Regional Organisations and the Enforcement of Constitutionalism: Reflections on the Implementation of Chapter 8 of the African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance (ACDEG)

16 Pages Posted: 3 Jul 2017

See all articles by Chika Charles Aniekwe

Chika Charles Aniekwe

Osgoode Hall Law School; University of Antwerp

Date Written: September 30, 2015

Abstract

Persistent and widespread coup d’état in Africa in the 1990s prompted the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to respond with the Declaration on Unconstitutional Changes of Government in 1999 in Algiers3, which was subsequently followed by the 2000 Lomé Declaration on the OAU Response to Unconstitutional Changes of Government (UCG)4. As a clear shift from the OAU to a new dispensation underpinned by solidarity, democratization, integration peace and development, the OAU transformed into the African Union (AU) in 2000 with a new vision embedded in the Constitutive Act of the Union5. The vision proclaimed in the Act promoted further interrogation of how the AU could provide move away from its focus of an end to colonialism to democratisation and the development of other normative instruments that would ensure democratic consolidation on the continent as underpinned by the Constitutive Act. One of those instruments is the African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance (ACDEG) 2007, which came into force in February 2012 after ratification by fifteen (15) Member States6. The Charter paid important attention to unconstitutional changes of government in Chapter 8 from Art 23 to 26, outlining the definition of UCG as well as the mandate of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) and the lifting of sanctions. This paper argues that implementation of the provisions of the Charter has been inconsistent. It rarely defends the rights of the citizens against constitutional abuse by incumbents. The paper further agues that AU’s response to cases of UCG has been rather reactive rather than proactive

Keywords: African Union, Unconstitutional Changes in Government, African Charter, Democracy, Elections, Governance

JEL Classification: Z39

Suggested Citation

Aniekwe, Chika Charles and Aniekwe, Chika Charles, Regional Organisations and the Enforcement of Constitutionalism: Reflections on the Implementation of Chapter 8 of the African Charter on Democracy Elections and Governance (ACDEG) (September 30, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2995696 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2995696

Chika Charles Aniekwe (Contact Author)

University of Antwerp ( email )

City campus building S
Lange Sint Annastraat 7
Antwerp, 2000
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/about-uantwerp/faculties/institute-of-development-policy/

Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://https://nathanson.osgoode.yorku.ca

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