JAE Volume 2 number 1, April 2003

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Editors: Denis Kadima & Khabele Matlosa

Editors: Denis Kadima & Khabele Matlosa

Contributors: Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja, Adrien Mulumbati Ngasha, Denis Kadima, Bookie Monica Kethusegile-Juru, Obede Baloi, Tom Lodge, Khabele Matlosa, Arsene Waka-Sakrini, Matezo Bakunda, Lloyd M. Sachikonye, Joram Kumaaipurua Rukambe, Balefi Tsie.

Key terms: Guerre, Paix, Democratie, Congo, Historique, Pratique Electorale, Republique, Democratique, independance, Electoral, System, Alternatives, Post-War, Democratic, Republic, Intra-Party, Inclusion, Women, Mozambique, South African, Negotiated, Governance, Lesotho, Lessons, Problematique, Dénombrement, identification, Démographique, Pre-Electoraux, Carte, Geographique, Zimbabwe, 1980, Reform, Namibia, Challenges, Constraints, Role, Functions, Performance, Botswana, Independent, Commission.

La Guerre, la Paix et la Democratie au Congo

Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja

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INTRODUCTION: Quelle est la nature du conflit armé en République démocratique du Congo? S'agitil d'une guerre civile, comme les médias internationaux persistent et signent ou avons-nous affaire à une guerre d'agression extérieure, comme l'affirment les autorités de Kinshasa et les patriotes congolais? Indépendamment de la position qu'on prendrait vis-à-vis du régime instauré par Laurent-Désiré Kabila au Congo, force est de reconnaître le bien-fondé de sa position, d'autant plus que les groupements rebelles ont été mis sur pied après l'invasion du pays par le Rwanda et l'Ouganda le 2 août 1998. Ainsi, devrons-nous, pour mieux répondre à la question posée ci-dessus, pouvoir dire pourquoi la guerre perdure depuis 1998. Qu'est-ce qui a perturbé la paix au Congo? Comment se fait-il qu'un pays aux dimensions continentales soit envahi, occupé et pillé par des Etats lilliputiens comme le Rwanda, l'Ouganda et le Burundi? En bref, la réponse à la question principale passe forcément par l'élucidation de ces questions secondaires.
Par conséquent, nous devons remonter aux origines et aux causes lointaines de la guerre des Grands Lacs pour amorcer les perspectives de l'instauration de la paix et de la démocratie au Congo. Avant donc d'examiner celles-ci, nous devons analyser les facteurs ayant plongé le pays dans la crise actuelle. Ceux-ci sont au nombre de trois: l'effondrement de l'Etat sous le poids de la corruption du régime Mobutu; le génocide rwandais et ses répercussions dans la région; et les visées expansionnistes du Rwanda et de l'Ouganda. Nous verrons ensuite ce qu'on peut espérer obtenir du processus de paix en cours et comment nous pouvons remettre sur les rails le processus de démocratisation intérrompu en 1997.

Aperçu Historique de la Pratique Electorale en Republique Democratique du Congo Depuis son Accession a L'independance

Adrien Mulumbati Ngasha

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Professeur Adrien Mulumbati Ngasha est maître de conférence dans le départment de la politique de science à l'Université de Lubumbashi.

INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPHS: La démocratie représentative telle qu'elle existe dans le monde depuis le 18 siècle implique que le peuple élise ceux qui gèrent les affaires publiques en son nom et à sa place. L'élection de ces derniers qu'on appelle gouvernants, est faite suivant les systèmes électoraux qui varient selon qu'on est dans les pays à régime politique monopartiste ou dans les pays à régime multipartiste.
Dans les pays à régime politique monopartiste les gouvernants sont choisis par les dirigeants du parti unique qui confectionnent les listes des ‘candidats' et font ensuite adopter ces listes par les électeurs par un simulacre d'élection. Si dans ce cas le choix des gouvernants par les responsables du parti se fait avant la présentation des listes des ‘candidats' aux électeurs, il arrive de fois que le choix se fasse à posteriori. Dans ces cas, sont élus les candidats que les dirigeants du parti unique estiment ou considèrent comme bons, et cela quel que soit le nombre des voix obtenues.
Dans les pays à régime politique mutlipartiste les gouvernants sont choisis par les gourvernés électeurs selon trois systèmes électoraux principaux: le système majoritaire, le système de représentation proportionnelle et le système mixte.

Choosing an Electoral System: Alternatives for the Post-War Democratic Republic of Congo

Denis K Kadima

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Denis K Kadima is the Executive Director of the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA), Johannesburg.

