The Electoral Commission will host the 5th General Assembly of the Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB). This will take place from October 18 to 20 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. A-WEB is the only global association of election management bodies. It was formed in 2013 and, constitutionally, its General Assembly convenes every two years. The world body has a membership of 119 election management bodies from 116 countries. Its headquarters are in Incheon, South Korea.
This will be the first time that the world body’s important meetings are held on the African continent.
The Electoral Commission and President Cyril Ramaphosa will welcome delegates from 119 member countries on the occasion of the General Assembly which is scheduled for 19 October 2022. The General Assembly will be preceded by the meeting of the Executive Board which will take place a day before. The Executive Board’s business will include the finalisation of preparations for the General Assembly.
Importantly, the Electoral Commission will also assume the chairpersonship of this world body after having served as its deputy chairperson over the last three years. The leadership baton will pass from Hon Rajiv Kumar, the Chairperson of the Election Commission of India, who hitherto served as chairperson. Again, it will be a novel experience for an African country to assume the leadership of A-WEB.
In the absence of a designated chairperson of the Commission, the South African delegation will be led by Ms Janet Love, who is the Vice-Chairperson of the Commission. She will be supported by her fellow commissioners and the Chief Electoral Officer in fulfilling the hosting requirements of such august events.
On 20 October 2022, following the conduct of the meeting of the General Assembly, the Electoral Commission will also host an international conference on a theme that impacts the state of electoral democracy in the world. The theme for the conference is: Safeguarding Election Management Bodies in the Age of Global Democratic Recession.
The Commission has invited internationally renowned scholars to present papers on the theme. Former President Thabo Mbeki will also be a guest speaker at this international conference. Other participants in the conference will include members of the National Party Liaison Committee, the Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, heads of Institutions Supporting Democracy and our local researchers. A draft programme of the international conference is attached.
Ms Love said, “The A-WEB conference provides the Electoral Commission and sister election management bodies a platform to exchange views around best practice internationally on measures to mitigate the effects of the democratic recession on our work.”
Chief Electoral Officer Mr Sy Mamabolo adds: “The Electoral Commission is a proud member of the A-WEB family and we are proud hosts of Africa’s first A-WEB General Assembly and international conference. We’re ready to showcase South Africa’s capability in various aspects of election management. Indeed, electoral democracy in the world must be richer on account of the opportunity created by these special events being held on the African continent.”
For more information please visit: A-WEB (aweb.org)
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