Southern African Development Community (Sadc) chief executive officer, Stergomena Lawrence Tax, has said the region’s member states have rooted democratic values and practices with firm commitment to enhance democracy and democratic institutions.
Tax was referring to the forthcoming presidential elections in the Republic of South Africa, to be followed by the ones in the republics of Malawi, Botswana, Mozambique and Namibia.
“This is a true testimony and it is important to underscore the paramount importance of the current elections, as they come at a time when we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the new multi-racial and democratic South Africa, after the end of apartheid in the country,” he said.
Speaking at the occasion of the launch of the Sadc Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) to the National and Provincial Elections in the Republic of South Africa, Tax said; “This very important event exemplifies the inherent spirit of democracy and good governance in the Sadc region.”
Consistent with the provisions of the Sadc Treaty, Sadc Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation and Sadc Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections; South Africa invited Sadc to observe the 2014 national and provincial elections, slated for this Wednesday (7th May).
In line with this invitation, chairperson of the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation, President Hifikepunye Pohamba, constituted SEOM to observe the forthcoming elections in South Africa.
“Observers drawn from Sadc member-states will be deployed throughout the nine provinces of South Africa in the course of the electoral process. Sadc is committed to continuously consolidate peace, security, political stability and enhance democracy in the region; to eradicate poverty, promote economic growth and sustainable development,” said Tax.
At the same event, Lesotho’s minister of foreign affairs and international relations, Mohlabi Tsekoa who launched SEOM in the absence of Pohamba said the product of these collective efforts is that during the course of last week, members of the Sadc Observer Mission underwent the requisite training, received briefings and were availed the necessary logistical support necessary for the successful and efficient execution of their mission.
“The Sadc Electoral Observation Mission is in this country in fulfillment of the Sadc Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation, which requires member states to co-operate in the political processes for the purpose of promoting common political values. The consolidation of democracy is central to those political values,” Tsekoa said.