INTRODUCTION: The civilized way of selecting individuals as representatives of the citizens of a country is through free, fair and genuine elections. However, the translation of the results of an election into seats depends considerably on a combination of provisions and procedures known as the electoral system. Thus, the choice of an electoral system has a direct effect on the electoral results and has serious political consequences for representation and political stability.
In this paper I discuss types of electoral systems and their impacts on political representation and stability, and point out the most important elements that will affect the citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) when they choose and engineer an electoral system for their country. The experiences of various relevant countries will be outlined to enable the Congolese to draw lessons and expand their understanding of the political consequences of different electoral systems. Special emphasis is placed on the applicable experiences of countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) because of the similarity of their political, economic, cultural and social contexts.
There is no such thing as the perfect electoral system. However, it is undeniable that some systems have advantages over others. The design of an electoral system is always influenced by a country's particular conditions, including its history, culture, politics, demographic composition and the views and roles of key actors. The post-war DRC has the challenge of designing a system that will ensure political stability and fair representation and sustain nation-building efforts.
This paper is subdivided into two sections. The first gives a brief account of the political context in the DRC, a factor which will inform the choice of an electoral system for the Congo. The second section describes types of electoral systems, with an emphasis on those used by countries in the SADC region and their political consequences for those countries. In the conclusion, I suggest which electoral system is the most likely to meet the political needs of today's DRC.

Intra-Party Democracy and the Inclusion Of Women

Bookie Monica Kethusegile-Juru

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Bookie Monica Kethusegile-Juru is Technical Advisor (Gender) to the SADC Secretariat, Gaborone, Botswana.

INTRODUCTION: The inclusion of women in decision-making is a fundamental human right and an issue of social justice. There can be no democracy where ‘decisions about changing the lives of people are taken without the participation of more than half of the very lives that have to be changed. It cannot be participatory democracy when decisions are taken by some on behalf of others' (Mtintso 1997). Further, it has been argued that the participation of women in leadership positions has brought about 'another perspective' and resulted in increased focus, attention and allocation of resources to life quality issues such as health and education. The participation of women has been credited with bringing about a qualitative transformation of institutions, laws and policies (Molokomme 2001a).
As Zofia Kuratowska, Deputy Speaker of the Polish Senate, noted 'nobody with common sense can doubt that the participation of women in the political decision-making process should be comparable to [that of] men'. With that as background, this paper explores the extent to which intra-party democracy allows for the inclusion of women in electoral politics (Molokomme 2001b). There is no doubt about the political commitment of SADC member states at regional level to the attainment of gender parity in politics and decision-making, and indeed in all other spheres of life.
In the light of this expressed commitment, I explore the performance or practice of SADC member states in the representation of women in political decision-making positions and the trends that have emerged in methods of facilitating the entry of a critical mass of women into political leadership.
Finally, I reflect on the lessons that the DRC can learn from these experiences and their implications for a future in which gender parity will become the norm in SADC political systems.

Electoral Choice and Practice and the Democratic Process in Mozambique

Obede Baloi

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Dr Obede Suarte Baloi is Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique.

INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPHS: Elections, which constitute the basis of the concept and practice of modern liberal democracies, have a twofold significance: they serve as a tool for legitimating the political regime and they provide the main forum for both political competition and popular political participation. In both cases they help to secure popular control over government - the principal characteristic of a democratic representative system of government (Beetham and Boyle 1995).
Modern liberal democracies are basically representative political systems. This amounts to saying that a modern democratic government is legitimate to the extent that it has been constituted through some sort of expressed choice by the bulk of the citizenry. From Locke to Rousseau, from James Madison to Schumpeter, a democratic government is described as one that bears a popular mandate, obtained through several and distinct ways of amalgamating the popular will.
To be sure, as Schumpeter and a number of social choice theorists (notably William H. Riker 1982) stress, one important defining feature of modern democracies is that individuals acquire decision-making powers through a competitive struggle for the people's vote (Schumpeter 1954). This feature links elections with a particular institutional setting, namely that of a multi-party political system. This qualification is relevant because it is possible for elections to take place and political participation to be encouraged outside the realm of modern liberal and representative forms of democratic governments with a view to legitimating a particular political regime. Beetham and Boyle's ‘democratic pyramid' encompasses, apart from elections, civil and political rights, a strong civil society and an accountable government, all of which find expression in a well functioning pluralistic political system (Beetham and Boyle 1995).

