Drawbacks of power-sharing after flawed elections: Lessons from Kenya and Zimbabwe
Laurent Gbago, Ivory Coast’s incumbent president, was apparently defeated in a UN-monitored election held in November 2010. But Gbago is clinging to power and demanding that the opposition candidate, Alassane Ouattra, enter into a power-sharing arrangement.
In the current issue of Governance (24.1, January 2011), A. Carl LeVan examines the use of power-sharing agreements as a device for managing the aftermath of flawed elections, such as those in Kenya and Zimbabwe. The results can be quite different from cases in which power-sharing agreements are used as a road map out of civil war. When adopted after flawed elections, such agreements “undermine vertical relationships of accountability, increase budgetary spending, and create conditions for policy gridlock,” LeVan says. But there are several ways to manage these drawbacks.
Ivory Coast may not be the only country in which power-sharing is debated in the coming year. LeVan says there are thirteen presidential and eight parliamentary elections looming in Africa in 2011. Open access to the article: Power sharing and inclusive politics in Africa’s uncertain democracies.