Cape Town, South Africa: From the 12th to 16th December 2016, the SADC Electoral Advisory Council (SEAC) convened two seminars and a Statutory Meeting in Cape Town, South Africa. The first event held from the 12th to 13th December 2016, was a consultative forum attended by SEAC members together with representatives from Member States aimed at reviewing and validating the draft SADC Reference Manual for Election Observers before its finalisation, adoption and dissemination. The Manual is intended to serve as a tool that aids SADC observers when deployed in the field during SADC Election Observation Missions (SEOMs).
The second event was a SEAC validation workshop held on the 14th December 2016, for electoral stakeholders on the presentation and review of Inception Reports for the SEAC Mediation Strategy for Election-related Conflicts and the SADC Training Manual and Curriculum on Election Observation. The workshop was attended by stakeholders from the SADC Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF), Electoral Commissions Forum of SADC Countries (ECF-SADC), African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR), UN Office Department of Political Affairs (UNDPA), African Union – Democracy and Electoral Assistance Unit (AU-DEAU), Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA), European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES), Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), SADC Lawyers Association (SADC-LA), and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA).
The SEAC then held its Statutory Meeting from the 15th to 16th December 2016. This was in compliance with Section 6 of the SEAC Electoral Advisory Council's Structure, Rules and Procedures which requires SEAC to convene regular Statutory Meetings to guide it in its role of advising Member states on issues related to the enhancement of democracy and good governance in the SADC Region.
Overall, the week-long programme provided the participants the opportunity to collaboratively engage in guiding the development process of key electoral, democracy and governance documents that aim to contribute towards the enhancement of electoral assistance and support, promotion of participatory democracy and sustainable peace in the SADC region. These key documents will be submitted to the ordinary meeting of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ (MCO) in June 2017, for consideration