Two Decades of Election Observation by the African Union: A Review
Journal of African Elections, Vol. 15, No. 1 (2016)
20 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2017
Date Written: June 1, 2016
Between 1989 and 2013, the African Union (AU) observed 423 elections in Africa. However, these election observation missions were inconsistent at best in terms of approach, methodology, framework and status. The first, which was in Namibia in 1989, was deployed within the framework of the United Nations (UN) statute in terms of which the UN invited the AU. The subsequent election observation missions have to date been deployed either as diplomatic or mediation missions or a combination of diplomatic and independent technical missions. This article shows that the election observation journey of the AU has passed through several stages and regimes. While we recognise the challenges, we also point towards improvement, and identify the missing links that the AU needs to complete to become a truly independent actor in its election observation missions.
Keywords: African Union, democracy, elections, election observation
JEL Classification: Z39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation