Multi-party meetig on the state of electoral democracy in South Africa media statement by Bantu Holomisa, MP - UDM President (6 December 2007)

In line with the AU Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, the International Conference on Sustaining Africa's Democratic Momentum held in Sandton Convention Centre 5-7 March 2007, as well as the State of Electoral Democracy in South Africa Conference held in Bryanston, Johannesburg 8-10 October 2007 by the Independent Electoral Commission, about 17 political parties will be converging in Pretoria at the Burgerspark Hotel on 8 December 2007 at 9h00 to concretise some of the points which were raised in the IEC's Bryanston Conference in October.

The media, public and delegates who attended the October conference will recall that no resolutions were taken, as a result the political parties who were in attendance expressed a desire to meet separately for a follow-up meeting to revisit some of the points raised in order to formalise submissions to the relevant authorities (whether IEC, Parliament etc) regarding potential loopholes and weaknesses in our electoral system. Some of the points that will be discussed in the forthcoming meeting, identified at the IEC Bryanston Conference, were:
1. Levelling of the playing field
- Access to state-controlled media (and media in general), before, during and after elections
- Party funding
2. The IEC's level of independence
3. Floor-crossing
4. Creating an enabling environment of participatory democracy
5. Inter and intra-party democracy

For further details see the attached draft agenda. At the end of the meeting the parties will take resolutions with a view to forwarding them to the relevant stakeholders.

The meeting will be facilitated by Professor Sipho Seepe, who was one of the panellists at the IEC conference in Bryanston.

The UDM volunteered to coordinate this follow-up meeting, which was supported by the other political parties. So far 17 political parties have confirmed attendance.

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