On the international Day of Democracy – September 15, 2017, the African Movement for Democracy (AMD) released a statement with respect to the crises that were experienced in different corners of Africa and called for the urgent resolution of the crisis in Togo and other countries. Below is the statement:
“As we celebrate the International Day of Democracy, we the members of the African Movement for Democracy (AMD) recognize emerging challenges across the African continent, which highlight governments’ oppression of citizens’ rights to express their free will; intimidation and forceful imprisonment of citizens without due process; unlawful change of constitutional term limits; shrinking civic space, restriction of citizens participation amongst others. The AMD believes these challenges contradict the intent and spirit of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR), African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Good Governance (ACDEG) and other regional normative instruments that guarantee the promotion and protection of human rights. Democracy makes no meaning if it fails to safeguard human rights, promote good governance and enhance citizen participation.
As a movement, AMD is concerned with the resurgence of aggressive anti-democratic forces on the African continent. This presents a major setback in our journey to democratization.
AMD notes that the egregious violations of human rights and disregard for the rule of law in the West African nation of Togo, undermine and threaten democracy and good governance. AMD calls on the government of Togo to respect the constitutional right of citizens to free speech and peaceful assembly. AMD calls on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU) to immediately intervene and restore peace, security and democratic governance in Togo.
As Liberia heads to the Presidential and Legislature elections on October 10, 2017, the AMD calls on all electoral stakeholders, including the youth, political parties, candidates and all security apparatus to exercise tolerance and refrain from all forms of electoral violence and respect the rule of law. AMD will be paying close attention to political developments leading up to the elections as well as post-election environment.
That African youth take advantage of the space created through regional and continental legal instruments provided by African Union (AU) and ECOWAS to increase their meaningful participation in political processes by contesting for elected office and making informed contribution to policies, which seek to empower young people and address their issues.
On this 2017 International Day of Democracy, AMD reaffirms its faith in democracy as system of government that can guarantee the prosperity, peace and stability of the Africa We Want. AMD believes Africa’s democracy can only prosper if civil society and political society engage in constructive dialogue and engagement. The movement frowns on every anti-democratic posture exhibited by governments on the continent that obstruct democratic growth and pledges it full support and solidarity to all efforts or movements that seek to promote democracy, constitutionalism and citizens’ participation.
Happy International Day for Democracy”