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PARTICIPATORY RIGHTS IN AFRICA: A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF AN EMERGING REGIONAL CUSTOM

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 August 2008

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Abstract

International law has long recognized the right to vote in elections as a fundamental democratic right and the act of voting as the most basic form of popular participation. In post-conflict African countries as well as those struggling to make the transition from single-party autocratic rule to multiparty democracies, competitive elections have become the barometer for measuring how close they are to this goal. Yet, across Africa this internationally-protected right to vote is under siege as elections have been transformed into elaborately staged events designed to hoodwink external donors. Rather than serving as a measure of democratic participation, the act of voting in a disturbingly sizeable number of African countries has been used by cynical political leaders to provide their authoritarian regimes with a veneer of legitimacy. Despite these hiccups, this article argues that a careful review of state practice in the continent reveals an emerging regional customary law norm in support of the right to popular participation.

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Copyright
Copyright © T.M.C. Asser Instituut and Contributors 2008

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PARTICIPATORY RIGHTS IN AFRICA: A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF AN EMERGING REGIONAL CUSTOM
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PARTICIPATORY RIGHTS IN AFRICA: A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF AN EMERGING REGIONAL CUSTOM
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PARTICIPATORY RIGHTS IN AFRICA: A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF AN EMERGING REGIONAL CUSTOM
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