In the first few months after Lesotho’s crisis in August, much of the blame was pinned on the aggression of the country’s military commander, Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli. But now, just days before the kingdom’s February 28 election aimed at resolving the impasse, there are indications that Prime Minister Tom Thabane may have an entire rogue military on his hands. The August 30 coup attempt saw Lesotho Defence Force soldiers chase Thabane from his official residence across the South African border. Simultaneously, troops attacked three police stations, killing one officer and injuring nine others. For South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, the lead mediator in the crisis for the Southern African Development Community (SADC), a crowning achievement came in November when he exiled Kamoli from Lesotho.Full Article: Ominous rumblings from Lesotho army ahead of election | News | Africa | Mail & Guardian.
Independent Electoral Commission
Much ink has been spilled on the issue of setting up an independent Electoral Commission to oversee the management of elections and referenda here. Successive governments over the years have been effective at talking about it, but only the current administration is going to make it a reality. While our electoral system and the easy accessibility of politicians mean that citizens are deeply engaged with the electoral process, this isn’t necessarily matched by a sense of public confidence that the current system works. Various controversies over the years have highlighted a level of political interference in our electoral system and have only added to the further erosion of that confidence. For example, the botched €50 million e-voting machine debacle was due in no small way to the Minister of the day going on a solo run.Full Article: How an electoral commission can stop another e-voting fiasco - Yahoo News UK.
With less than 100 hours until South Africa’s fifth democratic elections kick off, the countdown has begun. Political parties are pulling out all the stops to woo last-minute voters, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is geared up to receive its 25.3 million voters and over 20 000 law-enforcement officers have been deployed across the country, with the SA National Defence Force on stand-by. On Saturday, the ministers in the justice, crime prevention and security cluster visited Bekkersdal in Gauteng to assure residents that voting will proceed smoothly. The township – which has been engulfed in service delivery protests since last year – is one of several areas countrywide identified as hot spots ahead of the elections.Full Article: Tight security ahead of the elections - Politics | IOL News | IOL.co.za.
South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) plans to close its voter registration list after President Jacob Zuma officially publishes the May 7 general election date in the government’s gazette on Tuesday. “President Jacob Zuma will be proclaiming the election date that means the election date would be published in the government gazette. Our offices will be opened across the country from 8 O’clock until five in the evening,” said Kate Bapela, IEC spokesperson. “At 12 midnight, the voters’ role for the 2014 national and provincial elections closes [and] that means that anyone who registers after midnight today will never be able to participate in the upcoming election,” she said.Full Article: South Africa Electoral Body to Begin Preparation for Election.
Engineers in Nigeria have called the country’s electoral commission to use electronic voting during next year’s elections to ensure a credible vote. The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has recommended that the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) use the Nigerian Communication Satellite (NigComSat) e-Voting system. The society said it was also willing to offer technical support to INEC on the system. NSE says it has used the system to successfully elect members of its current executive.Full Article: Nigerian engineers advocate e-voting for 2015 election - ITWeb Africa.
The Sri Lankan government is facing calls from both home and abroad to establish an independent electoral commission. In the wake of a Commonwealth report on elections in northern Sri Lanka, leading opposition parties joined a call by Commonwealth election observers for the island-nation to create such an impartial body. Opposition leaders say the government should re-instate the Sri Lankan constitution’s 17th Amendment, which provides for an independent electoral commission. Under the current 18th Amendment, President Mahinda Rajapaksa can appoint a commissioner of his choice, as well as to other positions such as chief justice. “Our party has repeatedly supported the 17th Amendment to the constitution, which makes way for the setting up of a number of independent commissions for elections, police, human rights, judicial services and bribery and corruption,” said R. Sampanthan, leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) party, whose candidate, C. V. Wigneswaran, swept the northern provincial council elections.Full Article: Sri Lanka opposition calls for independent electoral commission - khabarsouthasia.com.
The Fiji regime says everything is on track for elections by the end of September next year and an independent Electoral Commission will be in place in a matter of weeks. But its critics say the Bainimarama government is stalling on crucial elections’ machinery and jeapardising the chance of free and fair polls. Commonwealth Heads of Government have urged Fiji to rapidly set up an independent electoral commission to oversee the elections due by the end of September next year. The leader of the Fiji Labour Party and a former Prime Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, says he’s never seen Fiji so ill-prepared for an election. “We don’t have an Electoral Commission. We don’t have a supervisor of elections. So much more could be done. We don’t even have electoral legislation in place at the moment. So all this lack of preparation points to doubts in the minds of the people whether we are going to have elections as scheduled for September next year.”Full Article: The Fiji regime scotches claims it’s stalling on key election preparations.
