As the Southern African Development Community (SADC) ‘election year’ continues to unfold, the region’s ability to handle conflicts related to polls is once again being put to the test.
Malawi and South Africa in May 2014, Mozambique on 15 October 2014 and Botswana on 24 October 2014.
Mozambique posed the biggest challenge to SADC, given the country’s violence in 2013 where the poll took place when an uneasy calm had returned to the country after Dhlakama’s party carried out raids on police and military posts and ambushed vehicles along the country’s main north-south highway, threatening two decades of stability after the civil war.
To read the article titled, “Mozambique polls put SADC to the test,” click here.Source:Mail and Guardian
According to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) electoral observer mission (SEOM) deployed to monitor Mozambican elections, that country’s 2014 elections were generally ‘peaceful, transparent, free and fair and credible’.
SADC observer mission head and South Africa’s International Relations Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane says, “There are some best practices which the SEOM noted during the electoral process.”
Nkoana-Mashabane further says that it is “Important to underscore that despite concerns raised, their observation is that these concerns were not of such a nature as to affect the overall credibility of the electoral process”.
To read the Mozambique elections “peaceful, free and fair”: SADC,” click here.Source:SABC News
The Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa says the time has come for a modern leader to be elected in Mozambique's elections.
The organisation’s executive director, Denis Kadima, says that people need a modern leader who does not come with baggage of liberation fighting.
The comments come as the ruling party, the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) chose a presidential candidate with no struggle credentials and comes from a different province.
To read the article titled, “Mozambicans need a modern leader: Analyst,” click here.Source:SABC News
A South African official states that, Lesotho's leaders are planning to head to the polls early in a bid to restore political order following an attempted coup and stalled peace talks between deadlocked political parties.
South Africa's minister of international relations and cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, has announced that as a result of the coalition government not being ‘fully functional’ Lesotho's leaders are planning to ‘shorten the mandate, of the coalition’.
Nkoana-Mashabane recommends the country to now focus on ‘free, fair and incident free democratic elections for a fresh mandate’ in the upcoming elections to be held in 2017.
To read the article titled, “Lesotho to hold early vote to end political crisis,” click here.Source:News 24
Mozambican non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have urged political parties to select equal numbers of men and women on their lists of parliamentary candidates for the general elections scheduled for 15 October 2014.
The appeal, issued by a range of organisations including Gender Links, Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa), and JOINT (League of NGOs in Mozambique), reminds the parties that, under the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development, at least 50 percent of decision-making posts in both public and private sectors in SADC member states should be occupied by women by 2015.
The NGOs state that none of the three parliamentary parties - the ruling the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO), Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) and the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) have a woman as either their president or their general secretary.
To read the article titled, “NGOs call for gender parity,” click here.Source:All Africa
Malawi’s ruling party, the People's Party (PP), has disclosed plans to establish a Malawi Development Bank with loan access at low interest rates in an effort to reduce poverty through sound economic management and governance.
In its manifesto, "The PP recognises that economic management and good governance are central to a transformational poverty reduction agenda.”
However, it points out that the main challenge of maintaining macro-economic stability is that Malawi faces significant internal and external imbalances.
To read the article titled, “Malawi Development Bank to revamp the economy,” click here.Source:All Africa
Several international law experts describe the decision by the South African Police Service (SAPS) not to investigate the torture of opposition activists in the run-up to the 2008 elections in Zimbabwe as ‘irrational and unreasonable’.
Professor John Dugard, former United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, University of London criminal law professor Kevin Heller, Stellenbosch University law professor Gerhard Kemp and University of Cape Town international law lecturer, Dr Hannah Woolaver, have joined the case as amici curiae (friends of the court).
Meanwhile, police commissioner General Riah Phiyega is appealing against the Supreme Court of Appeal’s 2013 judgment declaring that the SAPS is empowered to investigate the alleged offences irrespective of whether or not the alleged perpetrators are present in South Africa.
To read the article titled, “SAPS appeals ruling on Zim torture claims,” click here.Source:IOL News
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has acknowledged mistakes during this year’s elections, but says like any other organisation in the world, the electoral body was not perfect.
IEC deputy chairperson, Terry Tselane, points out that, “These elections were not perfect. No election is. In the next coming weeks we will be reflecting and looking at what went wrong.”
The IEC has come under enormous pressure from opposition parties, including the Economic Freedom Fighters and the Pan Africanist Congress, who accused the IEC of rigging elections in favour of the ruling African National Congress, particularly in Gauteng.
To read the article titled, “Election wasn't perfect, but it was free and fair,” click here.Source:Mail and Guardian
Election observers from the Commonwealth, the African Union (AU), the Southern African Development Community, civil society groups and other organisations have been deployed in South Africa for tomorrow’s elections.
Gabriel Smith of Liberia who is with the AU team in KwaZulu-Natal, says South Africans must take pride in the democratic system they achieved 20 years ago.
He explains: "It is good that our people in Africa, specifically South Africa has chosen a path of democracy and we hope our citizens can take pride in their achievement, transitioning from a system of apartheid into a democratic system of governance that gives voice to the masses, they can hold the elected officials accountable within this healthy process."
To read the article titled, “Election observers hail SA's democracy,” click here.Source:SABC News
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says voters are allowed to go to voting stations donning political party-branded regalia.
Speaking from the national results operations centre in Pretoria, IEC chairperson, Pansy Tlakula, pointed out that, "We have heard in the past that voters are not allowed to wear T-shirts of their political parties. The law doesn't say that."
She explains: "Voters can wear anything. Imagine if a voter turns up with a T-shirt of a political party then we say to them 'go back and dress properly'. How many would we turn back?"
To read the article titled, “Wear what you want for vote – Tlakula,” click here.Source:News 24