elections

Madonsela: SA’s Electoral System Flawed

Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, says South Africa’s electoral system is flawed and needs to be overhauled to promote greater accountability and good governance.

Madonsela points out that, “Proportional representation is a huge weakness in our constitutional democracy,” adding that, “We need someone who is purely accountable to the people. At the moment, one can fail the people and you just have to be OK with the party bosses.”

SADC and SA’s Mediation Efforts Commended

The former Kenyan Prime Minister and head of African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM), Raila Odinga, has applauded the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the government of South Africa for their commitment to bringing peace and stability in Lesotho.

Odinga points out that the AUEOM encourages the electorate to exercise their democratic rights and civic responsibility but participating actively and peacefully in tomorrow's election.

Voters’ Hope of Resource Growth

Mozambicans voted in elections on 15 October 2014 in hopes of escaping years of poverty and conflict by tapping into the country’s huge energy resources.
 
With more than 10 million voters registered to take part in the elections for a new president, parliament and provincial assemblies, foreign donors and investors hope the ballot will help to bury old animosities still lingering from a 1975 -1992 civil war fought between the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) and its old foe, Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO).
 

SA Elections: A Test of South Africans' Views on Corruption

In the wake of the Public Protector’s report on Nkandla, opposition parties have been doing all they can to make this an election issue and keep the tale of excess and waste of R250 million fresh in the minds of citizens.

Yet, the jury is out as to whether corruption really was an election issue, and whether citizens had been sufficiently angered by the expenditure on Nkandla to shift their voting preferences.

On Election Day, Bias Starts at the Top

Part of the folklore of politics is that being first on a ballot paper is worth at least some extra votes in any general elections. That perhaps explains the broad smile on the faces of the Freedom Front Plus leaders the moment they snatched the first place on the ballot paper for the 7 May elections, after the names of political parties were drawn randomly out of a large bowl.

Elections and Leadership Changes: How Do Political Leaders Take (and Leave) Power in Africa?

In the 2012 Senegalese election, opposition leader Macky Sall defeated incumbent president Abdoulaye Wade and duly replaced him as the country’s new head of state. In that same year, vice-president Joyce Banda was swiftly sworn in as president of Malawi following the death of her predecessor, Bingu wa Mutharika, only two days earlier. In Mali, President Amadou Toumani Touré was ousted from power also in 2012, but this time via a coup d’état led by Captain Amadou Sanogo.

What Tlakula's Alleged Conflict of Interest Means for the IEC and the Elections

We find ourselves between a rock and a hard place. Last year, Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, found that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) chairperson, Pansy Tlakula, had presided over an ‘unmanaged conflict of interest’ when the IEC entered into a R320 million lease agreement for office space.

TAC to Take on Politicians Over Health

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) plans to turn up the pressure on politicians ahead of the general election on 7 May 2014 by launching a manifesto to challenge them to answer 11 questions on pressing health issues.
 
TAC national chairperson, Andile Yawa, says the activists hope to prime the electorate to ask tough healthcare questions of politicians on the campaign trail.
 
Yawa explains that, "If politicians could use the public health system, then they would develop an interest."
 

Call for Politicians Journos to Resign

The South African National Editors Forum (SANEF), an organisation, has recommended: “that once the name of a journalist appears, with his or her consent, on a political party's official list of candidates to the Independent Electoral Commission, such journalist should resign."
 
SANEF said this resignation should take place regardless of whether the candidate will or will not be guaranteed a seat after an election.
 

What Can Be Expected From Young Voters in South Africa's 2014 Elections?

South Africa’s youth is often seen as a ‘lost generation’; one with no causes or political purpose, an apathetic generation. Some, however, have opted out of democratic processes such as elections due to the disinterest of the ruling elite in responding to their interests. Promises of a bright future are weighed against the lived realities of high levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality.

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