Infringement on democracy, human rights and the rule of law through constitutional amendments: What mechanisms exist to restore Zambia?Posted: 4 December, 2019 Filed under: Juliet Nyamao | Tags: African Charter on Democracy, Amendment Bill 2019, constitution, Constitution of Zambia, constitutional amendments, democratic changes, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), ECOWAS, Elections and Governance, EU, international treaties, political pluralism, SALC, The Gambia, Zambia Leave a comment
Author: Juliet Nyamao
Human Rights Attorney, Kenyan Bar
The first Constitution of the Republic of Zambia (1964) established a multiparty system of government. However, increasing tensions between the ruling party and the opposition parties compelled the first president of the Republic of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda, to institutionalise a one-party rule through the enactment of the Constitution of Zambia Act, 1973. The presidential rule in Zambia was reinforced, with the president as the sole player on the political scene. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the cold war in the early 1990s, a wave of multiparty democracy swept across the African continent leading to emergence of political pluralism. Many countries in the Southern African region adopted constitutional dispensations that allowed political pluralism and cemented the roles of the different branches of governments. Zambia, a former British colony, was no exception to the wind of change; they adopted their new Constitution of Zambia, 1991 that restored multiparty democracy. Thereafter, the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016 spelt out the roles and mandates of the different branches of government and directed that all State organs and State institutions abide by and respect the sovereign will of the people of Zambia. This Constitution ensured separation of powers between the various branches of the government, which is crucial to uphold democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
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Restrictions on the operation of civil society organizations in Africa violate freedom of associationPosted: 11 June, 2012 Filed under: Esete B Faris | Tags: African Charter on Democracy, civil society, CSOs, Egypt, elections, Eritrea, Ethiopia, freedom of association, funding, governance, human rights monitoring, intimidation, limitations, registration, Zimbabwe 4 Comments
Author: Esete B Faris
LLM (Human Rights & Democratisation in Africa) student, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
The role of civil society cannot be underestimated in Africa. Despite the fact that several governments are suppressive, there is widespread circulation of information on human rights abuses and successes. This is attributable to the immense role that civil society plays. Without a civil society in Africa, the world would not hastily recognise the shortcomings of African leaders’ regimes.
It is undeniable that an independent and effective civil society contributes to the protection and promotion of democracy and human rights in a country. The role of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) is to serve as a watchdog at the domestic level and international level. This implies that the right to freedom of association is essential for CSOs to operate effectively and efficiently.
Right to participate and citizenship: Liberians yearn for an inclusive vote in 2023Posted: 6 January, 2023 | Author: AfricLaw | Filed under: Uncategorized, Urias Teh Pour | Tags: 2023, African Charter on Democracy, African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, Alien and Nationality Act of 1973, citizenship, civil war, Elections and Good Governance, Gabriel Shumba and Others, General Comment 25, human rights, Human Rights Committee, inclusive vote, Liberia, migrant workers, Mtikila v Tanzania, New Elections Law, refugees, Right to participate, right to vote, Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties | 1 Comment
Author: Urias Teh Pour
Executive Director, Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR), Liberia
For the first time in the political history of Liberia, Liberians in the diaspora are making a strong case for their inclusion in the 2023 general and presidential elections. This call has come at the time when the Alien and Nationality Act of 1973 which prohibited dual nationality has been amended. The amended Act, Alien Nationality Law of 2022, provides that ‘any person who acquires another in addition to his or her Liberian citizenship shall not [be] deemed to have relinquished his or her Liberian citizenship.’
The passage of this law led to a wave of calls for the democratisation of electoral politics, considering the huge population of Liberians living abroad and their aspiration to participate in elections to elect their leaders at home. The Liberia Demographic Survey of 2021 projected Liberia’s population at 5.18 million. There are approximately 1.2 million Liberians and people with Liberian heritage scattered all over the globe, with the majority living and referring to the United States as their home. Some statisticians have predicted that the on-going population and housing census would exceed the projected number.
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