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Sub-Saharan Democracy
Sub-saharan democracy

Zimbabwe's authoritarian President Robert Mugabe (center), refused to accept defeat during his country's disputed 2008 presidential election, setting a bad precedent, according to democracy advocates, for other African leaders seeking to retain power. After international condemnation, Mugabe agreed to appoint his opponent, Morgan Tsvangirai as prime minister. Like many of Africa's other post-independence dictators — so-called “Big Men” — Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe for 28 years as a one-party authoritarian.

Elections are supposed to choose one winner. But the presidential run-off in Ivory Coast last Nov. 28 left a bizarre predicament: Two candidates claimed victory. Each held an inauguration and appointed separate cabinets, leaving the lush West African country in limbo.

The farce continued after the country's electoral commission declared opposition leader and former ...

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