The President of Tchad, Idriss Deby. Photo: Oeil D'Afrique

Leaders that hold on to power

They are criticized for violence, fraud and to bend the law for personal gain. But despite all this four heads of state in Africa, who have held office for a term of between 17 and 30 years, have been re-elected during the last couple of months.

It also looks like Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema receives continued confidence after having ruled the impoverished country for 37 years.

“It is unfortunately not uncommon. Many African countries with authoritarian regimes have elections that leave much to be desired. It's not as bad as in North Korea, yet it is not elections on equal terms”, says NAI researcher Anders Sjögren to Norwegian daily Aftenposten.

But there are countries in Africa that have had peaceful regime change. The latest example is Nigeria, which has long been dominated by the same party, but where the opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari won the presidential election last year. Anders Sjögren also highlights South Africa, Ghana, Botswana and Senegal.

“These countries are not free of problems, far from it, but elections have been relatively free. In addition, we see a tendency where Nigeria inspires the rest of West Africa. However, in East Africa the democratic development looks rather gloomy”, says Anders Sjögren.

Read the complete article at Aftenposten's website (opens in new window)

Facts - elections in Africa 2016

Yoweri Museveni
30 years as President of Uganda. Re-elected on Februay 18.

Denis Sassou-Nguesso
32 of the last 37 years as President of the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville). Re-elected on March 20.

Idriss Deby
25 years as President of Tchad. Re-elected on April 10.

Omar Guelleh
17 years as President of Djibouti. Re-elected on April 8.

Teodoro Obiang Nguema
37 years as President of  Equatorial Guinea, runs for re-election on April 24.

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