Electoral Management in Africa: A Facade or Reality-The Case of Election Dispute Resolution Mechanism

Joseph Kwaku Asamoah


The restive citizens of most Africa countries continue to demand free and fair elections as the only democratic tool that equates the fundamental human rights. Even in some post conflict countries, the general public have adopted elections as a means of demanding accountability, good governance and independent and impartial election management bodies. Whereas elections have become commonplace in Africa over the past decades, some recent elections have failed to legitimise power by creating tension and causing violence. Understanding the dynamics around electoral violence has become fundamental to limiting the risk of electoral violence to improve the quality of democracy in Africa. The purpose of this article, therefore, is to examine how EMBs and the judicial system can prevent elec­toral violence, followed by an assessment of the role stakeholders and effective electoral cycle management play in preventing election related disputes. The study uses uses the politico-legal debates to support the argument of causes of electoral violence on the African continent and ways to prevent them. The study suggests that an independent and impartial EMBs and judiciary are prerequisites for effective election dispute resolution mechanisms. The again concludes that the multi-stakeholder conflict management, which brings together various types of actors and supports social diversity, is fundamental to promoting peaceful electoral processes in Africa.

Keywords: electoral violence, election management bodies, stakeholder management, election dispute resolution

DOI: 10.7176/PPAR/9-7-01

Publication date:July 31st 2019

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5731 ISSN (Online)2225-0972

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