Project 20Report 20July07 by T537Daea

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									            Interim Report of the Project “Deepening Democracy in Lesotho”

I. Preamble

This report is termed as an interim report as the project will not end until 31st December 2007.
The work plan for the post-election activities submitted to the IEC, as early as in March, has
since been approved by the IEC in June 2007. The IEC‟s preoccupation with the post election
political turmoil due to the reluctance of some political parties to accept the results of the
February elections may have contributed to the delay in approving the work plan. With the
result, as the international Project Coordinator and the Logistics Officer left the country in the
first week of July 2007 on expiry of their contracts, most of the post-election activities planned
are to be done by IEC under the direct supervision of the UNDP Governance Unit.

II. Aims of the project

The project “Deepening democracy in Lesotho” was conceived with focus on providing the
IEC with adequate technical capacity to conduct elections in a free and fair manner according
to international standards, by providing support in the following areas:

   1. Strengthening the IEC
             Designing comprehensive voter information and education programs
             Developing training packages for IEC permanent and temporary staff
             Conducting training for official witnesses and part agents
             Supporting advisory services (IT, Logistics, Regulation drafting…etc)
             Enhancing regional cooperation
             Launching an Election Lessons Learned exercise
             Gender mainstreaming programmes

   2. Conflict Transformation
             Building national network of conflict transformation facilitators
             Building conflict transformation capacity within the IEC
             Building internal capacity of political parties
             Facilitating dialogue
             Developing target groups Conflict Transformation skills


   3. Enhancing Civic Responsibility
           Designing a National Framework for Civic Education
           Opening a Democracy Resource Centre
           Funding a civic education grant scheme for CSOs
           Supporting domestic observation
           Support to public media especially in relation to women and the 50/50
           programme.

   4. Coordination of international support
            Coordinating donor assistance
            Facilitating international observation
            Monitoring and evaluating project outcome

However, the pre-ponement of the general elections from May to February,2007 necessitated
prioritisation of the areas of support according to the needs of the impending elections.
Accordingly, capacity building of the IEC, conflict transformation and facilitating international
observation took precedence over the other areas during the pre-election period (such as civic
education). Most of the work in the field of conflict transformation was done before the
international advisers joined and was funded by the UNDP BCPR.

III. International Advisers

The project coordinator, Thomas Mathew reached the country on 18th January and Paul Dale,
the logistics officer joined on 17th January, 2007 on six month‟s ALD contracts. Mr. David
Matheson, IT expert, had joined a few days earlier. While Thomas Mathew and Paul Dale came
as individual contractors, David Matheson represented the consulting firm Electoral Reform
International Services (ERIS) of the United Kingdom.( Mr. Matheson left the project in the
month of March). The other national staff joined in the month of February.

IV. Pre-election activities

1. Conflict Transformation

In the lead up to the National Election of 2002, a Facilitation Team operating under the
auspices of the Lesotho Network for Conflict Management (LNCM) played a significant role
to promote dialogue between political leaders to resolve intra-party and inter-party conflicts.
They also conducted training programmes in conflict transformation for the police and security
forces. These programmes contributed much to the peaceful conduct of the national elections
in 2002.

Taking a cue from this experience of 2002 elections, a facilitation team of 3 experienced
members of the LNCM was engaged for the 2007 elections also. They had access to the core
group mediators who have experience in elections and related mediation and facilitation.
During the pre-election period the Facilitation Team undertook the following major activities:
i.     A symposium on Political Tolerance and Conflict Transformation was held on 4-5
       December, 06
ii.    A series of election related workshops were conducted for the Lesotho Defence Force,
       National Security services, Lesotho Mounted Police Serve and for the Media personnel.
iii.   The Facilitation team also functioned as the media monitoring authority.

In addition to these pre-election activities, eleven trained mediators were also deployed to the
various polling stations to resolve possible conflict situations. An assessment of their reports
gives an indication of their contribution in resolving conflicts.


2. International Observation

On the invitation of the IEC, the following international organizations sent teams to observe the
elections: -

I. Universal HR Network, Washington, D.C
2. SADC Electoral Commissions Forum
3. SADC Parliamentary forum
4. African Union
5. EISA
6. NDI
7. Commonwealth Secretariat
8. IEC- South Africa

The following diplomatic missions also deputed personnel to observe the elections though no
formal report was presented by any of them to the IEC: -

1. British High Comm. Pretoria/DFID
2. US Embassy
3. EU Commission Delegation to Lesotho
4. SA High Commission
5. Embassy of China
6. Embassy of Ireland
7. French Consulate

Various organs of the United Nations based in Lesotho also deputed fifteen of their staff
members to observe the elections on the polling day

The project staff provided most of the briefing materials and maps required by the observers
and also participated in the briefing of the observers on 14th February

In addition to the groups of observers mentioned above, national observers were also provided
with briefing materials and identification materials.. In total about 1694 observers of different
organizations were provided with the observer kits.

