African Diasporas and the True Measure of Transparent, Free and Fair Elections in Some Countries

Since the 90’s when one-party political systems began to crumble in Africa, true democracy has taken an uneven path in the continent. While some of the 53 States or so that make up the continent’s polity can legitimately claim to be democracies, where citizens are really free to choose their leaders and to fire them, some still cling to the old style, strong man system so vehemently decried by President Obama a few years ago in Accra (Ghana). Certainly Senegal, Tunisia, Benin, Liberia,  Mali, la Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Conakry, Tanzania, Mozambique, the Central African Republic very recently, can legitimately lay claim to have become genuine democracies. But many other among those who recently held elections in the Central Africa’s region, can hardly convince anybody of their true democratic credentials. Especially when some of them decided to cut off social media connections so that elections took place in loud silence.

For them, here is a challenge.  hold if not elections, at least opinion polls/surveys in your respective diasporas. They are more or less representative samples of the people you tightly control at home.  True, those who oppose your system may constitute the majority of your diasporas.  However, you still can rely on a certain percentage of those likely to support you.  Meanwhile, all of them hold a distinct and decisive advantage on those who remain at home: they are totally free to speak up their mind, free to say whatever they like – for or against you – and not land in a torture chamber, a prison cell or worse, dead and thrown in a ditch.

Therefore, their votes in any way are more reliable and credible than those of people who may not be so free when casting their ballots in designated – and perhaps heavily controlled boxes your political parties, cronies, militia, political Police can so tightly control. So, let’s go for it and have independent observers hold opinion polls/surveys within your diasporas. Since you really have no choice, let’s accept their results.

Can we bet?

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