Politics & Policy

Heroes Of Democracy: Top 5 Incumbent African Presidents Who Conceded Defeat After An Election [View List]

The singular act of President Goodluck Jonathan after the presidential elections on Saturday has elevated him to the status of a statesman, not only in Nigeria, but Africa where such action is a rarity.

In a post on Nairaland, one of the users on the forum with the moniker, “crown prince” lists 5 presidents in Africa that has towed the same line in the past. The profile of each president, is updated with information from Wikipedia. Read below:

1. ADEN ABDULLAH OSMAN DAAR (SOMALIA): Aden Daar is a Somali politician popularly known as Aden Adde. He was the first President of Somalia, serving from July 1, 1960 to June 10, 1967. Daar joined the incipient Somali Youth League (SYL) political party in 1944, a nationalist organization that campaigned for an independent Somalia. Quickly rising through the ranks, he became the local secretary of the SYL’s Beledweyne branch in 1946.

A decade later, he became Chairman of the National Legislative Assembly, and would eventually lead the SYL itself two years afterwards. By the time Somalia gained its independence in 1960, Daar had attained widespread prominence as a nationalist figure.

African Presidents Who Are 'Heroes' Of Democracy

In short order, he was elected the country’s first President, a position he would assume from 1960 to 1967. Fellow SYL member Haji Bashir Ismail Yusuf would serve as the first President of the Somali National Assembly on 1 July 1960.

In the 1967 presidential election, Daar was defeated by Abdirashid Ali Shermarke, his former Prime Minister. His term as president ended on June 10, 1967. Daar accepted the loss graciously, making history as the first head of state in Africa to peacefully hand over power to a democratically elected successor.

2. KENNETH DAVID KAUNDA (ZAMBIA): Kenneth Kaunda served as the first President of Zambia, from 1964 to 1991. He was at the forefront of the struggle for independence from British rule. Dissatisfied with Nkumbula’s leadership of the African National Congress, he broke away and founded the Zambian African National Congress, later becoming the head of the United National Independence Party.

He was the first President of the independent Zambia. From 1968, all political parties except UNIP were banned. At the same time, Kaunda oversaw the acquisition of majority stakes in key foreign-owned companies.

African Presidents Who Are 'Heroes' Of Democracy

The oil crisis of 1973 and a slump in export revenues put Zambia in a state of economic crisis. International pressure forced Kaunda to change the rules that had kept him in power.

This actually led to a Multi-party elections in 1991, in which Frederick Chiluba, the leader of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy won. Kuanda being the leader of Zambia since independence could have rigged or might have not taken the outcome of the election. Kaunda surprised the world by stepping down for Frederick Chiluba in 1991.

3. RUPIAH BWEZANI BANDA (ZAMBIA): Rupiah Banda is a Zambian politician who was President of Zambia from 2008 to 2011. During the Presidency of Kenneth Kaunda, Banda held important diplomatic posts and was active in politics as a member of the United National Independence Party(UNIP).

Years later, he was appointed as Vice-Presidentby President Levy Mwanawasa in October 2006, following the latter’s re-election. He took over Mwanawasa’s presidential responsibilities after Mwanawasa suffered a stroke in June 2008, and following Mwanawasa’s death in August 2008, he became acting President. As the candidate of the governing Movement for Multiparty Democracy(MMD), he narrowly won the October 2008 presidential election, according to official results.

African Presidents Who Are 'Heroes' Of Democracy

Opposition leader Michael Sata defeated Banda in the September 2011 presidential election, and Sata accordingly succeeded Banda as President on 23 September 2011. In his concession speech, outgoing President Banda noted that, the people of Zambia had spoken through the democratic process and there was the need to obey it.“The time now is for maturity, for composure and for compassion. To the victors, I say this: you have the right to celebrate but do so with a magnanimous heart. Enjoy the hour but remember that a term of government is for years. He stated.

4. ABDOULAYE WADE (SENEGAL):  In July 2008, the National Assembly approved a constitutional amendment increasing the length of the presidential term to seven years, as it was prior to the adoption of the 2001 constitution.

This extension would not apply to Wade’s 2007–2012 term, but Minister of Justice Madické Niangstressed on this occasion that Wade could potentially run for re-election in 2012 if he was still healthy. On January 27, 2012, Abdoulaye Wade was officially approved by the Constitutional Council to run for a highly controversial third and last term.

African Presidents Who Are 'Heroes' Of Democracy

Following this declaration, enraged mobs engaged in violent protests throughout the city. After the first round vote, Abdoulaye Wade acknowledged on 27 February 2012 that he had failed to win a majority in the election and would have to face a run-off.

He subsequently lost the second round of voting, held on 25 March 2012, to the opposition candidate Macky Sall; Sall had received the backing of all of the candidates who were defeated in the first round, and he defeated Wade by a wide margin. Wade conceded defeat and Sall succeeded Wade as President on 2 April 2012.

5.GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN (NIGERIA):  Before he entered politics in 1998, he worked as an education inspector, lecturer, and environmental-protection officer. He contested for Nigerian 2015 presidential election which he lost to former dictator, General Muhammadu Buhari.

African Presidents Who Are 'Heroes' Of Democracy

He conceded defeat in a competitive election and became the first sitting Nigerian president to do so. Prior to his role as President, he served as Governor of Bayelsa State from 2005 to 2007 and as Vice-President of Nigeria from 2007 to 2010.

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