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19 Aug 2011 description

Rwanda, with a population of 11 million, is a constitutional republic dominated by a strong presidency. In August voters elected President Paul Kagame to a second seven-year term with 93.1 percent of the vote.

08 Apr 2011 description

Kenya is a republic with a population of approximately 40 million. It currently has a strong president and a prime minister with unclearly defined executive powers. There is a unicameral national assembly. In 2007 the government held local, parliamentary, and presidential elections. Observers judged the parliamentary and local elections to be generally free and fair. In the presidential election, the incumbent, President Mwai Kibaki, was proclaimed the winner by a narrow margin under controversial circumstances.

08 Apr 2011 description

Somalia has an estimated population of seven million. The territory, which was recognized as the Somali state from 1960 to 1991, fragmented into regions led in whole or in part by three distinct entities: the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in Mogadishu, the self-declared Republic of Somaliland in the northwest, and the semiautonomous region of Puntland in the northeast. The TFG was formed in late 2004, with a five-year transitional mandate to establish permanent, representative governmental institutions and organize national elections.

08 Apr 2011 description

Eritrea is a one-party state that became independent in 1993 after its citizens voted for independence from Ethiopia, following 30 years of civil war. The People's Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), previously known as the Eritrean People's Liberation Front, is the sole political party and has controlled the country since 1991. The country's president, Isaias Afwerki, who heads the PFDJ and the armed forces, dominated the country. The government continued to postpone general elections which have not taken place since independence in 1993.

08 Apr 2011 description

Yemen, with a population of approximately 23 million, is a republic whose law provides for presidential election by popular vote from among at least two candidates endorsed by parliament. In 2006 citizens reelected President Ali Abdullah Saleh to another seven-year term in a generally open and competitive election, but one characterized by multiple problems with the voting process and the use of state resources on behalf of the ruling party. Saleh has led the country since 1978. The president appoints the prime minister, who is the head of government.

08 Apr 2011 description

Mozambique has a democratic constitution and an estimated population of 22.4 million. President Armando Guebuza was reelected in October 2009 in a contest criticized by several national and international observers, including the EU and the Commonwealth, as lacking a "level playing field" and faulted for lacking transparency, integrity, impartiality, and independence.

08 Apr 2011 description

Lesotho is a constitutional monarchy with a population of 1.88 million. Under the constitution, the king is head of state but does not actively participate in political activities. The prime minister is head of government and has executive authority. In the 2007 election, the governing Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) party retained a majority of seats in the legislature; domestic and international observers characterized the election as free and peaceful.

07 Apr 2011 description

Ethiopia is a federal republic led by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). The population is estimated at 82 million. In the May national parliamentary elections, the EPRDF and affiliated parties won 545 of 547 seats to remain in power for a fourth consecutive five-year term. In simultaneous elections for regional parliaments, the EPRDF and its affiliates won 1,903 of 1,904 seats.