in October.

Central African Republic: Elections set for October 18

Central African Republic will hold presidential and parliamentary elections on 18 October 2015. If necessary, a second round of elections will be held on November 22. An electoral census was held between June 27 – July 27 2015 and a referendum on a new constitution is scheduled for October 4.

The country is currently run by an interim government after predominantly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power in March 2013 and a transitional authority will organise elections with the aim of restoring democratic rule.

Africa Research Institute, 6 August 2015