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South African Elections: What happens next?

Written By; Elizabeth Adundo – Yogo
Head of Secretariat, ODM Women League, Kenya!
Photos by; Bent Nicolajsen, Program Manager – Danish Liberal Democracy Programme

After the official release of the results from the IEC on the South African Elections here are some quick facts:

Ahead of the May 29 elections, a record 27.7 million South Africans registered to vote. However, only 16.2 million votes were cast on Election Day, resulting in a voter turnout of 58.61 percent – the lowest ever in South Africa’s 30-year democratic history.

The ANC managed enough votes to secure more than 50 percent in five out of South Africa’s nine provinces: Limpopo (74 percent), the Eastern Cape (63 percent), North West (58 percent), Free State (53 percent), and Mpumalanga (52 percent).

In the Northern Cape (49 percent) and Gauteng (36 percent), the ANC fell short of a majority and will need to find coalition partners to form the government.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) will continue to govern the Western Cape (53 percent), which it has done since 2009.

And in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), former President Jacob Zuma’s MK received the highest number of votes at some 46 percent, ahead of the ANC which managed about 18 percent.

 Of nearly 39,000 South Africans who voted from outside the country (The diaspora voters) more than 75 percent voted for the DA.

Photos by; Bent Nicolajsen, Program Manager – Danish Liberal Democracy Programme

How the president is elected and what happens next?

As I had mentioned in my previous post, South Africans do not directly vote for the president.

Instead, they elect the members of the National Assembly, who then elect the president by a simple majority – 201 or more votes determine the presidency.

Following the IEC’s announcement of results, certain procedural steps must be followed for South Africa to form a government. They include:

Allocation of seats: Seats in the 400-member National Assembly are proportionately allocated based on the election results.

First sitting of the National Assembly: Within 14 days of the election results, the newly elected National Assembly must hold its first sitting, where members are sworn in and the speaker is elected.

Election of the president: During the first sitting, or soon after, the National Assembly elects the president of South Africa, who is then responsible for appointing the cabinet and forming the government.

Formation of government: Once the president is elected, the process of forming a government, including the appointment of ministers, usually follows.

The entire process is usually completed within a couple of weeks to ensure a smooth transition of power and continuity of governance.

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African Elections: Why is Youth Turn Out Low?

Written By; Elizabeth Adundo – Yogo
Head of Secretariat, ODM Women League, Kenya

In the 2020 US elections, young people seem poised for unprecedented levels of participation. “Young voters are going to be key to winning 2020,” declared one CNN headline. “These 7 Million Young People Can Beat Trump,” another headline on a New York Times op-ed, referenced those just coming of voting age in that election cycle.

These headlines are not new in many democracies, they often reflect in surge in youth activism, particularly protests around racial injustice, corruption, limited job opportunities and police brutality. In Kenya, just before the 2022 elections, pollsters offered a promise of increased youth engagement. According to a February poll of 18- to 29-year-olds, 83% believe people their age have the power to change the country. In June, a survey of college students found that 71% are “absolutely certain” they will vote in the upcoming election.

However, if history is any guide, these indicators of youth enthusiasm and interest will not necessarily translate to the ballot box.

In the recent concluded elections in South Africa, the story is way too familiar.

Photos by; Bent Nicolajsen, Program Manager – Danish Liberal Democracy Programme

The empirical reality is that young people have always had dismal turnout rates. Despite being one of the largest potential voting blocs in the electorate, the majority of young people do not vote—not in 2024, or in previous elections. In fact, older voters often turn out at twice the rate of young people in parliamentary and/or presidential elections. This gap is even larger in local elections, where the turnout rate among older voters leads by about 50 percentage points. To put this in context, the difference in voting between young and older citizens is larger than the gaps found when comparing race and ethnicity, education, or socioeconomic status.

The gap in turnout between younger and older African voters is among the worst in the world.

And these turnout disparities have significant consequences in our civic life as Africans. Not only is it concerning because of the disparity in democratic participation, research shows that it has policy consequences, shaping not only who gets elected but also which policies get implemented. This is reflected in the way that Social Security is considered an untouchable third rail in politics, yet education spending is not.

Why is youth turnout so low? What can we do about it?

Photos by; Bent Nicolajsen, Program Manager – Danish Liberal Democracy Programme

The cause of low youth turnout has been misdiagnosed, with conventional wisdom holding that younger people fail to turn out because they are apathetic and disillusioned about politics. The common refrain is that Millennials are cynical and self-absorbed, more concerned about taking selfies than impacting politics. But protests in the streets and the poll numbers clearly indicate that the conventional wisdom is wrong; the reason for low levels of youth turnout cannot be because of a lack of political interest or political motivation. In fact, over the past five presidential elections, an average of 85% of 18- to 29-year-olds surveyed before the elections said they are interested in politics, 74% said they care who gets elected, and 81% said they intend to vote. Political motivation is already high among young people, so this can’t be the key to improving youth turnout.

