SUBSTANCE Freedom of association – article 10 The freedom of association entails freedom to associate or not to associate with others. Hence, it was held that any law that compels a person to associate or join up with others for the purpose of exercising his political rights negates the freedom of association (Tanganyika Law Society, The Legal and Human Rights Centre v The United Republic of Tanzania, application 009/2011; Reverend Christopher R. Mtikila v The United Republic of Tanzania, application 011/2011, judgment, 14 June 2013, para 113). Also, by mandating individuals to join or be sponsored by a political party before they could contest presidential, parliamentary and local government elections, the respondent was held to have violated the applicant’s freedom of association (Mtikila, para 114). However, in the separate opinion of Judge Ouguergouz, it was held that the prohibition of independent candidates from participating in elections and the obligation to belong to a political party are not ipso facto violations of the provisions of articles 10 and 13(1) of the African Charter unless they are considered unreasonable or illegitimate restrictions on the exercise of the rights (Mtikila (Separate Opinion of Judge Ouguergouz), paras 28 & 34).

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