Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Madagascar elections 2013- what is going on?

madasgscar should have been holding elections this week. but concerns have been raised. reported concerns about candidates being barred.

Background on the electoral structure can be found on the IFES website
Also on the EISA South Africa which has past election results. Another quick reference source for election results from the past is the African elections database
The official Interior ministry has texts in french relating to electoral laws and regulations.
CENI - the Electoral Commission  also has extensive section on its website relating to electoral law

for discussions of the current political problems see coverage from bloggers.
on Global voices online

In January 2013 Chatham House said it was time for the nation to make a fresh start. read their analysis.
Also in January 2013 the Economist commented that the old guard would not give up.
Newspaper coverage can be found in
Le Monde which referred to the elections as being under threat. - which is good at aggregating news stories from Africa.
Another good source for elections observation and assessment of the state of democracy is Pacte. This project is supported by the EU to encourage credible elections. It includes information on its work.
The African Union also has some press releases relating to its observations, work on elections
Finally background information on the state of democracy in the region can be found on good geenral sites covering human rights:
try the Africa media barometer- which monitors press freedom
Afrobarometer public attitude surveys.
Freedom House - country report
Ibrahim Index of African governance - see how Madagascar ranks in relation to freedom in other African nations.
Amnesty International

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Mali elections - recommended websites

Presidential elections have been taking place in Mali.
The IFES guide has basic facts on the electoral system and previous elections
The Mali government have a website in French which has details about the elections and some results from the first round of voting.
For news services covering the elections try:
The Guardian newspaper coverage.
Al-Jazeera had an infographic on the first round at the end of July. It also has timelines and other articles.
All- - aggregating news stories from Africa has a selection of recent news stories.
Journal du Mali (French language news)  (French language news)

For reports from election observers on the conduct of the elections try:
EU Election Observation mission.
ECOWAS observations of the first round
Mali actualities has information and reports in French from local grassroots observer groups such as APEM 
also the excellent Mali Vote website-created by Oneworld  to support the work of the NGO Network for the Electoral Process in Mali (APEM in French) It has observation reports, statistical data on turnout and maps recording the conduct.

Background information and reports on democratization and conduct compiled by NDI
There are also polls of citizens - which cover issues such as perceptions of corruption and the state of democracy on the Afrobarometer website

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Zimbabwe elections - fair or unfair? What does research say?

 A statement made by William Hague criticised the conduct of the recent Zimbabwe elections. John  Kerry US secretary of State also expressed concerns.
However other observers have welcomed the outcome as valid.

The African Union praised the elections.
You can view statements from the EU mission on their website 
The Commonwealth currently has statements on past elections.
Local human rights groups who observed the situation from the ground include:
The Zimbabwe Election Support Network- their website has a map of reported incidents. Plus background information on democratization programmes.
Zimbabwe Democracy Institute - has press releases on the election plus links to recent research on democracy and politics. 
Sokwanele - Zimbabwe election watch is mourning the loss of hope
Womens Coalition of Zimbabwe provides a comment from the field on this blog.
NDI - has statements and reports on the political conditions 

 News services- include
Fair and free elections - is tracking news reports on events and reaction.
BBC coverage
Newsday - Zimbabwe
Independent - Zimbabwe

The following organisations report on human rights and the state of democracy in the region
Crisis in Zimbabwe coalition. civil society network of over 72 organisations. 
International Crisis group
Amnesty International 
Human Rights Watch 
Council on Foreign relations has some papers including comment on the impact of the elections on relations with South Africa.
finally the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has background on the laws