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says its officials and those wanting to register for next years’ poll this weekend cannot be threatened to stay away. Some communities have warned IEC officials to stay out of their areas because service delivery issues that have not been addressed. Residents of Leratong Park, outside Kimberley, say they have been fighting for decent houses for more than 15 years, and are threatening to abstain from voting next year. Some say the IEC must stay away from their area this weekend. One of the residents who refused to be mentioned says: “We are not going to vote. Nothing changes and all stays the same.” Residents in Noupoort and some villages in Kuruman have also threatened to stop IEC officials from doing their jobs this weekend. IEC Deputy Chairperson, Terry Tselane says: “We expect a smooth weekend. People can’t hold democracy at ransom.” In Malamulele, residents have mixed views on the registration process. The area has been engulfed in violent protests in recent weeks. Officials are concerned.Full Article: SABC News.com - Voter registration to go ahead despite threats: IEC:Thursday 7 November 2013.
International election observers in Guinea have voiced concern over “irregularities” during the first parliamentary poll since the 2008 coup. A joint statement said “breaches” were observed in eight out of 38 constituencies. The opposition coalition has already called for the 28 September vote to be annulled over “fraud”. Some provisional results have yet to be released by the electoral commission 11 days since the vote. Most of the 38 directly elected seats in the 114-member parliament have been announced, but not the 76 chosen by proportional representation.Full Article: BBC News - Guinea poll observers report voting irregularities.
Guinea’s long-delayed legislative election aimed at completing the mineral-rich West African nation’s transition to democracy will be held on September 24, its electoral commission said on Tuesday. Guinea’s government and opposition parties reached a U.N.-mediated agreement last week to hold elections at the end of September following a wave of opposition protests accusing President Alpha Conde of planning to rig the polls. “The Independent Electoral Commission has proposed holding the election on September 24,” said a statement from the body read over Guinea’s state television late on Tuesday.Full Article: Guinea election body sets legislative polls for September 24 - chicagotribune.com.
Mr Badru Kiggundu, chairman of Uganda’s Electoral Commission, recently unveiled the Commission’s Strategic Plan and Road Map for 2016 elections in which it estimates that Shs1.2 trillion is needed for the elections. According to Kiggundu, democracy is expensive and so we should be appreciative if we spend that money to get a democratically elected government. Money alone will, however, not give Uganda a credible democratic election. In the past three elections, a lot of money was spent, but with mixed or negative results. The presidential elections in 2001 and 2006 ended up in the Supreme Court when the loser, Dr Kiiza Besigye, challenged the results that gave President Museveni the victory. On both occasions, the Supreme Court ruled by a split vote in favour of the incumbent but did not deny that the elections were short of being free and fair, given the intimidation, irregularities and open stealing of votes.Full Article: We need an independent Electoral Commission - Commentary - monitor.co.ug.
Iraqi election monitors on Sunday reported multiple irregularities in the country’s first provincial vote since U.S. troops left but were unclear as to whether results would be affected. In an initial report, two non-governmental organizations, Shams and Tamoz, said over 300 irregularities had been recorded by the seven thousand monitors they had sent across Iraq to cover Saturday’s polls. The vote was a key test of Iraq’s short experience with democratic elections because it was the first one run since the U.S. withdrawal in December 2011. Allegations of vote fixing are not uncommon following elections in the country.Full Article: Iraqis see some irregularities in provincial vote - Alarabiya.net English | Front Page.
Candidates on Saturday demanded a partial recount in recent Jordanian parliamentary elections, even as protests regarding the contested results rumbled on, DPA reported Hundreds of supporters of defeated candidates rallied in Amman and Mafraq, marking the third straight day of protests over the results of the January 23 polls. Some 56.7 per cent of Jordan’s 3 million eligible voters cast ballots in Wednesday’s polls, which were declared by international observers to be free and fair, with few irregularities. However several candidates cried foul after a late surge in voting tipped the balance in several heated contests and after final election results on Thursday sealed some candidates’ victories with margins in the single digits.Full Article: Partial recount demanded as Jordanian election protests continue - Trend.Az.
