The election of presidents and parliamentary representatives play a pivotal role in the democratization process, especially in Africa.
While some countries are still recovering from the wounds of electoral violence, others have been able to hold relatively peaceful elections over the years.
2020 is one such electoral year, where some elected representatives face their moments of truth as they will either be unseated or given mandates.
www.ghanaweb.com in this article highlights some major general elections taking place around the African continent in 2020.
Ghana’s December, 7 general elections
Ghanaians are expected to go to the polls on December 7, 2020, to decide if President Akufo-Addo should be given another term or to bring back John Dramani Mahama.
Even though the country’s Electoral Commission, in the face of many oppositions is still stuck on the fence in compiling a new voters’ register or not, Ghanaians are hopeful that after December 7, 2020 the poll results will be out.
The ‘battle’, which according to some Ghanaians is between the sitting President Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the one-term former President John Mahama is expected to be peaceful but not without tensions.
So far, 26 political parties have shown interest in producing candidates for the elections in December.
Burkina Faso’s October general elections
The tension around Ghana may start building up in October as its immediate neighbour to the North will go to the polls in October to elect National Assembly members and a president.
Burkina Faso’s former Prime Minister, Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo will face off sitting President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré.
Despite the insurgence of terrorist groups in some parts of Burkina Faso, the two main political parties – Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP) and the People’s Movement for Progress (MPP) – are hoping to record a free, fair and peaceful election 2020.
Togo’s February 22, presidential election
Again, Ghana’s immediate neighbour to the East, Togo will on February 22 go to the polls to elect a president for the next five years.
Sitting President Faure Gnassingbé, candidate for the Union for the Republic (UNIR) is expected to face stiff competition from Jean-Pierre Fabre, candidate of the National Alliance for Change (ANC) and others.
But with the new constitutional amendment which caps the presidential tenure to two five-year terms and its retrospective application, President Gnassingbé may probably be the only candidate on the ballot sheet.
Cote d’Ivoire’s October 31
Ivorians, will also head to the polls on October 31, 2020 decide whether to hand over the reins of government to 47-year-old Guillaume Soro after incumbent president Alhassane Ouattara vowed to step down this year and hand over to a younger generation.
However, Mr Ouattara’s still holds that, “I want everyone in my generation to step aside…if they decide to be a candidate, then I will be a candidate.” President Ouattara hopes to restore peace in the country after former President Laurent Gbagbo failed to willingly cede power in 2010.
The continent has its fingers crossed for Alhassane Ouattara to hold peaceful and transparent election 2020. Meanwhile, 47-year-old Guillaume Soro has declared intentions of vying for the presidency.