Monday, March 31, 2014

Malawi: MEC and police service geared up to deliver free and fair elections

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) together with the Malawi Police Service (MPS) have geared up to deliver a credible election this year. MEC Commissioner Ambassador, Rev Emmanuel Chinkwita-Phiri made the remarks Friday at Lilongwe Police Training Centre during Anti-Violence meeting for Multiparty Liaison Committees (MPLCs) organised by the MPS in Lilongwe. He said the commission appreciates the role the MPS was playing in ensuring that this year’s elections are held in a peaceful and secure environment to all players.

Chinkwita-Phiri commended MPS for the job well done both during registration and nomination processes as there were no reports of violence and intimidation because of adequate security that MPS provided. “I urge the police to maintain the track during this campaign period. Election ahead, offers an opportunity for the MPS to prove to the nation and all stakeholders that it is and it will remain a professional and nonpartisan body,” said Chinkwita-Phiri. He said holding of peaceful elections is not the responsibility of only Police but all stakeholders that include political candidates, traditional leaders and the electorate among other stakeholders.

“If all of the stakeholders can play their rightful roles, we will confidently be on a safe course to hold a free, fair and peaceful election on May 20 this year,” he said. He said political party leaders and candidates also have a key in ensuring that election are held a free and fair environment, in some cases it is what has been said during campaign meetings that sparks violence or what is done clandestinely. “I urge every one of us to practice clean politics. People will vote for you because of your manifesto and what you are promising to do for them when voted into office,” said Chinkwita-Phiri.

Commissioner of Police for Central Region, Demster Chigwenembe said hate speeches are a recipe to political violence and politicians have to desist from such speeches that would incite violence. He said political parties should instead preach peace. He said the recent sad and unfortunate incident that happened in Thyolo where two lives were lost and property should give political parties a lesson in the country. “As police we are ready to work with everyone to make sure that there is no violence during political meetings. We will provide all the necessary security,” said Chigwenembe. This year’s campaign period is under the theme, ‘clean campaign; say no to violence.

Source: Mana Online

Malawi: Multiparty Liaison Committee strategizes for violence free 2014 Campaign

Zomba District Multiparty Liason Committee(MLPC)  has set up a code of conduct for political parties to ensure a violence free political atmosphere during the campaign period for the elections which the Malawi Electoral Commission has declared ahead of the much anticipated historical 2014 tripartite elections. At a meeting held at the district council chamber under the chairmanship of Zomba District Commissioner, Charles Thombozi, party representatives and independent candidates resolved to refrain from propagating political violence in the district.

Among the resolutions, the committee agreed to meet every Monday to distribute venues to competing candidates to avoid clashes of venues which many believe is a source of political conflicts among party supporters who resort to fight when they meet at the same venue. Thombozi assured all the competing candidates in the district that the political field will be levelled as far as permission of venues is concerned. He went on to say that no party or particular candidate will be favoured because it is the committee every Monday during the campaign period that will be responsible for equal and fair distributions of venues.

“This time it will not be the DC and the Police Officer In Charge whom you mostly accuse of favouring some interests, but the process will be done in a transparent and open manner following all applications received by the Multiparty Liason Committee, in which each representative of all competitors in the district will be involved in the distribution of venues. This was a sigh of relief to many members who expressed concern that some politicians may be booking all venues in a constituency quickly to block others. However, Thombozi clarified that according to the code that was drafted by the parties themselves in December last year, booking of venues will still be on first come first serve basis meaning that the party or candidate who brings a letter first shall be recorded indicating time in the register.

A MEC Code of Conduct for Chiefs was also read in the presence of Senior Chief Chikowi and Senior Chief Mlumbe representing all traditional leaders in the district among which it said no chief shall favour any candidate in their areas. The code also cautioned traditional leaders against denying some competing candidates in their areas to access venues to give advantage to others. Senior Chief Chikowi promised chiefs in the district will level the playing field saying as chiefs they are parents who look after all the children equally but warned some candidates who organize party meetings without informing them. The ruling  People’s Party (PP), United Democratic Front(UDF), Malawi Congress Party(MCP),Democratic Progressive Party(DPP), Alliance for Democracy(AFORD) and all independent candidates form the Multiparty Liaison Committee in the district.

Source: Malawi News Agency

Egypt presidential election set for late May

The first round of Egypt's presidential poll has been set for 26-27 May, officials say, days after army chief Field Marshal Abdul Fattah al-Sisi resigned and announced his candidature. State TV said nominations would be accepted from Monday until 20 April. Abdul Fattah al-Sisi led the overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July after mass opposition protests.

Correspondents say he is likely to win the presidency, given his popularity and the lack of any serious rivals. If he does not win more than 50% in the first round of voting, a second round will be held on 16-17 June. Egyptians abroad will vote between 15 and 19 May, state media report. The only other person to declare his candidacy so far has been Nasserist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, who came third in the last presidential elections in 2012.

If Mr Sisi does become president, he will be the latest in a line of Egyptian rulers drawn from the military; a line only briefly broken during President Morsi's year in office. Human rights groups say the military-backed authorities have displayed increasing hostility to independent media and to political opponents. Since Mr Morsi's overthrow more than 1,000 people have been killed and thousands of members of Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood have been detained in a crackdown by the interim authorities, who have designated the Islamist movement a terrorist group.

Source: CNN Africa

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tunisia declares elections in 2014, despite delays.

Tunisia's presidential and parliamentary elections will go ahead as planned later this year despite delays in approving a new election law, authorities said on Wednesday.No date has yet been set for the elections, the second ballot since the 2011 uprising that ousted autocrat Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and the first since the adoption of a new constitution praised internationally as a model for transition to democracy.

"Thesecond elections after the 2011 vote will be more difficult because the standards will be tougher," said Chafik Sarsar, head of the Independent Election Commission (ISIE)."Elections should be held on time in 2014, despite all the difficulties," he said.Sarsar acknowledged hurdles to overcome, including the fact ISIE does not yet have a headquarters and delays to the new electoral law meant to provide a framework for running the ballot.

Three years after its revolt, Tunisia is in its final steps to full democracy, with a new constitution adopted and more political stability than in Libya and Egypt, which also ousted long-standing leaders in 2011.After months of crisis, Islamist party Ennahda agreed to resign in January under an agreement with the secular opposition to make way for a caretaker government which is running the country until the elections.

