Election Deposit and Democracy in Developing Countries: A Comparative Overview in Selected Southern African Development Community Countries

After their independence most African countries adopted constitutions that
enshrine democracy and the right to vote and stand for public office. These
political rights are important tools for ensuring democracy as they enable citizens
to participate in both constituting and having a say in their own government.
Despite entrenching these rights in their constitutions, many African countries
went further and adopted laws requiring citizens who wish to participate in
elections to pay an election deposit fee. Given the fact that most developing
countries in Africa experience fairly widespread poverty, many potential
candidates may not be able to afford the election deposit fee. Accordingly, the
election deposit fee may well hinder the cause of democracy by excluding citizens
from exercising their political rights. This paper discusses the effect of an election
deposit fee on democracy in developing countries in Africa. The discussion is
limited to selected countries in the Southern African Development Community.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: constitutionalism, democracy, deposit, election, vote
journal of african elections vol16 number 1 transparent democratic governance in africa