Ghana is a west African state bordering Côte d'Ivoire to the east. From the time of the CIA-backed coup of 1966 until the promulgation of the constitution of 1992, Ghana saw its share of political and economic instability. However, since the end of the Cold War, its politics have been marked by stability and democratic transitions.
Did the sixth democratic election continue the trend?
Kosovo. Scotland. Puerto Rico. Catalonia? Perhaps this wealthy region of Spain will be the next to hold a referendum on independence. With a parliament heavily skewed towards separatists, it looks likely. Predictably, Spain is not pleased. It is interesting that the European Union may decide the future of Catalan independence.
What role does the European Union play here?
Sierra Leone held its third presidential election (and first self-administered) since the end of the civil war that pitted the north against the south. As with all civil wars, they are not truly civil. The end is not the end. Wounds linger. Loyalties do not die.
How do the results of this election illustrate these points?
Sierra Leone just held their third general election since the end of their decade-long civil war. This was also the second general election since UN peacekeeping forces withdrew (UNAMSIL). In 2007, Ernest Bai Koroma campaigned to end corruption and to continue the healing process in Sierra Leone. He has more work to do. In a State with a shallow history of democracy, coming off a civil war, elections tend to be violent affairs.
How did things go this time?
Japan is a typical parliamentary democracy. The chief of state is isolated from electoral concerns. The head of government is not. Emperor Akihito is Japan's 125th emperor. Prime Minister Noda is Japan's 62nd premier. He has held that position since Naoto Kan resigned in September 2011. Yoshihiko Noda dissolved the lower house of the Diet and has announced elections for December 16, 2012.
How will his party fare?