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Slowly growing or stunted? Examining Uganda’s gains in demand for democracy

At a glance

Declining demand and supply for democracy: Despite increasing demand for democracy early in the new millennium, recent trends suggest declining demand and supply of democracy in Uganda, and on the continent.

Poor quality of elections negatively impacting democracy: Ugandans who view their elections as of poor quality, or see poor delivery of political or economic goods, tend to demand democracy more.

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Poor quality elections erode support for democracy in Uganda, new Afrobarometer survey shows

More Ugandans say they prefer democracy over any other system, but fewer are satisfied with the way their democracy is actually working, a new Afrobarometer survey shows.

Popular preference for democracy has been remarkably cyclical, rising before and falling after presidential elections. But satisfaction has been on a 17-year slide.

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WP5: Democratic and market reforms in Africa: What ‘the people’ say

Africa is a latecomer to globalization.  In terms of timing, African countries have followed rather than led the reform movements that installed democratic and market systems around the world.  And, as foreign aid dependencies, African countries experienced considerable external pressure to liberalize.  One should not automatically conclude, however, that the impetus for reform originated from outside Africa rather than from within.
 

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AD146: Au Bénin, les citoyens préfèrent limiter les mandats présidentiels à deux – pas à un seul

ONLY AVAILABLE IN FRENCH.

Une grande majorité de Béninois ont constamment soutenu la limitation de leur président à un maximum de deux mandats. Mais ils ont résisté à la révision de la constitution qui visait la limitation du nombre de mandats présidentiels à un seul. Et les nouvelles données d'Afrobaromètre montrent que cette résistance se poursuit, mais avec une plus petite majorité.

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PP40: Beyond the Arab Spring: Will economic and security challenges further test Tunisia’s democracy?

In contrast to sub-Saharan Africa, where many countries experienced political liberalization during the late 1980s and early 1990s (Bratton, 1997), the authoritarian regimes of North Africa were largely able to resist popular demands for transformation by introducing limited, topdown reforms. In Tunisia, there were some improvements to political freedoms after Zine El Abidine Ben Ali took office in 1988 and was elected as president the following year in the country’s first election since 1972 (Abushouk, 2016).

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AD140: Algerians’ darkening outlook on economy and democracy predates recent anti-austerity protests

Six years after protests swept Northern Africa in the Arab Spring, Algeria entered 2017 with unrest in the streets. Like many other petro-economies, Algeria relies heavily on high state spending and subsidies. But in recent years, plummeting oil and gas prices have hit the county’s economy hard. Algeria generates about 95% of its export earnings from oil, and faced with dwindling revenues and reserves, the government has been tasked with reducing state spending by 9% in 2016 and another 14% at the beginning of this year (Falconer, 2017; Stratfor, 2017; Wrey, 2017).

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WP171: Do electoral handouts affect voting behavior?

Vote-buying is defined as a transaction whereby candidates distribute private goods such as cash and gifts in exchange for electoral support or higher turnout. The direct implication of this definition is that vote shares and turnout would have been lower in the absence of electoral handouts. While there is ample evidence that candidates target certain voters with cash handouts, it is unclear whether these handouts actually result in greater turnout or higher vote shares in favour of the distributing candidate.

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AD133: A second spring for democracy in post-Mubarak Egypt? Findings from Afrobarometer

In early 2016, five years after the beginning of the Arab Spring, the Economist (2016) reported that hopes raised by the uprisings had been destroyed. “The wells of despair are overflowing,” the newspaper said, the uprisings having brought “nothing but woe.” In addition to stagnant economic growth, rent-seeking was “rampant,” security forces continued to repress the population, and grounds were more fertile than ever for the emergence of radicals “who posit their own brutal vision of Islamic Utopia as the only solution.”

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Kenya: Improving democracy in spite of political rhetoric

At a glance

  • Democratic preferences: A majority of Kenyans prefer democratic, accountable governance in which:
    • Leaders are elected in free and fair elections.
    • Political parties compete in an open field.
    • The president is accountable to the people and Parliament.
  • Democracy improving: Compared to 2014, more Kenyans consider their country a democracy and are satisfied with the way it is working.
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Do Africans still want democracy?

