EISA Madagascar: Electoral Management Body support

2009

The EISA programme in Mozambique in 2009 was dominated by the electoral process that led to the presidential, legislative and provincial elections held on 28 October 28 2009. Therefore, most activities implemented throughout the year - training, technical assistance, debates, and media events - were related to that process. Some programme activities were implemented through partnership with the election management body.

Bridge workshop
EISA Mozambique, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), provided BRIDGE training to 75 staff of the Mozambican Technical Secretariat for Election Management (STAE) at provincial level. Three one-week training sessions were conducted with 25 participants attending each session. The training took place in the cities of Nampula, Chimoio and Namaacha. Electoral law training In collaboration with the Law School of Eduardo Mondlane University, the largest public university in Mozambique, EISA Mozambique assisted in the delivery of five short-term courses to 200 students on Electoral Law to the public at large. The courses took place in the cities of Maputo, Beira, Nampula, Pemba and Lichinga and had an average of 40 participants each, primarily from civil society, media, political parties, and EMBs.

2008: Support to the CNE through Training

In 2007, EISA and the National Elections Commission (CNE) had agreed on a capacity-building activity, which consisted of providing the CNE with BRIDGE training. BRIDGE (Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections) is the premier international training course on election management for election practitioners. EISA translated into Portuguese the 10 election-related modules of BRIDGE and submitted to the CNE several training schedule proposals.

2007: Support to Civil Society and EMB

With the achievement of the initial election reform objectives, a new electoral component was introduced in the programme in order to:

  • A. Support Mozambican civil society participation in the process of selecting CSO representatives in the new Election Management Body (EMB) at national and sub-national levels, in accordance with the new electoral legislation; and
  • B. Provide capacity-building support to the new EMB.

According to the new electoral legislation, eight of the 13 members of the National Electoral Commission (CNE) should be proposed by CSOs, and six of the eleven members of provincial and district/city commissions should also come from civil society. All these new members from civil society had no experience in election management. In the period under review, EISA successfully assisted an important coalition of election CSOs in designing and implementing a transparent and participatory nationwide selection process to identify civil society candidates for the CNE and its 11 provincial and 135 district/city subordinate bodies. The process, which took place over a period of seven months, was widely praised by the media and political parties for its groundbreaking transparency and inclusiveness. EISA also designed a capacity-building programme for the new EMB and its decentralised representations, to address their lack of knowledge and experience in election management. This capacity-building programme included:

  • Provision of training for the CNE and Provincial Electoral Commission (CPEs) using the Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) training package, an election management training package of international reputation;
  • Exchange visits with other EMBs in the southern Africa region; and
  • Participation in EISA Observer Missions in southern Africa.

All ten BRIDGE training modules were translated into Portuguese and adapted to the Mozambican electoral legislation. A training chedule was developed in order to deliver training in two one-week sessions for the CNE and one one-week session for each of the 11 provincial electoral commissions. By the end of the year, training had not been implemented due to time constraints on the part of the electoral commissioners. Towards the end of 2007, the preparations for the upcoming municipal, provincial, and general elections faced serious challenges,especially around the voter registration process. EISA arranged for the participation of a member of the CNE and the Director- General of Technical Secretariat for Electoral Assistance (STAE) in a regional technical workshop on voter registration to allow the Mozambican EMBs to access and discuss regional best practices in voter registration, and draw lessons for Mozambique.


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