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African election monitoring will need domestic focus

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Subject

Election monitoring in Africa

Significance

While electoral commissions are adopting biometric software and electronic vote transmission systems, international monitors continue to rely on manual processes. At the same time, election observation missions often fail to declare that clearly manipulated processes are "unfree and unfair". As a result, they have only a limited impact on the activities of ruling parties and electoral commissions in many countries.

Impacts

  • Allegations of election rigging are likely to mar upcoming polls in Angola, Chad and Kenya.
  • International involvement in elections are unlikely to reverse the recent decline in the quality of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Investments in large-scale domestic monitoring, and the strengthening of party agents, will be necessary to reduce electoral manipulation.

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