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AIDS rolls back democratic gains - report

A major study on the impact of HIV/AIDS on southern Africa's electorate says the pandemic threatens to roll back democratic gains in much of the region.

Countries are facing the added burden of replacing representatives who die, many of them from AIDS-related illnesses.

The Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA) report cites the example of Zambia, where 102 by-elections were held over an 18-year period, 59 of them due to death by disease.

Agence France-Presse quoted the co-author, Kondwani Chirambo, as saying: "The first-past-the-post electoral system, on which many southern African countries base elections, means that when an elected candidate resigns, gets expelled, or dies, a new by-election has to be held at great cost."

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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