Stikkordarkiv: Valg

Valget i Liberia er igang.

Chriss Blattman rapporterer:

Elections in Liberia:

No, this is not a topic of majority interest, but I have so few areas of expertise I might as well exploit the ones I have, no matter how meager that actual expertise.

SMAG Media is providing the closest thing to real-time results. With less than a quarter of the vote counted, Sirleaf, the world’s newest peace prize winner, has about 45% of the vote.

The news services are saying there will be a second round runoff. I think it’s too soon to say and (with a little less confidence than before) I will still predict a first round win, just for fun.

Why? To the best of my knowledge (which isn’t very best), Sirleaf’s party was the only one with the organization and resources to campaign and organize in every district. Getting out the vote matters, and turning the local honchos to your cause matters even more. And these more far-flung places will be the last to report poll numbers.

Glenna Gordon’s excellent on-the-scene photos are here.

Finally, if you seek actual expertise, my co-author and Yale grad student, Rob Blair, is on the ground. He emails this firsthand account:

Yesterday I watched Liberians go to the polls in the country’s second presidential election after 14 years of civil war. That sentence sounds inspiring when I read it back to myself now, but to be honest, I didn’t anticipate feeling moved. Chalk that up to four years of academic political science—enough to make a skeptic of the most avid democracy-lover. But I do feel moved, in some good ways and some bad.

The mechanics of representation in Liberia work like this. Lines form at polling stations as early as six in the morning, and many voters wait all day to cast their ballots. In the rural areas, I saw many women wearing exuberantly-colored dresses usually reserved for Sundays; were it not for the heat and the interminable lines, things might have seemed almost festive. Due to the country’s astronomical illiteracy rate, candidates’ photos are printed directly on the ballots alongside their party logos. That, combined with partisan pluralism, means that the ballots themselves are gargantuan, especially for the 64-member House of Representatives. Votes are sealed in large, Crate-and-Barrel-style plastic tubs, and tallied by lantern-light.

Traveling around rural Montesserado County, I was struck by how many Liberians had opted to walk the long distance to the polling station and forfeit an entire day of labor in order to vote. Several villages were almost empty when I arrived. In one, the town chief had stayed behind to “mind the community” while his constituents—all of them—went to vote. In another, residents rotated in and out of town to vote in batches.

I expected turnout to fall as I travelled further out into the bush, but that seemed not to be the case. The towns I visited were not particularly remote by Liberian standards (the furthest was only a two-hour walk from the nearest polling station), but still, turnout was surprising. Voters told me about their exhaustion with war and their expectations for the next administration. There seemed to be something genuinely beautiful about all of this. My Kristof moment: doe-eyed watching democracy unfold.

There is, however, something sad about it as well. In one community I visited, I asked the town chief how he adjudicated among the dozens of candidates on the ballot. He pointed to the village’s dilapidated school. During the previous congressional campaign, the district’s current representative had promised that he would repair the building, but never did. Now an opposition candidate has promised that he’ll do the job instead. That was enough to convince the town chief, who rallied the village in the opposition’s favor.

The tragedy is this: the government is almost certainly not going to rebuild that school. Campaign promises are always suspect, but they are especially so in a place like Liberia, where the tax base is meager and the capacity of any given politician to deliver social services to any given community is, to say the least, slim.

Promises like these risk alienating citizens from a government they ostensibly elected. Worse, campaign cheap talk may stifle local-level collective action. In this village, the school was run-down but not beyond repair. When I asked the town chief what he would do if the government didn’t deliver, his answer was disheartening: he would wait for the next election. It’s hard to say whether or not the community would succeed if it attempted reconstruction on its own. But as long as candidates’ campaign pledges continue to resonate, it is less likely to try.

Seen in this light, the “massive turnout” that the newspapers are reporting this morning starts to seem disenchanting. To the extent that turnout is driven by campaign promises, more voters may mean more disillusionment and less communal collective action down the line.

This is my first time observing an election outside the U.S., and I’m eager to be proved wrong. I’ll be interested to hear how readers respond.

(Via Chris Blattman.)

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Visste du at den 14. største økonomien, landet med både engelsk og fransk som språk, har valg i dag?

