Elections will establish a superfluous element of democracy in post war countries. Yet, the impact of early elections on post-conflict stability is the subject of sharp debate. While some argue that having elections soon after war facilitates peace among the warring parties. Others including the author of this article suggest that it will undermine genuine democracy and trigger a renewal in aggression. In this piece therefore, I will argue that holding of elections soon in post war countries assuming they reach a peace deal ( I mean real peace deal please!), generally increases the likelihood of rehabilitated fighting.
I am already aware of possible, favorable conditions, including, demobilization, peacekeeping, power sharing , executive and judicial institutions, that may mitigate this risk. Conversely, I suggest that, we first attempt to reconcile the extant parties that have taken the war aggressively? We can do this successfully by looking at quantitative analysis of all civil wars ending across the globe.
Democracy advocates, favor early elections in countries emerging from violent conflict so long as warring parties do not fight each other and incline to settle internal disagreements peacefully, these activists have reasoned that democratic transitions yield peace, the sooner the better. “It is the practice of democracy that makes a nation ready for democracy,” according to U.S former President George W. Bush, “and every nation can start on this path.”
However, to be Skeptical, I must claim that early elections in post war countries especially in the third world countries may reignite violence by endowing former warriors rather than liberal, programmatic politicians. Early elections, may take place when the rule of law is strong, making it more likely that elections will not suffer from irregularities, candidates will not resort to illiberal anti-elitist appeals, and losers will not trash to accept the results calmly. For these reasons, I recommend shelving fully competitive elections until some progress has been made in strengthening the institutions needed to make democracy work, including competent national bureaucracies, independent courts, professionalized media, and functioning neutral electoral commission.
Effective intervening institutional reforms can help new pro-reform actors come to power. Power sharing agreements comfort both sides that they will have a place in government, dropping the chances of them discarding the election results and returning to war. Based on this then, there is need to form a neutral interim government to start immediately when real peace deal is agreed upon . And there is need to maintain the legitimately elected politicians and replace the appointed ones by members from the opposition groups till when the term of the “legitimate government” comes to an end then purely new interim government be formed that must bring people from all sorts of political lives of the particular country. Otherwise it will be unconstitutional for elected government to continue for another term after as well as it is undemocratic to dissolve it before its term in office ends.
I always applaud Indeed the international actors for the help in creating conditions in the first place by pressing warring to reach settlements before one side has defeated the other which straight looks a nightmare always. Let’s test our argument using an original dataset of all post-civil-war elections that occurred between 1945 and 2008. It will otherwise be a democratic voluntary suicide to rush for elections without examining critically its impact.
Established democracy passes a multitude of remunerations, including but not limited to international peace among democracies, native peace within them, regime solidity, economic prosperity, and human rights. The road to, democracy is often violence-ridden, however. Thus, the post conflict nations need to begin emphasis on understanding how they can reach the end goal of democracy while curtailing the risk of violence along the way. Holding elections too soon after a civil war ends, generally increases the likelihood of a return to war.