The ISIE, the independent body for overseeing elections, was formed two months ago. After weeks of delay, the transitional parliament will starts discussions, probably next week, on approving the electoral law.
Officials said the authorities were seeking to register more than 4.2 million voters.

Source: Reuters

Malawi needs electoral reforms - MESN

Based on the first edition of the Long Term Observation report released by the Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) on the pre-election events ahead of the forthcoming tripartite election, the extent of illiteracy among candidates proves that standards of qualifications have to be raised for future elections.
According to MESN chairman, Steve Duwa, the Malawi electoral laws need to be reformed in order to ensure that people with a good standard of education get elected into the right positions so that they can understand relevant policies and anything regarding their work.

Duwa said this on Monday as their body presented findings established after their organization conducted a systematic observation on events leading to the elections which revealed that some of the aspiring Members of Parliament and councillors failed to fill their nomination papers due to failure to understand the terms used on the forms. “In some parts of the country, eligible candidates were found failing to fill the nomination papers due to failure to understand some terms on the forms which indicates that people do not understand basic English which is likely to hinder their service delivery once elected,” explained Duwa. The chairman then faulted the selling and buying of voter registration by some eligible voters and low turnout of women contesting as negative key areas in the electoral process.

“MESN has already found out that in some areas people had their voter registration cards bought by people of evil plans and as a key player in the electoral process, we condemn the development. “Also, the low number of women contestants, is one negative development the report indicated which according to MESN, will disturb the campaign on 50-50 representation of men and women in decision making positions,” observed Duwa. In addition, the project report also found out that some pockets of violence, as well as establishment of no go zones for other political parties were among the negative developments ahead of the election. The chairman however clarified that during the period, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) could not employ punitive measures as stipulated by law because it was outside campaign period but warned all election players ranging from political parties, traditional leaders, political leaders, and party followers to observe peace during the campaign period as any acts of violence are bound to be punisable.

However, on a positive note, MESN through the same Long Term Observation (LTO) established that Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) conducted voter civic education in a nonpartisan manner which was very effective. “Despite some of the CSOs having not yet embarked on civic education campaign due to lack of funds, those who have started are doing clean work not leaning towards any party,” added Duwa. David Ngomba, head of Long Term Observation (LTO) project for MESN explained that they have two more projects apart from the LTO namely Parrarell Vote Tabulation ( PVT) and Stuation Room project that are lined up for thorough monitoring of the whole election process to ensure  free and fairness. For the LTO only, MESN has trained and deployed 84 observers in selective constituencies and eight master trainers in all the four political regions of the country with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Source:  Malawi News Agency

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Guinea Bissau politicians hit campaign trail for key election

Campaigning in volatile Guinea Bissau is underway ahead of a much-delayed April 13 vote that many hope will draw a line under chronic instability in the country. The canvassing will go on without the participation of the country's national radio station after staff begun a 30-day strike. Official campaigning started Saturday and runs until the eve of the election where 800,000 eligible voters are to pick a new president and 102 legislators.

International observers have been positive about the peaceful campaigning so far and urged parties to maintain the order. Thirteen presidential candidates and 15 political parties are participating in the election in a country marked with frequent coups. Most politicians kicked off campaigns in their strongholds while a lot of activity was also visible in Bafata, Gabu, Oio and Bissau which are the most populated cities in one of West Africa’s least inhabited countries. The largest crowds have been observed at rallies of the leading and oldest party, the PAIGC which is led by José Mário Vaz, one of the most popular politicians in the country.
The country’s interim leadership and the electoral commission have also urged politicians and the electorate to avoid violence.

In a speech to launch the campaign period, interim President Serifo Nhamadjo, who will not vie, challenged candidates to exhibit fair play and accept the results of the ballot. "I would want people to transform this campaign into a violence-free democratic fete to be characterised by peace, tolerance and respect for each other," President Nhamadjo said. He said an estimated 4,923 local security forces will be deployed alongside the international peacekeepers to keep the peace. Mr Nhamadjo has led a transitional regime since a coup destabilised the country two years ago.

Source: Africa Review

Friday, March 21, 2014

Ghana: Expectations in NPP as Akufo-Addo declares plans for 2016 elections

Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo on Thursday officially declared his intention to make a third bid at the presidency of Ghana.The 2012 flagbearer of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) said he is looking forward to contesting the NPP's prediential primaries when the nominations are opened. Below is the full speech the NPP flagbearer delivered to the supporters.

Ladies and gentlemen of the media, dignitaries and members of the New Patriotic Party, fellow Ghanaians. Good morning and welcome. Thanks for accepting my invitation, even though I am told most of you claim to know already what I am going to say. I do hope I don’t disappoint you. As you may recall, I said on August 29, 2013, the day of the Election Petition verdict, that I would take some time out of the hurly burly of politics, get some rest, reflect and then announce what I envisage for my political future.

Shortly after I made that statement, my wife and best friend, Rebecca, and I travelled to the United Kingdom, where we stayed in London for some six months. This gave me a lot of time to think about things. Such a long period of reflection inevitably meant taking a hard look at my life and what I have done, particularly in the period since the mid-70s when I have been active in political life. I am humbled by the opportunities that I have had to contribute to the development of our nation, from the struggle against military dictatorship, through protecting the rights of ordinary Ghanaians in the law courts and on the streets, to the consolidation of our democracy and the projection of our national interest, first, in building the New Patriotic Party, and, also, as a member of parliament and cabinet minister.

Even though I will forever regret the fact that I could not lead the party to victory in 2008 and could not secure a declaration of victory in 2012, the party can be proud of what we have been able to achieve together for Ghana and, by extension, Africa, as a whole. Despite all the controversy that bedeviled the 2012 presidential election, we, in the NPP, showed responsible citizenship and put the nation first before our desire for power, because of our love of Ghana. We showed that it is possible and, indeed, desirable, to play by the rules even if it leads to unfavourable results for you. We might have lost that 2012 battle, but when the history of this period is told, I am confident that it will be most favourable to the NPP. Already, Ghana’s image as a peaceful, stable democracy has been greatly enhanced by the path the NPP took, after the controversial 2012 elections, to settle the electoral dispute in court and accept the decision of the court as final. I am proud to be a member of this great party and I am grateful to have been given two opportunities so far to lead it.

