n Law, Democracy & Development - Democracy and elections in Africa in the Democratic Republic of Congo : lessons for Africa

Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1028-1053
  • E-ISSN: 2077-4907



While regular multi-party elections do not necessarily guarantee the establishment of a democratic state, no state can be said to be democratic if it does not hold regular elections according to a set of rules that are fair to the political parties involved. In Africa, many countries moved away from one party states towards a system of multipartyism in the late nineteen eighties, but this has not always resulted in the establishment of true democracy. In this article we discuss the requirements for democracy and for free and fair elections against the background of the recent experience of the Democratic Republic of Congo ('DRC') which - with assistance from various international role players - has moved from a deeply authoritarian system to a multi-party system of government. We evaluate this experience and ask whether true democracy has now been established in the DRC and what this process can tell us about experiences elsewhere in Africa.

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