elections

South Africans Abroad Must Vote, Court

The Pretoria High Court has ruled that South Africans abroad should be allowed to vote.

Handing down judgment, Acting Judge Piet Ebersohn ruled that the Electoral Act infringes on the rights of South Africans living abroad. The court ordered the Independent Electoral Commission to change its voting procedures so as to allow South Africans living abroad to vote.

The court ruled that the Act "limit" the casting of votes to people temporarily living abroad. It referred the judgment to the Constitutional Court for confirmation.

White South Africans More Likely to Vote, Poll

White South Africans are more likely than any other group to vote. This is according to a survey conducted by the Human Sciences Research Council for the Independent Electoral Commission.

The survey found that 84 percent of whites will use their vote while coloureds were the least likely to exercise this democratic right.

The survey, which was carried out among 4 000 South Africans, also found that 48 percent of the sample spread across all nine provinces are “simply not interested in voting”.

IEC Calls for Political Tolerance

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has called for calm following the shooting of three people inNongoma.

IEC chief electoral officer, Pansy Tlakula says, “We are obviously concerned because it is going to be very difficult for us to conduct free and fair elections in an atmosphere where there is violence and a lack of political tolerance.”

The electoral code of conduct only comes into effect after the president has announced the election date.

IAJ: Election Reporting

The Institute for the Advancement of Journalism (IAJ) is conducting a three-day course on Election Reporting from 28-30 January in Johannesburg, 10-12 February in Durban, 16-18 February in Cape Town, and on 23-25 February 2009 in Johannesburg.

Statement by African Monitor on the inauguration of Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States of America

Press Release

23 January 2009

African Monitor congratulates President Barack Obama on his inauguration as the 44th President of the United States of America. We share with the rest of the world this justified jubilation and look forward with anticipation to the way his great vision will become an inspiration to the rest of the world, particularly Africa to overcome the seemingly intractable challenges that it now faces.

Statement by African Monitor on the election of Prof. John Atta Mills as President of Ghana

Press Release

23 January 2009

African Monitor congratulates President John Atta Mills on his January 3 win in the Ghanaian presidential race. Ghana being the pioneer of Africa’s independence but having gone through a difficult period of change of government through undemocratic means, we are proud that the way the election has been conducted contributes significantly to the process of consolidating democratic governance not only in Ghana but in the rest of the continent.

IEC Expresses its Readiness for the Elections

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has assured South Africans that it is prepared for any date for the elections.

IEC chairperson, Brigalia Bam, told NGOs and FBOs that the commission has put all the necessary steps in place to ensure that the elections will be free and fair.

Bam says that unlike in other elections, 1 648 189 people have registered for the first time, with 77,9 percent of the new registrations falling in the youth category, which is in the 18 to 29 age bracket.

Voting for a better life

Protests over inadequate or non-existent service delivery continue to be a feature of South Africa’s socio-political landscape. Khutsong, Moutse, Matatiele, Bushbuckridge and other communities, have all reached boiling point, as people took to their demands to the streets.

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