This Charter was adopted General Assembly of the Association in Accra, Ghana, on 23 July 2015
- Inspired by the African by the African Charter on Democracy, Election and Governance renewed commitment and dedication to democracy in Africa and the noble purpose of creating, expanding, strengthening, and sustaining a democratic order in Africa;
- Recognising that the electoral process and the periodic holding of free and fair elections constitute critical components in the evolution of a democratic culture and democratic systems and the consolidation of democratic ideals enshrined in the Universal Declarations of Human Rights;
- Desirous of contributing to the promotion of democracy as a political system of responsible and accountable government by inculcating democratic values and instilling democratic behaviour;
- Aware of the challenges faced by African government institutions concerned with the administration, supervision, conduct and observation of electoral processes;
- Mindful of the need for a concerted effort to minimize the vulnerability of the democratic process in Africa;
- Committed to very close cooperation and consultation and to the establishment of linkages to ensure the development and safeguarding of a vibrant democratic culture and electoral process; and
- Having decided to establish an Association of African Election Authorities, constituting an indispensable requisite to meet the challenges of the democratization process and to ensure relations of cooperation among members; have agreed as follows:
Establishment and Objectives
- Through this Charter, Election Authorities establish an organisation to be known as the Association of African Election Authorities, herein referred to as the Association;
- The Association shall be a continental organisation and shall have legal personality with capacity and power to enter into contracts, acquire, own or dispose of movable or immovable property and to sue and be sued;
- The Association shall be a non-political, autonomous and independent entity with a close working relationship with the African Union and other related institutions; and
- The Headquarters of the Association shall be determined by the General Assembly.
The objectives of the Association shall be to:
- Promote open, transparent and credible elections through sharing of experiences and knowledge;
- Promote the principles of independence and impartiality amongst election officials;
- Promote public confidence in election processes through open and transparent electoral procedures;
- Ensure the development of professional election officials with high integrity, strong sense of public service, knowledge of electoral practice and commitment to democratic elections;
- Promote the principle of participation in electoral processes by all stakeholders;
- Encourage the development of electoral laws and reforms that adhere to internationally accepted principles of election management;
- Develop resources for election related information and research;
- Encourage commitment to the creation of a democratic culture and an environment in which elections can be held peacefully;
- Establish relations with other organisations with similar objectives;
- Provide or facilitate technical support to members; and
Perform other functions that are conducive or supportive of the afore-going and in furtherance of its objectives.
3. The Association shall consist of Election Authorities of the African continent, which subscribe to the Charter:
- Any election authority wishing to become a member of the Association will notify the Secretary General, in writing, of its willingness to be bound by the Charter. The Secretary General shall circulate the notification to other members;
- Membership fees shall be $5000;
- Membership fees shall be paid during the first quarter of every year;
- Members shall include the AAEA membership dues in their respective annual budgets;
- Members who fail to pay their membership fees may still participate in the meetings of the Association but would not have voting rights; and
- Members shall pay the cost of their participation in General Assembly meetings. However, those who cannot pay may apply to the AAEA for assistance.
3. Termination of Membership
- Any member of the Association may leave the Association after due notification in writing of its decision to the Secretary General who shall inform the General Assembly;
- The Secretary General shall present such letter of resignation to the first Assembly held after receipt of such letter for consideration; and
- The amount paid in respect of any fees by the Member Commission concerned shall be forfeited to the Association.
Organs and their Functions
5. Association shall have the following organs:
- The General Assembly;
- The Executive Committee; and
- The Secretariat.
6. The General Assembly
- The General Assembly shall be the supreme policy-making organ of the Association. It shall be composed of all its members.
- The General Assembly shall meet at least once every year and at other times as the Executive Committee may determine.
- The General Assembly shall elect its own President who shall be the Chairperson of the EMB hosting the General Assembly.
- The Deputy President and the five members of the Executive Committee shall be elected by the General Assembly for two year term renewable once.
- The General Assembly shall establish its own rules of procedure.
