Outcome of Multi-Party meeting with IEC Commissioners (7 April 2008) - statement issued by Mr Bantu Holomisa in his capacity as the Chairperson of the Multi-Pary Secretariat
The Multi-Party Secretariat (MPS) held a meeting on 7 April with the IEC Chairperson and other Commissioners. We believe the meeting went well and laid the foundation for further constructive engagement.
The following political parties attended the meeting, which was a clear indication of the seriousness of the concerns regarding matters affecting the electoral process:
Both the IEC and the political parties present agreed that they should work in unison to remove factors that bring about discontent for both parties. The meeting also agreed that there are long- and short term issues that should be addressed either by the political parties themselves or jointly with the IEC and/or the organs of State.
In line with this view the meeting agreed that the MPS should go back and synchronise the issues as suggested and engage the IEC in further deliberations on the implementation of such resolutions.
What came out clearly from the meeting was the fundamental requirement of decision making at national Political Liaison Committee (PLC) level which led to suspicions that the IEC is not independent. The political parties felt that, as major stakeholders in the electoral process, their views cannot be ignored. It is therefore clear that this issue should be one of the priorities that must be given urgent attention especially that not all the parties had influence on the appointment of current IEC Commissioners.
The MPS is scheduled to meet next week with a view to identify items that need short-term implementation and long-term implementation:
Longer term issues include, amongst others:
The meeting also noted that some of the problems alluded to at the meeting are already a subject of discussion at National Political Liaison Committee level.
One thing that nobody can deny is that the meeting managed to narrow the gap between the IEC and political parties and also to educate one another on a number of issues.