An alliance of opposition parties and civil society groups organized peaceful demonstrations in opposition to the regime, which were often violently suppressed. Local elections have been postponed since 1987 and were again indefinitely postponed in December 2018.

Public investment in infrastructure and increases in agricultural productivity had been the key drivers of economic growth. However, growth remains vulnerable to external shocks and was overshadowed by increasing interpersonal and regional inequality, and extreme poverty.

The commitment of the government to democratization and consolidation of public finances vis-à-vis the donor community conflicts with the determination of the president and his followers to remain in power whatever the cost.

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