2 056 001 canadiere har allerede forhåndsstemt før valgdagen i dag. The Toronto Star har en liste med 41 ting du ikke visste om valgdagen, mine favoritter:

The Twitter election, with Canadians tweeting like mad about politics under the hashtag #elxn41. Social media analyst Mark Blevis tracked the top five issues of conversation on the fast-moving medium. They were, in descending order: taxes, Harper’s question limit for reporters, coalition, Conservative screening of rally attendees and health care.

Running on “fun in the sun.” Two long-shot NDP candidates made news for heading south during the campaign instead of door-knocking. The NDP candidate in Ajax-Pickering was reportedly at an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean, while a Quebec candidate spent the first part of the campaign working at a student bar three hours away from her riding and then took off to Las Vegas. Layton stood by their decisions to keep their previously booked trips and blamed it on the lack of fixed-date elections.

Conservatives in contempt — of fruit. Each time the Tory campaign plane lifts off into the air, staffers roll a piece of fruit (orange, apple, cantaloupe, watermelon) from the front of the plane to the rear of the aircraft, where they’ve erected a miniature hockey net.

The first zinger of the televised debates came early, in the first one-on-one exchange between Duceppe and Harper. “I would like first like to congratulate Mr. Harper for answering a question from a citizen for the first time in this campaign,” Duceppe said, a jab at Harper’s bubble campaign.

Grunnen til at Canada holder valg er at tidligere statsminister Stephen Harper tapte ett mistillitsforslag i parlamentet, noe som aldri før har skjedd. Det forrige valget vant de konservative med 37,65% av stemmene og det ligger an til at de skal beholde makten selv etter nyvalg.
Canada Av de tre ‘stolpene’ er den lengst til høyre den siste foretatte målingen. Hvis dette står seg vil de konservative tape plasser, de liberale vil tape noen, Bloc Quebecois vil halvere plassene sine, New Democrat vil nesten doble antall plasser og de grønne vil gå tilbake noe.

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Uganda valg og økonometri – Elliott Green med analyse etter valget.

Før valget i Uganda linket vi til Elliot Green, og nå er han tilbake med analyse etter valget er ferdig.

The graph clearly shows that Museveni’s support overwhelmingly comes from rural areas and that Uganda’s incredibly low level of urbanization – which is the third lowest in the world after Burundi and Papua New Guinea – could be one reason why Museveni continues to win elections.

For alle STATA fans der ute: grafene er lett gjenkjennelig, sant?

Uganda Post-Election Report:

We are pleased to welcome back Elliott Green, a Lecturer in Development Studies at the London School of Economics, with a post-election report on last Friday’s Ugandan presidential elections. See here for the pre-election report.


As expected, Uganda’s election last Friday resulted in a win for President Yoweri Museveni, who managed to up his take of the vote from 59% in 2006 to 66% of the vote (or 68% of the total number of valid votes, of which more in a minute). This marked the first time Museveni won a higher percentage of the vote than he did in a previous election, which in part is due to large-scale bribing of voters. But there are three additional factors which could explain Museveni’s support, and the release of the election data on Sunday (available here) allows us to test these theories.

First, in a pre-election article in the Ugandan Independent Melina Platas suggested that Museveni would be able to exploit his incumbency advantage as he had in the past. In particular she noted a link in the 2006 election between both higher voter turnout and higher support for Museveni – which suggested the suppression of turnout in opposition areas – as well as a link between higher levels of invalid votes and lower support for Museveni, which is more reminiscent of outright fraud.

The 2011 election data clearly shows that both turnout and invalid votes are strongly correlated with Museveni’s support across Uganda’s 112 districts, as seen in the two graphs below. Just as before, Museveni’s support increased with turnout and decreased with the percentage of votes declared invalid. (I’ve also listed the coefficient, t-statistic and R2 obtained by regressing turnout and invalid votes on Museveni’s support.)



A second theory which I wrote about in my previous post was the role of patronage, specifically the role of new districts. The results again suggest higher support for Museveni within newer districts than in older ones, as seen below:

Percentage Voting for Museveni in

New Districts (2009-2010) (n=32) 68.3%
New Districts (2006-2010) (n=42) 67.8%
All Districts (n=112) 65.6%
Districts created before 2006 (n=70) 65.0%
Districts created before 2005 (n=56) 63.2%
Districts created before 1997 (n=39) 62.5%
Districts created before 1986 (n=33) 60.1%