How the South African Electoral System was Negotiated

Tom Lodge

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Professor Tom Lodge is Head of the Department of Political Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPHS: Since 1994 South Africa's National Assembly and its nine regional legislatures have been elected on a list-based system of proportional representation. Proportional representation is a constitutional requirement.
Elections for the Assembly and the legislatures are held simultaneously, though this is not a constitutional stipulation. Voters complete two ballot forms, one for the Assembly, the other for the legislature of the region in which they reside. Ballot forms refer to political parties only. Each party submits lists of candidates for the Assembly and the legislatures before the election. In the case of the Assembly, candidates either appear on a national list or on a list of nominations from the regions. Seats in the 400-member National Assembly and in the regional legislatures are allocated to each party in proportion to its respective share of the vote according to the Droop Quota and Highest Remainder method. In effect the system affords representation to any party that can win 0,25 per cent of the vote - the lowest entry threshold in any proportional representation system. The elections are organised by an Independent Electoral Commission whose five members have, since 1998, been chosen through recommendations to the President by a panel which selects from a group of candidates nominated by an all-party parliamentary committee.

The Electoral Process and Democratic Governance in Lesotho: Lessons for the Democratic Republic of Congo

Khabele Matlosa

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Dr Khabele Matlosa is Director of the Research and Policy Studies Programme of the Southern African Political Economy Series (SAPES) Trust, Harare, Zimbabwe.

INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPHS: After long years of authoritarian rule, marked, in the main, by either civilian or military dictatorship, all the member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have embraced multi-party democratic governance. Although much progress has been made in a majority of the regional states towards nurturing and consolidating democratic governance, fairly slow progress is still manifest in the case of three SADC member-states, namely Angola, The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Swaziland.
It is not difficult to understand and explain the rather disappointing record of democratisation in these three states. The main problem in both Angola and the DRC is largely the protracted violent conflict that has characterised them, although it appears now that the prospect of successfully settling these intra-state disputes is fairly bright. Swaziland is steeped in a traditionalism that has entrenched a dynastic form of governance in which the King, as an executive monarch, is central to the running of national affairs. This constitutes a critical democratic deficit for the country.
One important ingredient of democratic consolidation in the SADC region is the holding of regular multi-party elections. It should, however, be noted right from the start that an election does not amount to democracy. In other words, the holding of regular multi-party elections is one thing, while institutionalisation and consolidation of democratic governance and ensuring political stability and a peaceful succession of national leadership is quite another. Put somewhat differently, it is quite possible that the SADC region could embrace regular multi-party elections but that democratic practice and culture as well as political stability may lag far behind. This scenario does not augur well for the nurturing and consolidation of the democratic rule and political stability the region needs for socio-economic development.

Problematique du Dénombrement et de L'identification Démographique Pre-Electoraux

Arsene Waka-Sakrini

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Arsène Waka-Sakrini est Directeur Général de L‘Institut National de la Statistique en République Démocratique du Congo.

INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPHS: Voici bientôt une décennie au cours de laquelle la RDC, s'active sans trop de bonheur, à travers ses forces vives, dans les démarches en vue d'implanter en son sein, une société démocratique véritablement pluraliste, plusieurs problèmes et considérations sous-tendant ces démarches dont ceux touchant les élections démocratiques perçues comme meilleure méthode de conquête de pouvoir.
On peut vouloir aborder les problèmes et l'organisation des élections démocratiques sans faire allusion au nombre des personnes habitant le territoire congolais en général et de la population concernée par les élections en particulier.
Il se fait qu'aujourd'hui la RDC ne dispose pas d'informations dignes de foi sur la population, tout sur son effectif, sa structure par âge et par sexe et que sur sa répartition sur territoire.
Le dernier état des lieux sur les statistiques socio-démographiques congolaises effectuées par l'Institut National de la Statistique (INS) pour la période 1995-2000, indique que les statistiques et indicateurs répertoriés sur la population sont dans l'ensemble, soit d'une couverture administrative limitée, c'est-à-dire ne couvrant par toutes les entités politico-administratives, soient peu fiables, soient enfin obsolètes(2) à tel enseigne qu'il faut, dans l'état où elles se trouvent, éviter de les utiliser pour préparer, organiser et gérer les prochaines opérations électorales que tous voudraient transparentes et crédibles.

La Carte Geographique et les Elections

Matezo Bakunda

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Professeur Matezo Bakunda est Directeur Général Adjoint de l'Institut Géographique du Congo.

