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The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 550th meeting, held on 13 October 2015, was briefed by the Department of Political Affairs, of the AU Commission on the upcoming elections in Africa during the last quarter of 2015.

Council welcomed the briefing by the Commission on the upcoming elections in Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Guinea, Seychelles and Tanzania. 

Council took note of the preparations for elections in Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Guinea and Tanzania. In this regard, Council urged all political stakeholders in these countries to ensure peaceful, free and fair democratic elections. Council also took note of the preparations underway in Guinea and Burkina Faso and commended the Commission for engaging the various political stakeholders in these countries with a view to ensuring the successful conduct of the upcoming elections.

Council commended the efforts being deployed by the Commission to ensure the successful organization of free, fair, peaceful and credible democratic elections on the continent. Furthermore, Council requested the Commission to deploy election observers in sufficient numbers and on time, with a view to ensuring that they cover the whole country in their election observation exercise. In this regard, Council stressed the need for additional resources to be made available to the Commission.

Council urged all countries organizing elections to ensure that they conduct these elections in accordance with practices which engender free, fair and transparent elections. Furthermore, Council stressed the importance of political parties to accept the outcomes of any election process, as well as to refrain from any recourse to violence in settling any election- related irregularities and grievances but, instead, to use all available legal channels.

Council expressed deep concern over the prevailing situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) and urged all political stakeholders in that country to immediately stop violence and to work towards the creation of conducive conditions for the successful organization of peaceful and credible elections in that country. To this end, Council requested the AU Commission, the Economic Community of Central African States, and the wider international community to remain actively engaged in helping to address the current political challenges facing the CAR and to support that country in creating conducive conditions for the successful organization of democratic elections.

Council stressed the need for developing a specific set of principles and guidelines for democratic elections to be applied in countries in transitions from conflict and crisis situations as part of peace consolidation efforts. 

            Council requested the Commission to ensure greater synergies, cooperation and collaboration between and among the relevant Departments, particularly the Peace and Security Department and the Department of Political Affairs, in preventing election-related conflicts and crisis situations, as well as in implementing the African Governance Architecture and the African Peace and Security Architecture.

Council called on all Member States, which have not yet done so, to sign, ratify and domesticate all existing AU instruments relating to democracy, elections and governance.

            Council agreed to remain seized of the matter.

 

Posted by Tchioffo Kodjo

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