16 African countries hold national elections in 2016

This year is set to be a busy one for politics in Africa, with 16 countries preparing to hold national elections. What’s at stake for some of the countries?

More than a dozen African countries are expected to hold presidential elections in 2016. Some are being watched closely in the lead up to their respective polls.

15 million Ugandans are expected to cast their vote in February. Incumbent Yoweri Museveni will have been at the helm for 30 years- making him the continent’s 5th longest-serving president.

He’ll be running against former ally and Prime minister, Amama Mbabazi. Working in Museveni’s favour – a divided opposition and the failure to push through proposed electoral reforms.

However, voter apathy could mar the 2016 Ugandan election – the majority of voters are young and youth unemployment stands at around 64%. Fears of unrest were also stoked when opposition rallies were violently broken up last year.

Zambians are also set to head to the polls in August, against the backdrop of an ailing economy.

Incumbent Edgar Lungu will face opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema, whom he narrowly beat last year, in a by-election called after the death of then president Michael Sata.

Lungu’s government is grappling with an energy crisis and significant budget deficit. The gloomy economic picture could undermine his chances of winning.

1.4 million, mostly young, voters have been added to the electoral register – however young Zambians have been hardest hit by unemployment.

November should see a presidential poll in the Democratic Republic of Congo. President Joseph Kabila is due to stand down after 15 years in power, but there are signs he may stay on.

The opposition party has already broken off negotiations with the government about conditions for a national dialogue on the electoral process.

Seven party leaders from within the ruling alliance also signed an open letter last year urging President Kabila, whose second term ends in 2016, to respect the constitution. They were later expelled from government.

Kabila is yet to announce his future political plans. However, the government has succeeded in delaying the electoral process. And international partners fear any violation of the constitution could plunge the country into chaos.

Source: CCTV Africa

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