Emerging trends in Africa’s electoral processes

Emerging trends in Africa’s electoral processes

The quest for competitive elections in Africa, with the modest gains made since the 1990s towards deepening
democratisation, continues to underpin the continent’s efforts to create stable and growing democracies. Since the post-Cold War transition from single-party to multiparty systems, most African countries have embraced elections as their preferred option for power transfer. Drawing especially on AU election observation mission reports, this policy briefing examines trends emerging from elections held in 2015 and 2016, and calls for extensive structural, legal and policy reforms. It argues that adherence to and implementation of the AU treaty and non-treaty standards for democratic elections are key to further strengthening electoral processes in Africa.
 
Recommendations:
  • the AU in collaboration with RECs should develop guidelines for constitutional revisions to give effect to Article 10 of the ACDEG
  • electoral calendars must be respected and changes must be mutually agreed by all stakeholders to protect the sanctity of electoral processes
  • inter- and intra-political party dialogues remain key in safeguarding electoral democracy and deepening political pluralism in AU member states
  • governments should develop and adopt social media codes of conduct for elections to protect the fundamental rights to access to information and expression
  • political parties should undertake reforms to address structural exclusion and guarantee equal participation of young people, women and other marginalised groups in political and electoral processes
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