South Africa: We Should Be Grateful for Boring Elections

Voting day in the 2014 general election, Paradyskloof, Stellenbosch, South Africa.
analysis

Politics junkies and ordinary voters alike have been yawning that these elections have been the most boring to date. But having an election that offers a thrill a minute is not always a good idea.

There was this hot guy on Kenyan television a few days after that country's general election on 8 August 2017. His name was Ezra Chiloba and he was the chief electoral officer. It fell to him to read out all the results in all the constituencies. My female election observer companions and I took to making mirth about the man nicknamed "Chilobae".

But that election was no laughing matter. Chiloba was suspended and then sacked under a cloud soon after, and the rigged presidential election was annulled in an unprecedented and groundbreaking high court ruling.

That was an exciting election alright. There was the murder of the electoral commission's head of information, communication and technology, Christopher Msando, his body showing marks of torture and his finger cut off. There was talk that the fingerprint was needed to gain access to the electronic results.

Kenyans say the electioneering never really stopped, and just more than a year after President Uhuru Kenyatta's inauguration for a second term,...

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