Nationality and elections

It is often at election time when questions around nationality come to the fore – when the meaning of citizenship is challenged in its fullest sense of the right to participate in public affairs of a country.  There are many well-known cases of politicians whose right to nationality in the country where they wish to stand for office has been brought into question. Some of these have been litigated up to the level of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, but less-well known cases arise with almost every election. Elections also see regular assertions that certain groups of potential voters have been registered to vote even though they are not citizens.

"Every citizen shall have the right to participate freely in the government of his country, either directly or through freely chosen representatives in accordance with the provisions of the law."

Article 13(1) African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Related Themes