By Surbhi Mahajan

Evariste Ndayishimiye, a retired general, won the presidential election held in May 2020, securing 68.72% of the vote. The elections allegedly took place in a highly repressive environment (reported killings, arrests of opposition leaders, voter intimidation) with no independent international observers.  

Egypt’s Senate elections were held on 11th and 12th August, with run-offs taking place on 8th and 9th September.

Turnout was low in both rounds - 14.23% in the first round, and 10.22% in the second round. A total of 74 of the 100 constituency seats were won in the first round, while 26 held run-off elections in September between the top two candidates in the constituencies. Out of the 74 determined constituency seats in the first round, 68 went to the Nation's Future Party, which has extremely close connections to members in the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. The Republican People's Party, another pro-government party, won five seats, and one seat went to an independent candidate. The Nation's Future Party won 20 constituency seats in the second round, with 5 seats going to independent candidates and one to the Republican People's Party.

Wavel Ramkalawan, an Anglican priest, won presidency. This was the first opposition victory in four decades since independence from Britain. The election is also being hailed as “major milestone in Seychelles’s democracy”.

Guinea-Bissau’s Presidential Election initially took place on November 24th 2019, contested by 12 male candidates. No candidate received a majority of the vote, and incumbent President Jose Mario Vaz finished fourth. A run-off vote was held on December 29th between Simoes Pereira and Umaro Sissoco Embaló, both ex-prime ministers of the country. Embaló beat Pereira by 54% to 46% and was inaugurated on February 27th 2020. Pereira, from Guinea-Bissau’s traditional ruling party, the PAIGC - the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde - denounced the score as a fraud, asking the court to order a re-vote. The four-month dispute over the results ended in April 2020 when ECOWAS - the Economic Community of West African States - recognised Embaló as the winner of Guinea-Bissau’s presidential election. Embaló is the first president to be elected without the backing of the PAIGC.

Côte d’Ivoire’s Presidential Election took place on October 31st, 2020. The four candidates were incumbent President Alassane Oauttara, Henri Konan Bedie, Pascal Affi N’Guessan, and Kouadio Konan Bertin. Ouattara was re-elected for a third term in office after garnering 94.27% of the vote despite a turnout of 53.9%. However, opposition parties claimed Ouattara violated the constitution, and they urged their supporters to boycott the election and stay at home as an act of civil disobedience. On November 7th opposition leader and former Prime Minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan was placed under arrest for creating a rival transitional government. On November 9th, President Ouattara’s win was officially validated.

The wake of a new political order after 1994 gave rise to a shift in women’s status, rights, and political participation in Malawi.

Over 15 years from 1994 to 2009, women’s representation in parliament rose by 17.1% from 5.2% in 1994. In June 2009, the country saw an above-average increase in the representation of women in the cabinet at 23.8% from 20% in June 2008. In 2014, the representation of women rose to 13.4% from 8.1% in 2000. However, still present is an immense gender gap, resulting in a low representation of women in key decision-making bodies. In 1994, only 10 female candidates succeeded in being elected in the 1994 elections. Former President Mutharika in 2015 nominated only 3 women to his 20-member cabinet—resulting in only 15% of women being represented during his administration at the time. 

By: Haleemah Shajira

Heading into the 2020 presidential election, Faure Gnassingbé was wrapping up his third presidential term, since becoming president in 2005. Prior to Faure Gnassingbé, his father, Gnassingbé Eyadéma, ruled for 38 years.

Legislative elections were held in Comoros on January 19, 2020. Comoros’ ruling party won an absolute majority conquering 17 out of 24 legislative seats.

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