CANGO CONGRATULATES EBC ON TRANSPARENT NOMINATIONS
THE Eswatini Elections Support Network under the Coordinating Assembly of Non-Governmental Organisations (CANGO) congratulates the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) on successful and transparent 2018 nominations.
The networks’ Head of Observer Mission, Tjengsile Shabangu made these remarks during the organisation’s press briefing on their Electoral Observer Mission yesterday at CANGO offices.
“The Eswatini Elections Support Network hereby observes that the nomination process was transparent, peaceful, free and fair in all the nomination centres.
The Elections Support network would like to congratulate His Majesty’s Government and the Elections & Boundaries Commission on a successful nomination process,” she said.
Shabangu explained that they had deployed 110 observers in 87 nomination centres in 37 Tinkhundla constituencies across all Eswatini regions.
She also commended the EBC for the use of Twitter and Facebook pages which provided key updates for the nominations.
Shabangu added that in most nomination centres, there were usually around 300 eligible voters that effectively participated in the nomination process selecting their own choices to represent them in the next parliament and local administration.
She explained that the highest turnout was seen at KaMkhweli in Siphofaneni, where over 1 500 eligible voters participated.
“This shows that the nomination centres were announced well in advance allowing the community to effectively participate in the process.
During the nomination days, radio announcements in Siswati continued to be aired during the day and this is greatly encouraged,” she added.
Furthermore, the head of observer mission highlighted that the EBC went to great lengths to ensure that signage was placed in most nomination centres and public transport was made available to all eligible voters allowing communities to participate in the process.
“In all areas covered, most presiding officers were knowledgeable on the nomination process to be undertaken as provided in the electoral laws of Eswatini,” she said.
She said most nomination centres were set up and ready to start working by eight in the morning and by nine most had commenced the nomination process.
Shabangu added that most nomination centres finished the process around five pm and took an average of 8 hours to finish the nomination process.
“Timely and adequate provision of voter materials to undertake nomination exercise could ensure that unnecessary delays are avoided,” she said.
“Accessibility covers people living with physical disabilities and their movement inside a nomination centre, blind people and hindrances for them moving around a nomination centre and assistance that was provided by the commission ensuring that they enjoy their full rights,” she added.
However, Shabangu also touched on some of negatives facts that the team noted during the nomination process, saying wherein the nomination process was well organised, some nomination centres were changed at the last minute like Emhlane, Old Nkhaba Inkhundla which caused confusion to the residents.
“Some presiding officers lacked patience in managing the process as observed in KaLanga. Such misunderstanding could easily have been managed by explaining the process to the communities and what was expected from eligible voters,” Shabangu said.
She further added that logistic delays were common in most nomination centres due to lack of extension cables to charge laptops. She said in some nomination centres, lack of tables and chairs for election officials including shelters were also common delaying the commencement of the nomination process. “Some centres had PA systems and some had mega phones. Some of the nomination centres finished as late as 8:00pm like Nkanini Umphakatsi
in Lobamba,” added Shabangu. She went on and shared that even though most polling stations were accessible to people living with disabilities which she said is commendable as it allows for the inclusion of the rights of people with disabilities but there were those few who made it impossible for some people living with disabilities especially those on wheelchairs as some polling stations such as schools lacked wheelchair ramps.
FULL HOUSE: Emaswati came in numbers during the national elections at Madlenya Chiefdom in Siphofaneni on Sunday.
TRANSPARENT: EBC Chairman Chief Gija.