Presentation on theme: "1 1. The General Cooperation Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa (RSA) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) signed."— Presentation transcript:
1 1. The General Cooperation Agreement between the Government of the Republic of South Africa (RSA) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) signed on 14 January 2004, and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation on matters relating to elections in the DRC signed between the respective governments on 30 November 2004 make provision for the two governments to support each other in areas of mutual interest; 2. The following RSA departments are involved in the DRC preparation towards its democratic elections due to be held sometime in 2005: - Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), - Department of Home Affairs (DHA), - Department of Provincial & Local Government (DPLG), - Department of Public Service & Administration (DPSA), - Department of Defence (DOD), - South African Police Service (SAPS), and - Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). RSA-DRC: Background
2 IEC RSA: Background Wishing to pursue the objective of cooperation with regard to elections in the DRC the IEC RSA has: Participated in the fact-finding missions to the DRC since 2003. Signed a MOU with the IEC DRC relating to elections in the DRC, Put together a Task Team that will facilitate its assistance programme in the DRC. Resolved to second on full-time basis a staff member for the DRC project co- ordination, Completed the identification exercise of areas of engagement in the DRC.
3 IEC RSA: Activities The IEC RSA shall provide advice and/or technical assistance to the IEC DRC in the following areas: Logistics; Recruitment and training; Conflict resolution; Voting and results collection; Capacity building for the Commission; and Information communications technology;
4 DRC Profile Since the independence of the DRC on 30 June 1960, apart from the electoral dispensation of 1965, it has never been possible to organise truly free, transparent and democratic elections in the country. The July 2004 estimates put the population of the country at 58,317,930. There is a long history of conflict and civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In December 2002, the Pretoria Accord (Global and All-Inclusive Agreement) was signed by most parties to end the fighting and set up a government of national unity. This was endorsed at the final session of the Inter-Congolese Dialogue at Sun City in April 2003. In terms of this Agreement, the parties involved in the conflict committed themselves to, among others, the establishment of a representative transitional government and the holding of elections by July 2005. The Transitional Government was set up in May 2003; Joseph Kabila remains as president and is joined by four vice presidents from the former government, former rebel camps, and the political opposition.
5 The greatest challenge facing the DRC at present is how to advance to Elections that must be held, according to the Global All-Inclusive Agreement, within 24 months of the setting up of the Transitional Government, i.e. July 2005. DRC Political Context
6 Legal Framework Elections need a legal framework to guide and protect the process. The key foundations for an election are: An electoral system (method of translating votes into seats), The electoral law (codification of the electoral system, franchise rights and electoral operations), and The electoral management body (organisation responsible for the administration of the election). The Legislative Framework process is currently running behind in the DRC : The Constitution is not yet approved. Electoral Law is not yet in place. Constitutional Referendum: to decide the constitution, the kind of state and electoral system/s to be adopted, is still to take place.
7 IEC DRC The inter-Congolese dialogue adopted resolution No DIC/CPJ/09 which led to the creation of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of the DRC. The IEC DRC was thereafter established according to Article 154 of the Transitional Constitution of the DRC, which states that the IEC shall be composed of equal representation of the Components and Entities of the inter- Congolese Dialogue taking into account provincial representation and the representation of at least one woman per Component and Entity. Structure of the Commission: Chairperson and 3 Deputy-Chairpersons 8 other members special committees consisting of 13 members Proposed Commission Infrastructure: 1 National Office 11 Provincial offices 64 Liaison offices 9000 registration centres 40 000 voting stations
8 DRC: Challenges Implementing the various phases and timeframes of the electoral process. The size of the country and its infrastructural challenges. Technical as well as material assistance. Immediate availability of funds to enable the Commission to meet agreed timeframes. Need for an effective party liaison structure. Security Issues. Offices and staff Issues. Building a culture of democracy and reconciliation.
9 Conclusion Enough goodwill among the citizens, civil society and international agencies to make the elections happen. The UN and other agencies have already deployed their key technical staff to steer the process and are committed to ensuring successful elections.
10 Burundi The IEC RSA donated electoral material to IEC Burundi in November 2004: Around 14 000 polling booths Around 7000 polling boxes Otherwise the Burundi Commission is in control of the situation.
11 Strictly Confidential Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs IEC Briefing – 02 March 2005 Dr B.H. Bam: Chairperson, IEC Adv N.D.P. Tlakula: Chief Electoral Officer, IEC