Mali, Libya, Guinea, Chad, Tunisia, Somalia… In Africa, several countries in the midst of political transition must vote. But when ? In 2022, only two countries have scheduled elections: Angola and Kenya.
In 2021, six presidential elections were held in Africa and four legislative elections. With a few exceptions, the polls were carried out peacefully. Despite violations noted in several countries. If the ballot boxes were therefore in the news, the continent also experienced four military coups in 2021. In addition, elections initially scheduled for 2021 have been postponed indefinitely, like the Libyan and Somali elections.
Tunisia and Libya in uncertainty
2022 must therefore be, in theory, an election year. However, few dates have been set. In countries marked by coups d'état - Mali, Guinea, Chad and Sudan - it is above all the military authorities who oppose premature elections. Of course, the international community sanctions countries that do not respect their respective agendas. But that does not make things happen: in Somalia, the political impasse has now lasted for ten months, and with the war between President Farmaajo and his Prime Minister Roble, nothing says that a solution will be found in 2022.
In North Africa, Tunisia and Libya are also in uncertainty. In Tunisia, the constitutional coup d'état of President Kaïs Saïed, who arrogated to himself all powers on July 25, should theoretically give rise to a constitutional referendum followed by elections at the end of the year.
In Libya, since the postponement of the presidential election announced less than two days from its date, no new date has yet been set. Even if, on the side of the electoral authorities, it is affirmed that the postponement should not exceed two months. Nevertheless, the recent experience of the Libyan elections has shown that before the organization of a free, fair and peaceful ballot, a consensus must be found between all the actors.
Coups and interim government firmly established
In Sudan, disagreements between civilian and military authorities within the transitional government led to a coup d'état last October. For weeks now, protesters against the coup have been killed in the streets of Khartoum. The situation is very explosive for the country which has already experienced years of war and poverty.
In West Africa, the coups d'état in Guinea and Mali, much more accepted by the local populations, resulted in the establishment of well-established interim governments. But it is especially on the side of ECOWAS and Western diplomacy that this disturbs, the latter continuing to press for the urgent holding of elections in the two countries.
ECOWAS has lost a lot of its credibility in the past months because, by pursuing these untenable electoral agendas, the sub-regional body has turned its back on public opinion in all West African countries.
In Chad, the assassination of President Idriss Déby Itno, barely re-elected for a sixth term, has exacerbated French entryism into the country. The son of the late president, and current interim leader of the country, the young Mahamat Déby, however, showed a certain ability to convince the opposition not to do battle with arms.
In addition, at the end of 2021, the young putschist also made it clear that if France did not pay for the talks between the government and the opposition, and the ballot that was to follow, Chad could not keep its leaf. road and should therefore make the transition take a little longer.
Kenya, barometer of East Africa
In Angola, João Lourenço, head of the country and of the historic left-wing party, the MPLA, will face UNITA and its current leader, Adalberto Costa Júnior, in the general elections in August. Despite a record in the high average, João Lourenço will have a lot to do to convince the Angolans to give him a second term at the head of the country in August.
But, above all, the history of political violence in the country raises fears of the worst, and the socio-economic crisis caused by the fall in the price of oil, the Chinese debt trap and the pressure from the IMF, will weigh heavily on the country. countryside.
Finally, it is in Kenya that a presidential election will be played out which could define the geopolitical context in East Africa for the years to come. President Uhuru Kenyatta must step down. However, the Kenyan president disagrees with his former running mate, Vice President William Ruto. Uhuru Kenyatta supports his historic opponent Raila Odinga for the general elections on August 9th.
But then, during the past months, Kenyatta has established new partnerships with neighboring countries, especially with Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. He also ended other alliances, such as with Ethiopia and Somalia. With the sub-region threatened by insecurity due to civil strife and the terrorist threat, the change of leadership in Kenya could put a stop to the good neighbor, or promote it, it will depend on the outcome of the elections.