The outcome of recent elections in Africa.
GHANA: Opposition leader John Atta Mills wins the presidency after a January runoff decides the closest vote in Ghana’s history. Tensions run high amid allegations of irregularities, but the ruling party concedes defeat peacefully, securing Ghana’s place as a beacon of democracy.
ZAMBIA: A veteran ruling party member wins October 2008 elections foreign observers deem fair. Winner Rupiah Banda had been interim president since the death in August of President Levy Mwanawasa.
ZIMBABWE: 2008 elections are widely considered a sham and the country remains under the thumb of President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled since independence in 1980. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai wins the first round in March but does not garner enough to avoid a runoff. He then pulls out of the second round citing security concerns.
KENYA: Controversial elections in late 2007 are strongly disputed by the opposition, and rival candidate claims to power degenerate into violence that kills hundreds in early 2008, shattering Kenya’s reputation as a stable East African powerhouse.
MAURITANIA: Holds junta-organized elections in March 2007 that observers call the first free vote in decades. In August, though, Mauritania’s democracy ends when the military overthrows the elected president, Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi.
NIGERIA: 2007 elections transfer power successfully for the first time between elected leaders in a country that had long been ruled by dictators. But thugs openly purchase votes, steal or stuff ballot boxes, intimidate voters and violence leaves 200 dead in the run-up. Opponents challenge disputed results in court, but last month the Supreme Court upholds the president’s win.