A Look At Key African Elections For 2022
By Prince Kurupati
The year 2022 is a big electoral year for most countries across the African continent. Some countries will be choosing new national leaders during the year while others will go to the polls to choose new members of parliament as well as local government representatives. Looking ahead to Africa’s 2022 elections calendar, here are some key elections to watch.
Mali – Presidential Election scheduled around February 2022
2021 was a tumultuous year for Mali as the country witnessed two coups. Both coups were spearheaded by Colonel Assimi Goita. After the first coup, an interim government was appointed but after failing to heed to the decisions made by the coup leaders, the interim government was dethroned and the coup leaders headed by Colonel Assimi Goita took reigns. Colonel Assimi Goita in deliberations with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) agreed to pave way for democratic elections in the country to eliminate military rule by the end of January 2022. Owing to that agreement, there is a high likelihood that national elections in Mali will take place in February 2022. A high number of contestants have already expressed interest to partake in the upcoming elections. For the general Malian population, the upcoming elections present an opportunity to correct past wrongs and put the country on a stable footing through electing able leaders.
Sudan – Presidential Election scheduled officially for 2023 but may be pushed back to 2022
In 2019 following massive demonstrations countrywide, Sudan’s long-time leader Omar al-Bashar was dethroned. Following al-Bashar’s ouster, a civilian interim government was put in place to oversee the day to day operations of the country while a substantive date for a democratic election to choose a new leader was being chosen. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned as a coup took place in October 2021. Things from the get go after the coup were tough for the military leaders thus prompting the immediate reinstatement of the civilian interim government headed by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. When the civilian government was reinstated, an agreement was reached between the military and Hamdok to hold democratic national elections in 2023. However, massive demonstrations have since become a norm in the country as the general population disprove the agreement. They want the national election to be expedited. Though the interim government is still holding firm with its decision to conduct elections in 2023, protracted demonstrations in the country will certainly cause a change of mind and the country might hold elections at an earlier date than 2023.
Chad – Presidential Election scheduled for summer 2022
In 2021, people from all walks of life in Chad travelled to various voting booths to cast their votes in the presidential election. After the votes were cast and tallied, then incumbent Idriss Deby was declared the winner. The victory meant that he would lead Chad for a sixth successive term. Unbeknown to many however was the fact that the day the results were announced was Idriss Deby’s last day on earth. The following day, the newly declared president passed away. The unfortunate incident led to the emergence of a transitional military council led by Idriss Deby’s son Mahamat Idriss Deby. The transitional military council seized power for an interim period stating that during its tenure, it was to lay out a roadmap for the reintroduction of democracy. This to be done in the summer of 2022. For the second time in a period of one year, the people of Chad will go to the polls to choose a new president.
Guinea – Presidential Election scheduled for 2022
Guinea is another country that witnessed a coup in 2021. The country’s long-time leader Alpha Conde was deposed by the military in September 2021. The coup leaders seized power and till now, they are overseeing the day to day operations of the country. Up until this point, the coup leaders have not entered into any negotiations with regional bodies nor have they laid out a roadmap back to democracy/civilian rule. The inability of the coup leaders to outline a roadmap back to civilian rule has angered the UN, African Union and ECOWAS. The latter two have since suspended Guinea’s membership. Owing to the growing international resistance of the military government as well as the growing tensions in the country amongst the general population towards the military government, there is a general consensus amongst political analysts that the military leaders will feel the heat and eventually pave the way for democratic elections to take place.
Kenya – Presidential Election scheduled for August 2022
For the first time in a very long time, the Kenyan presidential election is not drawing much attention beyond the Kenyan borders. This largely necessitated by the fact that in the build up to the election. There haven’t been any glaring public spats between the aspiring presidential candidates as well as their supporters. The two main rivals going head to head in the election are Willian Ruto, the current deputy president and opposition leader Raila Odinga. The incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta is coming to the end of his second and final term and kudos to him, he hasn’t attempted to break the constitution by vying for a third term.
Angola – Presidential Election scheduled for late 2022
In Southern Africa, most revolutionary parties have found the going tough in recent times against new and emerging opposition parties. In 2022, Angola’s revolutionary party Movimento Popular de Libertacao de Angola/Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) will have its own test when it goes head to head against a united opposition running under the coalition United Patriotic Front. MPLA is currently riddled with factionalism at the moment and analysts view the 2022 election as the opportune moment for the opposition coalition to wrestle power from the revolutionary party which has been at the helm since Angola attained its independence from Portugal in 1975. In 2021, southern African nations Malawi and Zambia saw opposition parties win presidential elections and there is a general feeling that the trend may just transcend to Angola in 2022.
*Culled from January Issue of PAV Magazine