Angolan Roundtable on Consensus Building

30 and 31 October 2002, Luanda, Angola

EISA in collaboration with the Angolan based Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) held a roundtable on Consensus Building on the 30 and 31 October 2002 in Luanda. With the possibility that Angola may be holding elections in the near future the organisers aimed to bring together experts, decision makers and opinion leaders from different SADC countries to explore and share concrete problems, possible solutions and best practices in the context of conflict prevention and management with regard to electoral processes.

The establishment of conflict prevention mechanisms in the context of democratic elections in southern Africa is a very relevant and pressing topic. The comparative study of such mechanisms and the exchange of experiences on them gain a special importance, as is amply demonstrated by the recent difficult political conditions encountered in some of these countries (political conflict in Zimbabwe, reconstruction and reconciliation challenges in Angola) and the non-acceptance of election results in others (Mozambique, Lesotho, Zambia).

Apart from the creation of fair legislative frameworks and a transparent management of the electoral processes, the creation of local conflict resolution mechanisms and the drafting of codes of conduct by concurring political parties prior to elections are being discussed and/or have been implemented in some countries in the SADC region (Mozambique, Lesotho etc).

Furthermore, the role of autonomous national electoral institutes and civil society organizations in observing and monitoring elections has found more attention, thereby fostering greater transparency.

The aims of the roundtable were:

  • To deepen the knowledge of Angolan decision makers on electoral norms and standards in the SADC region and to create a core lobby group inside Angola to adopt these;
  • To create a political willingness to embark on a consensual approach for the upcoming Angolan elections, involving civil society actors;
  • To define an outline of possible ways forward for electoral processes in Angola and the region;
  • To create an informal network of exchange of information and experience.