Democratising elections without parties: reflections on the case of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic

Wilson, Alice (2010) Democratising elections without parties: reflections on the case of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic. The Journal of North African Studies, 15 (4). pp. 423-438. ISSN 1362-9387

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Abstract

Like many liberation movements, the Polisario Front has long aspired to the practice of democracy. In recent years, however, some observers of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) have come to question the absence of multiple parties in elections and political life. The Polisario Front and many Sahrawi hold that a multi-party system can only be introduced after an act of self-determination and that in the meantime, the SADR enjoys participatory democracy. This paper argues that the gap between scepticism about and confidence in the SADR's democracy arises from different interpretations of democracy, and that the SADR is a suggestive reminder of how the principles of democracy can be pursued through multiple interpretations. Yet the gap between the two positions also reflects a process of ongoing democratisation in the SADR, a recent phase of which can be observed in the 2008 legislative elections.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: democracy, democratisation, elections, Western Sahara
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Depositing User: Alice Wilson
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 13:56
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2017 15:29
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/70253
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