Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy has operated since the 17th century. Elections may fill offices in the legislature, sometimes in the executive and judiciary, and for regional and local government.
It is important to distinguish between the form and the substance of elections. In some cases, electoral forms are present but the substance of an election is missing, as when voters do not have a free and genuine choice between at least two alternatives.
Which African country has never held an election?
Eritrea is a militarized authoritarian state that has not held a national election since independence from Ethiopia in 1993. The People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), headed by President Isaias Afwerki, is the sole political aparty. Arbitrary detention is commonplace, and citizens are required to perform national service, often for their entire working lives.
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