Elections in Africa often increase the possibility of civil unrest. Even in instances when the elect...

Elections in Africa often increase the possibility of civil unrest. Even in instances when the electoral process goes smoothly, the affected state will often experience some disruptions that could impact private-sector operations.

This year (2019), more than 50 elections are scheduled


to take place across sub-Saharan Africa.

South Africa: Presidential - May 08 Highlights Political Tensions

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has indicated that national elections will take place on May 08. Although fractures within the ruling African National Congress (ANC) exist, incumbent President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to maintain his position, which he assumed in February 2018 after Jacob Zuma was forced to resign.

Although the opposition comprises numerous political parties, including the Democratic Alliance (DA), the Inkatha Freedom


to take place across sub-Saharan Africa.

South Africa: Presidential - May 08 Highlights Political Tensions

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has indicated that national elections will take place on May 08. Although fractures within the ruling African National Congress (ANC) exist, incumbent President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to maintain his position, which he assumed in February 2018 after Jacob Zuma was forced to resign.

Although the opposition comprises numerous political parties, including the Democratic Alliance (DA), the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Ramaphosa's main competition may come from a rival faction leader from within his own party, Deputy President David Mabuza.

Land reform has been a controversial issue at the forefront of the election; the passage of a constitutional amendment to allow for land expropriation without compensation will likely not occur prior to May.

Widespread civil unrest is not expected, and the biggest risk of election-related unrest relates to intra-party violence, particularly that within the ANC.

During past elections, however, xenophobic violence included assaults, looting, and the burning of property in lower-income communities.

KwaZulu-Natal in particular suffers from a long history of political violence, dating back to apartheid-era policies. The province has been plagued with politically motivated violence targeting ANC, IFP, and National Freedom Party (NFP) politicians vying for power and economic gain.

In recent years, intra-party killings have risen significantly, with ANC members reportedly ordering the killings of rival party members, particularly ahead of elections.

Source: OSAC

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