Popular participation in regional parliaments: a critical overview of the East African legislative assembly

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study examines the extent of East African citizens’ participation in the East African Legislative Assembly. It scrutinizes how the members of the East African Legislative Assembly are elected and positively challenges the existing framework. The study has comprehensively examined the East African Community constitutive documents to find out how the people centeredness principle has been reflected therein. In that regard, this work has also highlighted on how the collapse of the former East African Community in 1977 was partly attributed to lack of popular participation. This work has also made a comparative study through the empirical analysis of other regional parliaments namely the European Parliament, the Economic Community of West African States Parliament, the Pan African Parliament and the South African Development Community Parliamentary Forum. The East African Legislative Assembly has a lot to learn from these regional parliaments; from the European Parliament, in particular, which is the most advanced regional parliament in the world. In this research, data has been collected through library documentation and field research. This study also challenges the decision making structure in the EAC. It examines the status of the EALA in the EAC decision making process and calls for empowerment of the Assembly. The study concludes by discussing the extent of awareness and accessibility the East African citizens have to the EALA. The study makes a number of recommendations to ensure popular participation. Specifically, it calls for amendment of the Treaty to accommodate direct universal suffrage.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF KQC117.K34)
East African Legislative Assembly, Legislative bodies, Africa, East
Kaitu, A. (2015) Popular participation in regional parliaments: a critical overview of the East African legislative assembly. Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam