WACSOF, deepening regional integration and fostering stability and development in West Africa


Electoral Accountability: Kenya’s Supreme Court Lauded

Stakeholders attending an Electoral Accountability workshop in Arusha, Tanzania have lauded the Kenyan Supreme Court for the swift adjudication of the disputed electoral results in the just ended Kenyan presidential and parliamentary elections.

The apex court annulled the presidential polls for gross anomalies it detected in the declared results after the main opposition candidate of Orange Democratic Movement, Raila Odinga had lodged a complaint of rigging and over voting in the elections which saw the incumbent government led by Uhuru Kenyatta declared winner by the Electoral Commission.

The ruling by the Court received commendations among large segments of the populations in Kenya and the rest of Africans in the sub region who hailed the verdict as a reflection of how democracy is growing and gaining roots on the African continent.

‘The Kenyans have shown to the rest of the world that the rule of law is an alternative avenue to resort to in settling electoral disputes rather than the use of force and violence’ Buba Khan, Africa Advocacy Adviser at ActionAid International and participant at the workshop retorted. He also observed that the ruling of the Supreme Court is a good example to be emulated by other African countries in settling potential electoral disputes.

He made this remark while addressing a session at the Electoral Accountability Workshop held at Training center MS Training Centre for Development Cooperation (TCDC) in Arusha last week. The Electoral Accountability workshop which was organized by ActionAid in partnership with MS TCDC and the European Commission PANAF Project ‘Mobilizing Civil Society Support for the African Governance Architecture (AGA)’  brought together key stakeholders including the African Union (AU) Acting Head of the African Governance Architecture (AGA) Secretariat, Ambassador Salah Hammed, the East Africa Community (EAC), The Civil Society Forums for West Africa (WACSOF), East Africa (EACSOF) and Southern Africa ((SADC CNGO), Civil Society Organisations from 10 countries, the media, youth activists and women rights activists.

The six-day consultative workshop deliberated on ways of jointly demanding for increased electoral accountability on the African continent and raising awareness on the AGA and the implementation of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG). Key issues discussed at the meeting included the role of women in the electoral processes, electoral financing, the role of civil society in electoral cycles and the relevance of citizens’ manifestos and civic engagement processes in the broader electoral processes.

The workshop is a sequel to a meeting to discuss the civic participation/deepening democracy work under ActionAid’s International Platform for Governance in January and the inception meeting held in Kenya to launch the EC PANAF project ‘Mobilizing Civil Society Support for Implementation of the African Governance Architecture’ in June.

The project aims at increasing and strengthening the role that CSOs play in processes to ensure that all African Union (AU) member states are democratic and accountable to their citizens, and aligned with the AGA of the AU.

The Senior Programme Manager at ActionAid and Project Manager of the EC PANAF Project, Dorte Tietze, observed that the ratification, domestication and the implementation of the ACDEG will go a long way to entrench democracy in African countries and promote good governance, rule of law and human rights.


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