term limits

Elections in Bolivia: President Morales Poised to Cling to Power

Ahead of Bolivia’s presidential elections in October, President Evo Morales looks set to win a fourth consecutive mandate, despite a referendum in which a narrow majority voted to block such a move. Is the South American nation about to take a step backwards? Bolivia serves as a reminder that, all too often, democracies are only […]

A Divided Continent

Africa is deeply polarized between political and economic extremes. Some of the clouds on the horizon may prove to have silver linings. The African Union has a key role to play in transforming the region into a continent of opportunity. At the 32nd Summit of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa on 10-11 February, […]

Militaries Hold the Key to Power in a Dictator’s Endgame

Which factors shape the armed forces’ decision to boost or bust the rule of an incumbent autocrat in times of political turmoil? Political scientists at Heidelberg University analyzed non-violent mass mobilizations since 1946 and developed a game theory model that aims to explain the different military responses. Autocrats live dangerously. Although their average tenure is […]

Do Strongmen Govern Better?

In many developing and transition countries, people are looking for simple solutions and flirt with authoritarianism. This trend will have dire consequences because autocracies are hopelessly inferior to democracies in the long term. Within just a few days, the leaders of the two most influential autocracies, China and Russia, have set the course for continuity […]

Presidential Elections in Rwanda: No Level Playing Field

Unlike in 2003 and 2010, even the semblance of a competitive electoral process has disappeared in the run-up to this year’s presidential poll in Rwanda. Filip Reyntjens looks at President Paul Kagame’s electoral campaign and the latest measures his regime is mounting against the opposition. “More of a coronation than real contest.” That is what […]

Presidential ballots after counting

Sub-Sahara Africa Fights over Presidential Term Limits

Should he stay or should he go? With regards to the president, the answer to this question is subject of heated debates in Burundi, Congo, DR Congo and Rwanda. The hollowing out of term limits raises grave concerns about the political transformation of many Central and East African countries. It’s election time in Central and […]