3. Logistics

The logistical support given to the IEC from the project took the form of an advisory to topics
such as correct material procurements/assisting with and supervision of distributing materials
(both non sensitive and sensitive items)/overview of the delivery systems already in place and
close regular liaison with the donors to keep all in the picture with the progress.

4. I.T

Mr. David Matheson, who had worked with the IEC during the 2002 general elections, was
called in by the Commission, when there was a crisis in the preparation of the electoral rolls.
He helped the commission to tide over the situation and helped to make the electoral roll more
or less accurate. He also helped the Commission to set up the result centre where the results
were collated. He left in the month of March and has submitted a report with recommendations
for upgrading the IT department of the IEC (Annexure A)

V. Post-election work

1. Observer Reports

The priority among the post election work was a lessons learnt exercise. The best resource for
this is the reports of the observer organizations and other electoral experts, who have observed
the elections. These reports, while declaring the elections as generally free and fair include
some observations regarding the existing electoral law and procedures and recommendations
for improvements. These observations and recommendations along with comments from the
international project staff have been compiled and submitted to the Commission for their
consideration. (Annexure B).

2. Reports of Mediators

The observations of the mediators in the field, which are mainly about the polling staff, have
also been compiled and submitted to the IEC for information and remedial action (Annexure
C)

3. Work Plan

Taking cues from the lessons learnt exercise a work plan was prepared outlining the activities
to be undertaken under the project to strengthen the IEC, in the month of March, which has
since been approved by the Commission. However, the proposals could not be initiated during
the tenure of the international staff due to paucity of time, after it has been approved. The work
plan and a note on the pending activities under the work plan are annexed to the report as
(Annexure D).

It is felt that among the activities proposed in the work plan, priority is to be given to amend the
existing law and procedures to rectify the shortcomings observed from the lessons learnt
exercise. Most of the problems during and after the February elections arose due to loopholes
in the law, which certain political parties took advantage of. The draft electoral bill of 2006, is
not better than the Electoral law of 92 in this regard and needs to be revised to remove the
impractical provisions and to make it at internationally accepted levels. A note, prepared by the
Coordinator, with suggestions for revising the electoral bill of 2006 is attached as Annexure E

This function of this logistics advisory will slightly adjust now as the election is over and the
concentration of effort will consist of; reviewing existing systems in its entirety / training
programs for all officials involved in the process/ training days to familiarise all to best
methods and rules and regulations involving movement of sensitive equipment and
papers/additions to the work plan to incorporate all of this including liaison with local police
and local authorities to explore best implementation methods (Input by Logistical Adviser,
detailed report not yet received)

9.Financial Situation

No financial statement is attached with this report, as the project is still ongoing and many of
the bills are outstanding. Owing to this any financial statement will not give a correct reflection
of the availability of funds.
                                      ANNEXURE A

                   Independent Electoral Commission of Lesotho
                      Electoral Reform International Services
                 REVIEW OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SYSTEMS:
                                    March 2007
                                                                      David Mathieson, ERIS
                                                                         DGIM@eris.org.uk
1.    SUMMARY
1.1   Technically the February 2007 National Assembly Elections went well at the end, but
      at the start there were problems with the Voter Register and there were fears hat the IEC
      would be unable to deliver the election. The IT Department and the Voter Registration
      System were overwhelmed by the numbers of voters to be processed, and the problem
      was only resolved with long hours and external support. The question is then what
      should be done to avoid these problems in future.
1.2   A review of the IT Department shows that, while it has adopted may of the
      recommendations of the original PAI/ERIS project, and the subsequent reviews, it still
      has problems with the operation of the Voter Register, with the internal delivery of IT
      services and with the management of major projects. Many of the issues identified in
      earlier reviews have not yet been addressed, and in particular the Commission has not
      considered how IT should be managed or taken „ownership‟ of the major projects and
      key services on which it depends.
1.3   The coming year will require that the IEC is able to demonstrate that the Voter Register
      is complete and clean, and that it can deliver by-elections (and be prepared to deliver a
      full National Assembly Election) without the problems which put the February election
      at risk.
1.4   It is recommended that:
      a.       The new IT Manager should be appointed with suitable professional and
               managerial rather than just technical experience, with the brief to establish
               formal procedures, to meet agreed service levels, and to manage all IT projects.
      b.       A formal IT strategy should be developed and adopted by the Commission, to
               support the IEC‟s overall development strategy: this will include upgrading the
               Voter Registration system, completing and cleaning the Voter Register,
               improving service levels, and other projects as required.
      c.       A Project Board should be set up, chaired by a Commissioner, to oversee the IT
               function and to deliver the IT Strategy, to manage all IT projects, receive
               regular reports and statistics, allocate resources, identify problems and ensure
               that action is taken.
      d.       This plan can then be used as a basis for approaching donors, requesting support
               in exchange for the achievement of measurable, agreed goals.

