Sept. 10, 2015 Weekly Graphs
The pictured graph captures the changes in electoral democracy across the regions of Africa and the Middle East from 1980 until 2012. The most notable increase has been in West Africa beginning in the early 1990s due to electoral reforms and the adoption of more democratic constitutions in countries such as Benin and Ghana. Similarly, the return of civilian rule to Nigeria in 1999 and the end of the civil war in Sierra Leone in 2002 has further contributed to electoral democratization in West Africa. A marked increase in electoral democracy is also visible in Southern Africa during the same period. This can largely be attributed to the reintroduction of multiparty elections in Zambia in 1991 and the end of apartheid in South Africa in 1994.Initial increases in Central Africa largely mirrored the brief period of competitive multiparty elections in the Republic of Congo from 1992 to 1997.East Africa and Middle East/North Africa have experienced a modest increase in electoral democracy beginning in the early 90s such that by 2012 they are not far below Southern and Central Africa.