Democratic Transition in Madagascar, Malawi, and Mozambique
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The 1990s marked an optimistic era in Africa’s political history. After nearly three decades of authoritarian rule, often characterized by “political repression, corruption, human rights abuses, and economic mismanagement,” leaders of various African nations finally participated in multi-party elections. Since then, these countries have faced a daunting challenge; transitioning from a simple electoral to a consolidated democracy. This thesis examines three specific sub-Saharan countries: Madagascar, Malawi, and Mozambique. All three nations have experienced a democratic transition and nearly two decades of open elections consisting of different competing parties. So how have they fared? Should we now consider them consolidated democracies? When examining three pivotal facets used in assessing the quality of democracy: elections, political parties and civil society; it is apparent that there still are pitfalls existent in their paths towards consolidation. Though all three countries have completed great strides in political liberalization, the gap between electoral democracy and consolidated democracy has not been bridged.