The controversy surrounding the voters’ register and a pending court case in which opposition parties dispute the outcome of the November 2009 presidential and national assembly election results in Namibia, is bad news for democracy in that country, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and for the African continent in general.
'A Passion to Liberate' is a literary biography of one of South Africa’s most eminent men of letters, Justin Alexander La Guma, who is better known as Alex La Guma and is one of the twentieth century’s most prolific, eloquent, and courageous writers. Although Fritz Pointer gives some attention to La Guma’s years as a journalist, he mainly focuses on La Guma’s novelette, A Walk in the Night, and his novels, And a Threefold Cord, The Stone Country, In the Fog of the Season’s End, and Time of a Butcherbird.
Impunity for past electoral violence is a major barrier to a free and fair election in Uganda in 2011, according to a summary of the Human Rights Watch (HRW) report.
The report points out that the perpetrators from all sides of the political spectrum have very rarely faced justice for crimes committed in past elections.
It further states that those responsible for earlier offences, as well as those contemplating crimes, will feel unconstrained in future elections barring new measures and increased enforcement.
The report under the headline: ‘Civil Society skeptical about elections ...’ under the ownership of the Joint Observer Mission (JOM) of the Namibia Non-Governmental Organisation Forum Trust (NANGOF) and the SADC Council of NGOs (SADC-CNGO), is misleading, according to Dr Rukee Tjingaete, who comments on his personal capacity.
Tjingaete argues that that the intention behind this report could be misleading judging from its timing of release and the harsh judgement that it has passed on the Electoral Commission of Namibia.
The ‘Compendium of Elections in Southern Africa: 20 Years of Multiparty Democracy’ is a comprehensive account of the first two decades of inclusive and competitive elections in the region. Covering the period from 1989 to 2009, the book focuses on the 14 Southern African Development Community member states. Its editors hope to offer a useful resource to scholars and politics students, elections practitioners and election observers with an interest in democracy and elections in Southern Africa.
Nigeria’s Children and Youth Democratic Electoral Model (CYDEM) says it has placed the necessary machinery on ground to educate children and youths on the basic tenets of democracy and the electoral process.
The CYDEM project initiator, Temitola Odetola, says that the programme is geared towards changing the negative stereotype that democracy and good governance is synonymous to bribery, corruption, rigging, injustice and violence.
Botswana eligible voters went to the polls on 16 October 2009 to exercise their democratic right to vote in the country’s 10th election since its independence in 1966.
According to Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of Botswana, a total of 732 617 resident Batswana and 1 641 non-resident Batswana registered to vote in the 2009 elections. Of the total registered voters, 403 056 were female, 320 561 were male and 320 561 were youth.
Human rights group, Ditshwanelo, has called on Batswana to exercise their democratic right to vote on 16 October 2009.
Ditshwanelo wants Batswana to recognise that by casting their ballot they are exercising a human right enshrined in the country’s law and exercising the right to choose representatives of their choice.
The organisation further urges Batswana to vote consciously. It says voting based on emotional factors is not responsible voting.
With democracy being relatively new in South Africa, local government has had to undergo much institutional reform between 1994 and 2000. A key part of this overhaul has been the requirement for democratic processes in municipal decision-making methods between elections.
Recently, government has been encouraging municipalities to have public participation units. Local government in South Africa is now required to implement forms of public participation, particularly around development planning and budgeting.
‘Reducing Electoral Conflict: A Toolkit’ is a basic guide for South African organisations to contribute to the prevention, management and mitigation of violence when and where it occurs over the election period. Prepared by the Open Society Foundation for South Africa, the toolkit focuses on aspects of elections such as; electoral competition, analysing conflict, tracking conflict in your community, conflict intervention, report guide and directory of election contacts.