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AFRICAN ELECTIONS DATABASE

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Election Legitimacy
 
This page examines the legitimacy of multiparty national elections held in Sub-Saharan Africa since 1990.
 
ANGOLA
1992 Presidential Election:
1992 National Assembly Election:
 
BENIN
1991 National Assembly Election: 2
1991 Presidential Election: 2
1995 National Assembly Election:
1996 Presidential Election:
1999 National Assembly Election:
2001 Presidential Election:
2003 National Assembly Election:
 
BOTSWANA
1994 National Assembly Election: 1
1999 National Assembly Election: 1
2004 National Assembly Election: 1
 
BURKINA FASO
1991 Presidential Election: 4
1992 Assembly of People's Deputies Election:
1997 National Assembly Election:
1998 Presidential Election: 3
2002 National Assembly Election: 2
 
BURUNDI
1993 Presidential Election: 2
1993 National Assembly Election: 2
 
CAMEROON
1992 National Assembly Election
1992 Presidential Election
1997 National Assembly Election
1997 Presidential Election
2002 National Assembly Election
2004 Presidential Election: 4
 
CAPE VERDE
Since 1990, Cape Verde has held three presidential elections [1991, 1996, 2001] and three National Assembly elections [1991, 1995, 2001]. All were considered free, fair and transparent by election observers.
 
 
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
1992 Presidential Election: N/A (The Supreme Court annulled the results owing to widespread irregularities)
1992 National Assembly Election: N/A (The Supreme Court annulled the results owing to widespread irregularities)
1993 Presidential Election: 2
1993 National Assembly Election: 2
1998 National Assembly Election: 2
1999 Presidential Election: 2
 
CHAD
1996 Presidential Election: 4
1997 National Assembly Election: 4
2001 Presidential Election: 4
2002 National Assembly Election: 4
 
COMOROS
1990 Presidential Election: 3
1992 Federal Assembly Election:
1993 Federal Assembly Election:
1996 Presidential Election: 2
1996 Federal Assembly Election: 2
2002 Presidential Election: 3
2004 Assembly of the Union Election: 2
 
CONGO-BRAZZAVILLE
The Congolese people exercised their right to elect their President and National Assembly through competitive multiparty elections for the first time in 1992 [1992Presidential, 1992National Assembly]. Both were deemed generally free and fair by election observers. A second National Assembly election was held in 1993. The poll was considered generally free and fair, but irregularities were reported and the opposition contested the results. The democratically elected government of President Pascal Lissouba was toppled in a 1997 military rebellion. A period of civil war and transition followed. New elections were held in 2002 [2002Presidential, 2002National Assembly] under a new constitution. Observers deemed both polls generally free, but contested the overall fairness of the electoral process. Candidates who posed the greatest electoral threat to Denis Sassou-Nguesso either withdrew or were barred from participation. Supporters of the president won a majority of seats in the National Assembly.
 
CONGO-KINSHASA
The last multiparty elections were held in 1965. Elections are scheduled to take place in June 2005.
 
COTE D'IVOIRE
1990 Presidential Election: 4
1990 National Assembly Election: 4
1995 Presidential Election: 4
1996 National Assembly Election: 4
2000 Presidential Election: 4
2000 National Assembly Election: 4
 
DJIBOUTI
1992 National Assembly Election: 4
1993 Presidential Election: 4
1997 National Assembly Election: 4
1999 Presidential Election: 2
2003 National Assembly Election: 3
 
EQUATORIAL GUINEA
1993 House of People's Representatives Election:
1996 Presidential Election: 5
1999 House of People's Representatives Election:
2002 Presidential Election: 5
2004 House of People's Representatives Election:
 
ERITREA
The last election held was an independence referendum in early 1993. Since independence, no multiparty elections have been held.
 
