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Do we Even Need Elections?



According to the democratic peace theory, elections are a central tenet in the "peaceful" process of overthrowing regimes. Some of the liberal peace flavors that have been attempted in many parts of the world, and Africa, in particular, tend to over-emphasise elections as the central (bordering on ONLY) means to ensuring peaceful political transitions. Africa has particularly been reminded of this story repeatedly until we do not seem to imagine anything outside elections as a way to change regimes. But, in the recent past we have witnessed 3 African states (Ethiopia, South Africa and Zimbabwe) changing governments and heads of state without elections and peacefully (yes that peace!) so. 

This then raises a valid question on the emphasis on elections as the near-only "peaceful" means to change governments. This is especially the case when we see the turmoil that elections have brought to many countries in Africa. It appears that it is time for some conversation on elections in Africa and whether they are the surest (perhaps only) way to ensure peaceful transfers of power. A conversation that goes beyond the "how to rig an election" to one on whether we actually need elections at all. The amount of money we invest in elections is a complete departure from the outcome of such elections and the poisonous political environments that come along with elections in African states.

Do we Even Need Elections? Do we Even Need Elections? Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on April 05, 2018 Rating: 5

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