AU urges member states to be proactive towards successful elections in Africa

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-30 23:51:58|Editor: Yurou
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ADDIS ABABA, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) has urged its member states to be proactive and take necessary measures towards the conduct of successful electoral process and also address the possible post-election disputes.

In its latest meeting, the Peace and Security Council of the 55-member pan-African bloc has deliberated on elections in Africa within the period spanning from January to December, 2019, according to an AU statement on Friday.

The Council heard reports on member states, including, Benin, Comoros, Guinea Bissau, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa, as well as on the constitutional referendum in Egypt; and on upcoming elections in Algeria, Botswana, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia and Tunisia.

Emphasizing on the importance of African leadership, ownership and control of elections, the Council has encouraged AU member states to mobilize financial resources from within the continent to support the electoral processes and enhance technical capacity of the election management bodies.

It has called for being proactive to use all available instruments for preventive diplomacy to address issues that can negatively affect the successful organization of elections in Africa, including the reports of electoral calendars, as well as external interference after elections.

It has urged inclusiveness and enhanced citizen participation in all democratic processes on the continent and, in this context, encourages Member States to create conducive conditions for effective participation of women, youth, vulnerable groups and people living with disabilities, in elections in Africa; further encourages the AU Commission to have full transparency in the selection of the AU Observation Mission teams.

It underlined on the need for burden sharing in election observations in Member States, on a case by case basis, between the AU and the Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (RECs/RMs) involved, and based on comparative advantages.

The council further called for early planning and budgeting for the AU election observation missions, as well as to ensure mobilization of necessary resources for the deployment of sufficient numbers of election observers cognizant of the fact that elections are a process and not an event.

It has urged all political actors, particularly political parties, to make full use of all available legal instruments for peacefully addressing election related disputes; and condemns any resort of violence in that regard.

Underlining the need for further strengthening the institutional capacity of national election management bodies, the Council has commended the AU Commission for the continued demand driven capacity building support to member states, which contributes to the successful organization of elections.

The Council has commended all member states, which have already signed, ratified and domesticated the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, and urged those which have not yet done so, to also do the same without further delays.

It has also reiterated the importance for the AU Commission to regularly brief the Council, on elections in Africa, on a quarterly basis.