Here is a short focus on developments regarding the last 3 elections that took place in 2016 and the postponed elections in the DR Congo. 14 elections are planned for 2017. The previous update about 2016 elections is available here.
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Ghanaians voted on December 7 to elect their members of parliament and their president. There was a period of doubt after an apparent hacking of the electoral commission’s website and delays in the announcements of the results. The now ex-opponent Nana Akufo-Addo won the presidential vote with 53.85%. His party, the New Patriotic Front, won the legislatives with 171 seats. Mr. Akufo-Addo was sworn in on January 7, 2017. Since 1992, there have been 3 changes in power through the polls in Ghana.
- The Gambia
The Gambian presidential election took place on December 1, 2016. The opponent Adama Barrow won. On December 2, outgoing president, Yahya Jammeh, accepted his defeat. N. Dlamini-Zuma publicly hailed this gesture. However, the following week, President Jammeh changed his mind after a correction in the results that did not halter the initial outcome. Since this change, the Economic Community of Western African States (ECOWAS) has decided to work to uphold the results and ensure the peaceful transfer of power to the President-elect. ECOWAS mediation is lead by Presidents Buhari from Nigeria and Sirleaf from Liberia. Since Jammeh’s volte-face, the army has occupied the electoral commission facilities, the head of the electoral commission has been reported fleeing the country just like thousands of Gambians crossing to Senegal. President Jammeh challenged the results before the Supreme Court. The head of this court declared early January that the court was unable to hear the petition before May due to technical reasons. The current presidential mandate comes to an end on January 19, 2017.
- Côte d’Ivoire
Parliamentary elections took place on December 18, 2016. The official results presented the Rassemblement des Houphouëtistes pour la Démocratie en Côte d’Ivoire (RHDP) as the large winner with 167 seats out of 255. This movement support Ivorian President, Alassane Ouattara.
- Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
President Kabila’s second mandate came to an end on December 19, 2016. According to the UN, at least 40 people died during the demonstrations on December 19 and 20 against Kabila’s refusal to step down. An agreement was reached at the very end of 2016 between the power and opposition movements under the auspices of the Congolese bishops. It states that legislative and presidential elections, originally planned for 2016, then postponed to 2018, should be organised by the end of 2017. It states also that an opponent should be appointed Prime Minister and that Joseph Kabila can stay in power until his successor has been sworn in.