Statement by the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Luwellyn Landers, on international developments, 25 September 2014, DIRCO, Pretoria
Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today’s briefing will focus on the upcoming elections in the SADC region.
As you would recall, at the recent Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit in Zimbabwe, South Africa was unanimously elected by the 15 SADC Heads of State and Government to chair the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.
The Organ is responsible for promoting peace, security and stability in the region.
The elected member states of the Organ for the period 2014-2015 are South Africa as Chairperson, Lesotho as Deputy Chairperson and Namibia as the outgoing Chairperson.
During our current tenure as the Chair of the Organ, South Africa will continue to play a leading role in peace and security activities at regional and continental levels.
We intend to ensure synergies in our work programme in SADC, the AU Peace and Security Council and at the United Nations.
In accordance with the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections, three Member States are envisaged to hold Presidential and Parliamentary elections between October and November 2014 as follows:
- Republic of Mozambique, 15 October 2014,
- Republic of Botswana, 31 October 2014, and
- Republic of Namibia, 28-29 November 2014.
South Africa in its capacity as Chair of the Organ will lead the SADC Electoral Observation Missions (SEOMs) to Mozambique, Botswana and Namibia to continue to consolidate and enhance democratic practices in the region.
It is expected that the launch of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission to Mozambique will take place on 03 October 2014 in Maputo. The launch of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission to Botswana is scheduled for 10 October 2014 in Gaborone. It is further expected that the launch of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission to Namibia will take place on 13 November 2014 in Windhoek.
In accordance with the SADC Electoral Advisory Council (SEAC) Rules, Structure and Procedures, the Council must assess the electoral preparedness and readiness, as well as political environment of Member States scheduled to hold elections, prior to the deployment of an Electoral Observation Mission.
To that effect, the main purposes of the Goodwill/Assessment Mission are to undertake, inter alia, the following:
- Encourage adherence to the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections;
- Assess the preparations and readiness for holding the upcoming elections;
- Identify the potential challenges, which might constitute hindering factors for the successful holding of the elections; and
- Prepare for the logistical requirements for deployment of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission.
In addition, the Assessment Mission also seeks to evaluate administrative and operational arrangements, specifically for the deployment of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission.
Assessment Missions to Mozambique and Botswana have already taken place and an Assessment Mission to Namibia will be scheduled soon.
Let me conclude by indicating to you the proposed schedule of activities and roadmap for the deployment of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission to Mozambique: During the week of 24-28 September 2014, the SADC Secretariat, the Head of the Mission Team and Observers will arrive in Maputo. The SEOM Observers will then undergo training on 29-30 September 2014.
The launch of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission by the Head of Mission (South Africa) will take place on 03 October 2014. Following the launch, SADC Observers will be deployed to all the provinces as of 04 October 2014 in preparation for the elections on 15 October 2014. Following the elections, the SADC Electoral Observation Mission will, as practice, issue a preliminary statement on the elections.
I thank you.
Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, 082 884 5974
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road