For decades now, countries in Africa have been going through a so called democratic process, but are they actually democratic? Many countries in Africa run a kind of monarchy in disguise or a family business, under the umbrella of democracy, it is especially in Africa that you will find Presidents in power for more than 20 years and still claim to be running a presidential democracy and carry out free and fair elections.
Togolese Presidential Elections
On the 25th of April 2015, the people of Togo went to the poll to vote in the presidential election, though the initial date of the election was April 15th but was later shifted after recommendations from the ECOWAS (Economic Community Of West African States) acting chairman, President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana, for the election to be shifted in order to update the Togolese voters registration database.
President Faure Gnassingbé, who has been in power since 2005, after being fixed in power did not mind to run again and won the elections. Though there were other opposition candidates, in the Togolese politics, this does not make much difference, though the people tried to protest about the presidents re-election bid, it still did not change anything. Faure Gnassingbé was installed in power after his father, who was in power for 38 years died in 2005, but even as a young President (48 years old), he has left his people in abject poverty the minimum wage is below average and has never changed. People still earn the same amount their grand parents were earning after independence, the top position of the government are being controlled by ruling family, but one can wonder after, with all what is happening, how come his scaled through in the elections with about 59 % of the votes? The opposition tried as much to stop him from re-contesting by trying to convince the parliament to change the constitution and impose a two term presidential limit.
Untill African decide to take a bold step in revolting against their corrupt and undemocratic governments, not much will be done, in Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Congo Brazaville, and some other African nations, there are leader that have been in power for more than 15 years, most of them have removed term limits from the constitution, turning the country into a customized monarchy. The only country that has been able to take this bold step is Burkina Faso, in late October, the landlocked African nation of Burkina Faso saw the end of its President’s 27-year-long reign. A popular revolution terminated Blaise Compaoré’s term, after he tried to change the constitution so that he could run for a fifth consecutive term.
We are also seeing this kind of public opposition currently in Burundi, where the President (Pierre Nkurunziza) is trying to run for a third term. Normally, according to the Burundi constitution, the President has can be elected only two terms by the people. But Nkurunziza claims that it is his second term, since he was elected first time by the parliament and second time by the people. No matter about his claim, the people have shown their dismay through public protests and the president has threatened to use force against them if they do quench the protest, the main problem is that if these protests do not end, it could turn from a political dismay into ethnic killings of Hutu majorities against the Tutsi minority. The President who was a former rebel leader in the FDLR is calling rebel in neighboringfor support.
Time has come for African to take care of thing on their own and wise up, we cannot hope on the African Union because you do not expect evil to fight evil in other word, you do not expect a corrupt and power drunk leader to oppose another and we cannot expect help from the international community because there is no international community.