We, the participants of the NGO Forum preceding the 45th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the 19th African Human Rights Book Fair, held at the Karaiba Beach Hotel, the Gambia, from 9 – 11 May 2009,
Noting that majority of African Countries are in democratic rule and some of them have conducted fair and credible elections especially Ghana and just recently South Africa,
Encouraged by the objectives and principles enshrined in the Constitutive Act of the African Union,
Recalling the provisions of article 2(3) of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Good Governance which seeks to promote the holding of regular free and fair elections to institutionalise legitimate authority of representative government as well as democratic change of government,
Further Re-affirming the desire of the Charter to promote best practices in the management of elections for purposes of political stability and good governance,
Deeply concerned at the desperation of politicians and political leaders in influencing the outcome of elections thereby undermining the capacity of the people to choose and form the government of their own choice particularly the recently concluded by-elections in Ekiti State of Nigeria.
Call on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to:
Re-affirm article 3(4) of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Good Governance which stipulates the holding of regular, transparent, free and fair elections,
Implore member states of the AU, and the various sub-regional bodies to discourage the hijacking of elections in Africa,
Urge member states of the AU to take steps in the implementation of the affirmative action policy agreed to under the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ on the Rights of Women and the Beijing platform for Action,
Call on the AU member states to take urgent measures to reform their electoral laws and processes to eliminate discrimination and election irregularities including the protection of both Domestic and International Election Observers; and provide for the condemnation of electoral malpractices, rigging, votes manipulation and corruption by politicians,
Call on the African Heads of State to entrench true democracy in their respective states by creating conducive environment for the participation of all citizens and close the gap to gender inequality and unequal representation in government.
Done in Banjul, May 11th, 2009