While voters in new districts receive the most benefit from their creation, those in the ‘mother’ districts also receive indirect benefits when their district is split, inasmuch as there is a fixed set of district administrative jobs which are then distributed across a smaller population after the split. Thus we should also expect to see an electoral effect among the 33 older districts (i.e., those created before Museveni came to power in 1986) according to when they were split up, which the data again supports:

Percentage Voting for Museveni in

Old Districts not split after 2006 (n=16) 59.8%
Old Districts not split after 2000 (n=8) 58.8%
Old Districts not split after 1997 (n=6) 56.5%
Old Districts never split (n=3) 48.9%

The three districts which have never been split are Jinja, Kampala and Kasese. Interestingly, all three districts are highly urbanized, inasmuch as they contain the 7th, 1st and 11th largest cities in the country, respectively. This then leads us to the third aspect of Museveni’s victory, namely his support in rural areas. Below I’ve plotted the relationship between Museveni’s support and urbanization levels per district – which is unfortunately only available from the last census in 2002, when Uganda had only 56 districts. (Museveni’s support is now on the vertical axis inasmuch as I’m regressing support for Museveni on urbanization.) I’ve left out Kampala as it is an obvious outlier (100% urbanization); it was also one of four districts where the main challenger Kizza Besigye beat Museveni into second place. The second-most urbanized district in 2002 was Gulu, which was subsequently broken up into Amuru, Gulu, and Nwoya districts; in last week’s election all three districts were carried by Gulu district chairman Norbert Mao.


The graph clearly shows that Museveni’s support overwhelmingly comes from rural areas and that Uganda’s incredibly low level of urbanization – which is the third lowest in the world after Burundi and Papua New Guinea – could be one reason why Museveni continues to win elections. Museveni’s rural vote could be tied up with levels of education and development more generally, but district-level Human Development Index data from the 2007 Uganda Human Development Report is not significantly associated with Museveni’s support. I suspect that his support comes in part from the greater importance of patronage in rural areas and in part from greater access to media in urban areas, but this remains something for further analysis.

In conclusion we can see how Museveni was successfully able to employ a stick and carrot approach to win the election, using both the suppression of voter turnout and valid votes in opposition areas alongside the creation of new districts and patronage more generally in rural areas as means to win him yet another 5-year term in office.

(Via The Monkey Cage.)

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Uganda | 68% mot 27% i valget. The Economist rapporterer.

Representanter fra EU erklærte valget i Uganda for et fredfylt valg.

The old man of Kampala, The Economist:

THE streets in Kampala today were peaceful; bored even after Uganda’s general election on February 18th. Just as Baobab predicted (though hardly the work of an oracle), President Yoweri Museveni won at a canter. His main opposition rival, Kizza Besigye, protested the results. Even that had a sense of ritual about it. Mr Besigye has now lost three times to Mr Museveni. He has neither the funds, the message, nor the popularity to trump «M7». According to the official tally, Mr Museveni won with 68% of the vote, with Mr Besigye trailing on 26%. For the president, the result was an improvement on the 57% he scored in 2006. And it came without the thuggish treatment of the opposition that made a mockery of that election. With a measly voter turnout, Mr Museveni appeared not to need ghost voters or local officials to fabricate results in his favour. But few doubt those mechanisms were in place. A popular uprising looks unlikely. The army and police are squarely behind Mr Museveni. Exit polls indicate that even younger Ugandans were mostly forgiving of the corruption and dithering that has stalled the country’s development. Mr Museveni is now the longest ever serving leader in east Africa, outlasting Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere. And he still has at least five more years to go.

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Valg 2011 Uganda | Førvalgsrapport fra LSE

Uganda holder valg i morgen, og vi overlater dekning til The Monkey Cage og gjesteblogger Elliott Green (Utvikningsstudiet)fra LSE:

2011 Ugandan Presidential Election: Pre-Election Report:

We are pleased to welcome Elliott Green, a Lecturer in Development Studies at the London School of Economics, with the following pre-election report on tomorrow’s Ugandan presidential elections.


President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni has just celebrated two important events: last year his reign overtook the tenure of all other presidents of Uganda combined, and last month he marked his 25th year in power. If he wins the national election scheduled for tomorrow and completes his term, he will surpass Ahmed Sékou Touré of Guinea, Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia and William Tubman of Liberia as one of the longest-ruling heads of state in modern Africa.

