Super Sunday: Voting Underway In Africa’s Day Of Six Polls

Voting is currently underway in Africa’s Super Sunday as five countries and one semi-autonomous archipelago holding polls over a single day.

Sunday marks a rare occasion in the calendar of African politics, with a presidential in Congo, two runoffs- in Benin and Niger- and a long awaited repeat poll in Zanzabir.

The day promises to be exciting as Cape Verde holds parliamentary elections while the Senegalese take part in a constitutional referendum.
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In Congo Brazzaville, President Denis Sassou-Nguesso is seeking a controversial third term that could extend his 32 years in power. He is one of the continent’s five longest-serving leaders, and is widely viewed as the quintessential African strongman.

Benin and Niger are holding runoff presidential polls following inconclusive first round ones early this year.

At the same time Zanzibar, which is part of Tanzania, is holding a repeat presidential poll following the chaotic one in October.

Senegalese on the other hand are voting in a historic referendum in which their president is seeking to reduce his term in office from 7 to 5 years.

In a sharp contrast to what is happening on the continent, where some leaders are amending the constitutions of their countries to enable them to stay longer in office, Senegal’s President Macky Sall is doing quite the opposite.
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The controversy over the presidential term of office has reportedly overshadowed other provisions in the referendum which focus on strengthening the rights of citizens and opposition members, as well as boosting the powers of the legislature and the judiciary.

Critics accuse the “Yes” camp of “buying of conscience” by distributing money and rice during the campaign.

More than 5 million voters are expected to vote in Sunday’s referendum, with the first official results expected on Monday.

The Island nation of Cape Verde is also voting in a parliamentary election on Sunday. The African Union has sent a team of observers to that country to ‘monitor and report on the electoral process in accordance with the African Charter on democracy, elections and governance’.
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Parliamentary elections are held every five years through a closed-list of proportional representation system.

The unicameral National Assembly (parliament) has 72 members. The prime minister is nominated by the National Assembly and appointed by the president.
First results of these elections are expected from Monday.

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