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Academics, Politicians Want Electoral Body For Africa

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by nngu007, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. nngu007

    nngu007 JF-Expert Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
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    Fri, Nov 11th, 2011
    Fri, Nov 11th, 2011| National

    Deputy speaker of the Kenyan National Assembly Farah Maalim

    Political experts and activists from Eastern African countries have called for the establishment of an independent, umbrella electoral body to watch over local electoral commissions in the region.

    They were of a view that the move may help to improve the so-called ‘free and fair' elections in many parts of Sub-Saharan Africa that always leave a lot of unanswered questions, if not conflicts in the region.

    Participating in the just ended three-day seminar on electoral democracy, which was organized by MS-Training Centre for Development Co-operation (MSTCDC) in Usa-River area of Meru District, the experts wanted such a body to be formed promptly.

    The delegates include senior academics, politicians, NGO representatives from
    Tanzania, Kenya,Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Egypt.

    "This will be a lasting solution to be found for the prevalent rejection of election outcomes in the region," said Mr Farah Maalim, deputy speaker of the Kenyan National Assembly.

    Supported by a number of other participants, Mr Maalim maintained that having a regional body in managing elections will help to boost democracy as some leaders in the eastern part of the continent would like to stay in power forever, so they are ready to do anything for them to remain in power, including tampering with polls through electoral commissions that are more often biased.

    He also called upon countries to ensure that their constitutions are made in a way that key institutions like electoral commission remained neutral with full autonomy, contrary to the current situation whereby they are appointed by the executives, who are ready to manipulate elections at anytime they want.

    The Kenyan National Assembly speaker further discouraged the so-called coalition governments in the region, saying the move distort the real meaning of democracy and its principles.

    Mr Maalim also called on governments to take practical actions against all those linked to corruption scandals, saying corruption is a menace in everything from socio-economic activities as well as democracy, hence need to be fought vehemently.

    "East Africa is not safe from this menace and it is so because there are no punitive actions taken against the perpetrators," he said, calling on governments in the region to ensure that they phase-out corruption.

    Mr Maalim expressed disappointment on the way corrupt people are playing with people's poverty during elections.

    "You find someone who is allegedly involved in a certain corruption scandal, using the same money to buy voters and win the poll, this is not fair.

    There should be mechanisms which will make these people out of the democratic process because they use the same money stolen from the public."

    Participants were also of the view that rigging or tampering with election results through puppet electoral commissions are catalysts behind escalating cases of corruption in Africa.

    On his part, a Tanzanian academic, Prof Issa Shivji called upon African countries to critically think on the best model of democracy that Africans need.

    He said modern democracy comes with modern capitalism and in most cases liberal democracy have proved a failure even in the western countries.
    By MARC NKWAME, Tanzania Daily News

  2. nngu007

    nngu007 JF-Expert Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Joined: Aug 2, 2010
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    This will be a very good idea as it will get ride of some of greedy Presidents

    The body will be fair and it will be for Africa no favors