- Mass actions have led to the downfall of long-time leaders who once appeared unassailable.
- Leaders of Bolivia, Algeria, Lebanon, Iraq and Sudan were pushed out by mass action.
On Monday, Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition leader Raila Odinga will lead his troops in countrywide protests against President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza government.
The Azimio chief hopes the resistance procession will culminate in the rejection of Ruto’s administration.
Raila has accused the current regime of failing to live up to its promises and asserts that Kenyans ought to unite and resist it.
“We have no more patience... We begin telling them that we can’t keep living on false promises and that when we keep taking painkillers long enough, you will cease killing the pain.”
“Kenya is ripe for the people’s movement for the defence of democracy. The process begins today, here and now, Ruto must go!” he said on March 9, 2023.
Street protests have been used to demand the removal of corrupt governments, better living standards, greater freedoms and more rights.
In some parts of the world, they have led to the downfall of long-time leaders who once appeared unassailable.
Leaders of Bolivia, Algeria, Lebanon, Iraq and Sudan were pushed out by mass action.
A wave of protests swept through several countries in 2019, pushing leaders out of office.
In Bolivia, Socialist President Evo Morales bowed to pressure from demonstrators and quit on November 10 after 14 years in power. Protesters had accused Morales of rigging the elections.
Countrywide protests pushed Lebanon’s Saad al-Hariri to resign in October 2019.
Demonstrators blame for widespread corruption and mismanagement, amid the country’s worst economic and financial crisis in decades.
Close home, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir joined a growing list of African leaders forced out of office by the power of the people.
In April 2019, al-Bashir stepped down after months of protests against his rule. Protests began in December over rising food costs but quickly expanded to challenge to al-Bashir’s hold on power.
Others who were affected include; Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, Algeria’s Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh.
In February 2011, a furious wave of protest swept Egypt. Mubarak resigned from power in February 2011 after 30 years of rule, sparking jubilation across the country.
Mubarak handed power to the army after 18 days of relentless rallies against poverty, corruption and repression.
In April 2019, Algerian president Bouteflika bowed to weeks of mass protests and army pressure, ending his 20-year rule.
Many protesters wanted a new generation of leaders to replace the elderly, secretive ruling elite seen by many as out of touch and unable to revive the economy.
In January 2017, Yahya Jammeh, the former Gambian president, left the country after 22 years of rule.
The authoritarian leader took power in a 1994 coup – but stepped down in the face of pressure from citizens and West African armies that entered the Gambia to force him to recognise that he lost an election to his competitor Adama Barrow.
Jammeh’s initially accepted defeat but later rejected the election result and declared a national state of emergency in an attempt to cling to power.
In April 2011, Ivory Coast’s Laurent Gbagbo surrendered power following a fierce assault by forces loyal to his presidential rival Alassane Ouattara.
Forces loyal to Ouattara stormed the residence of Laurent Gbagbo after refusing to cede power.
Gbagbo defied international pressure to give up the presidency after an election that United Nations certified results showed Ouattara won.