Nationwide electoral review to be conducted

A review that goes to the heart and soul of democracy – electoral systems and how elections have been conducted in the past 50 years – will commence this week.

Constitutional and Law Reform Commission, in collaboration with key stakeholder agencies, will hold nationwide consultations around the country to review the Organic Law on National and Local-Level Government Elections and related electoral laws and systems.

There have been consistent observations of widespread electoral fraud and irregularities in the past four national general elections by independent observers and through Electoral Commission reports.

Chairman of the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission, Robert Atiyafa, says reports of those past four elections indicated repeated mistakes which showed an eroding electoral system.

Election related violence was among those.

The government in response to this, tasked the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission in collaboration with key stakeholder agencies to carry out a national consultation program starting in Western Highlands this week. All provinces will be visited.

Atiyafa says no one has looked at the election laws going back to 1964 since the introduction of LLG elections.

He called on all leaders and stakeholders in the provinces to make themselves available to give their view during the consultative reviews

12 terms of reference have been identified for the review. They include the election role systems, polling methods, electoral boundaries, women in parliament and voter ID systems, among others.

K15 million has been allocated for this exercise, which should be completed by the first quarter of 2019.    

(From left: President of the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission, Dr Eric Kwa, and chairman Robert Atiyafa)  

Sally Pokiton