Forum for Electoral Reform established


26-November-2011

In a press communiqué, the Electoral Commission writes that “in implementing this roadmap, the representatives of political parties and the Electoral Commission have decided to establish a ‘Forum for Electoral Reform’ to work together in easing the consultative process, deliberating on pertinent issues and making recommendations for electoral reforms.”

The communiqué adds that the forum will be made up of two representatives of each registered political party, civil society represented by the Citizens for Democracy Watch and members of the Electoral Commission. Other designated persons may take part in advisory capacities.

“The forum has so far set about defining its role, structure and responsibilities and discussing certain preconditions which it deems necessary for the success of its work and the implementation of its recommendations,” it adds.

It continues saying that while the forum is unanimous in recognising the need for a thorough consultation process across all sections of the electorate, it has also taken cognisance of the fact that the process cannot take an excessive amount of time as the matters at hand are pressing for the nation.

The communiqué adds that at its next meeting the forum, among other matters, will decide on the preconditions to be submitted to government as well as finalise the revised roadmap and define a new and hopefully shortened time-frame for its work.

As part of the reform exercise, the support of international experts in the field of electoral laws has been sought, to help the forum through advice on international best practices. So far there has been confirmation from the Commonwealth that such help will be forthcoming.

Discussions are also ongoing with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for help in implementing a programme of public education and information to help generate national interest in the process and ensure public involvement, it adds.

The forum also welcomed the launch of the consultation process by the Electoral Commission earlier this week, where members of the public were invited to start making their proposals for electoral reforms to the office of the Electoral Commission.
 
The forum urged the public to take part actively in all aspects of the process.
The public will be continuously updated on the work of the forum through regular press communiqués.

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