n Institute for Security Studies Papers - Democratisation at the crossroads : challenges for the SADC principles and guidelines governing democratic elections

Volume 2005, Issue 118
  • ISSN : 1026-0404



This paper discusses the democratisation process in Southern Africa with special attention on elections. It focuses specifically on the relevance and significance of the principles and guidelines governing democratic elections recently adopted by SADC Heads of State and Government. Since the African Union (AU) adopted its guidelines on elections during its inaugural summit in Durban, South Africa in 2002, the first Regional Economic Community (REC) to emulate the continental body at the sub-regional level is the Southern African Development Community (SADC). SADC adopted an AU-inspired declaration around principles and guidelines for democratic elections during its summit held in Mauritius on the 17th August 2004. This is a significant political development broadly for the region's quest for institutionalised democratic governance and specifically for the inculcation of best election management practices and eradication of violent political conflicts.

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