And for something somewhat less depressing, here’s my attempt at an alternate Central African political landscape.
Federation of Central Africa
The Federation of Central Africa, formerly French Equitorial Africa, obtained independence in 1959, when the colony voted to become fully independence of France as an independent whole rather than a collection of smaller states. The left-leaning APDU won the first general election in a thunderous landslide
and would continue governing the county for close to forty years after that as the dominant party in Central Africa politics.
Central Africa is still developing. It’s industry is still in in it’s infancy and its economy is booming. The major urban regions of the country are growing at a rapid pace and already, plans for new metro systems, the first in the region, are being drawn up to the complement the fraying and overcrowded city bus lines. Who knows what the future might hold for the continent’s most dynamic democracy?
Central Africa is a semi-presidential republic, with the President elected by popular vote and the Prime Minister usually the head of the largest governing party in the legislative chamber. The lower house of said chamber is the National Assembly. The National Assembly has a five year term and members are elected via the Single Transferable Vote for two-thirds of seats with the remaining third being elected through direct proportional voting. The upper house of the Federation Council, which represents the nations within Central Africa and is directly proportional, with somewhat more weight skewed towards the less populous nations such as Gabon.
All People’s Democratic Union
The party that liberated the nation from colonial rule and dominated national politics for nearly forty years post independence until it was defeated by the Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (AFD). The APDU is a catch-all, big tent centre-left party with factions ranging from democratic socialist to the technocratic centre. The party is the architect of much of the country’s political and legal system, responsible for the country’s largely permissive social policy. It was swept back into power amidst a surge of disapproval against the AFD following a wide-reaching corruption scandal. Most of the party’s constituents and voters are in the large cities and farming constituencies.
The party currently controls 268 of 415 seats in the National Assembly and 57 of 135 seats in the Federation Council.
Alliance for Freedom and Democracy
The centre-right opposition to the APDU, the AFD promotes pro-business policies that include slashing the corporate tax and expanding small business aid. The AFD was formed in 1977 by the National People’s Party, Democratic Party and the Progress Progress Party, along with several smaller civic and political groups. The coalition was relatively minor on the national political stage until it surprise general election of 2003 when they surged into second place, displacing the Liberty Party as the main opposition They would later go on to win power in the snap polls of 2006. While stunningly popular when it first entered power and retaining enough of that popularity to handily win re-election in the following general election, a series of deathly unpopular policy implementations cause theirs standing with the public to plummet and a wide reaching corruption scandal that plagued just about every elected member was the final straw and they were defeated in the 2011 General Election. They remain the primary opposition to the APDU and is popular in more affluent areas of the large cities and in the secondary towns and suburban regions.
The party currently controls 81 of 415 seats in the National Assembly and 35 of 135 seats in the Federation Council. The largest single component party is the Progress Party with 29 and 17 seats respectively.
Formed as an independent voice for the working class and the labour movement, the Liberty Party is represents socialist groups, trade unions and left-nationalist organizations throughout the country. Advocating for left-social democracy, the Liberty Party is in favour of a broad program of nationalization of the guiding forces of the economy, the implementation of living wage and the promotion of trade and vocational schools as an alternative to universities. The Liberty Party was until recently the main opposition party to the APDU when it was eclipsed by the AFD. It is most popular among union members, working class neighborhoods and farming co-operatives.
The party currently controls 58 of 415 seats in the National Assembly and 41 of 135 seats in the Federation Council.
Communist Party of Central Africa
Banned during the Cold War, the Communist Party was allowed to contest elections in the late 1990s as relations with the Communist bloc began to thaw and treade links were opened up with the Congolese Workers Republic and the Confederation of African Communes. Currently, the party is in a bit of an upswing, with leftists dissatisfied with both the Liberty Party and APDU joining them. Staunchly Marxist-Sverlovist and unwilling to join any of the other parties in coalition.
The party currently controls 7 of 415 seats in the National Assembly and 2 of 135 seats in the Federation Council.
National Republican Party
A far right nationalist movement, National Republican members have been accused of being responsible for a string of attacks on businesses owned by East Asian migrants and the vandalizing of local Communist Party offices. Their leader was recently elected in a by-election and polls show him holding strong, despite virtually all parties endorsing an independent “unity” candidate.
The party currently controls 1 of 415 seats in the National Assembly and none of 135 seats in the Federation Council.