In trying to come to a decision, I asked the Almighty for his continuing guidance.I thought about the battles we as a people have fought to get us to where we are today in a nation governed by a constitution. I thought of the many people with whom I have been in some of these battles and the loyalty and hard work that we came to take for granted from each other. I thought especially hard about the 2008 and 2012 elections, when I was privileged to be the presidential candidate of my party. I thought about how lucky I was to have this brilliant economist, MahamuduBawumia, as my running mate in those two elections. I have been humbled by the loyalty, the confidence and trust that millions of Ghanaians gave to me. I thought about the huge disappointment that our loss brought to us all.

I thought about the passing of time and the fact that I shall be seventy years old in a few days time. I have asked hard questions of myself and of my body and I have taken the opportunity to see my doctors both here in Ghana and in the United Kingdom. I examined my commitment and the fire that burns in my belly with the desire to lead Ghana.I had time to think about the lessons of history and the examples of other countries and how such lessons might impact on the current state of Ghana.I had long discussions with Rebecca and my daughters and some of the people who have been a source of unflinching support before coming to a decision. I was in constant contact with Ghana whilst I was away in England.I received daily phone calls, text messages, emails, Facebook messages, and regular visits from Ghanaians from different parts of the world, from every region in Ghana, young and old, men and women, great and small. Themessage was unanimous: they all urged me to remain in frontline politics and to seek the candidacy of my party for the 2016 presidential election of Ghana.

The message from NPP members was along the lines: “You, Nana Addo, remain our best chance for 2016; Ghanaians are telling us we should bring you back.”The message from Ghanaians who are not NPP members, including supporters of other political parties, can be summed up as: “We have heard your message, we know who you are and what you stand for and we are ready to vote for you in our numbers in 2016.”In spite of all the disappointments of the last few years, I cannot ignore these calls, especially when, among those urging me to run,arethose who admit to supporting my opponents in previous contests, whether within the NPP or in national elections. My wife and I arrived back in Ghana a fortnight ago, sure of the decision that we have taken regarding my future in politics.

Since getting back, I have, as custom demands, spent my time going around the elders of my party, and a few other people to inform them of my decision before going public. I am happy to say that the message was positively received. I have been greatly humbled by the confidence that many, many Ghanaians from all walks of life, especially young people, some of whom are yet to cast their first ballot, have in me. I am profoundly grateful that so many people consider me worthy to lead this promising nation of ours, even at the young ageof 70. Fortunately for me,I chose two careers where there is no retirement age: law and politics.I thank the Almighty I am able to say that I feel spiritually, psychologically, emotionally, intellectually, physically, and patriotically strong enough to remain in the hurly burly of frontline politics.With great humility, therefore, I can announce that, when the party opens nominations sometime this year, I shall be ready, God willing, to contest for the position of NPP presidential candidate for the 2016 general elections. 

In so saying, I seek to lead a united party. Yes, we believe in internal competition and we must not shy away from the vibrant competition of ideas that is our custom as we battle each other for positions in the party. But, winning a party position should never be achieved at the expense of party unity. Every time a party member speaks ill of another party member, we break the hearts of the people who look to us to bring back hope into their lives. Yes, we are not perfect, and, we will make mistakes along the way, and some people will get carried away in the course of arguments. But, I believe, there is no single issue in our party that we cannot resolve amicably as a family to the satisfaction of all well-meaning parties to the issue. We have done very well over the last four months, under challenging conditions, to hold elections to choose some 140,000 officers to prosecute our 2016 campaign. No party in Ghana has been able to achieve this feat and I expect none will do so in the foreseeable future. We have plenty to celebrate and plenty more to look forward to. Let us focus on the bigger pictureand complete satisfactorily the process of choosing national officers on April 12th in Tamale.

Let us keep our party buoyant and healthy to make itmore and more attractive to the many disillusioned Ghanaians out there looking for a credible alternative to the NDC.Let us protect the dignity of the NPP in all that we do or say.We do not have to compete with the government in attracting negative publicity to ourselves. They are quite capable of managing that on their own with their incompetence. The duty of an opposition party is to keep the government on its toes and not to step on each other’s toes. In so doing, there is one principle that I wish to see guiding the way we do things in the NPP. We must have mutual respect. I am particularly attracted by then Governor Ronald Reagan’s dictum: “Thou shall not speak ill of a fellow Republican.”

We have a strong and ever growing party of competent men and women.Every day, more and more people, who care deeply about the direction that the current administration is taking the country, are joining our party. Let us make such peoplefeel welcome and confident that they have made the right choice with the NPP. In spite of all the propaganda against us, the facts are clear that NPP is as diverse as the country that we are in politics to serve. Let me make reference to one of the interesting statistics that emerged from the work done by the formidable DrMahamuduBawumiain compiling our case for the election petition. In many of the places that we were supposed to have lost, the gap between our votes and that of the NDC was abnormally high. It is our duty, therefore, to close that gap and we intend to do so by two means. First we intend to win the votes of the overwhelming majority of Ghanaians and, second, we shall protect those votes at every level to the point of declaration.

I have no desire to lead the NPP into another election petition in 2016. I certainly do not want to take election grievances to the streets either. I prefer we begin today to do the things that would greatly diminish any potential need to go to court. That means we want an election in which the results would be beyond dispute and would be accepted by all. That means we must secure the reforms that are necessary to enhance the integrity of the electoral system and the people who work for the system, the electoral officers. We need to ensure the integrity of the electoral process so that we can concentrate on what matters most: enhancing the lives of the people. The biggest threat to our democracy is the potential loss of confidence in the democratic system and the takeover offear where there used to be hope. Our people see all around them corruption, economic hardships, falling standards in education, inefficient public service system, joblessness, especially amongst the youth, and insecurity. They see awide gap between what some politicians promise and what they deliver. That is dangerous for all of us. 

