ISBN 9781920489168
Pages 256
Dimensions 244 x 170 mm
Published 2012
Publisher African Minds Publishers, South Africa
Format Paperback

Election Management Bodies in West Africa

A comparative study of the contribution of electoral commissions to the strengthening of democracy

by Ismaila Madior Fall, Mathias Hounkpe, Adele Jinadu, Pascal Kambale

This report is an in-depth study of electoral commissions in six countries of West Africa – Benin, Cape Verde, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone – assessing their contribution in strengthening political participation in the region. As institutions that apply the rules governing elections, electoral management bodies (EMBs) have occupied, over the last two decades, the heart of discussion and practice on the critical question of effective citizen participation in the public affairs of their countries. The way in which they are established and the effectiveness of their operations have continued to preoccupy those who advocate for competitive elections, while reforms to the EMBs have taken centre stage in more general political reforms.

Election Management Bodies in West Africa thus responds to the evident need for more knowledge about an institution that occupies a more and more important place in the political process in West Africa. Based on documentary research and detailed interviews in each country, the study provides a comparative analysis which highlights the similarities and differences in the structure and operations of each body, and attempts to establish the reasons for their comparative successes and failures.

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About the Authors

Ismaila Madior Fall

Professor Fall is a lecturer at the Faculty of Law and Political Science at the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, where he is director of the Centre de recherche, d’étude et de documentation sur les institutions et les législations africaines (CREDILA). His areas of research include constitutionalism, the process of democratisation in francophone African countries and electoral and political party institutions. Madior Fall is the author of numerous studies, among them Evolution constitutionnelle du Sénégal de la veille de l’indépendance aux élections de 2007 (CREDILA-CREPOS, Dakar 2007) and Sénégal: Secteur de la justice et état de droit (AfriMAP-OSIWA 2008). Madior Fall led the research and drafted the chapters on Cape Verde and Senegal for this book.

Mathias Hounkpe

A mathematician (Université nationale du Bénin) and holder of a M.Phil. in political science (Yale University, USA), Mathias Hounkpe has worked as a political expert for the Unit for Analysis of Development Policies at the National Assembly (Cellule d’analyse des politiques de développement de l’Assemblée nationale, CAPAN) in Benin from April 2003 to December 2010. He has led studies and directed projects for the strengthening of parliamentary capacity in several countries, including Benin, Ghana and Senegal. He currently is the country representative of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) for Chad where he runs a project of support to the country’s electoral process. Hounkpe has participated in numerous election observation missions in the west African region (including to Benin, Cape Verde, Ghana, Guinea Bissau and Niger) for ECOWAS. He is the co-author, with Madior Fall, of a study on Electoral Commissions in West Africa, and co-authored another study on the role of security agencies in electoral processes in several West African countries for the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. Mathias Hounkpe was responsible for the research and drafting of the chapters on Benin and Ghana in this study.

Adele Jinadu

Adjunct Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Lagos, Nigeria, Dr Jinadu is former Executive Director, Centre for Advanced Social Science (CASS), Port Harcourt. He is active in the African and international social science network, having served first as Secretary-General of the African Association of Political Science (AAPS) [1985–1990], later as AAPS’ President [1997–1999], and as Vice-President, International Political Science Association, (IPSA), 2000 2003. He was a full-time member of Nigeria’s National Electoral Commission [1987–1992], and Director-General, Administrative Staff College of Nigeria, (ASCON) [1992–1994]. He was educated at Oxford University, where he received his B.A. Hons. degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus, where he received the Ph.D. in political science with a minor in philosophy. Dr Jinadu led the research and wrote the chapters on Nigeria and Sierra Leone for this book.

Pascal Kambale

Deputy director of AfriMAP based in Dakar in Senegal, Pascal Kambale is a lawyer called to the bar in Kinshasa and has taught law at the University of Kinshasa and at the Catholic University of Graben in Butembo in the Democratic Republic of Congo. His experience as a human rights lawyer has been gained from both national and international human rights organisations incuding Global Rights, Human Rights Watch and the Association zairoise des droits de l’homme (AZADHO) of which he was co-founder and through which he was an activist for constitutional and political reform in DRC. Pascal Kambale coordinated the research for this study, for which he wrote the introductory chapter and edited the country studies.

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