2.    INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND
2.1   In November 2006 the King, on the advice of the Prime Minister, dissolved the
      National Assembly and called a snap election. This set in train a legal timetable from
      the closure of registration after 7 days, through to the holding of a General Election
        within 90 days of the dissolution, on 17th February 2007. Problems initially arose when
        large numbers attempted to register towards the end of the 7 day period, so that it was
        not possible for the IT Department to process all these registration forms by the
        deadline. When the Voter Registers were displayed on 25th December there were still
        about 78,000 forms un-processed and further (delayed) forms were still being received
        from the Districts up to the middle of January 2007. Naturally there were loud
        complaints from all quarters that a fair election could not be held with up to 10% of
        potential voters excluded in this manner, and consequent accusations that the IEC was
        not able to hold a free, fair and transparent election within the time available.
2.2     To resolve this problem, the IT Department called in extra shifts of staff for scanning
        forms, and the Arivia (now Face Technology) technical support from Johannesburg and
        software support (Elsa Ranzow) from Cape Town. In addition the Chairman requested
        Electoral Reform International Services (ERIS) to send David Mathieson, their
        Finance/IT Director, to provide advice and support. By working long hours, and
        drawing on all this technical support, the IT department was able to process the
        back-log of registrations and to deliver a complete Voter Register to the Election,
        which was held with only minimal problems.
2.3     The question remains as to why the IT Department reached this position, and what
        should be done within the IT Department to improve its performance and to prevent
        such problems recurring.
2.4     Previously, from 2001 to 2004, ERIS and Public Administration International (PAI)
        together undertook a series of projects on behalf of various donors and the donor
        basket1, of which the major project, on behalf of DFID, was to build up the capacity of
        the IEC 2 . This included the National Assembly Elections of May 2002, with IT,
        management and logistical support. PAI undertook the political, conflict management,
        human resources, organisational development and training elements of the project,
        while ERIS provided donor coordination, procedural manuals and the expertise in
        elections, electoral law, and in IT3. Copies of the relevant final reports for the project,
        and for the IT component, will be circulated with this report.
2.5     Later in 2004 the UNDP took over the support to the IEC, and determined that a further
        project was required on Deepening Democracy in Lesotho. A needs assessment was
        undertaken in December 2005 and the project document was approved and signed in
        October 2006, to provide support in four areas:
        a.      Strengthening the IEC, covering voter information and education, training for
                IEC staff, training of official witnesses and party agents, support on IT,
                logistics, regulation drafting, etc., regional cooperation, gender mainstreaming
                and an Election Lessons Learned exercise;
        b.      Conflict Transformation, building a network of conflict transformation
                facilitators, conflict transformation capacity within the IEC and within the
                parties, and facilitating dialogue;
        c.      Enhancing Civil Responsibility, with a network for civil education, a
                Democracy Resource Centre, a Civic Education Grant Scheme for CSO‟s,
                support to Domestic Observation and to the public media.
1
  IEC/ERIS Capacity Building Project, Final Project Report, Stephen Beale, February 2003
2
  DFID CNTR 03 4747: PAI/ERIS Institutional Strengthening Project, Independent Electoral Commission, Final
Report, Stephen Catchpole, September 2004
3
  Independent Electoral Commission of Lesotho/Information Technology Group, Review of Information
Technology & Systems, David Mathieson, ERIS, 13th May 2004
       d.     Coordination of International Support, including international observation,
              donor coordination and project monitoring.
2.6    In the event the election was called before work on the project could properly
       commence. Presumably the project will need to be re-cast from a pre-election project
       to a post-election project, but that is not within the scope of this report.
2.7    There was no specific IT element in the project, but the IT Department requested
       equipment and services to the value of 4.4 million Maloti. Funds were identified and
       purchases made up to 556,000 Maloti. This did not include necessary building work or
       implementation, and further expenditure will be required if the earlier monies are not to
       be wasted. This has not yet been identified or approved.
2.8    However, the present IT Manager as now left the IEC and other key staff are likely to
       leave soon after.

