LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

LIVE: Rwandans vote in presidential and parliamentary elections

BREAKING

African continent set for a year of elections in 2024: A recap and outlook

FILE PHOTO: A supporter of jailed Senegalese opposition leader Ousmane Sonko reacts during an electoral campaign caravan to support the detained presidential election candidate Bassirou Diomaye Faye, who Sonko picked to replace him in the race, in the outskirts of Dakar, Senegal March 12, 2024. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra/File Photo
Source: REUTERS

As 2024 unfolds, Africa prepares for a series of democratic exercises across the continent, with 17 countries gearing up for elections.

With a combined population of approximately 310 million of which over 180 million people will be eligible to vote, these nations are poised to witness significant political shifts and potential milestones in their democratic journeys.

A recap and outlook of the election calendar:

Comoros: January 14

The year kicked off with Comoros President Azali Assoumani securing a new five-year term, according to the country's electoral body. However, the Supreme Court's validation of Assoumani's victory at 57.2% of the vote sparked allegations of fraud from opposition parties. This led to protests in the capital city of Moroni, marked by widespread property destruction.

Mali: Postponed

Mali's electoral roadmap faced a setback as the junta, which took power in a 2021 coup, announced the postponement of elections initially slated for February. Citing technical reasons and disputes with a French tech firm over a civil registry database, the junta promised to provide a new timeline later on.

Senegal: March 24

Anti-establishment figure Bassirou Diomaye Faye emerged victorious in Senegal's presidential election, clinching 54.28% of votes in the first round, a historic win signaling a shift in the country's political landscape.

Chad: May 6

Chad cleared candidates for its long-awaited presidential election, albeit amid controversy as authorities barred two prominent opponents of the military government. Scheduled for May 6 with a runoff on June 22, the elections are pivotal for the central African nation.

South Africa: May 29

With 27 million South Africans registered to vote, anticipation mounts ahead of the country's national elections on May 29. Predictions suggest a potential loss of parliamentary majority for the ruling African National Congress, which marks a significant moment in South Africa's post-apartheid political history.

Mauritania: June 22

President Mohamed Ould Cheikh Ghazouani vies for a second term as Mauritania braces for its presidential election. During the legislative elections held in May 2023, which saw participation from 25 political parties, Ghazouani's Insaf party secured a significant victory by claiming 107 out of the 176 available seats. Additionally, the Islamist party Tawassoul secured 11 seats, while the Union for Democracy and Progress party obtained 10 seats.

Rwanda: July 15

President Paul Kagame seeks a fourth term in office as Rwanda prepares for its presidential election. With Green Party opposition leader Frank Habineza as his sole challenger. Kagame has ruled Rwanda since 1994, coming to power in the wake of the genocide of an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus. 

Algeria: September 7

Algeria announced early presidential elections slated for September, setting the stage for a post-transitional phase following the Hirak protests that ousted former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Abdelmadjid Tebboune was elected as President of Algeria in December 2019, succeeding Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Mozambique: October 9

Mozambique gears up for presidential and legislative elections on October 9 amid concerns over growing authoritarianism and impunity within the ruling party, FRELIMO. The presidency is decided through a two-round system, and the 250 seats in the Assembly of the Republic are allocated via a mix of proportional representation and first-past-the-post methods.

Botswana: October

President Mokgweetsi Masisi seeks re-election as Botswana braces for parliamentary polls, with the opposition coalition posing a formidable challenge to the ruling BDP's longstanding dominance. The president is chosen indirectly by the National Assembly for a maximum of two consecutive 5-year terms.

Tunisia: November 24

Tunisia is set to hold presidential elections in November 2024, marking the first such electoral exercise since President Kais Saied's self-coup in 2021.

Mauritius: November 30

As Mauritius heads to the polls for its 12th general election, the ruling MSM aims to maintain its majority, setting the stage for a keenly contested electoral battle. The Labour Party and the Mauritian Militant Movement are the primary parties that compete for the country’s 70-seat National Assembly.

Namibia: November 27

Namibia's elections serve as a test for the governing SWAPO party, with Vice President Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah poised to become the party's first female presidential candidate. The main contender in the upcoming elections is anticipated to be Panduleni Itula from the Independent Patriots for Change party. Itula garnered significant support in the 2019 election, securing 30 percent of the vote, marking the highest opposition result in a presidential election to date.

Ghana: December 7

Ghana anticipates a transition of power as President Nana Akufo-Addo completes his second term, paving the way for a new leader amid competition between the ruling NPP and the opposition NDC. The main contenders in this election will be the current Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, and former President John Dramani Mahama.

South Sudan: December 22

Originally scheduled for February 2023, the elections were delayed due to the government of national unity, led by Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, failing to fulfill crucial clauses of the peace agreement. Kiir has managed multiple extensions, navigating challenges in meeting the stipulations of the deal and prolonging the electoral process.

Guinea-Bissau: December

Presidential elections in Guinea-Bissau are scheduled amid incumbent President Umaro Sissoco Embaló's bid for a second term, despite recent issues of electoral tensions following the disputed 2019 runoff. In 2019, Umaro Sissoco Embaló emerged victorious in the runoff vote against Domingos Simões Pereira, securing 54% of the vote compared to Pereira's 46%. However, Pereira disputed the election results, adding a layer of controversy to the outcome.

Guinea: December

Guinea's military junta led by Colonel Mamady Doumbouya has committed to holding presidential and legislative elections by December 2024, marking a crucial step in the country's transition following the ousting of former President Alpha Condé. As part of a 10-point transitional roadmap negotiated with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the junta has committed to holding presidential and legislative elections by December 2024.

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