n Journal of African Foreign Affairs - Assessing the suitability of the proportional representation electoral system for Southern Africa

Volume 6 Number 2
  • ISSN : 2056-564X
  • E-ISSN: 2056-5658



As the African continent embraces the democratic change of government as opposed to the forceful removal of incumbent leaders, the issue of the suitable electoral system has taken centre-stage. In Africa, just like it is globally, the debate on the most suitable electoral system continues. While some countries choose the Proportional Representation (PR) system, others prefer the First- Past-The-Post (F-P-T-P) system. Moreover, as some African countries use the party system, others prefer the Presidential system. To compound the issue, with each election, new political parties emerge. This trend makes it difficult for one party to have an outright majority which allows it to form a government on its own. Through a comparative analysis of different electoral systems, this article assesses the suitability of the PR system in Africa – with a specific focus on Southern Africa. The article recommends that African countries should revisit their current electoral systems considering their local contexts.

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