IEC hon­oured for ‘cred­i­ble’ poll

Lesotho Times - - News - ’Marafaele Mohloboli

THE In­de­pen­dent Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (IEC) has won two in­ter­na­tional good gov­er­nance awards in recog­ni­tion of its man­age­ment of the snap 28 Fe­bru­ary 2015 gen­eral elec­tions.

The awards were con­ferred by the Lon­don­based In­ter­na­tional Cen­tre for Par­lia­men­tary Stud­ies (ICPS) dur­ing its 11th In­ter­na­tional Elec­toral Awards cer­e­mony held in Puerto Val­larta, Mex­ico, from 13 – 14 Novem­ber 2015. ICPS is a re­search in­sti­tu­tion of the United Na­tions Pub­lic Ad­min­is­tra­tion Net­work.

The ac­co­lades, which were re­ceived by IEC Com­mis­sioner, Makase Nyaphisi, were in the cat­e­gories of Elec­toral Con­flict Man­age­ment and Mi­nor­ity Par­tic­i­pa­tion.

Mem­bers of the ICPS’S elec­toral stake­hold­ers net­work nom­i­nate can­di­dates to be con­sid­ered for awards in cat­e­gories cov­er­ing a broad range of sec­tors.

Dur­ing the awards-giv­ing cer­e­mony, the elec­toral body was lauded for ad­min­is­ter­ing “cred­i­ble, in­clu­sive and fair elec­tions in 2015 un­der a highly stress­ful and threat­en­ing political cli­mate”.

“It (ICPS) em­pha­sised that the elec­tions were all-in­volv­ing, par­tic­i­pa­tory with min­i­mal er­rors, trans­par­ent ad­min­is­tra­tion and lim­ited bud­get,” said the IEC in re­sponse.

“The Mi­nor­ity Par­tic­i­pa­tion Award re­wards elec­toral man­age­ment bod­ies and elec­toral of­fi­cials who strength­ened and ex­e­cuted the rights of mi­nori­ties to cast their vote and ac­tively par­tic­i­pate in the demo­cratic process.

“Ev­ery group present in so­ci­ety has to be able to cast their vote and thus be ad­e­quately rep­re­sented in the elec­toral out­come. No one should be ex­cluded from the demo­cratic process due to gen­der, eth­nic­ity, re­li­gion or any other so­cial, bi­o­log­i­cal or cul­tural rea­sons.”

The ICPS also took note of the IEC’S ef­forts to en­sure the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of women and mi­nori­ties dur­ing the Fe­bru­ary polls.

Le­sotho was sup­posed to hold its gen­eral elec­tions in 2017, but was forced into snap polls fol­low­ing the break­down of re­la­tions be­tween coali­tion govern­ment lead­ers, for­mer premier Thomas Tha­bane and Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing.

The squab­bling prompted the dis­so­lu­tion of par­lia­ment on 5 De­cem­ber 2014 and the snap elec­tion, which ush­ered in a new govern­ment.

IEC COM­MIS­SIONER MAKASE NYAPHISI.

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