Elections are the hallmark of representative democracy, allowing the people’s regular input in choices about leaders and policy. Yet they are also competitive processes, unleashing conflict and tensions that, if not constructively managed, could potentially destabilize the fabric of states and societies.
In recognition of the escalation of election-related conflicts and political violence, the African Union (AU) Panel of the Wise decided to reflect judiciously on the mechanisms and modalities of ensuring that elections contribute to sustainable democratic governance and peace through proactive strategies aimed at preventing, managing, and resolving election-related conflicts and redressing political violence. This task was considered even more significant because, since the late 1980s, the AU and its predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), have expended considerable resources and energy in the articulation, elaboration, and implementation of various principles and protocols on the fundamentals and foundations of democratic governance and peace.
This report seeks to address measures to preempt election-related conflicts and political violence against the backdrop of the progress made in institution-building for democratic governance, peace, and security by the OAU/AU.