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

See all articles by Chika Charles Aniekwe

Chika Charles Aniekwe

University of Antwerp; Osgoode Hall Law School

Samuel Atuobi

African Union Commission

Date Written: June 1, 2016

Abstract

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

Aniekwe, Chika Charles and Atuobi, Samuel, Two Decades of Election Observation by the African Union: A Review (June 1, 2016). Journal of African Elections, Vol. 15, No. 1 (2016), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2994990

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

Samuel Atuobi

African Union Commission ( email )

Addis Adaba
Ethiopia

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