2.9    Purpose & Scope of this Report:
2.9.1 This report is to identify:
       The present state of IT within the IEC
       How it has developed and progressed since the previous review in May 2004;
       How the IT department performed during the election just completed;
       What are the next objectives to be met;
       How the IT Department should be structured and managed to successfully meet
         these objectives;
       What the next IT Manager should be qualified to do.
2.9.2 This report is not concerned with other departments outside IT, or with other work
      being undertaken by the IEC, except in so far as they affect or are affected by the
      performance of the IT department.

3.     CURRENT ROLE & STATE OF THE IT DEPARTMENT
3.1    The IT Department is always visibly busy, whether the IEC is running Voter
       Registration, preparing for or closing down after an election, or during the „quiet‟
       periods between elections. In fact, the IT Manager and the IT Department undertake 4
       different roles:
       a.      Delivery, maintenance and support of the internal IT service, including
               networks, servers, workstations, printers, standard applications such as Office,
               E-mail and web access, and specialised applications such as AccPac Accounts.
       b.      Maintenance of the Voter Register, using the Arivia system on the Oracle
               database, and the scanning equipment.
       c.      Assistance to other departments, wherever anyone has any information to be
               collected, captured, processed, analysed or reported, or needs staff or
               management resources.
       d.      Management of Major Projects, such as the GIS project, Accounting upgrades,
               the creation of the new scanning centre at the warehouse, and the National
               Results Centre.

3.2    Internal IT Service:
3.2.1 The events of the past few weeks have demonstrated that the IT department is poor in
      this, with an apparent high failure rate (although when performance is measurable
       against Required Service Levels the results are mixed). In the 6 weeks up to the
       election we observed two major failures of the UPS systems (stopping all work until the
       problem could be repaired or bypassed), innumerable network failures both within the
       building and to the internet, and continuous problems with machine configuration and
       reliability. The causes have ranged from poor maintenance on the UPS, vital cables
       being trodden on, wrong plugs, inconsistencies between machines, changes being made
       without considering the consequences, or systems not being maintained. This has been
       a major problem in upgrading the AccPac accounting system. Notwithstanding the
       causes, the effect is to stop users working effectively, to tie up technical staff and
       management, and to increase the cost of calling in external support to fix the problems.
       There are further issues with maintenance contracts, licenses and maintaining
       up-to-date versions of software, backups, access controls (accounting users log in as
       Administrator) and the security of data.
3.2.2 As an exercise, the perceived performance of the site, where known, was evaluated
      against the draft Service Levels prepared for the report in May 2004 and these appear in
      Appendix A: below. These show 17 Green flags, but 7 Yellow, 8 Red and 25 items
      where there “No Information”. The Red flags are listed for various hardware and
      software failures, as listed above. Many of these flags have been estimated by
      observation as the records were insufficient for an accurate analysis.
3.2.3 As a recent example, when setting up the National Results Centre it was discovered that
      some of the workstations would not communicate with the central servers, and that the
      results system always failed, although it had worked at Moposo House. In order to be
      able to show the results it was necessary to move servers from Moposo House to the
      Convention Centre, thus disabling the accounts and internet systems. These were then
      restored at the cost of other systems. It was eventually determined that the problem lay
      in inconsistent and undocumented configuration settings, (“Active Directory”) which
      anyway is a complexity not really required for the IEC systems. The cost of this was 3
      late nights, about 48 hours of work by ComNet, and disruption to the Finance
      Department.
3.2.4 This also demonstrated that the IT department was not in full control of its own
      systems. The UPS is maintained by Arivia, even though it should have been formally
      handed over to IEC control in December 2003: in fact they call in specialist
      sub-contractors when problems arise. For communications, networks and system
      configuration the IEC is heavily dependent on ComNet.
3.2.5 As noted in the report of May 2004, these problems could be controlled by proper
      management of the site, including:
      a.     Defining and agreeing service levels for each service in terms of throughput,
             capacity, availability etc. for each service;
      b.     Defining and documenting detailed procedures, policies and technical standards
             for the configuration of all networks, servers, workstations and applications;
      c.     Applying these rigorously to all systems, without exception;
      d.     Measuring performance and recording all failures, and reporting on these on a
             regular basis;
      e.     Identifying problems and the underlying causes, designing and testing solutions
             and upgrades before these are applied across all systems. In particular changes
             to standards should not be done the spur of the moment, but should be fully
             planned and tested before systematic implementation.
3.2.6 The first step must be to tidy up the server room, installing racking and getting the
      networks and power cables under control. Then all workstations should be brought up
      to a defined standard, and the reporting procedure put in place.