- Members shall pay the cost of their participation in General Assembly meeting.
- The quorum of the Assembly shall be one-third the current membership.
- Amendments to this Charter shall be adopted by at least two-thirds of the members present and voting.
- Other decisions of the General Assembly shall be adopted by consensus, failing a consensus, by a simple majority of those present and voting.
- Each Member shall have only one vote. In the event of a tie, the Chairperson shall have a casting vote.
11. Functions of General Assembly
- The General Assembly shall consider issues of common interest and adopt decisions in accordance with the provisions of this Charter and its own rules of procedure. It shall in particular:
- Consider proposals or questions of common interest submitted by its members, the Executive Committee or the Secretariat;
- Adopt policies and approve the programme of work of the Association and the Secretariat;
- Receive and consider any report submitted for consideration; and
- Perform other functions that are conducive or supportive to the afore-going and in furtherance of its objectives.
7. The Executive Committee
- The Executive Committee shall be accountable to the General Assembly.
- The Executive Committee shall be composed of the Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and the five members elected by the General Assembly representing the different regions of the of the continent.
Functions of the Executive Committee
- Acting on any matter referred to it by the General Assembly and for making recommendations to the General Assembly in conformity with the present Charter;
- Ensuring the implementation of the decisions of the General Assembly.
- Considering proposals from members and the Secretariat regarding the implementation of the decisions of the General Assembly;
- Approving the annual budget of the Association and the auditor’s report on the execution of the said budget;
- Approving the internal rules and regulations of the Secretariat;
- Determining control mechanisms for supervising the financial activity of the Secretariat;
- Performing any other function arising from the present Charter and from the recommendations and decisions of the General Assembly.
- The Executive Committee shall meet once a year and shall hold extraordinary meetings when convened by the Chairperson.
- The Executive Committee shall establish its own rules of procedure.
- The Secretariat is the permanent organ of the Association. It shall perform functions assigned to it in the present Charter and shall carry out the duties entrusted to it by the General Assembly and the Executive Committee.
- The Secretariat shall consist of the Secretary General and other such personnel as may be necessary for the execution of the functions entrusted to it. (to be removed and the clause amended in line with the proposed organogram)
- The Secretariat shall be responsible for the administration and implementation of decisions of the General Assembly of the Association and shall inter alia:
- Serve as the Headquarters of the Association;
- Submit reports on the Association’s activities to the Executive Committee and or the General Assembly;
- Be responsible for the preparation and arrangements of meetings of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee;
- Prepare recommendations concerning the work of the Association for consideration by the appropriate organs of the Association;
- Prepare surveys, studies, information and guidance on legal and political matters of common concern to and essential to the general wellbeing of member;
- Prepare draft proposals and agreements on matters arising from the decisions and recommendations of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee;
- Prepare programme budget of the Association and, upon the approval of the Executive Committee, submit the same to the General Assembly;
- Serve as the custodian of the Association’s documents;
- Establish relations of cooperation, in accordance with decisions reached by the General Assembly and the Executive Committee, with other regional and international electoral organizations or any other organizations which are concerned with electoral processes;
- Notify members of the dates of meetings of the General Assembly;
- Prepare and circulate minutes of the General Assembly meetings and any other relevant documents;
- Facilitate and coordinate cooperation among members; and
Perform such other functions as may from time to time be determined by the General Assembly or the Executive Committee
Role of Executive Committee in Recruitment of Staff of the Secretariat.
9. Secretary General
- The Secretary General shall be the chief Executive Officer of the Association; He/she shall represent the Association in its relations with the officials of member institutions and other regional electoral associations as well as with other international and regional organisations.
- The Secretariat shall be appointed by the General Assembly and shall be the Secretary of the Executive Committee.
- During the temporary absence or disability of the Secretary General, the most senior official of the Executive Secretariat shall perform his/her full duties.
