IEC honoured for ‘credible’ polls

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’Marafaele Mohloboli

THE Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has won two international good governance awards in recognition of its management of the snap 28 February 2015 general elections.

The awards were conferred by the London-based International Centre for Parliamentary Studies (ICPS) during its 11th International Electoral Awards ceremony held in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, from 13 – 14 November 2015. ICPS is a research institution of the United Nations Public Administration Network.

The accolades, which were received by IEC Commissioner, Makase Nyaphisi, were in the categories of Electoral Conflict Management and Minority Participation.

Members of the ICPS’s electoral stakeholders network nominate candidates to be considered for awards in categories covering a broad range of sectors.

During the awards-giving ceremony, the electoral body was lauded for administering “credible, inclusive and fair elections in 2015 under a highly stressful and threatening political climate”.

“It (ICPS) emphasised that the elections were all-involving, participatory with minimal errors, transparent administration and limited budget,” said the IEC in response.

“The Minority Participation Award rewards electoral management bodies and electoral officials who strengthened and executed the rights of minorities to cast their vote and actively participate in the democratic process.

“Every group present in society has to be able to cast their vote and thus be adequately represented in the electoral outcome. No one should be excluded from the democratic process due to gender, ethnicity, religion or any other social, biological or cultural reasons.”

The ICPS also took note of the IEC’s efforts to ensure the representation of women and minorities during the February polls.

Lesotho was supposed to hold its general elections in 2017, but was forced into snap polls following the breakdown of relations between coalition government leaders, former premier Thomas Thabane and Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing.

The squabbling prompted the dissolution of parliament on 5 December 2014 and the snap election, which ushered in a new government.

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