By Nangayi Guyson in Kampala, Uganda
In Africa, during or after elections, what you expect is always chaos mired with killings, torture, intimidation and brutal arrests of voters and the opposition leaders.
But the US elections which have just ended should be any example of real Democracy to most of the African leaders who followed this election campaigns since it started between President Barack Obama of the Democrats and his main Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Most of the African leaders who followed this peaceful election process were left stunned and hushed awe set upon them with no word to say but just to congratulate Obama and his challenger Mitt Romney in the previous elections.
When western and African elections are compared, one should come to the conclusion that there is no democracy in Africa and it has never existed before. As it is well known, Democracy is a means for the people to choose their leaders and to hold them accountable for their policies and their conduct in office.
The people decide who will represent them in parliament, and who will head the government at the national and local levels. They do so by choosing between competing parties in regular, free and fair elections. Democracy as a system of government with its four key elements is a political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections, it also allows active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life, Protection of the human rights of all citizens and introduction of rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens.
In Countries where true democracy exists, the people are sovereign—they are the highest form of political authority, Power flows from the people to the leaders of government, who hold power only temporarily. Laws and policies require majority support in parliament, but the rights of minorities are protected in various ways. The people are free to criticize their elected leaders and representatives, and to observe how they conduct the business of government. Elected representatives at the national and local levels listen to the people and respond to their needs and suggestions.
Comparing the western to African Elections and sighting an example of recently US elections campaigns, using the Victory speech of President Barrack Obama after being re-elected, can tell that democracy exists in US. The speech values and gives back power to the ordinary people. Below is President Barack Obama’s speech;
“Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward.
It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people.
Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come.
I want to thank every American who participated in this election, whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time. By the way, we have to fix that. Whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone, whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference.
I just spoke with Governor Romney and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard-fought campaign. We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future. From George to Lenore to their son Mitt, the Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service and that is the legacy that we honour and applaud tonight. In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Governor Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward.” And Mitt Romney also admitted his own defeat and congratulated President Barack Obama on winning a second presidential term to become the second democratic president and accepts to work together with the president.
But if this was in Africa such democracy would have not been shown, bloodshed, fighting, killings, protests and arrests could have been the order of the day.
When will African nations learn to copy such Democracy and practice it in their countries? In Uganda my Country, after elections, a lot happened here. People were killed and others faced arrests. In Kenya also, there was post elections violence which left thousands killed.
If African leaders were wise, they would use last US campaigns as lesson to true democracy but because of greedy, they will always remain like that.
God have mercy upon