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Improving mechanisms to enhance electoral regulatory frameworks in the Southern African Development Community

<p>Focusing on electoral dispute resolution and political finance systems</p>

Focusing on electoral dispute resolution and political finance systems

Following the successful adoption of the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) Model Law on Elections in December 2018, International IDEA has supported national parliaments in the SADC region to implement electoral reforms and align their practices with the Model Law.

As part of this work, the Parliament of Zimbabwe with support from International IDEA’s Africa and West Asia Programme, hosted a policy dialogue to reflect on political finance systems and electoral dispute resolution mechanisms in November 2019. Parliamentarians and election experts from the region attended the event, as well as representatives from Zimbabwe’s media and civil society. Such efforts have an especially positive impact in Zimbabwe, which is currently finalizing its electoral reform process ahead of the 2023 general election.

During the dialogue, the speaker of the Parliament of Zimbabwe asked local CSO representatives to revise their proposals on electoral reform submitted to parliament and align them with the SADC’s Model Law. International IDEA’s policy paper, The Integrity of Political Finance Systems in Africa: Tackling Political Corruption, served as a reference document for the dialogue.

Work on the SADC Model Law started in 2016 to hasten the implementation of various principles, guidelines and obligations on democratic elections. Previous regional election instruments were not legally binding and were therefore unenforceable. Since 2017, following an invitation from the SADC Parliamentary Forum, International IDEA has actively participated in the consultation, development and review processes.

International IDEA supports policymakers in the Southern African Development Community to foster inclusivity and accountability in electoral processes.

Read more stories about International IDEA's results in our Annual Outcome Report 2019: Democracy In Action.

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