3.3    The Voter Register
3.3.1 One of the most visible of the IEC‟s activities, which came close to collapse during the
      preparations for the recent election, the entries on the Voter Register are now up to date,
      but the images (photographs, signatures, thumb-prints) on about 9,000 voters are
      incomplete. The Voter Registration database runs on a dedicated Oracle server on a
      separate sub-network, so that it is secure from outside access. Before the election was
      announced the plan was to upgrade the scanners to the latest model, but although the
      new scanners have been purchased the new software is not yet in place, but should be
      upgraded later. These should be updated in the normal course of processing.
3.3.2 However, the events over the past weeks have demonstrated that:
      a.   The process has a limited capacity. Throughput will be increased when the new
           scanners and software are fully installed, but the main bottlenecks are in
           collecting the forms, checking, correcting, and re-scanning them, and verifying
           the process. Future elections must be planned to cope with more than 100,000
           forms arriving over a few days, but requiring up to 4 weeks to process.
      b.   The process still requires close micro-management by the IT Manager. It would
           be hoped that after nearly 6 years of operation that the Database Supervisor and
           his team supervisors would be able to run the process themselves.
      c.   The IT department is not able to operate the register without outside assistance.
           Although the system was officially handed over by Arivia in 2003, they are still
           called on to manipulate the register, make corrections, generate reports, and
           produce the voter cards, even though the IEC staff have been trained in SQL and
           other software. The IEC must take full control and responsibility for its voter
           register.
3.3.3 There will a delayed election and by-elections during the coming year, and the IEC
      should be ready for a full National Assembly Election at any time from 2008. While
      everything has been done to register voters, record transfers, and remove the deceased,
      there is always the suspicion that the register is inaccurate. The IEC will be required to
      clean its register before the next election (which may be soon) and should be organised
      to do so.
3.3.4 Once the images are scanned into the database the next step must be to upgrade the
      scanners and software, and there was an informal plan to do this (interrupted by the
      election). Staff should then be trained in the full operation of the register, and the IEC
      should take full ownership and control.
3.3.5 As a complication, it is also planned to physically move the Voter Register system, and
      the staff, to a new scanning centre adjacent to the existing warehouse. This project was
      interrupted by the election, but requires additional funding, planning and
      implementation, as described in §3.5.5 below.

3.4    Assistance to other Departments, and Time Management
3.4.1 The IT department is involved in almost every activity of the IEC, in that any problem
      involving information, computing, or requiring thought and analysis, seems to drop
      onto the IT department. The IT Manager effectively acts as Assistant Director, and is
       even responsible for transport once the Transport Manager has finished and gone home.
       This means that there is a constant stream of supplicants to the IT department, and staff
       are always being diverted to assist elsewhere.
3.4.2 Such assistance has its place, as it means that IT is always fully aware of what is going
      on throughout the IEC and can coordinate the other departments. However, at the same
      time the IT Manager is micro-managing the department, and acting as his own
      analyst/programmer in fixing problems. This all adds up to much more that a full time
      job for one person.
3.4.3 This overload means that it is almost impossible to plan work, and it is more than a full
      time job just responding to events. So other work is delayed. As an example, testing on
      the workstations and software for the results centre started 4 weeks before the election,
      but because the senior IT staff were constantly being diverted to other tasks the testing
      was not complete until late on Election Day, and the software was still being corrected
      during the presentation of results.
3.4.4 It will not be possible to make any improvements to the IT service, or to deliver any
      major projects, unless the IT Manager first frees up time. This means developing staff
      to the point where they can run their sections without micro-management. It also
      means pushing problems back onto users, or passing the problems down to junior staff.
      Then the new IT Manager can put more effort into improving reliability and developing
      services.