The real problem among young people is that they often fail to follow through on their civic attitudes and intentions. The gap between intending to vote and actually voting is much larger for young people than for older ones. The key to understanding and solving youth turnout is identifying why young people fail to follow through on their participatory intentions.

What are the obstacles that impede young people from following through on their civic intentions?

In Kenya, Voter registration is an ongoing exercise, however, it’s still the lowest among the young people, in South Africa, the story is the same, and Voter registration among young people is the lowest of all age demographics

ISS researcher and author Lauren Tracey conducted 49 one-on-one interviews and 277 focus-group discussions with over 2 000 students in high school, Further Education and Training (FET) and university to understand what drives some young people to vote and discourages others.

Tracey’s research findings highlight that this demographic group, in rural and urban areas across all nine provinces, is concerned about four major problems – unemployment, corruption, poor infrastructure and poor education.

Photos by; Bent Nicolajsen, Program Manager – Danish Liberal Democracy Programme

‘Young people are growing increasingly frustrated with these issues that continue to plague South Africa’, says Tracey. ‘Although they acknowledge the importance of voting, our findings show that young people often don’t identify voting as the best way to bring about change.’

She notes that corruption is a major disincentive to voting. Same story as their counterparts in Kenya.

‘The participants said that politics is full of corruption and self-enrichment, and they see no reason why they should be interested in it, as they gain nothing from politics and voting.

‘There are signs that the ruling African National Congress’ popularity is waning amongst young people and that this is a generation more open to changing their political allegiance than are their parents.’

According to the research, action taken in three areas could increase young people’s participation in elections: improving civic and voter education programs in schools; meaningful and dynamic outreach to the youth to raise awareness about politics and democracy; and using technology and social media better to link decision-makers and political elites with ‘hard-to-reach’ groups, such as young people.

Photos by; Bent Nicolajsen, Program Manager – Danish Liberal Democracy Programme
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Le Président de l’ALN rencontre Nihrane Abdelsalam,ancien vice-président ALN… Discuter des sujets cruciaux pour le développement du réseau et continent

Écrit par Jawad Chafil, Vice-président de l’ALN pour l’Afrique du Nord

 

CASABLANCA 5 JUIN 2024

J’ai eu le privilège de faciliter une réunion à Casablanca avec Maître Gilbert Noël Ouédraogo, président du Réseau libéral africain du Burkina Faso, et Monsieur Nihrane Abdelsalam, ancien vice-président du réseau et l’un de ses fondateurs depuis 20 ans. Au cours de cette réunion, nous avons abordé une multitude de sujets cruciaux pour le développement de notre réseau et de notre continent.

Points principaux abordés :

Développements politiques en Afrique, avec un accent sur les résultats potentiels des élections en Afrique du Sud et ma perspective sur ces élections.

Vision de Sa Majesté le Roi Mohamed VI sur l’ouverture du Maroc sur le Sahel et l’Atlantique, ainsi que la coopération Sud-Sud. L’ Initiative Royale visant à renforcer la connectivité et le développement économique dans la région, en particulier en facilitant l’accès aux ports atlantiques pour les pays enclavés.

Défis posés par les changements climatiques en Afrique, avec des discussions sur l’adaptation aux changements climatiques, la promotion des énergies renouvelables et la réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre.

Potentiel du commerce intra-africain et les obstacles persistants tels que les infrastructures inadéquates, les barrières commerciales et les défis logistiques.

Renforcement de la coopération entre les partis membres pour relever les défis politiques, économiques et sociaux.

Exploration des opportunités de croissance et de développement pour le réseau et ses membres, notamment par le biais de partenariats avec des organisations régionales et internationales et le renforcement des capacités des partis membres.

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La plus grande affiliation politique d'Afrique se réunit à Nairobi, au Kenya

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Lors de la 13ème Assemblée Générale annuelle du Réseau Libéral Africain, le réseau politique africain le plus grande s’est réuni à Nairobi, au Kenya. Le parti membre local du RLA, l’Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), a accueilli l’Assemblée générale.
Lors de ce réunion, le réseau a adopté un document historique, la Déclaration de Nairobi sur la prévention et l’élimination de la violence à l’égard des femmes. Les délégués ont également élu un nouveau comité exécutif, dirigé par le président Stevens Mokgalapa. De plus, l’Assemblée Générale a organisé un certain nombre d’ateliers sur le thème des coalitions.
Le premier jour de l’Assemblée Générale a commencé avec la dernière réunion du comité exécutif sortant, présidée par le président sortant Olivier Kamitatu. La journée s’est terminée par un dîner d’accueil, organisé par la Fondation Friedrich Naumann pour la liberté. Ce dîner a permis aux délégués de s’entretenir avec le président de l’ODM, l’ancien Premier ministre kenyan Raila Odinga.

