22 September 2008
Where are political parties? ask election observers
By Njabulo Dlamini
THE absence of political parties and failure by the EBC to conduct a civic education exercise for voters were one of the flaws in this year's elections, observer missions have noted.
As a result, both the African Union and Pan-African Parliament have urged government to open a window for political parties to participate in the elections process and further provide funding for candidates to campaign.
The Pan-African parliament noted that the restriction on political parties was an infringement on the rights of those citizens wishing to participate in elections through political parties and did not meet regional and international standards and principles for democratic elections.
Presenting their interim report at a press briefing yesterday, the two groups noted that overall, the elections process was free and fair.