View Abstract

Title :

Electoral Politics and Human Security: A Synthesis of the Electoral History of Africa, 1990-2015

Authors :

Kenneth T. Azaigba and Henry T. Ahom

Africa's electoral history presents a damning trajectory of electoral flaws that seem to be breeding and inseminating variegated forms of insecurities particularly as from the 1990s following the third wave of democratization. This paper attempts a synthesis of Africa's electoral problems overtime and its consequences for peaceful co?existence, tranquillity and development. It examines specific factors that have spurred election related violence such as the particular character of the competition for accessing the State and its resources, organizational challenges in conducting credible elections and indeed the use of intimidation and repression as tools of acquiescence, etc. The paper contends that though Africa has made appreciable progress on the path of democracy, the rising trend of election related violence presents worrying security challenges on the continent and in fact threatens the sustenance of democracy and good governance. Given the strategic importance of human security to development, the electoral history of Africa calls to task the intellectual input of scholars for solutions. This paper makes a modest contribution to the search for solutions that would stem the tide of election related violence on the African continent. It highlights the need to strengthen critical elements in Africa's electoral processes such as fairness of electoral laws, establishment of a level playing field for all competitors, independence of electoral institutions and establishment of credible judicial mechanisms to speedily adjudicate election disputes.