3.5    Major Projects
3.5.1 The IT department has a poor track record in delivering major projects, but this reflects
      more on the management of these projects within the IEC than upon the technical
      competence on the IT. An examination of three current projects will illustrate the
      weakness of the present approach.
3.5.2 The GIS System was demonstrated at the Results Centre, but this showed only
      smallest fraction of what could be done. It was intended as an extension of the
      Constituency Profile system, to record and map all the relevant information on the
      Districts, Constituencies, Local Government areas, Registration Centres and Polling
      Stations with the information on terrain, roads, and the individual districts and villages.
      Used properly, it could provide tremendous support to Logistics, Registration, and the
      demarcation of constituencies. However such a system is useless unless the IEC first
      collects the information in a form that the GIS system can process, and then builds its
      day-to-day operations around this database. But the system is not being used. GIMS
      (the software supplier) report that the IEC has spent up to 800,000 Maloti on the
      software, but they would normally expect this to be less than 20% of the total cost of the
      project, the remainder being the cost of collecting the information, and restructuring the
      IEC operations around it. This is not an IT issue: it requires that a GIS team be created
      and given the resources to exploit the system and deliver the benefits originally
      expected by the IEC.

3.5.3 The AccPac Accounting System was originally installed in 2001. In September 2006
      an upgrade was requested to the latest version, to expand the account codes and to
      increase the speed. There was little progress until January 2007, partly because the
      Finance Department were busy processing transactions and did not have the time to
      discuss their accounting requirements in detail, but mainly because there was no-one
      within the IEC responsible for progressing the project. Work recommenced in January
       with the detailed definition of technical and accounting requirements and the
       development of a revised Chart of Accounts and coding structure, and specimen
       analysis reports. Most of the questions which arose were financial and accounting
       issues, and required detailed work with the Finance Department to resolve them. Only
       when this work was complete could the software be configured, and the financial data
       recorded in the correct format. The only IT issue was the provision of workstations and
       a server. It would never have been possible for the software supplier to deliver a
       working system until the Finance Department had prepared their detailed Chart of
       Accounts, and it was always up to the Finance department, not IT, to drive this project
       and to make the best use the AccPac accounts.
3.5.4 In the event the delays grew until it was not possible to implement the upgraded system
      in time. Payments were made through the old system. Some of the District Offices
      submitted the names of temporary staff and other payees on handwritten forms, rather
      than on the spreadsheets provided, and these had to be captured manually by the IT
      department. In this case the IEC clearly did not have the capacity to implement the new
      system, even given 5 months notice.

3.5.5 The Warehouse Upgrade commenced with the purchase of servers and workstations,
      with supporting networks, power cables etc. These were procured at short notice when
      UNDP funds were made available in December, and there was no documented planning
      (just a „wish-list‟). The intention was to create a new scanning centre at a warehouse
      adjacent to the existing warehouse and document store, so that the scanning of voter
      registration forms, the maintenance of the register, and the long-term storage of forms
      can be concentrated at a single site.
3.5.6 However, implementation cannot be completed without:
      a.   Further building works, to create a machine room and provide security, access
           control, air conditioning and cooling, a loading/unloading bay, storage for
           consumables, incoming forms and outgoing reports, furniture, facilities for the
           staff, etc. The UPS provided will deliver smoothed supply for the servers and
           main network hub, but nothing else.
      b.   Telephone communications back to HQ, and the districts.
      c.   Data communications back to headquarters, so that data can be mirrored on both
           sites, providing the first level of disaster recovery. It will require setting up
           duplicate systems at the two sites, so that data scanned at the warehouse is
           automatically reflected to the head quarters.
      d.   Upgrading the scanners and software and taking full control of the Voter
           Register, as noted in §3.3 above.
3.5.7 All of these will require funding, which has not been identified, and some detailed
      planning, implementation, testing and project management.
3.5.8 In each case the IT department has done what was required, often at short notice. While
      none of these projects has been formally declared a failure, one has run to a standstill
      for the lack of a team to take it forward, one has been delayed past its critical deadlines
      because there was no-one responsible for managing it, and the third has stopped until
      there is a proper plan, and budget, and funding can be identified. In each case the
      problem was one of management failing to plan or to coordinate resources across the
      different departments. This is outside the IT Department and must be addressed at the
      level of the Commission.
3.6   Planning: It should be noted that the IT Department had generated and maintained
      project plans for all of these projects (and for the conduct of the election) using
      professional planning software (Microsoft Project). These plans show the technical
      detail, but are not expressed in terms of the organisational deliverables required by the
      IEC. That is they show what has to be done, but not why it should be done or what
      should be achieved for the IEC. This is a symptom of an IT department which is trying
      to deliver technical projects, but is not connected to the direction of the IEC nor its
      overall goals.