ETHIOPIA
1994 Constituent Assembly Election:
1995 House of People's Representatives Election: 3
2000 House of People's Representatives Election: 3
 
GABON
1990 National Assembly Election:
1993 Presidential Election:
1996 National Assembly Election:
1998 Presidential Election:
2001 National Assembly Election:
 
THE GAMBIA
Three presidential elections [1992, 1996, 2001] and three legislative elections have been held since 1990 [1992, 1997, 2002]. The 1992 polls were the last held under the regime of President Dawda Jawara and were considered generally free, fair, and transparent by election observers. Although Jawara and his People's Progressive Party dominated the political scene since independence in 1965, opposition political parties were able to operate freely without interference and participate in elections that were fair and competitive. The presidential election in 1996 was the first held after Jawara's ouster in a 1994 military coup were marred by numerous irregularities and were considered neither free nor fair by observers. National Assembly elections held in 1997 were slightly better organized than the presidential poll, but lost credibility due to irregularities and restrictions on the opposition. Incumbent President Yahya Jammeh was re-elected in 2001 in elections deemed free and fair, but observers noted some shortcomings in the overall conduct of the poll. The main opposition political parties boycotted the 2002 National Assembly Election, which led to Jammeh's Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction party winning all but three seats in the legislature. Despite the boycott, most observers deemed the election generally free and fair  
 
GHANA
Ghanaians first multiparty elections since the overthrow of Hilla Limann’s democratically elected government in 1981 took place in 1992 [1992Presidential, 1992Parliamentary]. The opposition, who claimed that widespread electoral fraud occurred, rejected the presidential election results. The findings of observers ranged from those who said that the poll generally reflected the will of the people to some who declared the poll neither free nor fair. The parliamentary elections that followed were boycotted by the opposition. Elections were held in 1996 [1996Presidential, 1996National Assembly] and considered generally free and fair by election observers as were the polls conducted in 2000 [2000Presidential, 2000 Parliamentary]. The latest round of elections conducted in late 2004 [2004Presidential, 2004Parliamentary] were the best administered since 1992 and were free, fair, and transparent.
 
GUINEA
1993 Presidential Election: 4
1995 National Assembly Election:
1998 Presidential Election: 4
2002 National Assembly Election:
2003 Presidential Election:
 
GUINEA-BISSAU
1994 National People's Assembly Election: 2
1994 Presidential Election: 2
1999 National People's Assembly Election: 2
1999/2000 Presidential Election: 2
2004 National People's Assembly Election: 2
 
KENYA
1992 Presidential Election: 4
1992 National Assembly Election:
1997 Presidential Election:
1997 National Assembly Election:
2002 Presidential Election: 2
2002 National Assembly Election: 2
 
LESOTHO
1993 National Assembly Election: 2
1998 National Assembly Election: 2
2002 National Assembly Election: 2
 
LIBERIA
1997 Presidential Election: 2
1997 Legislative (Senate & House of Representatives) Election: 2
 
MADAGASCAR
1992/1993 Presidential Election: 2
1993 National Assembly Election: 2
1996 Presidential Election: 2
1998 National Assembly Election: 2
2001 Presidential Election: 2
2002 National Assembly Election: 2
 
MALAWI
Malawians freely elected their President and National Assembly through competitive multiparty elections for the first time in 1994 [1994Presidential, 1994National Assembly]. Election observers considered the polls free and fair. Elections in 1999 [1999Presidential, 1999National Assembly] were considered generally free and fair, but some irregularities were reported. The latest round of elections were held in 2004 [2004Presidential, 2004National Assembly] Citing bias in the state media and problems with the voters roll, most election observers deemed the election free but not fair. These elections, while a slight setback to democratic consolidation in Malawi, featured more democratic elements than undemocratic ones.
 
MALI
1992 National Assembly Election: 2
1992 Presidential Election: 2
1997 (April) National Assembly Election: N/A (The results of this election were cancelled by the Constitutional Court due to irregularities)
1997 Presidential Election: 2
1997 (July/August) National Assembly Election: 2
2002 Presidential Election: 2
2002 National Assembly Election: 2
 
MAURITANIA
1992 Presidential Election: 5
1992 National Assembly Election: 5
1996 National Assembly Election:
1997 Presidential Election:
2001 National Assembly Election:
2003 Presidential Election: 4
 
MAURITIUS
Three National Assembly Elections have been held since 1990 [1991, 1995, 2000] and all were considered free, fair and transparent by election observers. The country has been under democratic rule since independence in 1968 and is the second oldest democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa after Botswana (independent in 1966). 
 