We need to restore hope and confidence in our young people; we need to restore hope and confidence in the leadership of the nation. Every child must have the best education that this nation can provide. We need to offer young people hope, education, and skills for decent jobs with decent pay. We can no longer postpone the need for the structural transformation of our economy. Our current raw material producing economy isincapable of generating the jobs that our young people need and deserve. It is vital that we put in place a comprehensive, systematicprogramme for the industrialisation of Ghana, so that, by the end of the next decade, industrial products, not raw materials, will dominate Ghana’s economy. We need to work out the fiscal, monetary and technological incentives that can stimulate local production of goods and services by the private sector.That is the way to deal with widespread unemployment and low wages. That is the programme that the NPP, under my leadership, will be committed todelivering. Alas, all of this hinges on fixing our energy situation. Nothing must be spared to fix it. We cannot continue blaming an Act of God or Nigerians for our predicament. It is Ghana made, pure and simple. And, it must be fixed by Ghanaians.

As the experiences of the successful countries in Asia and elsewhere have shown, government has a very important and positive role to play in spurring industrialisation and economic transformation. It needs not be state-owned; it needs rather the vision, commitment and intelligent support of the state. But, to succeed in industrialising Ghana, we must show a far greater seriousness in building the nation’s infrastructure, including not only power, but also housing, transport, water, irrigation, and ICT. I believe we could have done much more recently even with the limited resources available. A major impediment to this is the worrying deficit in value-for-money when it comes to public procurements. The World Bank and Government of Ghana estimate a funding gap of some US$2 billion per annum to meet Ghana’s infrastructural needs. Yet, we managed to register a record budget deficit of more than US$4bn in 2012 alone, which occurred without even meeting our spending targets for infrastructural development in that election year. Two years on, our new Finance Minister continues to struggle to plug that fiscal hole instead of spending his vital energies to stimulate the economy.

The current economic difficulties call for efficient and honestmanagement of public resources and projects. Much of the difficulties facing the country today can be traced to widespread corruption and the apparent inability on the part of the current leadership to fight corruption. The depressing reality is that corruption is costing the nation jobs, as government chooses to pay more money for less. Corruption is denying our children money to fund their education, the school feeding programme is starved of cash, ask yourself why? Contractors are not being paid. Ask yourself why? Our development partners are refusing to release funds to support our budget, ask yourself why? Salaries are in arrears, ask yourself why? Unlike what we are witnessing today, what Ghana needs is a government that makes the issue of giving value for money the underlining principle for managing public funds. We need that to develop greater confidence in the economy.

I have learnt a lot in my four decades in frontline politics. I continue to learn. I have made mistakes in my life, I have said things I could on hindsight have put better. I have tasted defeats and also chalked some successes. I have played my part to see multiparty democracy becoming entrenched in our nation. I was part of PresidentKufuor’s team that demonstrated to our people that a liberal democracy can deliver on laying the foundations for economic prosperity.I want to be part of winning the next challenge: which is to build a modern, industrialised society in Ghana, where every citizen has the opportunity to prosper. This is the driving force of my life.I will stay true to what I believe in, no matter the pressures to do what is convenient. I am clear and convinced about the direction in which we must go as a country. I have been consistent on this because I believe in it. I am convinced Ghana can do better than this current state of affairs. And, I believe we can make the change that will make us better than this. We have unfinished business. And, I am ready to get back to work.

God bless the NPP. God bless Ghana.

Source: Peace FM Online

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Malawi Elections:MESN condemns violence at political rallies

The Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) has added its voice in condemning the violence that erupted at President Joyce Banda’s mass rally in Thyolo on Sunday that resulted in the death of two people, a civilian and a police officer. In a press statement made available to the Malawi News Agency (Mana) signed by its Chairperson,  Steve  Duwa, MESN  described the fracas  as uncalled for and very unfortunate saying the malpractice would prohibit people from  participating further in any electoral processes.

“This is very unfortunate and as MESN, we strongly condemn any form of violence in the run-up to the May 20 tripartite elections as that has the potential to scare away voters from participating further in the electoral processes that would help them make informed choices of their leaders,” said Duwa in the  statement. He then called on political party leaders to advise their supporters to avoid violence at any cost. “MESN urges political parties to advance issue based campaign. Malawi is known to be a peaceful nation and as such we condemn any leader or party that would want to turn it into a battle ground.

“MESN calls upon leaders of all political parties to desist from using the youths to attack their opponents in the name of political campaign,” he said. He also urged leaders of political parties to desist from using hate speeches when addressing their supporters saying hate speeches are a recipe for violence.“Malawians are tired of political leaders who promote hate speeches. Malawians want clean politicians who will bring hope to their suffering and pain.“At 50 now, the country has not benefitted anything from hate speeches and violence. Instead, innocent lives have been lost. MESN asks law enforcers to do their work professionally and bring to justice perpetrators of violence without fear or bias,” advised the chairperson.

Meanwhile, the Malawi Police Service has promised to intensify security during campaign periods that would grant an opportunity for Malawians to freely participate in the forthcoming elections, according to National Spokesperson, Rhoda Manjolo.The Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) is a registered and accredited civil society network by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) with a membership of 27 civil society organizations. Formed in 2003, MESN has so far participated in the 2004 and 2009 parliamentary and presidential elections. 

Source: Malawi News Agency

South Africa: 33 parties sign IEC pledge

Thirty-three political parties signed the Electoral Commission of SA's (IEC) code of conduct pledge on Wednesday. "The code of conduct lays out the rules of the game," IEC chairperson Pansy Tlakula said at the signing ceremony in Midrand, north of Johannesburg. "The code is binding for the political parties and South Africans during this period. Tlakula said 33 parties intended contesting the 7 May general elections."Three of them are yet to comply [with the requirements], they may be ruled out before the elections.

Parties still have until 24 March to submit outstanding [submissions]. Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille, Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota, and African National Congress secretary general Gwede Mantashe were among those present to sign the pledge on behalf of their parties. Patriotic Alliance secretary general Kenny Kunene and Economic Freedom Fighters national co-ordinator Mpho Ramakatsa were also present. Tlakula said the number of political parties had grown since the country's first democratic elections in 1994."There were 19 parties in 1994 and 21 in 2004. Contesting parties have their work cut out for them. It remains your responsibility to explain the code of conduct to your supporters."

