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Title: The right to democratic entitlement: Time for change?
Authors: Chigara, B
Issue Date: 2004
Publisher: University of Malta
Citation: Mediterranean Journal of Human Rights. 8 (1) 53-89
Abstract: The right to democratic entitlement is well documented in international law. Numerous universal and regional constitutional treaties are premised on it and reverend it. National constitutions of most States espouse themselves to it. International civil society champions it. It is a right that resides at the core of the United Nations' originating vision for a secure and peaceful world - steered on the twin rails of social justice and respect for human rights. The current Zimbabwe crisis that came to a head at the 2002 Presidential election suggests that mere institutionalisation of this right under international law, regional law and national constitutional laws is not in itself sufficient to ensure its enjoyment. For this right to pass from enchanting rhetoric to practice that promotes and upholds the dignity of human beings everywhere in the world, procedural and other accounting strategies need to be developed so that impunity for its breach is stopped. This article examines the possibilities of enjoyment of this right in transitional States under present international arrangements. It concludes that for this to happen the international community needs urgently to demonstrate its commitment to the enjoyment of this right through (1) consistent application of interventionist mechanisms such as the SHIRBRIG initiative in situations where the right is at issue and, (2) development of efficient international, regional and national election audit systems with power effectively to strike down elections that breach the said right.
Appears in Collections:Law
Dept of Politics, History and Law Research Papers

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