MOZAMBIQUE
1994 Presidential Election: 2
1994 Assembly of the Republic Election: 2
1999 Presidential Election: 2
1999 Assembly of the Republic Election: 2
2004 Presidential Election:
2004 Assembly of the Republic Election:
 
NAMIBIA
1994Presidential Election:
1994 National Assembly Election
1999 Presidential Election: 2
1999 National Assembly Election:
2004 Presidential Election:
2004 National Assembly Election:
 
NIGER
1993 National Assembly Election: 2
1993 Presidential Election: 2
1995 National Assembly Election: 2
1996 Presidential Election: 5
1996 National Assembly Election:
1999 Presidential Election: 2
1999 National Assembly Election: 2
2004 Presidential Election:
2004 National Assembly Election:
 
NIGERIA
1992 National Assembly (Senate & House of Representatives) Election:
1993 Presidential Election: 2 (The results of the election were later annulled by the government)
1998 National Assembly (Senate & House of Representatives) Election: N/A
1999 Presidential Election:
1999 National Assembly (Senate & House of Representatives) Election:
2003 Presidential Election: 3
2003 National Assembly (Senate & House of Representatives) Election: 3
 
RWANDA
2003 Presidential Election: 4
2003 Chamber of Deputies: 4
 
SAO TOME & PRINCIPE
Since 1990, São Tomé and Príncipe has held three presidential elections [1991, 1996, 2001] and four legislative elections [1991, 1994, 1998, 2002]. All were considered free, fair and transparent by election observers.
 
SENEGAL
1993 Presidential Election:
1993 National Assembly Election:
1998 National Assembly Election:
2000 Presidential Election: 2
2001 National Assembly Election: 2
 
SEYCHELLES
1992 Constitutional Commission Election:
1993 Presidential Election:
1993 People's Assembly Election:
1998 Presidential Election:
1998 National Assembly Election:
2001 Presidential Election:
2002 National Assembly Election:
 
SIERRA LEONE
1996 Presidential Election:
1996 House of Representatives Election:
2002 Presidential Election:
2002 House of Representatives Election:
 
SOMALIA
The last multiparty election was held in 1969. 
 
SOMALILAND
2003 Presidential Election: 2
 
SOUTH AFRICA
Three National Assembly elections have been held since 1990 [1994, 1999, 2004]. The 1994 election was the first to take place since the end of apartheid rule and was considered generally free and fair by observers, but minor irregularities were reported. The 1999 and 2004 elections were well administered, free and fair.
 
SUDAN
1996 Presidential Election: 5
1996 National Assembly Election: 5
2000 Presidential Election: 5
2000 National Assembly Election: 5
 
SWAZILAND
The last multiparty election was held in 1972. Political parties were banned in 1973. Three non-partisan elections have been held since 1990 (1993, 1998, and 2003).
 
TANZANIA
Two presidential elections [1995, 2000] and two legislative elections [1995, 2000] were held since 1990. The 1995 elections were deemed free by observers on the mainland, however, elections in Zanzibar were marred by widespread irregularities. Some administrative irregularities were reported throughout the country. Elections in 2000 were deemed generally free and fair on the mainland, while Zanzibar once again experienced widespread irregularities and credible reports of electoral fraud.
 
TOGO
1993 Presidential Election: 5
1994 National Assembly Election:
1998 Presidential Election:
1999 National Assembly Election:
2002 National Assembly Election:
2003 Presidential Election:
 
UGANDA
1996 Presidential Election:
1996 Parliamentary Election:
2001 Presidential Election:
2001 Parliamentary Election:
 
ZAMBIA
Since 1990, three Presidential elections [1991, 1996, 2001] and three National Assembly elections have been held [1991, 1996, 2001]. The elections held in 1991 were considered free and fair, while the 1996 elections were marred by irregularities, constitutional manipulation in favor of the ruling party, and a boycott by the main opposition political party.
 
 
ZIMBABWE
1990 Presidential Election:
1990 House of Assembly Election:
1995 House of Assembly Election:
1996 Presidential Election:
2000 House of Assembly Election:
2002 Presidential Election:

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