Source: News24

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

SouthAfrica: 4 parties yet to comply to pre-election rules - IEC

Four political parties have not yet fully complied with pre-election rules and may be excluded from the poll, the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) said on Monday."A total number of 33 political parties have indicated their intention to contest the election of the National Assembly - although four parties are yet to fully comply with prescribed deposits and may be ruled out before the election," said IEC spokesperson Kate Bapela.
The deadline for the payment of deposits and submission of documentation, including candidate lists, was last Wednesday.She was as yet not allowed to name the parties.

"According to the legislation and election timetable, parties still have a window of opportunity until 24 March to submit any outstanding requirement."Bapela said if all 33 parties met their obligation, this would be seven more than parties contested the 2009 national election and just over double the number of parties which contested in 1999."In South Africa’s historic first democratic election in 1994 there were 19 parties on the national ballot paper and 21 in 2004," she said. "Even if the four parties which still have to comply with the nomination requirements were to be excluded, the ballot paper will still contain a record 29 contesting parties."

Most contested province

The Western Cape would be the most contested province with 26 parties submitting lists followed by Gauteng with 22, Limpopo with 20, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal with 18 each, and the Free State with 17. Mpumalanga, the Northern Cape and North West would be contested by 16 parties each.
Bapela said the commission had sent notices of non-compliance to all affected political parties. A total of 353 notices were issued on 15 March, and parties had until Monday to rectify any non-compliance.
The lists of candidates for each party (national, regional and provincial) would then be available for inspection from 28 March.

Any objection to candidates should be submitted in writing to the electoral commission’s head office in Centurion before 17:00 on 1 April. "Such objections must indicate the reason for the objection to a candidate and must show that a copy of the objection has also been lodged with the relevant political party," Bapela said. She said the commission would rule on the objections by 7 April, and any appeals to the rulings should be submitted to the Electoral Court by 10 April. "The final deadline for decisions of the Electoral Court is 15 April, following which the final list of candidates contesting the elections will be published on 22 April and certificates issued to candidates by 24 April." The election would be held on 7 May.

Source: News24

Monday, March 17, 2014

Nigeria Election: PDP Tries to Wrest Back Momentum from the APC

Nigeria's game of political musical chairs looks set to continue as the ruling party and opposition − as well as figures within − try to gives themselves the advantage. When Nigeria's four main opposition parties decided to band together in February 2013 to create the All Progressives Congress (APC), it sent shockwaves across the country's political landscape. For the first time since Nigeria's return to civilian government in 1999, it looked like the ruling People's Democratic Party's (PDP) dominance could be realistically challenged − especially as increasing numbers of disgruntled PDP members decamped to join the new party. Soon after the APC was established, five PDP governors and 37 members of the House of Representatives defected, while nearly a dozen senators declared their intentions to follow suit.

At the start of 2014 it seemed that all the momentum was with the APC, but this picture has been significantly complicated recently. At the start the February, the APC recorded its most high-profile defection when former vice-president Atiku Abubakar left the PDP to join the opposition. The event was a big victory for the APC, but was partly diminished by the divisive effect the move had on Abubakar's considerable support base. Only a fraction of his supporters chose to follow him to the APC, with the rest either choosing to remain in the PDP or shift allegiance to the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), a party Abubakar had considered joining, instead.

With the 2015 general elections around the corner, Abubakar's defection raises questions over his political ambitions. In 2011, he ran to be the PDP's presidential candidate but lost out to President Goodluck Jonathan, and rumours have emerged that APC leader Bola Tinubu offered Abubakar the party's presidential ticket in return for crossing the floor, something Abubakar denies. Nevertheless, with many similarly prominent figures within the APC, it remains to be seen how all of their ambitions will be accommodated.
Elsewhere, the APC has faced also faced challenges. The 11 PDP senators who wish to defect to the APC have still not been able to do so formally as a court continues to deliberate the legality of such a move.

The PDP has regained its majority in the House of Representatives after six APC members defected to the ruling party along with a member of another opposition party. And at the state level, key party leaders in Kwara and Adamawa states also decamped to the PDP. They followed in the footsteps of their counterparts in Kano and Sokoto states, meaning that in all but one of the five states from which governors defected from the PDP to the APC in November 2013, the APC has lost its original party leaders to the PDP. The growing number and intractable nature of such disagreements reveals a weakness within the APC, but the opposition party itself has pointed the finger at external factors.

 It accuses the ruling party of using government funds to lure its members, especially legislators, into defecting, and alleges that some of them are being offered as much as between $1 million and $5 million in bribes. The PDP has denied these allegations, calling the APC a sore loser.What is clear, however, is that this game of musical chairs is far from over as politicians attempt to put themselves in an advantageous position in view of the upcoming party primaries. As we continue to move through the pre-2015 election period, here are some things of which to take note.

Source: Think Africa Press

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Guinea Bissau court clears leading party candidate for April vote

Guinea-Bissau's highest court has cleared the way for the candidate of the West African nation's largest political party to contest next month's presidential election, quashing a legal appeal to block his candidacy.
Guinea-Bissau's attorney general had asked the Supreme Court to stop Jose Mario Vaz, a former finance minister, from contesting April's vote because of his suspected involvement in the embezzlement of a $12.5 million budget grant from Angola.

Vaz, chosen last week as presidential candidate for the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), has denied any wrongdoing.The Attorney General of the Republic did not have the legitimacy to intervene in the selection of candidates for presidential elections," the seven judges of the court said in the ruling published late on Tuesday.

Guinea-Bissau, one of the world's poorest countries will go the polls on April 13 in a long-delayed legislative and presidential election intended to draw a line under a 2012 military coup.The coup-prone former Portuguese colony has gained notoriety as a transit point in the smuggling of South American cocaine into Europe.

Source: Reuters

South Africa: EFF to submit election list

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) members clad in red T-shirts and berets stood outside the Electoral Commission of SA's (IEC) offices on Wednesday as the party prepared to submit its candidate lists.The group of about 40 stood around idly waiting in the car park near two vehicles with EFF banners draped over them.The party was expected to hand over its candidate lists and deposit cheque to contest the 7 May general elections to the IEC at 13:00.The deadline for submissions is 17:00 on Wednesday.

