democracy

Court Reserves Tlokwe Vote Rigging Judgement

The Electoral Court in Johannesburg has reserved judgement in the alleged vote-rigging case of the Tlokwe Municipality's by-elections of 2013.

It was a long day for the hopeful independent candidates who brought the application to the Electoral Court, who complained about vote rigging.

The independent candidates were not happy with the investigations that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) conducted and want the court to impose an interdict to allow a third party to investigate the alleged vote-rigging.

Namibia’s SWAPO Leads Preliminary Poll Results

According to a second round of preliminary results, Namibia's ruling party looks set for a sixth straight election victory.
 
With slightly more than half of votes counted, the South-West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) party - in power since 1990 - was leading the polls with 77 percent.
 
The Electoral Commission of Namibia has released the first round of preliminary data putting SWAPO in the lead with slightly more than 66 percent of the vote.
 

Underperforming MPs Overwork Madonsela

Former planning minister, Trevor Manuel, says public protector, Thuli Madonsela’s office is so busy because public representatives are not doing their jobs.
 
Delivering the Helen Suzman Memorial Lecture at the Gordon Institute for Business Science in Johannesburg, Manuel said members of parliament and legislatures receive almost R1 million each to do constituency work.
 
He says if they were more in touch with the people they represent, Madonsela will not get so many complaint, adding that, it is up to civil society to keep democracy in check and energise it.

SADC Declares Moz Elections ‘Free and Fair’

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.”

Africa Adopting Democratic Principles

Political analyst and commentator, Professor Somadoda Fikeni, says in the past two decades many African countries have willingly adopted and embraced the internationally concept of multi-party democracy.

Speaking during the opening of the three-day Second Annual Colloquium on Electoral Democracy in Pretoria, Fikeni said the election management adopted by the African Union member states has removed the ‘dark continent characteristic’ which Africa used to be associated with by the world powers.

Madonsela: SA, An Unequal Society

Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, has described South Africa as one of the most unequal societies in the world.

In a speech delivered at the University of Stellenbosch, Madonsela says the country is one of the most unequal society despite the constitutional promises which include the substantive notion of equality.

"Compounding the situation is that poverty and unemployment have worsened and also the fact that, that too follows the contours of racial, gender and other forms of structural inequality or discrimination," she explained.

Call for Early Marriages to be Criminalised

Zambia’s first lady, Christine Kaseba, calls for the introduction of a new law to criminalise perpetrators of early marriages to help curb the vice.

Kaseba states that criminalising the act is the only sure way of fighting early marriages to ensure the protection of the girl-child as well as seeing a reduction in such practices.

She stresses that stiffer penalties need to be established to reduce the current percentage of girls being married off before the age of 17.

ANC Lost Support Due to e-Tolls: OUTA

The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) says the decline in support for the African National Congress (ANC) in Gauteng is due to e-tolls being forced on an unwilling public, despite the ruling party's claims to the contrary.
 
OUTA spokesperson, John Clarke, points out that, “As much as the ANC executive tries to downplay the decline, it is massive and is largely attributed to the decision to force e-tolls on an unwilling and angry public who won't pay for something they were not adequately consulted on or that they didn't ask for.”
 

IEC Admits Mistakes During Elections

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.” 
 

Election Observers Commend SA’s Democracy

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.

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