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Right to Political Participation

1

Introduction

Political participation usually, refers to the activities and actions taken by citizens, to influence the outcome of political issues at national, regional, or local levels in his/her country or community. In so doing, they are able to claim and protect their rights and influence the political and social structures around them. Although the right to political participation is recognized and contained in various international and local instruments, its activities are rarely practiced.

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Scope of the Guide

What is the scope of the guide?

This guide is specific to the right to political participation in Nigeria with references to international, regional and national laws. The right to political participation is broad and covers different dimensions and forms of political participation. This guide will focus on the right to political participation with respect to electoral process participation which can be classified as formal political participation. To better understand the right to political participation as it relates to electoral participation, this guide will specifically focus on the following:

  • Explain the basics of the rights to political participation
  • Help to identify these rights
  • What constitutes violation of the rights
  • Steps to take to enforce the rights when violated
  • Alternative mechanisms for enforcement and promotion of the rights
  • Remedies for the violation of the rights; and
  • The role played by various agencies in enforcing and protecting this right.
  • How to form a political party.

This guide therefore aims to give an overview of the right to political participation, the options available to enforce these right and general tips on how to take legal action to protect or enforce this right.

It is important to remember that every legal system is different and changes overtime. The enforcement of the right to political participation can be done in line with the laws and procedures in respective countries.

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Contributors

This guide was put together by a team of Lawyers, CSO Experts, and Law Students (NJEF Fellows) in partnership with NULAI and Action 4 Justice.

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