AU Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance

We, the Member States of the African Union (AU);
Inspired by the objectives and principles enshrined in the Constitutive Act of the African Union, particularly Articles 3 and 4, which emphasise the significance of good governance, popular participation, the rule of law and human rights;

Recognising the contributions of the African Union and Regional Economic Communities to the promotion, nurturing, strengthening and consolidation of democracy and governance;

Reaffirming our collective will to work relentlessly to deepen and consolidate the rule of law, peace, security and development in our countries;

Guided by our common mission to strengthen and consolidate institutions for good governance, continental unity and solidarity;

Committed to promote the universal values and principles of democracy, good governance, human rights and the right to development;

Cognizant of the historical and cultural conditions in Africa;

Seeking to entrench in the Continent a political culture of change of power based on the holding of regular, free, fair and transparent elections conducted by competent, independent and impartial national electoral bodies;

Concerned about the unconstitutional changes of governments that are one of the essential causes of insecurity, instability and violent conflict in Africa;

Determined to promote and strengthen good governance through the institutionalization of transparency, accountability and participatory democracy;

Convinced of the need to enhance the election observation missions in the role they play, particularly as they are an important contributory factor to ensuring the regularity, transparency and credibility of elections;

Desirous to enhance the relevant Declarations and Decisions of the OAU/AU (including the 1990 Declaration on the political and socio-economic situation in Africa and the fundamental changes taking place in the world, the 1995 Cairo Agenda for the Re-launch of Africa’s Economic and Social Development, the 1999 Algiers Declaration on Unconstitutional Changes of Government, the 2000 Lomé Declaration for an OAU Response to Unconstitutional Changes of Government, the 2002 OAU/AU Declaration on Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa, the 2003 Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union);

Committed to implementing Decision EX.CL/Dec.31(III) adopted in Maputo, Mozambique, in July 2003 and Decision EX.CL/124(V) adopted in Addis Ababa,Ethiopia, in May 2004  respectively, by the adoption of an African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.

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