n African Renaissance - Conflicting stories and contending images of Africa

Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305


On January 30, 2007 the African Union, at the Eighth Ordinary Session of its Assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, adopted the "African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance". One of the objectives of the Charter is to "Promote the holding of regular free and fair elections to institutionalize legitimate authority of representative government as well as democratic change of government" (chap. 2, art. 2-3). It stipulates in article 25-4 that the "Perpetrators of unconstitutional changes shall not be allowed to participate in elections to restore the democratic order or hold any position of responsibility in political institutions of their State". And it defines "unconstitutional change of government" that would "draw appropriate sanctions by the Union" as, , "Any refusal by an incumbent government to relinquish power to the winning party or candidate after free, fair and regular elections; or any amendment or revision of the constitution or legal instruments, which is an infringement on the principles of democratic change of government" (art. 23-4 & 5).

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