"This study is a comparative analysis of how free and fair recent presidential elections in two African countries were. On a wider frame, the yardsticks used in this work are international norms and principles that govern the conduct of elections. Recourse is also made to regional instruments and norms where appropriate. The case study will focus on Zimbabwe, representing the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Ghana, representing the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The reasons for selecting these countries only are given below. Zimbabwe held a crucial presidential election between the 9th and 11th of March 2002. Ghana held its presidential runoff that took place on the 28th of December 2000 that will be the subject of this investigation. Both elections were momentous in that they were heralded by unprecedented and cataclysmic events in the two countries' post-colonial scenario. In the case of Zimbabwe, the presidential election attracted such singular international interest that the question of sovereignty that had hitherto never been raised regarding the conduct of elections became a topical issue in domestic, regional and international fora. Furthermore, human rights concerns that had characterized the 2000 parliamentary elections paled into insignificance by comparison. In Ghana, the election was 'arguably the most important since independence in 1957'. Indeed, the election was so important that it is characterised locally as 'Ghana's second independence'. The reason the election was crucial is that it marked the exit of the country's longest serving head of state. The election also marked a smooth transition in a democratic process that ushered in an opposition party into office. Because these elections were of profound interest not only in the countries they were held but also in Africa and internationally, examining the regulatory framework of the elections as well as their human rights context is not only of academic importance to scholars of political science and democratisaton but also of practical relevance to human rights defenders, political parties and the voting public." -- Chapter 1.
Under the supervision of Edward Kofi Quashigah at the Human Rights Study Centre, University of Ghana
Thesis (LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)) -- University of Pretoria, 2002.