183: Resolution on the Electoral Process and Participative Governance in the Republic of Benin

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, (the African Commission), meeting in its 9th Extraordinary Session held from 23 February to 3 March 2011, in Banjul, The Gambia:

Recalling its mandate to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights on the African continent pursuant to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter);

Considering that elections represent the sole means by which every citizen can democratically express himself in conformity with the provisions of Article 13 of the African Charter which stipulates that: Every citizen shall have the right to participate freely in the Government of his country, either directly or through freely chosen representatives in accordance with the provisions of the law;

Recalling its Resolutions:ACHPR/Res.23(XIX)96 on the Electoral Process and Participative Governance in Africa, adopted at its 19th Ordinary Session, held from 26 March to 4 April 1996 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; ACHPR /Res.133 (XXXXIIII) 08 on Elections in the African Countries adopted at its 44th Ordinary Session held from 10 to 24 May 2008 in Abuja, Nigeria; and ACHPR /Res.164 (XLVII) 2010 on Elections in Africa, adopted at its 47th Ordinary Session held from 12 to 26 May 2008 in Banjul, The Gambia;

Considering the AU/OAU Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa, adopted on 8 July 2002 within the framework of the 38th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the OAU which was held in Durban, in South Africa;

Having taken note of the situation which prevails in the Republic of Benin regarding the current electoral process and the danger of the democratic achievements being called into question with the spectre of social conflicts;

Concerned about the restrictions noted by the citizens on their political rights and the current reluctance of the Authorities to embark on appropriate measures to remedy this situation;

Further concerned about the lack of collaboration between the political actors in the establishment of the institutions responsible for directing and supervising the next elections;

Invites the Government of Benin to guarantee the political right to vote and elect the leaders of their choice for all Beninese citizens;

Further invites the Government of Benin to take appropriate measures to preserve the credibility of the electoral process and social peace;

Invites all the political actors to show restraint and to engage constructive dialogue aimed at creating a conducive environment for credible, transparent and peaceful elections;

Calls on ECOWAS and the African Union to monitor the development of the political situation in Benin and to support the Government and other Beninese political actors in the successful organization of the elections.

Done in Banjul, The Gambia, 1st March 2011.