n Journal of African Elections - Democracy and states' compliance with regional and sub-regional election benchmarks in Africa : the 28 November 2011 elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo in retrospect




Since the beginning of the century elections have been held regularly in several African countries. Unfortunately, these elections have generally failed to comply with regional and sub-regional electoral norms adopted to promote credible and transparent elections and contribute to democratic consolidation. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a representative and dramatic case of the region's experience with democracy and multiparty elections. This article reflects on democracy and the 28 November 2011 presidential and parliamentary elections in the DRC. It revisits the concepts of democracy, elections and the rule of law, which are at the heart of this reflection, and the relationship among them. It examines the electoral laws and processes, the social-political and social environment as well as national and international reactions to these elections in the DRC, which is a representative but dramatic case study of Africa's experience with democracy and elections. It then assesses the DRC's compliance with the regional and sub-regional norms and principles governing democratic elections. It concludes that the DRC unfortunately failed to comply and draws some lessons about democratic consolidation in Africa.


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