Although nearly all countries hold elections in the contemporary world, they have an elevated risk for violence in Africa. Due to the increasing reliance on elections as a tool for democratic participation, the stakes for elections outcome are often high. The incidence and severity of election-related violence varies across the continent, and several elections have been held successfully without resorting to violence.
The occurrence of electoral violence in Africa can be attributed to many factors. One factor is that election violence is used to express frustrations with structural issues such as governance defects, misconstrued understanding of democratization and its processes, and failed election promises among others. Additionally, incumbent leaders prolonging their stay in power by the use of repressive and violent security forces also tends to escalate election violence. Furthermore, the prevalence of electoral violence is also instigated by some opposition politicians who see politics as a means by which to enrich themselves rather than effect real change. Thus, people resort to violent elections pre, post and during elections as a response to bad governance, repression and individual political gains. read more
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