3.7   Conclusions:
      a.    The IT Department provides an internal IT service, but the service levels are
            poor with an apparent high failure rate. This should be addressed by proper
            management of the site, setting service levels and applying rigorous standards,
            as detailed in §3.2.5 above. The first step must be the physical tidying of the
            server rooms.
      b.    The Voter Register has a limited capacity, and depends on external assistance
            and micro-management. The IEC is vulnerable on this, and must improve
            operations and procedures as detailed in §3.3 above, and should be able to
            support an exercise to clean the register before the next election.
      c.    Much of the time of the IT Manager and the resources of the IT department are
            diverted into assisting and coordinating other departments. While this is
            valuable, it often stops IT from proper planning or even completing its own
            work. The new IT Manager must be able to manage his/her own time before
            any improvements can be made to the IT services and the Voter Register.
      d.    The IT Department has a record of failing to deliver the major projects, but the
            causes are weak planning, failure to connect projects to the overall direction o
            the IEC, and failure to coordinate resources between departments. This is not
            an IT issue, but must be addressed at the level of the Commission.

4.    PROGRESS SINCE PREVIOUS REPORT
4.1   In the past 3 years there has been good progress on the Hardware and Networks, but
      little on the other aspects of the IT Service. The Commission has not adopted any IT
      strategy, nor has it measured the performance of IT nor tracked the progress of
      individual projects. The IT department was not fully prepared for the snap election
      when it came.
4.2   The previous report on the IT department was issued in May, 2004, on behalf of the
      PAI-ERIS capacity building project. It reviewed the then current position of the IT
      systems and services, the work being done to agree service levels and to define
      procedures, policies & standards, performance measurement & reporting, and the
      systems to be developed. It identified the limits imposed by hardware and network
      connections, and the upgrades required, and defined a development plan for the coming
      year. As noted in §2.4 above, copies of the 2004 report will be circulated with this.
4.3   The major recommendations in 2004 were that
      a.    “IT should prepare a formal plan for the upgrade of the Voter Register,
            including the work of reviewing and revising the Voter Register, and should
            formally manage this project against the plan.” The upgrade of the register to
            support the Local Government Elections was identified as one of the most
            urgent developments. This was done and the Local Government Elections were
             held. However, this is an ongoing process. The upgrades to the system and the
             cleansing of the register are again required and should be managed as a formal
             project.
      b.     “IT must prepare a comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plan.” Such a plan would
             ensure that data would be preserved and could be restored after loss, and that the
             services themselves could be restored after a major disaster such as fire, flood,
             theft or criminal damage. This was also identified as urgent, but as far as can be
             determined, this has not been done.
      c.     “Performance measures and reports to the Commission should be
             implemented.” These have not been implemented. Detailed performance
             measures are not recorded, and although there are monthly departmental reports
             up the management chain, the detail does not reach the Commission.
      d.     “In the absence of an IEC project manager or a project board, the AccPac
             system and its extensions for procurement, logistics and storekeeping should be
             undertaken and managed by Quadrant.” This appears not to have been done,
             and hindsight shows that this would have been a mistake. The changes in
             Quadrant meant that they no longer had the skills to take on such a role, as
             evidenced by the delays in the upgrading AccPac since September.
      e.     “A new central domain and file server should be installed.” This appears to
             have been partially completed, although the server room has not yet been
             properly set up and the servers have not yet been installed there. It is not clear
             that the central file server is used by all users.
      f.     “Other systems, including office systems upgrades, small database systems
             (especially for HR) and possibly a new web site, should then be developed.” It
             is clear that much of this was not done: the office systems are not kept up to date
             and the web site, although it was live for the Local Government Elections, was
             discontinued until this recent election.
4.4   The report also noted that the IT Department would be intending to recruit additional
      staff, including a Systems Administrator and Help Desk Officer, which were only
      appointed in February 2007, a Development Administrator (Project Manager/Business
      Analyst) and a replacement Development Officer (Systems Developer), who had
      resigned in turn by late 2006. It was forecast that the lack of technical staff would limit
      IT‟s progress in several areas, and this has proven to be the case.

