Return to: Search Page or to: Table of Contents Vol. 19, Issue 5

Danielle Resnick, "Do electoral coalitions facilitate democratic consolidation in Africa?," Party Politics, 19 (September 2013), 735-757. [Available at http://ppq.sagepub.com/content/vol19/issue5/ ]

First paragraph:
In July 2008, five Ugandan opposition parties announced the formation of the Inter-Party Cooperation coalition to compete against President Yoweri Museveni in the country's 2011 elections. Similarly, in early 2011, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) considered forming a coalition in an attempt to defeat the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) in Nigeria. South Africa's opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Independent Democrats (ID) likewise agreed in mid-2010 to an electoral alliance for forthcoming local and national elections in a bid to undermine the dominance of the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Trust and identification with African political parties.
Table 2. Opposition coalitions in presidential and legislative elections since 2000.
Table 3a. Volatility for opposition coalition candidates in presidential elections.
Table 3b. Volatility for opposition coalitions in legislative elections.
Appendix: Data sources and party acronyms presented in tables

Last Paragraph:
In Africa's electoral democracies, the important challenge of increasing incumbent turnover should be complemented by the development of distinct party choices in order for elections to provide a meaningful conduit for conveying citizen preferences. Such parties do not necessarily have to offer distinct platforms along the traditional left--right ideological spectrum and, as noted earlier, those few African parties which have done so rarely demonstrate widespread appeal. However, they do have to demonstrate relevance with the everyday concerns of African citizens, including job creation and improved service delivery, and offer realistic solutions for achieving such goals. This, more than office-seeking coalitions, would go a long way to ensuring that democracy provides African voters with real choices when they go to the polls.

Last updated November 2013