23: Resolution on Electoral Process and Participatory Governance

The African Commission at its 19th Ordinary Session held from 26th March to 4th April at Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso:

Having taken note of the report on recent elections in the Republic of Benin,

Taking note of the report on the smooth organisation of elections in the Comoros Islands,

Further noting the satisfactory manner in which the Presidential Elections were held in the Republic of Sierra Leone:

1. Asserts that elections are the only means by which the people can elect democratically the government of their choice in conformity to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights;

2. Commends the governments and the peoples of the Republic of Benin, the Comoros and the Republic of Sierra Leone for having organised successfully, free and fair elections and hopes that their example will encourage and motivate other countries in transition to democratic rule;

3. Emphasises that it is the duty of State parties to the Charter to take the necessary measures to preserve and protect the credibility of the electoral process. This measures should include the presence of national and international observers during the elections and guarantee access to the electoral process and personal safety to enable them to fulfil their mission and prepare their report on elections in a proper manner;

4. Further emphasises it is the responsibility of State parties to provide electoral commissions and other organs entrusted with the task of organising elections in their countries with adequate material resources and any items necessary for the preparation and holding of elections;

5. Reaffirms the importance of African countries and institutions to participate in observation of elections in State parties; and reasserts its willingness to place at the disposal of States parties and other institutions its expertise and that of its members in observing elections.