From Congo to Nigeria: A list of African sitting presidents defeated by opposition

In Africa, you would go for decades before hearing of a sitting president being ousted by an opposition leader in an election.

Yes the opposition leaders attract international headlines thanks to their relentless fights to free their countries from bad governance which result to various social economical challenges.

In Kenya for instance, no opposition leader has ever managed to defeat a sitting president since independence.

However, there are a few opposition soldiers across Africa, who have fought tooth and nail and succeeded in defeating the sitting presidents.

Take a look at some of the few opposition leaders.

  1. Adama Barrow defeated Yahya Jammeh in Gambia

Adama Barrow

On December 1st, 2016, Presidential elections were held in Gambia and in a surprise result, Adama Barrow an opposition candidate trounced long-term incumbent Yahya Jammeh, marking the first change of presidency in the country since 1994.

2. Akufo-Addo defeated John Mahama in Ghana



Still in 2016, Akufo-Addo defeated incumbent John Mahama in a hotly contested presidential election.

Akufo-Addo, the son of a former president, had lost three runs for the presidency before — in 1998, 2008 and 2012.
3. Buhari defeated Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria


In March 2015, Nigeria held one of the most expensive elections in Africa where opposition leader, Buhari defeated Goodluck Jonathan by more than 2.5 million votes.

The election also marked the first time an incumbent president had lost re-election in Nigeria.
Michael Sata defeated Rupiah Banda in Zambia

michael sata
michael sata

After ten years in opposition, Sata trounced incumbent Rupiah Banda to win Zambia’s presidential election in September 2011.
4. Felix Tshisekedi defeated Joseph Kabila in DRC Congo

Felix Tshisekedi wins DR Congo's presidential election
Felix Tshisekedi wins DR Congo’s presidential election

In the recent concluded elections, Opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi won the Democratic Republic of Congo’s tightly contested presidential vote.

Provisional results put him ahead of another opposition candidate Martin Fayulu, and the ruling coalition’s Emmanuel Chaudhary.

Tshisekedi became the first opposition challenger to win since the DR Congo gained independence.

40 Opposition Leaders Set To Join Jubilee Party On Saturday – Duale

After weathering turbulence, Jubilee Party is strapped in for first-class takeoff on Saturday, unveiling its eight-story, high-security headquarters in Pangani and ensuring all systems are go.

According to The Star, The three-day launch from Thursday through Saturday, involving more than 123,000 delegates has been reported to cost at least Sh2 billion. Insiders scoff, calling the figure too high, without elaborating.

There will be a drama of defections from the opposition:

Yesterday, National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale disclosed that five governors and more than 35 Cord MPs will defect to the Jubilee Party on Saturday during the National Delegates Conference at Kasarani.

Speaking at Parliament Buildings, Duale said JP will welcome Governors Salim Mvurya (ODM Kwale), Hussein Dado, (Wiper Tana River), Issa Timamy (UDF Lamu), Simon Kachapin, (Kanu West Pokot) and Ukur Yatani (ODM (Marsabit).

Duale said 35 MPs and senators from Cord affiliates will defect on the same day.

“We expect a number of our brothers and sisters from Coast, Kisii and parts of Western regions to join us. Our essence is to make sure that jubilee is a party for all Kenyans,” he said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta will be setting the tone for his re-election campaign as he launches the mega party at Kasarani. It is to be an amalgamation of 13 affiliate outfits.

His “Tuko Pamoja” campaign message — branded everywhere, from buildings to 47 leased SUVs to T-shirts — emphasises the unity of Kenyans “moving together to achieve development and transformation”.

-The Star