The deposit for parties contesting the National Assembly is R200 000 and R45 000 per province that they contest.The EFF took President Jacob Zuma, Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor, and the IEC to court over the amount. On Tuesday, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria dismissed the EFF's application for an interdict relating to the payment of the deposit to the IEC.

Source: News24

Burundi seeks to arrest opposition leader after clashes

Burundi's authorities have ordered the arrest of an opposition leader after clashes between his party members and police last week, a move the opposition said was a bid to remove rival voices before elections in 2015.Agnes Bangiricenge, spokeswoman for Burundi's public general prosecutor, told Reuters an arrest warrant had been issued for MSD Chairman Alexis Sinduhije.

More than a dozen members of the opposition Movement for Solidarity and Democracy (MSD) party, part of the Alliance for Democratic Change (ADC), were injured in clashes with police on Saturday.Witnesses said police tried to break up a party meeting. Officials say the party was stirring rebellion."Sinduhije is accused of participating in an insurgency movement and rebellion," Bangiricenge said, adding 50 MSD members were detained and their trial date would be fixed soon.

The east African nation is facing its worst political crisis since emerging from a 12-year civil war in 2005, worrying neighbors and Western donors that it could spark more unrest in an already volatile region of the continent.Sinduhije could not be reached for comment. Party associates said he had gone into hiding after the warrant was issued.The United States, a key donor, said it was worried by the use of heavy-handed tactics to break up the March 8 meeting, but also criticized MSD members who during the clashes captured two officers whom they accused of trying to disrupt the gathering.


Washington urged respect for the democratic process to allow for free and fair elections next year, though opponents of Nkurunziza have voiced little optimism for a transparent vote."We know for sure that this is an existing plan by the ruling CNDD-FDD party to exclude from competition any opponent who can pose a threat in the 2015 elections," said the chairman of the ADC opposition coalition, Leonce Ngendakumana.Interior Minister Edouard Nduwimana said the MSD could be suspended for six months or scrubbed from a list of legal parties.

"What Sinduhije and his party did is unacceptable. We can't tolerate a party or a politician who promotes uprising," Nduwimana told a news conference.The UN Mission in Burundi (BNUB), set up to assist in the political transition, called on Burundi's political leaders to avoid stoking tensions. France echoed the concerns of the United Nations and United States."We call on the Burundian authorities and the opposition to refrain from all violence and pursue dialogue with a view to general elections in 2015," foreign ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said on Tuesday.

Despite relative calm in recent years, rights groups have reported scores of political killings, intimidation of the opposition and a crackdown on the media since President Pierre Nkurunziza's re-election in 2010.Critics say the president is planning a third term in office, although he has not said so. The president's opponents and supporters differ on whether the language of the constitution would allow him another term.Tensions in Burundi have raised concerns of a new flare up in an area with conflicts smoldering in the eastern Democratic Republic Congo, South Sudan and the Central African Republic. Landlocked Burundi borders Rwanda, where Hutu extremists targeted ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus in the 1994 genocide.

Source: Reuters

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

South Africa: DA releases its election lists

The DA released its three election candidate lists yesterday, giving a glimpse of party leaders who might represent the party in Parliament in the post-election period. Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille emerged top of the national list followed by Mmoba Seshoka, while parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko was third.

Former top prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach, who joined the DA in February, is in the 33rd position.A surprising development was that former Eastern Cape premier Nosimo Balindlela did not even make the top 10.She was nominated to position 15 despite her vast experience in government and organisational matters.Mpumalanga provincial chairperson for the DA James Masango, who made it into the fourth position, said he was excited about the nomination.

He said this meant he would go back to the National Assembly to speak for the people.“I would not say I’m surprised but I did not expect to be in the top five,” Masango said.“I was an MP for eight years before I went to Mpumalanga,” Masango said.The DA national list appeared to have elevated some of its young members. Former DA Youth leader Makashule Gana was nominated to the 22th position, while former party media liaison office, Phumzile Van Damme, made it to 19th spot on the national list.

The DA’s national spokesperson, Mmusi Maimane, said the lists represented the most diverse and talented team the organisation had ever put forward for an election. He said the DA was, unlike the ANC, proud to make its list public.“In this election, we are asking each South African to make a critical choice about their future, about the state of service delivery and about who has the best policy for job creation,” Maimane said.The DA leader in the Limpopo provincial legislature, Desiree Van Der Walt, might have to kiss the province good-bye and head to the Mother City in the post-election period, having emerged in the 11th spot on the national list.

Source: The Citizen

South Africa:ANC submits 2014 election candidate list

The ANC submitted its list of candidates for Parliament and provincial legislatures to the IEC on Tuesday, secretary general Gwede Mantashe said.“We are comfortable with the list, we looked through it carefully,” he told reporters in Centurion.

Mantashe said the African National Congress national list committee was ready to respond to any issues the Independent Electoral Commission might raise.The deadline for political parties to submit their lists ahead of the national elections is Wednesday at 5pm.

Source: Morning Africa

South Africa: Zuma allies dominate new ANC electoral list

South Africa's ruling African National Congress on Tuesday unveiled its list of candidates for upcoming elections, with President Jacob Zuma loyalists dominating and some prominent critics taking a bow.The list of 200 parliamentary hopefuls -- which doubles as a tip sheet for who will feature in the next government -- was released ahead of the May 7 general election.

The vote promises to be the toughest electoral challenge yet for a party that has won each election since the end of Apartheid in 1994 by a landslide.Despite deep voter anger with persistent corruption and inequality, supporters of the embattled president won out.Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, who challenged Zuma at a recent party conference, is not on the list and has announced his retirement from front line politics.Neither is Trevor Manuel, a one-time finance minister liked by foreign investors, who has been critical of the government's failure to implement economic reforms in the face of rampant unemployment.The top of the list is instead dominated by Zuma's allies from his native KwaZulu-Natal province, and those who occupy key positions in the security sector.The document will offer ammunition to the ANC's critics who claim the party is not doing enough to tackle corruption or rooting out poorly performing ministers.

The list includes former communications minister Dina Pule, who was dropped from the cabinet after being found guilty of lying to parliament about her boyfriend's state tenders.State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, Zuma's close confidant whose wife was convicted of drug running, is also included.So too is former provincial minister Humphrey Mmemezi who resigned in 2012 after he bought a painting using a government credit card by masking it as a McDonald's restaurant purchase, the equivalent of around 425 Big Macs.

