Updated: Some other African presidential election developments

In Sudan, BBC reports that former Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi is entering the April race for President against Bashir.  Al-Mahdi promises action on Darfur.  This should be interesting.  BBC’s take is that this raises prospects for the legitimacy of the election (in which the SPLA chose not to offer its strongest challenge).  Maybe.  It might also raise the stakes for Bashir–is he willing to lose an election and leave office based on how the votes are actually cast?  While under ICC indictment?

Across the continent, perhaps the West’s and America’s very favorite African president has–wait for it–announced that she is running for a second 6 year term in next year’s election despite having pledged originally that she would only serve one term.

Good business for Johnson-Sirleaf’s American lobbyists and consultants anyway–hope it is good for Liberia.  Perhaps this is a positive development from a gender equality angle anyway:  maybe women are just as inclined to hang on to power, and just as disinclined to leave the presidency as men.

When Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was running for office, she boldly told this programme that once elected into office, she would only serve one six year term.

But a week in politics is a long time and 5 years is an eternity.

Yesterday, president Johnson-Sirleaf made a major U-turn when she announced that she will seek a second six-year term in next year’s elections.

And The Economist reports that “worries about Ethiopia’s election, due in May, are growing” while noting that “most Western governments seem keen to downplay Mr. Mele’s human-rights record, hoping his re-election will keep his country stable.”

What do you think?

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