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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Election management bodies (EMBs) in Eastern and Southern Africa: some reflections on their legal framework
Author:Fombad, Charles MangaISNI
Year:2016
Periodical:African and Asian Studies (ISSN 1569-2094)
Volume:15
Issue:2-3
Pages:289-335
Language:English
Geographic terms:East Africa
Southern Africa
Subjects:election management bodies
elections
constitutionalism
Link:https://doi.org/10.1163/15692108-12341365
Abstract:It is generally recognised that election management bodies (EMBs) constitute one of the most important institutions needed to sustain Africa's fledgling transition to democratic and constitutional governance. They are needed to ensure that all political actors adhere to the rules of the electoral contest and that the outcome of elections are not predetermined and are based on free and fair processes that reflect the genuine will of the people. However, frequent incidents of post-election violence in which citizens question the role played by the EMBs in the last few years have raised many questions about their role, which has not been systematically and thoroughly investigated.This paper aims to take a critical look at the legal framework relating to the setting up and regulation of EMBs in a selected number of countries in the Eastern and Southern African region to see whether there is any possible connection between the manner in which they are structured and the effectiveness of their operations. Does the legal framework of an EMB have anything to do with the acceptance or non-acceptance of the electoral results of elections organised by the EMB? Are there any lessons that can be learnt by comparing the legal framework of the EMBs of countries where election results are generally accepted with that of countries where the announcement of election results have often provoked violence? The establishment of an EMB is supposed to be a clear sign of a firm commitment by a country to constitutionalism and constitutional democracy. This does not always turn out to be so. From the comparative analysis of the experiences of the selected countries, this study will highlight some of the major lessons that can be drawn in designing EMBs in order to enhance their performance and credibility. Bibliogr., ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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