- The Executive Committee has the power to recommend to the host EMB the removal of the Secretary General on grounds of proven misbehaviour, incapacity, neglect of duty or other like cause, after he/she has had an opportunity to make representations to the Executive Committee against such an action. The host EMB shall recommend a suitable replacement. The Executive Committee Executive Committee shall meet on the matter and inform the General Assembly accordingly.
- The Secretary General shall be an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee, but shall not participate in deliberations where action in accordance with 16.9.4 of this Charter is being discussed.
- The Secretary General, subject to approval by the Executive Committee, shall:
- Create such departments at the Secretariat as may be necessary to fulfil its duties; and request for appropriate personnel for the Secretariat.
- The Secretary General shall present to the General Assembly audited financial statement. In between meetings of the General Assembly, a financial statement should be presented to the Executive Committee.
- The Members of the Association agree to:
- Implement the recommendations and decisions adopted by the General Assembly;
- Render to the Association and its officers the assistance needed in the execution of their duties as defined by the present Charter;
- Keep the Association informed of progress made in the implementation of the recommendations and decisions adopted by the General Assembly; and
- Make appropriate contributions for the functioning of the Association.
- The Charter shall not affect the rights and obligations of the members of the Association arising out of agreements which they have already concluded.
- Any agreement already concluded or which may be concluded in the future between a Member and any other organisation shall not be binding on the Association.
- Members of the Association who wish to establish closer relations of cooperation than those provided for in the Charter may conclude agreements to that effect, provided that they are not in violation of the letter and spirit of the Charter.
- The Association may establish and maintain relations with other regional and international electoral organisations.
- AAEA partners shall include the following:
- African Union Commission
- Funding Agencies
- International and Regional Electoral Networks
- Any other category as may be determined by the General Assembly
African Union Commission shall be a key partner of the AAEA
The Executive Committee may invite other organisations which are not members of the Association to participate in the deliberations of the General Assembly as observers.
Amendments to the Charter and Dispute Resolution
- Any member of the Association may make proposals for the amendment of the present Charter to the Secretary General.
- Proposed amendments to the Charter must be circulated to Association members at least two months prior to the meeting of the General Assembly.
- Amendments to the Charter shall come into force upon approval by the General Assembly by two-thirds of members present and voting; and
- Any dispute regarding the interpretation of the present Charter shall be determined by a two-thirds decision of those attending the General Assembly.
11. Dissolution of the Association
- This Association may be dissolved by a resolution of the General Assembly supported by two-thirds of its members; and
- Upon such dissolution, the Executive Committee shall further decide concerning the disposal of the assets and the payment of liabilities of the Association. Assets shall be transferred to the Democracy and Electoral Assistance Unit within the African Union Commission (AUC).
7. Gifts, donations and contributions
The Secretary General may accept, on behalf of the Association, any gifts, contributions, or bequests to the Association, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee
2. Financial Matters
The budget of the Association shall be financed by:
- The contributions of the members, as determined by the present Charter;
- Gifts and bequests received with the agreement of the Executive Committee;
- Funds solicited by the Secretary General, on behalf of and with the approval of the Executive Committee; from external sources;
- Funds generated by activities of the Association;
- Grants and donations from local and international organisations, foundations and charitable institutions;
- Grants and donations from governments; and
- Any other sources approved by the Executive Committee.
- The financial year of the Association shall commence on the 1st of January and end on the 31st December of each calendar year.
- The present Charter has been prepared in four copies, in the English, French, Arabic and Portuguese languages, all of which are equally authentic. In the event of inconsistency between any of the versions, the English version shall prevail.
- The working languages of the Association shall be the working languages of the African Union (English, French, Arabic and Portuguese).
- The location of the Headquarters of the Association will be decided by the General Assembly;
- The present Charter shall come into force immediately after its adoption by the constituent General Assembly.
- Pending the formal establishment of the Secretariat and the election of the organs of the Association, the Democracy and the Electoral Assistance Unit of the African Union Commission shall continue to serve as the Secretariat of the Association.
- A statement of assets and liabilities of the Association should be presented to the next General Assembly.