Nigeria’s Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) will soon issue millions of permanent voter cards in time for the next general election, according to Nick Dazang, the INEC deputy director public affairs. “INEC has given out a contract for the production of the first batch of 40 million permanent voter cards to be distributed before the 2015 general elections,” said Dazang. The electoral commission, which registered over 73 million new voters for the 2011 general elections, at the time, issued temporary cards to voters. But, Dazang said INEC has signed contracts for the production of permanent cards with special electronic security features.Full Article: Nigeria Electoral Commission to Issue ‘Permanent’ Voter Cards.
The chairman of Ghana’s Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) says the ongoing voter registration process will ensure a credible general election December 7. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan called on prospective voters to verify their personal information during a 10 day registration program. “We are exhibiting the provisional voter register [and] after that we will make any corrections that are appropriate, and then print the final voters register,” Afari-Gyan said. “Without the register we can’t take nominations, so I reckon that we take nominations for the elections around the middle of October, and then we will be on.”Full Article: Ghanaians Verify Voters List Information.
Guinea: Head of Guinea’s election commission resigns, days after violent protests | Montreal Gazette
The head of Guinea’s electoral body has announced his resignation in a statement read on state TV, bowing to the demands and protests of an opposition alleging the rigging of the electoral process ahead of much-delayed parliamentary elections. Louceny Camara, president of the National Independent Electoral Commission, made his resignation public on Wednesday evening. The opposition had accused him of being an ally of President Alpha Conde, who won the 2010 presidential election in a vote that was deemed democratic but deeply divisive.
The party of the longtime prime minister won Lesotho’s parliamentary elections, according to complete results posted Tuesday on the website of the southern African country’s Independent Electoral Commission. Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili’s Democratic Congress won 41 of 80 seats, the simple majority needed to form a government, though it may need to form a coalition to consolidate power. The All Basotho Convention, the main opposition, had 26 seats. Shortly before Saturday’s vote in this nation of 2 million, Mosisili broke away from the Lesotho Congress for Democracy, which had been riven by an internal power struggle. The Lesotho Congress for Democracy had 12 seats while another opposition party had one according to the final results.Full Article: Lesotho prime minister's party wins vote | Nation & World | The Seattle Times.
Hundreds of rival supporters packed out Maseru’s Manthabiseng Convention Centre on Monday, waiting (mostly) patiently to hear the final results of Lesotho’s general elections held on Saturday. Their waiting was in vain, however; official results will only be announced on Tuesday morning at the earliest, and that is only if the bad weather clears up and the helicopters are able to land in remote areas to collect the ballots. However, the result of the election is an open secret amongst party leaders and officials from Lesotho’s independent electoral commission, who told the Daily Maverick that Prime Minister Mosisili had edged his main opponent, Thomas Thabane, by just one constituency seat. This is based on the vote counts conducted in each constituency, which have yet to be verified or announced, but are unlikely to change.Full Article: Daily Maverick - Lesotho election: Prime Minister leading the race - but not by enough.
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in Maseru will start distributing ballot papers starting on Wednesday in preparation for the Advanced voting on Saturday. This has been confirmed by the District Electoral Officer (DEO) in Maseru, Mr. Motlohi Sekoala in an interview on Tuesday. Mr. Sekoala said the ballot papers will be distributed under heavy police guard to ensure maximum safety during the exercise. He said there are about 970 advanced voters in 18 Maseru constituencies who are expected to cast their votes after applying as advanced electors.Full Article: IEC distributes ballot papers | Public Eye Daily.
The King of Lesotho has set 26 May as the date for eagerly awaited general elections following a successful dialogue that ended the deadlock among the main political players. Agreement was reached one year ago after lengthy negotiations mediated by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) aimed at finding a lasting solution to the political challenges in the country. “King Letsie III, in accordance with section 37 (1) of the 2011 National Assembly Election Act, and acting in accordance with the advice of the Council of State, proclaims that May 26 will be Election Day,” said a statement released by Prime Minister Mosisili Pakalitha in March. King Letsie III dissolved the Lesotho Parliament on 15 March to pave way for campaigning by the country’s 10 political parties. Post-electoral dissatisfaction emerged in Lesotho after the 2007 elections as the opposition party refused to accept the results, plunging the country into a crisis.Full Article: allAfrica.com: Lesotho: King Announces May Election.