National Independent Electoral Commission of Burundi (CENI) to observe SA Municipal Elections scheduled for 18 May 2011

The South African Embassy in Burundi, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has invited the National Independent Electoral Commission of Burundi (CENI), to observe the 18 May 2011 SA Municipal Elections.

This visit would be the second by the CENI to South Africa to observe elections, with the first visit having been successful during the South African National (Parliamentary) Elections held in April 2009, shortly after the CENI was sworn in. The latter visit was also arranged in partnership with the UNDP.

It is expected that a delegation of six persons led by Ms Christine Ndayishimiye, newly appointed Deputy Chairperson of the CENI, will arrive in South Africa on 13 May 2011... 

The objectives of the visit will be to observe the SA Municipal Elections on 18 May 2011 and further enhance the capacity of the CENI, with a view to prepare for the 2015 Burundian Elections.   For this purpose, three workshops will be presented.

The first workshop will be hosted by the South African Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and will be designed to inform the participants on South African elections laws and procedures.  This workshop will also include a benchmarking session with elections observers from other countries, with the emphasis on internationally recognised best practices.  The workshop presented by the IEC will be on 14-15 May 2011.

A second workshop will be presented by the Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) on 16 May.  Issues to be discussed, will include approaches to Electoral Cycles; Methods and procedures for the effective functioning of Electoral Commissions; Electoral administration; Electoral logistics; Management of resources (human, material and financial); Communication; Relationship with other stakeholders involved in the electoral process; and Managing a documentation centre.

On 17 May, the South African NGO, IDASA, will host a third workshop which will inter alia cover what to be watching for when observing the elections, the South African local government system and context within the greater electoral system in the country; Transfer of power after an election (including management thereof and dispute resolution); as well as a short discussion on international best practice hosted by International IDEA.

On 18 May the group will be split in two and deployed in the Gauteng Province to observe the elections.  They will have international observer status with access to polls as the elections are being conducted.

On the 19th and 20th, the CENI delegation will observe vote counting, procedures in practice on dealing with possible disputes, and the announcement of results. The delegation will return to Burundi on 21 May 2011.

For further information please contact Mr Clayson Monyela spokesperson for DIRCO on 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road
Rietondale
Pretoria

10 May 2011

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