Les libéraux en coopération : coalitions, négociations et collaboration démocratique

Le deuxième jour s’est centré sur les ateliers sur le thème de l’Assemblée Générale : les coalitions. Les délégués ont partagé et appris lesIMG_0488 expériences de chacun, et ont également eu l’occasion d’acquérir de nouvelles compétences auprès d’experts externes en coalition et en négociation. Quatre sessions différentes ont eu lieu tout au long de la journée, couvrant plusieurs aspects des coalitions, y compris les différents cycles de la coalition.
Les délégués libéraux des membres partis du RLA à travers le continent ont forgé de nouvelles bonnes pratiques sur le sujet, qui peuvent maintenant être utilisées pour accroître l’importance de leurs partis lors des prochaines élections et au-delà. Le libéralisme est en progression en Afrique, et avec de meilleurs résultats électoraux et plus de responsabilité politique, cela implique inévitablement un plus grand besoin de compétences liées aux coalitions.
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Déclaration de Nairobi sur la prévention et l’élimination de la violence à l’égard des femmes

IMG_0563La dernière journée de l’Assemblée Générale a vu l’adoption de la Déclaration de Nairobi, condamnant la pratique généralisée de la violence à l’égard des femmes sur le continent. La Déclaration, soutenue et approuvée par le Comité des droits de l’homme de Libéral International, engage les membres du Réseau à travailler de manière rigoureuse pour éliminer la violence sexiste dans leur pays d’origine. En outre, la déclaration appelle tous les partis membres à travailler activement ensemble pour promouvoir l’égalité entre les sexes dans tous les aspects de la vie sociale et politique. La déclaration engage également les membres du RLA à travailler pour soutenir l’élimination des obstacles empêchant les femmes d’entrer dans la vie politique et publique.

Résolutions

En plus de la Déclaration, l’Assemblée Générale a adopté les résolutions suivantes :IMG_0616

  1. Résolution sur la situation de crise politique et sociale en République Démocratique du Congo
  2. Proposition libérale contre l’exclusion politique
  3. Résolution sur le nouveau président somalien
  4. Résolution sur la cour pénale internationale
  5. Résolution sur l’état d’urgence en Ethiopie
  6. Résolution sur l’intervention de la CEDEAO en Gambie
  7. Résolution sur le respect du constitutionnalisme et du processus démocratique
  8. Résolution sur les élections de 2015 à Zanzibar
  9. Résolution sur la liberté de parole et les médias en Tanzanie

Ces résolutions ont été accueillies par l’Assemblée Générale et le comité exécutif s’est engagé à donner suite aux résolutions tout au long de son mandat.

Le Comité Exécutif

Au dernier jour de l’Assemblée Générale, les délégués ont élu un nouveau comité exécutif, sous la direction du président Stevens Mokgalapa (député). M. Mokgalapa est également le ministre fantôme pour les relations internationales et la coopération pour l’Alliance démocratique en Afrique du Sud.
Les nouveaux délégués du Comité exécutif, élus par l’Assemblée Générale, sont les suivants :

  • Président : Stevens Mokgalapa (Afrique du Sud, Democratic Alliance)
  • Trésorier : Darren Bergman (Afrique du Sud, Democratic Alliance)
  • Vice-président pour l’Afrique du Nord : Ahmadou El Baz (Maroc, Union Constitutionnelle)
  • Vice-président pour l’Afrique de l’Ouest : Zephirin Diabre (Burkina Faso, Union pour le Progrès et Changement)
  • Vice-président pour l’Afrique centrale : Medard Mulangala (RDC, Union pour la Majorité Républicaine)
  • Vice-président pour l’Afrique de l’Est : Rosemary Machua (Kenya, Orange Democratic Movement)
  • Vice-président pour l’Afrique du Sud : Mulondwe Muzungu (Zambie, United Party for National Development)

Ce nouveau Comité exécutif est plus fort et plus dévoué que jamais, et se tient unis dans son point de vue d’une Afrique prospère et intégrée au bénéfice de tous ses habitants.
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Membres

Le Réseau Libéral Africain a grandi en taille et en force, en termes d’adhésion et de capacité.
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Le réseau est maintenant heureux d’annoncer que les partis politiques suivants ont été acceptés dans la famille des libéraux africains en tant que membres observateurs :

  • Union pour la République et la Démocratie (URD), Mali
  • Parti pour le Développement Economique et la Solidarité (PDES), Mali
  • People’s Alliance for Change (PAC), Zambie
  • Rassemblement Pour la Mauritanie (RPM-Temam), Mauritanie