'Not serious'

The main opposition the Democratic Alliance said the ANC's list showed "once and for all - that it is not serious about fighting corruption".It is likely most of the candidates on the list will get positions in government or the legislature even if the 102-year-old party is expected to win this year's vote with a reduced margin.Generally cabinet ministers have to be lawmakers first before their appointment, although the law allows the president to pick a few non-parliamentarians.

"An ANC list is never an expression of competence or anything like that, it's always a political decision," said Mari Harris, the head of Ipsos South Africa.Among those political calculations appears to be an effort to shore up the ANC's support on the left and in the trade union movement -- which has become fractured over its backing for Zuma's government.

Rich vein

Senzeni Zokwana, the leader of the National Union of Mineworkers, appears alongside many members of the Communist Party, including its leader Blade Nzimande at number eight.Although the ANC commands a vast electoral majority, it rules in a so-called tripartite coalition with the South African Communist Party (SACP) and trade union federation COSATU.Memberships of the SACP, COSATU and the ANC often overlap and the two junior partners provide a rich vein of votes and grassroots organisation for the ruling party.

But those calling for more liberal reforms will also take hope from the inclusion of former central bank governor Tito Mboweni, raising speculation that he might replace Pravin Gordhan as finance minister. Cyril Ramaphosa, the former trade unionist who took part in the negotiations that saw the end of apartheid and then went on to become a top businessman, is Zuma's number two on the list.

Source: Africa Review

Monday, March 10, 2014

South Africa: ANC's 45% poll panic

The ANC in Gauteng has asked its volunteers to intensify their mobilisation campaign in townships to avoid getting less than 50% of the vote in the polls, City Press reported on Sunday.It was sparked by its own internal polls, which showed it could obtain at most 45% of electoral support in the province.This would be a sharp decline from the 64.4% the party won in the 2009 general elections.

The party’s internal polls, which were presented to campaigners in two separate meetings in recent weeks, suggest the party’s electoral support stands at 45% at best.The ANC’s in-house research is in line with the findings of an Ipsos survey, published in politicsweb, which put the ruling party’s support in Gauteng at 45.5%.This means it will need a coalition partner to govern Gauteng if the tide does not turn before 7 May.

However, ANC president Jacob Zuma, speaking in Ga-Rankuwa on Saturday, said he was confident the party would stay in powerin Gauteng.Ipsos SA's director of public affairs, Mari Harris, said in a statement issued in Februarythat the public's perception of how well government was doing had declined in the past three years, Harris said."Only about a third of South Africans are of the opinion that the country is going in the right direction."

Half of the adults believe that President Jacob Zuma and his government are not doing their jobs well, the survey showed."It should come as no surprise that the public are not impressed with government performance in most of the policy areas we measure," said Harris.Ipsos, a market research company, had conducted face-to-face interviews with 3 564 randomly selected adult South Africans who were interviewed in their homes and home languages.

The interviews were conducted in November last year, said Harris, adding that they were done every six months.The DA's candidate for premier in Gauteng, Musi Maimane, said in mid-January that the The DA's polling shows that the ANC's support could drop to less than 50%in Gauteng.The ANC's immediate response was to shoot it down as a "pipe dream".

Source: News24

Friday, March 7, 2014

Botswana: Government says it will not interfere with IEC affairs

Government says it will not interfere in the affairs of the electoral commission by calling for another supplementary voter registration.The IEC captured just under 200 thousand eligible voters in the just ended supplementary voter registration, taking the total number of people to vote in the October elections to 650 thousand. The electoral commission had targeted 80 percent of the 1.2 million eligible voters.

Following the low turnout in the supplementary registration, parliament last Friday passed a motion calling on the government to order another supplementary registration. But Presidential Affairs Minister, Mokgweetsi Masisi told our reporter, Thuso Motshegwe, that government will not meddle in the affairs of the IEC…
IEC spokesperson Osupile Maroba earlier this week said another supplementary voter registration is highly possible following the low turnout.

Source: Gabz FM Online

Nigeria: INEC begins distribution of voter's cards

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said yesterday that 657,256 permanent voters’ cards, PVCs, were ready for distribution to registered voters between today and Sunday at the 2,195 voting centres across the state.INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Alhaji Halilu Pai, said the figure represented valid voters in the state who registered during the 2011 voter’s registration exercise.

Pai, who spoke in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, during a stakeholders’ forum which had in attendance traditional rulers and religious leaders, said INEC had invited them in view of their influence in their communities and constituencies.The REC charged the traditional rulers and the spiritual leaders to help propagate the modus operandi of collection of the permanent voters’ cards to the people so that voters could come to replace their temporary voters’ cards with the permanent ones.

He added that nothing but the permanent voters’ cards would be acceptable for voting in the June 21 governorship election and other subsequent elections.While advising voters to keep the PVC safe since it is valid for 10 years, Pai advised the registered voters to take their temporary cards to the polling booths or registration points where they registered in 2011 to obtain the new card.

Source: National Mirror

Bissau's PAIGC names ex-minister as candidate for April vote

Thousands of drum-beating supporters accompanied former finance minister Jose Mario Vaz, candidate of Guinea-Bissau's main PAIGC party, to register for next month's presidential elections at the Supreme Court on Wednesday.Vaz, a former mayor of the capital Bissau, saw off several challengers at a congress on Sunday to win the nod from the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), which has dominated politics in Guinea-Bissau since independence from Portugal in 1974.

Wednesday was the deadline for candidates for the April 13 presidential election to register at the Supreme Court, with 15 having done so already. The court now has one week to publish a list of valid candidates.The long-delayed polls, originally scheduled for November, are designed to turn the page on an April 2012 military coup that toppled President Raimundo Pereira and Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior, a former leader of the PAIGC.

The coup came just days before a presidential runoff which Gomes Junior was widely expected to win. Vaz is regarded as close to Gomes Junior, having served as finance minister in his cabinet.With the rival Party for Social Renewal (PRS) riven by infighting following the resignation of its leader Kumba Yala Kobde Nhanca, Vaz is widely seen as favorite to win next month's ballot but will then face the difficult task of pressing ahead with military reform.

