, 7 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Interesting things are happening in democratic participation & leadership replacement in #Africa. The trends are important. In two years, some of the most authoritarian & longest serving African leaders have gone in circumstances that the "experts" cldn't predict...
In Algeria, President Bouteflika has bn in power for 20 yrs
In Sudan, Bashir did 30
In Angola, Dos Santos did 35
In Zimbabwe, Mugabe was in power for 37yrs
Between them they were in power for a total of 122 yrs or an average of 30.5 yrs each.
None of these men lost an election yet all of them are now out, kicked out by the system & ppl that they ruled with an iron fist. They were not the only ones. In Ethiopia, the democratic centralism of the ruling EPRDF coalition also chewed & spat out former PM, Desalegn
Elections clearly remain the preferred means of acceding to power in #Africa & keeping it but they're no longer the only means. In many #African countries, the ppl are finding ways to assert their sovereignty & re-claim their will from leaders who made a habit of stealing it
At the beginning of 2019, Alex De-Waal posed & tried to answer the question: what's needed for protest on the streets & widespread disaffection of ppl to reach that critical turning point at which the authority of the regime dissolves?
As a policy, @_AfricanUnion is opposed to #UnconstitutionalChanges in govt. However, the instinct of international relations is "more fearful of instability than welcoming of democratization." Quite often, popular uprising are framed as pitting participation against stability.
There's 1 great thing to be said about a popular (or party) uprising against an authoritarian leader - it occurs at that moment when antipathy against authoritarianism compels a country & its diverse interests & peoples to transcend their divisions & crystallize a common identity
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