Intro elections
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Web dossier elections Southern Africa

Elections: the most direct aspect of democratic governance. But in the
hands of malicious politicians and groups, elections can be transformed
into a dangerous weapon. The vote counting, but also events in the
run-up to the elections can be manipulated. One-sided information,
intimidation, violence and deception can gain the upper hand.

Without freedom of expression and free, independent media, elections can
never be ‘free and fair’. This is why NiZA supports independent
newspapers, radio broadcasters and organisations working toward free
media in southern Africa.

For fair and democratic elections, however, more is required. The SADC
governments have admitted as much. In a meeting on Mauritius in August
2004, they promised to safeguard the requirements for democracy (such as
freedom of assembly and expression) in their region.

NiZA, in cooperation with partner organisations EISA, MISA and a number
of other like-minded organisations, plans to make sure the SADC
governments stay true to their word. In February, a report will be
published on the topic of ‘election principles’, evaluating how well the
SADC governments have lived up to their promises.

See also the website 'Mauritius Principles Observatory' about the PEPSA-project.


The web dossier ‘Elections in Southern Africa’ provides an up-to-date, integrated view of the conditions under which elections are being held in southern Africa.

This web dossier contains results, news, reports from observer missions
and personal reports by NiZA employees working as observers during
elections. The dossier is continuously being expanded. In 2006, special
attention will be given to the elections in Congo and Angola.