The U.N. special representative to Guinea-Bissau has urged the Security Council to consider imposing sanctions against anyone who attempts to undermine the country's forthcoming election.Guinea-Bissau, one of the world's poorest countries, has gained notoriety as a transit point in the smuggling of South American cocaine into Europe.U.N. officials say, however, that smuggling has tailed off since 2012.

Source: Reuters

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Zille: No DA official will survive MEC's record

No public official in the Democratic Alliance would survive a track record such as that of the ANC's Free State Health MEC Benny Malakoane, DA leader Helen Zille said on Tuesday."Dr Malakoane would be fired," Zille told party members at the announcement of the DA's governance plans for the Free State.
Malakoane was arrested in July on charges of corruption and fraud involving about R13m, with five other people. The charges relate to crimes allegedly committed while Malakoane was the municipal manager at the Matjhabeng local municipality in Welkom. Zille told the gathering the DA had called for Malakoane's suspension.

 In Zuma's government, if "number one does not face any charges, why should anyone else suffer?".Free State citizens knew about the issues around Zuma and Malakoane because they were in the open. Zille urged voters to make sensible choices about what they wanted for themselves, their children and others. Referring to the track record of parties in the coming general election, Zille said the issue was not race-related. "It is how do we deliver proper services such as water, sewerage, right through to education and health which was of real quality for all people," she said. Replying to questions, Zille said the DA was now a governing party and not just an opposition party.

"We no longer call for a stronger opposition," she said. The DA now said vote for a new government. This was the reason for the DA's open candidate lists. "A new government, who are they? We need all our candidates out there to show people who would lead them," she said. The ANC did not tell voters for whom they would be voting. She said that compared to the DA's open lists, the ANC had a closed, corruptible system, which mostly looked after the leadership's family and friends. "Leaders are unknown before elections in the ANC. It depends on the leadership clique at the top."Free State premier candidate and leader Patricia Kopane told the gathering the province needed a clean and corruption-free government. She said that under the leadership of former presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, South Africa had moved forward.

Source: News24

Egyptian women's rights advocate warns of military rule

The first woman to head an Egyptian political party has expressed concern that a return to military rule could threaten democracy in a country roiled by three years of turbulence. Hala Shukrallah, a Copt who now leads the liberal Al-Dostour Party, told AFP the failure of democratic groups to throw up a civilian leadership was benefitting the military, and could also help the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood make a comeback.

"We are asking questions regarding the entrance of the military in a democratic election," said Shukrallah, 59, when questioned about the possible election of army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as Egypt's next president."We have the very specific opinion that there is a danger, that this might infringe on the democratic process," she said in an interview at her party headquarters in central Cairo. Sisi, the most popular political figure in Egypt after he ousted Mohamed Morsy, the country's first freely elected and civilian head of state, said Tuesday he "cannot turn his back" on demands that he run for president. He has yet to formally announce his candidacy, but his supporters say he is certain to win the vote.

Fiery activism

Shukrallah, who was educated in Britain, was elected in February to head Al-Dostour, which was formed in 2012 by former vice-president and opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei. Nobel peace laureate ElBaradei quit the military-installed government in August after security forces violently dispersed two sit-ins of Morsy's supporters in Cairo that killed hundreds. Shukrallah, a sociologist who was arrested several times in the 1970s and 1980s for her fiery student activism, has helped found civil society groups which fight for women's rights.

Her election has been hailed as a positive "change" in Egypt, where Copts — the largest Christian community in the Middle East — and women in general have traditionally faced discrimination."Women have been very much in the forefront of (the) revolution and I think that has been clear not only to the people who were part of the revolution... but it has been very clear to the rest of society," she said, suggesting her election reflected the "shifts" in the society.

Source: Africa Review

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sisi 'can't ignore' demands to run for Egypt's presidency

Egypt's army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said Tuesday he could not ignore demands that he run for president and will take official measures soon, state media reported. Officials close to Sisi told AFP the recently promoted field marshal would step down as Defence minister after a law is passed to regulate the election expected this spring. Field Marshal Sisi emerged as the most popular political figure in Egypt after he overthrew Islamist President Mohamed Morsy in July following massive protests against the year-long rule of Egypt's first freely elected leader.

Field Marshal Sisi Sisi said "he cannot turn his back when the majority wants his nomination in presidential
elections," the official Mena news agency reported. "The next days will witness official measures," it quoted him as saying. Field Marshal Sisi is seen by his supporters as a strong hand who can stabilise Egypt following three years of unrest ignited by the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak.

Supporters rallied in the thousands in January calling on Sisi to run, and the military itself has said it would back his decision to enter the election, which he is certain to win. Interim President Adly Mansour is expected to approve the election law this week or next week by the latest. Field Marshal Sisi is reviled by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Morsy supporters, who say he masterminded a coup against the country's first democratically elected and civilian president.

Source: Africa Review

Namibia: Electoral Commission says voter's roll will be complete in May

The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN), which just concluded a 41-day general voter’s registration on Sunday, says it will have a fresh voters’ register ready in two months time. This was said by the ECN’s acting director of elections, Theo Mujoro, yesterday when he announced the end of the 3rd general voters’ registration.“The ECN will be carrying out a number of important activities relating to the preparation of the provisional voters’ register which will be displayed for possible objections during the period April 3 – 15,” said Mujoro.

He continued: “One May 27 will publish a notice in the gazette about the availability of the final voters’ register.”Mujoro said during the period March 3 – 9, the ECN will be receiving voter registration data from all 121 constituencies as well as from the country’s foreign missions abroad. It will also be “uploading voters’ data on [its] central servers at [its] headquarters; running Automatic Fingerprint identification System (AFIS).” This, he says, will identify and remove any duplicates from the provisional voters’ register.

During the same period the election body will be executing data integrity and quality checks. Before the gazetting of the new register on May 27, all registered Namibians who died before or on 26 May will be automatically be removed from the register with the assistance of the Ministry of Home Affairs. On those who will pass on after that day, Mujoro explained: “You must keep in mind that we have a supplementary voters’ registration and with this we go through the whole process again.”The supplementary voters’ registration is expected to take place before this year’s general elections and Mujoro urged all those who did not register yet, to do so then.

Source: Namibian Sun