In other words, Museveni appears to be heading towards territory previously populated by Africa’s more notorious autocrats and dictators like Banda, Eyadéma, Houphouët-Boigny, Mobutu and Mugabe, among others. Yet this was not the way things were supposed to turn out when Museveni first assumed office in 1986, when Uganda was a country synonymous with Idi Amin and economic collapse. Indeed, in Museveni’s first ten years in office he oversaw significant poverty reduction, economic growth, decentralization, the creation of a new constitution adopted by a democratically elected constituent assembly and presidential and parliamentary elections in 1996. Museveni’s rule was – and still is – also marked by a very adept foreign policy, which has led to close relationships with both Clinton and Bush despite Museveni’s previous history as an African socialist. (In his 1996 book What is Africa’s Problem you can still find a 1981 speech where he praises guerrilla leaders like Castro and condemns the My Lai massacre.)

Since 1996, however, Museveni has increasingly focussed his attention away from economic development and towards his maintenance in power. Perhaps most notoriously, in 2005 the Ugandan Parliament overturned presidential term limits in an implicit quid pro quo for allowing the restoration of multi-party politics. But so far Museveni has managed multi-party politics well, in particular by creating numerous patronage opportunities which allow him to buy off potential opponents and gather electoral support. Thus with 71 members Uganda now has the third largest cabinet in the world after Kenya and North Korea, thereby allowing Museveni to reign in old colleagues (known as ‘historicals’ in Uganda) like Eriya Kategaya.

But a large cabinet cannot deliver votes at election time: for that Museveni has relied upon the creation of new districts – the highest level of local government – which I have written about in more detail elsewhere (gated; ungated). When Museveni assumed power there were 33 districts, with 56 by 2000, 80 by 2006 and 111 today. Such has been the pace that Ugandans have invented a new word – districtization – for the process. While the government has claimed that new districts lead to better service delivery I found no evidence for their claims (in terms of health or education); I did find, however, that citizens in new districts have tended to vote more for Museveni and his party than in older districts across the 1996, 2001 and 2006 elections. Moreover, as would be suggested by political science literature on patronage and clientelism, Museveni has created more districts as his electoral support has dropped over time, with five districts created in the five years before the 1996 election compared to 16 in 1996-2001, 24 in 2001-2006 and 31 in 2006-2011.

What makes district creation so attractive to Museveni as a patronage device is that they provide a large set of new government, construction and NGO jobs at the local level while not threatening his rule in Kampala. Thus, while Uganda recently surpassed Russia (with 83 federal subjects) as having the largest number of highest-level local government units in the world, the number of MPs per citizen in Uganda is lower than in nearby countries like Chad, Rwanda, Sudan, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the future state of South Sudan. The fact that district creation is a win-win situation for both the administration as well as voters has made Uganda merely the most extreme example of a large set of African countries that have created new local government units within a year or two of elections, including the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ghana most recently.

This shift within Uganda from a regime previously concentrated on spurring economic growth and strengthening democratic institutions towards one focussed on the creation of patronage has at least two implications for tomorrow’s election. First and most obviously, what makes patronage so powerful as an election strategy is that Museveni is the only candidate who can credibly commit to continue the flow of patronage if he wins. Indeed, Idi Amin created a large number of new local governments in the 1970s only to see many of them disappear after he was overthrown; moreover, inasmuch as donors such as USAID and the World Bank have long criticized the creation of new districts (and patronage and corruption more generally) it is an open question what would happen to the new districts if Museveni were to lose.

Secondly and finally, the government’s rationale behind district creation has in part been tied to Uganda’s incredibly high population growth, which means that there are the same number of citizens per district today as in 1974. But population growth has had profound consequences in other areas as well, most importantly in terms of spurring internal migration from higher-density areas towards lower-density areas and thereby provoking numerous local conflicts over land ownership. Far from attempting to encourage lower population growth, Museveni has in fact done the opposite, going so far as to praise the fact that Uganda’s population doubled during his first 19 years in office. Thus far population growth and local land conflicts have remained largely absent from national politics but they were a key focus for the US administration in one wikileaks cable and, if Kenya’s political history has any lessons for Uganda, then perhaps it is merely a matter of time before the link between local land conflicts and national politics establishes itself in Uganda as well.

(Via The Monkey Cage.)

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Valg i Uganda om 5. Bare så du vet.

Via Chris Blattman, en påminnelse:

Uganda goes to the polls in 5 days:

There’s little doubt that Museveni will win. But with every election that passes, I get a little more worried about the temperature of the country.