A decade-long upward trend in African citizens’ demand for democracy has ended with a downward turn since 2012, according to a new Afrobarometer analysis. But despite these warning signs of a democratic recession, public demand for democracy remains higher than a decade ago, and most Africans still say they want more democracy than they’re actually getting – a good basis for future democratic gains.

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Do Africans still want democracy? Afrobarometer findings warn of democratic recession, point to long-term gains

A decade-long upward trend in African citizens’ demand for democracy has ended with a downward turn since 2012, according to a new Afrobarometer analysis.
But despite warning signs of a democratic recession, public demand for democracy remains higher than a decade ago, and most Africans still say they want more democracy than they’re actually getting – a good basis for future democratic gains.

One important factor: the quality of elections. African countries with high-quality elections are more likely to show increases in popular demand for democracy.

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AD121: Approaching presidential transition, Liberians supportive and critical of their democracy

After a decade of relative stability that has included two presidential elections, Liberia is looking ahead to its first post-war electoral leadership transition when President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s second term ends in 2017.

Less than a generation removed from civil war, the country is still rebuilding governance and economic structures, and the upcoming elections – which are already drawing candidates from more than 20 political parties – promise to put that progress to the test.

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AD118: Even weak demand for democracy not met by supply in São Tomé and Príncipe

Since gaining independence from Portugal in 1975, the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe has experienced 15 years of one-party rule and, starting with a new constitution in 1990, 26 years of fast-moving multiparty competition marked by frequent changes in government and two attempted coups.

August 2016 brought another transition with the election of former Prime Minister Evaristo Carvalho as president over incumbent and former strongman leader Manuel Pinto da Costa.

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AD107: Disgruntled opposition or disillusioned democrats? Support for electoral law reforms in Uganda

Reform of electoral laws has been a mainstay of political discourse in Uganda for two decades. Since the issue came to the fore following the 1996 general elections, stakeholders on all sides – opposition political parties, civil-society organisations, election observer missions, government, and the Electoral Commission (EC) – have called for reform to ensure free and fair elections (International Foundation for Electoral Systems, 1996; Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda, 2013a).

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AD104: Les Camerounais se sentent libres, mais ils critiquent le fonctionnement de leur démocratie

Si la démocratie est fondé sur le principe que la souveraineté appartient aux citoyens, parler du fonctionnement de la démocratie au Cameroun, c’est analyser la perception que les Camerounais ont de la manière dont la démocratie est pratiquée dans leur pays.

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AD98: Les Nigériens adhèrent aux partis politiques, souhaitent une opposition coopérative

Only available in French.

La démocratie est un système politique dont l’émergence et la consolidation passent par la forte implication des formations politiques. En effet, le pluralisme des opinions et des partis politiques est une caractéristique fondamentale de la démocratie nigérienne car par de grandes majorités, les Nigériens rejettent le parti unique comme système de gouvernance et disent que plusieurs partis politiques sont nécessaires pour leur garantir le choix de ceux qui vont les gouverner.

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Les Nigériens adhèrent aux partis politiques mais demandent que leurs besoins soient satisfaits par le parti au pouvoir

Selon la plus récente enquête d’Afrobaromètre au Niger, la majorité des Nigériens désapprouvent le parti unique et déclarent à plus de 70% que plusieurs partis politiques sont nécessaires pour garantir que les citoyens aient réellement le choix de ceux qui vont les gouverner.

Lorsqu’on considère le parti politique au pouvoir et ceux de l’opposition, un élément constitue la différence la plus importante au Niger: l’honnêteté ou l’intégrité des dirigeants des partis.

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Majority of Swazi’s of the opinion that political parties are divisive and therefore unnecessary

Two out of three Swazis were of the opinion that political parties were divisive and therefore  not necessary in Swaziland’s democracy.  Only (31%) felt that they should exist in order to give them choice when selecting candidates during elections, according to the most recent Afrobarometer survey held in Swaziland.  This shows a six percentage point increase in support for the banning of political parties compared to 2013.

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AD89: As South Africa’s local elections approach, public confidence underpins system in turmoil

South Africa’s fourth democratic local government elections, in August 2016, will be a test for the long-ruling but troubled African National Congress (ANC), for opposition parties hoping to claim some major cities, for an Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) caught between court orders and logistical realities, and for local government councillors facing their constituents.

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