Deux membres observateurs existants ont également transféré du statut d’observateur au statut de membre à part entière :IMG_0620

  • Alliance pour la République (APR-Yaakaar), Sénégal
  • Union pour le Progrès et Changement (UPC), Burkina Faso

 

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Africa’s largest political affiliation gathers in Nairobi, Kenya

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At the 13th annual General Assembly of the Africa Liberal Network, Africa’s largest political network met in Nairobi, Kenya. The local ALN full member party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), co-hosted the General Assembly.
At this gathering, the network adopted a historic document, the Nairobi Declaration on Prevention and Elimination of Violence against Women. Delegates also elected a new Executive Committee, to be led by President Stevens Mokgalapa. Additionally, the General Assembly provided a number of workshops on the theme of coalitions.
The first day of the General Assembly started with the outgoing Executive Committee holding its last meeting, chaired by the outgoing President, Olivier Kamitatu. The day closed with a welcome dinner, hosted by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, which presented an opportunity for delegates to engage with the ODM leader, former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Liberals in Cooperation: Coalitions, Negotiations, and Democratic Collaboration

IMG_0488The second day centred around workshops on the General Assembly’s theme: coalitions. The delegates shared and learned from each other’s experiences, and also had a chance to acquire new skills from external coalition and negotiations experts. Four different sessions took place throughout the day, covering several aspects of coalitions, including the different cycles of coalition-building.
The liberal delegates from the ALN member parties across the continent together forged new best practices on the topic, which can now be used to increase the significance of their parties in upcoming elections and beyond. Liberalism is on the rise in Africa, and with better electoral results and more political responsibility, that also inevitably means a bigger need for skills related to coalitions.
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The Nairobi Declaration on the Prevention and Elimination of Violence against Women

IMG_0563The General Assembly’s final day saw the adoption of the flagship Nairobi Declaration, condemning the widespread practice of violence against women on the continent. The Declaration, supported and endorsed by Liberal International’s Human Rights Committee, commits the Network’s members to working stringently to eliminate gender-based violence in their home countries. Additionally, the declaration calls on all member parties to actively work together to promote gender equality and gender balance in all aspects of social and political life. The declaration also commits the ALN members to working to support the removal of barriers preventing women from entering politics and public life.
 

Resolutions

In addition to the Declaration, the General Assembly adopted following resolutions:IMG_0616

  1. Resolution on the Political and Social Crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  2. Resolution of Liberals against Political Exclusion
  3. Resolution on the Newly Elected President of Somalia
  4. Resolution on the International Criminal Court
  5. Resolution on the State of Emergency in Ethiopia
  6. Resolution on the ECOWAS intervention in the Gambia
  7. Resolution on Respecting Constitutionalism and the Democratic Process
  8. Resolution on the Nullified 2015 Zanzibar Elections
  9. Resolution on Freedom of Speech and Media in Tanzania

These resolutions were welcomed by the General Assembly and the Executive Committee is committed to follow-up on the resolutions throughout its term.

The Executive Committee

On the final day of the General Assembly, the delegates elected a new Executive Committee, under the leadership of President Stevens Mokgalapa (MP). Mr Mokgalapa also serves as the Shadow Minister for International Relations and Cooperation for the Democratic Alliance in South Africa.
The new delegates of the Executive Committee, elected by the General Assembly, are the following:

  • President: Stevens Mokgalapa (South Africa, Democratic Alliance)
  • Treasurer: Darren Bergman  (South Africa, Democratic Alliance)
  • North Africa Vice President: Ahmadou El Baz (Morocco, Union Constitutionnelle)
  • West Africa Vice President: Zephirin Diabre (Burkina-Faso, Union pour le Progrès et Changement)
  • Central Africa Vice President: Medard Mulangala (DRC, Union pour la Majorité Républicaine)
  • East Africa Vice President: Rosemary Machua (Kenya, Orange Democratic Movement)
  • Southern Africa Vice President: Mulondwe Muzungu (Zambia, United Party for National Development)

The new Executive Committee is stronger and more dedicated than ever, and stands united in its view of a prosperous and integrated Africa for the benefit of all its people.IMG_0687

Membership

The Africa Liberal Network has grown in size and strength, both in terms of membership and capacity.
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The network is now also pleased to announce that the following political parties were accepted into the family of African liberals as observer members:

  • Union pour la République et la Démocratie (URD), MaliIMG_0620
  • Parti pour le Développement Economique et la Solidarité (PDES), Mali
  • People’s Alliance for Change (PAC), Zambia
  • Rassemblement Pour la Mauritanie (RPM-Temam), Mauritania

Two existing observer members also transferred from observer status to full member status:

  • Alliance pour la République (APR-Yaakaar), Senegal
  • Union pour le Progrès et Changement (UPC), Burkina Faso

 

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