Nairobi/Dar es Salaam — Ugandan legislators brawl over a bill that could create a president-for-life. Tanzania arrests legislators and shutters newspapers. And as Kenya tries to rerun a botched election, a ruling party leader says what the country really needs is a benevolent dictator. East African democracy is not in the best of health. As unrest and crackdowns plague some of the region’s largest economies, home to various levels of political freedom, the situation is adding to uncertainty in a part of the world already rocked by Burundi’s two-year crisis over presidential term limits and conflict in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. "It is a tough time in the region," said Nic Cheeseman, professor of democracy at the University of Birmingham in England. "Democracy is under threat." Rising authoritarianism conflicts with the official attitude of the six-nation East African Community (EAC) to which Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda belong and that touts democracy as a guara...

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