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Politics of Constitutional Reforms and Democratization in Africa

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Any constitution that does not emerge from widespread consultations with all nationality and interest groups cannot be regarded as legitimate. The basis of constitutional legitimacy must now be measured by the extent to which the masses have been part of the process of compacting the constitution.

The mere existence of a constitution, however comprehensive, will do little to create a stable environment for democracy and development unless people know and understand its provisions, have faith that their governments will not overrule it, and believe that their rights as promulgated within it, will indeed be upheld (Ould-Abdallah 1998).

Affiliations: 1: Governance and Civil Society Peace and Social Justice, The Ford Foundation, New York, N.Y., U.S.A.


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