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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Presidential removal: unzipping the constitutional provisions
Author:Hatchard, JohnISNI
Periodical:Journal of African Law
Geographic term:English-speaking Africa
heads of State
Abstract:The impeachment proceedings against President Clinton should alert African States to the need to address the adequacy of the impeachment procedures in their own constitutions. This article reviews the current provisions in anglophonic African constitutions relating both to the grounds for removal and the procedure for doing so. It argues that the present presidential removal provisions are weak and unsatisfactory in several respects and that there is a pressing need for reviewing them. It is essential to set out clearly and precisely in a constitution the appropriate procedure, powers and responsibilities. In the tribunal/parliament approach, the removal process involves three stages: initiation, investigation and determination. Two alternatives are also explored: the parliament approach and the judicial approach. Three areas are identified for attention: the need to set clear parameters on the grounds for the use of the removal powers with the basis being an egregious abuse of the power of the office; the need to review the role of the legislature and the judiciary in the removal process; and the need to provide a clear and effective procedure that is enshrined in the constitution. A separate section of the article deals with specific provisions in anglophonic African constitutions concerning the removal of a president on grounds of ill-health. Notes, ref., sum. (p. I).