Polls are showing the main opposition candidate, Besigye, far, far behind Museveni. One reason is that Uganda has been doing well under Museveni (at least if you live in the southern half). Another, of course, is the incessant interference with the opposition’s campaign.

But Richard Vokes, a SOAS anthropologist, has an excellent blog piece on Besigye’s strategic missteps. There are too many points to quote easily. It should be read.

Andrew Mwenda, as usual, has a nice piece on why Besigye is probably the wrong candidate for a Uganda:

Uganda’s political terrain is changing to new ways that are rendering Kizza Besigye, just like Museveni, a relic of the past. The era of armed struggle is giving way to the era of street protest. Born of the former, Besigye seems ill-equipped to lead the new struggle. Both he and Museveni believe that the military gives an incumbent decisive advantage. But as Tunisia (and Yugoslavia, Ukraine, Philippines, Peru, Indonesia, South Korea, Chile etc before it) has shown, no army can defeat a people’s revolution when its time has come.

Therefore, if Besigye intends to adapt and lead successful street protests, he has to recognise that Museveni can only fall because he has transformed Uganda, not because he has kept it backward.

Also see Mwenda’s podcasts on the same site.

(Via Chris Blattman.)

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En post om Sør-Sudan | Her er tallene fra Cameron Wimpy, Texas A&M

Southern Sudan
For en stund siden la vi merke til Cameron Wimpy, en doktorgradsstudent ved Texas A&M, som kommenterte om Sør-Sudan. Han er tilbake med tallmateriale, og tall liker vi:

Southern Sudan Referendum on Secession: Post-Plebiscite Report: «

We are pleased to welcome back Cameron Wimpy, a Ph.D. candidate in political science at Texas A&M, with a post-election report on the Southern Sudanese referendum on secession as part of our continuing series of election reports. He was in Southern Sudan during the referendum as an observer while simultaneously conducting survey research. He also blogged about his impressions of Southern Sudan and the referendum process. and wrote a pre-election report on the South Sudanese referendum for The Monkey Cage.


As widely expected, Southern Sudan overwhelmingly chose secession from the north, a union that has officially lasted 55 years as one independent state. There was little violence, and the international observing groups ruled the referendum free and fair. This is all quite amazing given the history of the country and the uneasy environment in the lead-up to the vote. This report focuses on the results of the vote and the remaining timeline before southern independence.

As for the vote totals, 99.57% of Southerners voted for secession. Other polling centers included eight diaspora countries and southerners living in the north. The totals for the diaspora countries were 98.55% for secession while the northern polling center reported a total of 55.65% for secession. This leaves the final vote at 98.83% for secession and 1.17% for unity. These results are displayed in the chart below. In all, a total of 3,851,994 Southern Sudanese voted out of 3,947,676 registered making a final turnout of 97.58% at the 2,893 polling locations. This information is from the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission official results.


The voting went smoothly in most locations. The major dark spot on the process was the unsealed fate of the Abyei region, and the subsequent violence among the groups living there. Otherwise most voters were quite jubilant, and many had tears. This was one of the more amazing scenes that I witnessed, but it was not entirely unique:


Almost all of the voting took place on the first day, with many voters standing in line for more than 12 hours before. The remaining six days saw voters trickle in a few at a time, and the lines were all but gone. Most voters thought it was an important statement to vote as early as possible. It is not every day that a vote can help create a new country and possibly reshape the layout of a continent.

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in 2005 calls for a six-month interim period after the completion of the plebiscite. This puts the likely date for a declaration of independence around 9 July. Among the issues of border demarcation and oil revenue sharing discussed in my previous report, are deciding on a governing structure and representational system. There is far from a consensus on what these should be, and divisions are already starting to form among southerners over how soon to plan for the first election after independence. The current autonomous Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) will steer the course for most of these processes, and it is reasonable to assume that it will continue governing the region for some time.

Preliminary results were released on 30 January, and the final results were announced on 7 February, which allowed for a brief period of possible appeals. Since the results went unchallenged, South Sudan is on the road to independence, and the world will have 193 independent nations (as recognized by the UN). Further concerns about interference by the government in Khartoum were alleviated Monday when President Omar al-Bashirofficially accepted the outcome. The future of Abyei, other border regions, Dafur, and the North (which has experienced some spillover from Arab protests in Egypt and Tunisia) remain unclear.

(Via The Monkey Cage.)


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