Viewing African Presidencies Concretely and Positively: Six Case-Studies as Examples
There have been vast criticisms of presidential government, to the extent that it has been widely suggested that such a system of government should not be practised, because of repeated irregularities and break ups (military coups in particular). This view has been particularly stressed in relation to Latin America since the nineteenth century and in Africa since the second half of the twentieth where the large majority of post war-world 2 ex-colonial countries adopted the presidential system. Despite the criticisms made against them, the great value of presidential systems stems from the fact that they stress the importance of the leadership of chief executives.
As a matter of fact, it is not the case that presidential systems are always irregular: not just the US presidential system, but, both in Latin America and increasingly in Africa, irregularities in presidential duration and rule are markedly diminishing.
The paper examines thus the case of one president in six of the forty-two presidential African countries – Benin, Botswana, Mozambique, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda. In four of these, the sequence of presidents has been entirely regular and, in the other two (Benin and Uganda), the presidents analysed succeeded in stabilising political life in their country and in overcoming the major political difficulties which had been experienced previously. The part played by the selected presidents is analysed in the paper.
KeywordsAfrican Country Presidential Election Political Life Party System Military Coup
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