2019 will be a busy year for the African continent politically. Among other key topics that will retain the attention of our observers and analysts, Stake Experts is compiling a list of elections to be followed on the continent during the year.
The precise date of several of the elections expected this year is not fixed at the time we are writing this article. Among the countries where this uncertainty must raise vigilance by decision-makers are Libya, Comoros, Tunisia, and Algeria. The organization of the presidential elections in the latter two countries, in particular, will be a new test of the viability of their democracies nearly a decade after the Arab Spring. In Tunisia, the former president of Nidaa Tounes movement, Beji Caid Essebsi, came out of the first election by universal suffrage that took place in the country in 2014. He is very likely to be a candidate for his own succession. One of his most likely encounters will be the head of government Youssef Chahed. The situation is more uncertain in Algeria where the candidacy of Abdel Aziz Bouteflika has been announced by his party, without him commenting on it personally.
In terms of legislative elections, South Africa will elect its MPs in May. What is at stake in this election is the designation of the President of the Republic by new elected MPs. On its side, the new government of Madagascar should hold parliamentary elections for March 20. In a context of contesting the results of the presidential election that brought Andry Rajoelina to the presidency at the end of 2018, these legislative elections sound like a new test of popularity for the president elected. Finally, the senatorial elections of March 6 in the DRC are at risk to be in the continuity of the ongoing crisis resulting from the presidential election of December 30, 2018. The 108 senators being indirectly elected by the members of the provincial assemblies, we must expect that the pro-Kabila Common Front for Congo (FCC) remains the main political force in the Senate.
In Burkina Faso, after the refusal of political parties to adopt a new constitution by parliamentary means, a constitutional referendum was announced to take place on March 24. The new constitution should mark an important starting point in the country’s recent political history by prescribing (among other reforms) the limitation of presidential terms to two.