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Lucy Creevey, Paul Ngomo and Richard Vengroff, "Party Politics and Different Paths to Democratic Transitions: A Comparison of Benin and Senegal," Party Politics, 11 (July, 2005), 471-493.

First Paragraph:
Benin and Senegal represent two successful cases of democratic transition in Africa. They also represent two different paths to that end. In Benin, the transition originated in popular demonstrations against the incumbent authoritarian regime, followed by a broadly representative national conference in which new democratic institutions were negotiated, and culminated in founding legislative and presidential elections. In Senegal, the transition followed an evolutionary path in which incremental institutional reforms enabled an erstwhile authoritarian incumbent and the ruling party to retain power even while allowing opposition parties opportunities to participate in competitive elections, leading eventually to the defeat of the ruling party by an opposition coalition. This article examines the role of party politics in facilitating these different but successful paths to democratic transitions.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Percentage of ethno-regional and national votes won by five major parties or alliances in the 1991 legislative elections in Benin
Table 2. Percentage of ethno-regional and national votes won by eight major parties in the 1995 legislative elections in Benin
Table 3. Results of the 1991 and 1996 presidential elections in Benin
Table 4. Results of the legislative and presidential elections in Senegal: 1993-2001

Last Paragraph:
In both Benin and Senegal, party leaders and voters are engaged in a complex coalition-building game that is altered over time by the strategic entry and exit of parties and candidates. In both countries, the intricate strategies adopted by party leaders to maintain their votes and acquire and hold political power have been carried out in a context where voters and politicians appear to know and accept the rules of the game. It is this acceptance that underpins the success of democracy in both countries, despite some anti-democratic tendencies that still exist in both.