INTRODUCTION: Le terme election vient du latin electio du verbe eligere: choisir, élire. Election signifie donc essentiellement un choix, une désignation d'une ou de plusieurs personnes par voie de suffrages. Les élections peuvent être libres ou contraignantes, administratives, législatives ou présidentielles. Les élections se présentent sous plusieurs formes; majoritaires, représentations proportionnelles, systèmes mixtes, etc...
Une opération électorale sans référence aux principes élémentaires de la comptabilité des habitants peut engendrer des dysfonctions au sein de l'appareil politico-administratif de l'Etat. C'est ainsi que généralement des données du recensement avec un support cartographie.
Les élections sont des opérations de grande importance pour chaque pays. Elles constituent la forme la plus démocratique pour exprimer et accéder au pouvoir. Elles sont la source d'une série de données de base pour l'administration ainsi que pour l'orientation de la politique économique et sociale d'un pays et fournissent un point de référence aux politiciens, un cadre de décision si elles s'opèrent normalement et une source de paix, de bonheur pour le pays concerné.
L'importance des élections pour le choix des dirigeants a été reconnue depuis longtemps. Dans de nombreux pays, l'organisation des élections est une tradition vieille de plusieurs années. Aucun pays ne nie l'intérêt qu'il y a à choisir ses dirigeants par cette voie. De nombreuses recommandations internationales soulignent jusqu'à ce jour le rôle considérable des élections et proposent des méthodes susceptibles d'étendre leur portée, d'accroître leur validité et d'améliorer en même temps que leur valeur propre, la comparabilité internationale dans ce domaine.
La plupart des pays du monde sont convaincus et pensent que les élections constituent la voie indiquée pour le choix des dirigeants. Si les opérations se déroulent sans beaucoup de heurts dans le pays développés, dans les pays du tiers monde par contre, et particulièrement ceux d'Afrique, beaucoup d'efforts restent à faire. On a toujours dénoncé le truquage, la fraude, la non transparence dans l'organisation de leurs élections. Et pourtant, l'expérience de bonnes élections a montré que c'est là la voie absolument indispensable à la Bonne Gouvernance d'un pays.

The Electoral System and Democratisation in Zimbabwe Since 1980

Lloyd M Sachikonye

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Professor Lloyd Michael Sachikonye is a researcher and lecturer in the Institute of Development Studies, University of Zimbabwe, Harare.

INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPHS: In the past few years a body of useful and illuminating studies of electoral systems in the various countries of Southern Africa has emerged. The electoral profiles have been useful in showing the similarities and differences between different national electoral systems as well as their strengths and weaknesses. The Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA) is one of the key institutions which have actively encouraged research and comparative analysis in this field. One system that has attracted considerable interest is that of Zimbabwe. Recent contributions on Zimbabwe's electoral system have concentrated on building a profile of the system, analysing the politics of electoral administration and developing a critique of the limitations of the present electoral structures (Sachikonye 1999; Makumbe and Compagnon 2000; Spicer 2001). This growth in electoral studies is welcome and timely because it appropriately places elections at the centre of the discourse on governance.
As the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) consolidates its peace process and initiates a programme of democratisation, this is a timely juncture to consider which model of electoral system would be appropriate and sustainable for its purposes, given the country's post-independence history and experiences and the aspirations of its people. The model will be developed by the institutions and peoples of the DRC on the basis of a national dialogue and compromise. The electoral profiles and experiences of other countries will, of course, be useful to the extent to which they show the positive and negative aspects of the systems used in those countries. To that degree, constitutional experts, politicians and civil society organisations in the DRC will seek to identify what has worked in other electoral systems, and what has not.

Electoral Reform in Namibia: Challenges and Constraints

Joram Kumaaipurua Rukambe

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Joram Kumaaipurua Rukambe is Director of Elections and CEO of the Electoral Commission of Namibia, Windhoek.

INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPHS: This paper gives an account of electoral reform in Namibia and analyses briefly the background, challenges and constraints to the country's electoral reform process since the first democratic elections were held in 1989.
Although there were regular elections in Namibia prior to the country gaining independence in 1990, they were run on an exclusionist basis for separate administrative authorities of whites, coloureds, and blacks at various level of government - there was no common roll. Consequently, the independence elections in December 1989 were run without a national voter register. The legal and operational framework of the elections was agreed upon among the stakeholders: the South African government, the United Nations (UN) and the political parties. This framework provided, among other things, that the South African government would administer and conduct the elections while the United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG) would monitor the process and eventually pronounce on whether it was 'free and fair'.

The Role, Functions and Performance of Botswana's Independent Electoral Commission

Balefi Tsie

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Professor Balefi Tsie is a member of the Botswana Independent Electoral Commission and teaches in the Department of Political and Administrative Studies, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana.

INTRODUCTION: From the first pre-independence general election of March 1965 elections in Botswana were run by the Supervisor of Elections, who fell under the Office of the President. As time went on the public, particularly members of the opposition parties, perceived the Supervisor of Elections as being a government employee controlled by the ruling party, or at least under its influence.
Government heeded the call of opposition parties for the formation of an Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to run the elections and, in 1997, the Constitution was amended to accommodate the establishment of such a body to replace the office of the Supervisor of Elections. Section 65A of the Constitution of Botswana sets out the composition of the Commission.


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