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Africa’s opposition parties will grow more combative

Friday, February 14, 2020

Subject

African opposition strategies.

Significance

Opposition parties have begun to adopt a more aggressive set of strategies to challenge ruling parties in countries where key democratic institutions have historically demonstrated a bias in favour of the ruling party. This includes discrediting elections, holding sustained mass protests and increasing pressure on the courts and international donors to intervene in their favour. These tactics have highlighted the democratic shortcomings of political systems in countries that hold elections but retain many features of authoritarian rule. They have also led to a more confrontational form of politics, polarising public opinion.

Impacts

  • The increasing discrediting of elections will undermine ruling parties' legitimacy at home and abroad, making it harder to raise funds.
  • Sustained political unrest will lead to a decline in tourist numbers, harming economic growth in a growing number of countries.
  • Regional African bodies and international observers will face mounting condemnation for the rubber-stamping of tainted elections.
  • Efforts to force Western donors to take a critical stance towards ruling parties risk antagonising influential countries.
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