Many Ugandans – particularly women and young people – are excluded from entering and participating in politics because they cannot afford it.
Since independence in 1965, The Gambia has held periodic multi-party elections. But it had never registered an electoral turnover of power until December 2016 when independent presidential aspirant Adama Barrow, backed by seven opposition political parties, defeated the incumbent, Yahya Jammeh. Following the defeat of Jammeh – whose 22-year dictatorship was characterised by attacks on [...]
Politics on the island of Mauritius is considered a national sport, one which generates both passion and excitement among the population. However, much of what takes place remains behind closed doors or within private spheres. This culture of secrecy is most tangible when it comes to what is termed as ‘money politics’ - the undue [...]
Members of Parliament (MPs) in Kenya are amongst the highest paid in the world relative to the size of the economy. Parliamentary seats are among the most sought-after positions in society, bringing the holder wealth and social standing. In recent years, there has been an increasing trend whereby those in lucrative senior private sector positions [...]
A recent survey by WFD, Michigan State University (United States), Aarhus University (Denmark) and the Institute for Policy Interaction (Malawi) studied the costs of seeking and holding parliamentary office in Malawi.
From 31 January to 1 February 2017, Westminster Foundation for Democracy hosted 66 experts, academics and politicians from four countries in West Africa –Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Senegal –for WFD’s firstRegional Cost of Politics Conference. Together they addressed a major challenge in the region: how to stem the rising costs of engaging in politics [...]
This report aims to begin the process of examining issues around the cost of politics- with a view to identifying appropriate policy and other responses that both national authorities and civil society groups, and the donor community, can consider. WFD has conducted research in Ghana, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Nigeria, Uganda and Ukraine, examining the costs to [...]
In Senegal, parliamentary candidates are facing increasing costs linked to their investiture, their election and their legislature. Senegal has had a long history of multi-party elections. Except for the period from 1963 to 1976 when the country experienced a single-party system, elections have always been hotly contested since independence, and even during the colonial period beforehand. [...]
Sierra Leone has been making steady progress in consolidating democracy since emerging from a decade long civil war that spanned the 1990s. Four violence-free elections have been held since 1996 with a peaceful transfer of power starting in 2007. However, significant challenges that remain. Fifteen years after the end of the civil war, the country [...]
Money is crucial for political parties to implement activities during and in-between elections. In addition to other factors, candidates require funds for effective campaigns, which contribute to possible electoral victory. However, whether in established or new democracies, unregulated use of money, private or public, for politics, is capable of reversing the ethics, practices and spirit [...]