4.5   Looking at the individual systems and work areas, there has been little progress since
      2004:
      a.    Voter Registration Systems: In 2004 it was noted that the system had been
            formally handed over by Arivia, and that there were formal Change Requests
            concerning improvements to the process flow, the support for Local
            Government Elections, and the Nomination process. These constituted a major
            project and it was recommended that they be formally managed against a
            project plan. In 2007 it appears that the IEC has not yet broken its dependence
            on Arivia, and that further work is still required as noted in §3.3 above. There
            should therefore be the same recommendation: that IT should prepare a formal
            project plan for the work, including the work of reviewing and revising the
            Voter Register, and should formally manage this project against the plan.
      b.    Service Level Agreements: There has apparently been no further progress in
            developing these, and they have not been presented to the commission for
             approval. As an exercise, the site has been evaluated against these draft SLAs
             (see 3.2.2 above and Appendix A: below.) As noted in §3.2.6 these should now
             be developed and applied as part of the proper management of the site to
             improve the quality of the IT service.
      c.     Procedures, Policies and Standards: There seems to have been no further
             work on these, and they have not been formalised or adopted. This does not
             mean that no attempt has been made to apply standards to the setting up of
             servers and workstations, but these have not been documented and depend on
             the individuals involved.
      d.     Backup and Disaster Recovery: The requirements for a Disaster Recovery
             policy were given in May 2004, but there has been no progress on this since
             2002. All the major servers are backed up but there is no procedure for backing
             up users‟ workstations. There is no plan for restoring data or service in case of a
             major failure or damage.
      e.     Performance Measuring and Reporting: There has been no progress on this
             since 2002. Informal notes are kept of problems, but they are not analysed or
             reported, and there are no records of system performance or traffic levels. As
             noted in §3.2.5 above, these would be an important diagnostic tool in improving
             and maintaining service levels.
      f.     Systems Development: Apart from the AccPac accounting system, discussed
             elsewhere, there have been no major systems developments since 2004. The
             Constituency Profile system, which was ready to go live in 2004, has been
             augmented by the GIS software, but as noted in §3.5.2 above, neither system is
             currently in use. The systems development staff have resigned and have not yet
             been replaced. There have been several small developments by the IT Manager,
             based on Access and on Excel, but these are necessarily ad-hoc systems which
             cannot be fully documented or supported.

4.6   There has been good progress with Hardware & Networks, and these should now
      fully meet the objectives identified in 2004. New servers have been installed; the
      network link to the outside world has been upgraded to 256 kb. capacity, and a separate
      high-capacity wide area network has been installed linking the head quarters to the
      district offices. The firewall and anti-virus systems are operational. The e-mail service
      is operational, and while there have been failures due to loss of the external links this
      should be improved once the machine room is tidied.
4.7   The work on the Development Plan has been mixed. The first draft of the IT Strategy
      was prepared by the IT Department in early 2006, at the start of the annual planning
      process, and was submitted to the Commission. However it was not taken further, and
      was not adopted as Commission Policy. In consequence, while the IT Department
      attempted to follow some parts of this strategy, it was not part of the IEC‟s planning,
      resources were not made available, and there was no follow-up.
4.8   The report in 2004 identified two major problems:
      a.     The shortage of technical staff, which has persisted up to the present.
      b.     Lack of involvement from the IEC Commission and Director. It was frequently
             recommended, since 2001 and often thereafter, that IT should report to a formal
             Project Board or IT Committee, chaired by a Commissioner or reporting to the
             Commission, which would receive reports, monitor progress, decide issues,
             allocate resources and set priorities. This would have driven projects and
             developments forward. If this had been put in place, it would have meant that
             the problems of December 2006 would either have been avoided or at least
             would not have come as such a shock.
4.9   In the past years the drive behind the IT developments has come from the IT
      Department itself or from external consultants, but the process has never been „owned‟
      by the Commission and progress has been mixed. IT has not had the resources or the
      backing to deliver everything required of it, and this has lead to the IEC coming close to
      failure. If IT is now to be part of the solution, and not just part of the IEC‟s problem,
      then the Commission must ensure that it adopts a professional approach and improves
      its service levels, and must oversee the major projects.

5.    MANAGEMENT OF PROJECTS AND SERVICES
5.1   The IT department is presently organised informally, but if the service is to be
      improved then a more formal style should be adopted, for each of the three main
      sections within the department. The resignation of the IT Manager and the appointment
      of a replacement give an opportunity to change the management style.
5.2   The department is presently organised as a small informal team, with a loose
      management style, appropriate to a new department which is just starting up. Managers
      are all „hands-on‟, working directly on the systems, or doing their own development,
      and coordinate through ad-hoc, face to face meetings. Only in the Voter Register is
      there a second layer of Supervisors. There are no formal performance statistics or
      status reports within the departments, and upward reporting is by verbal reports to the
      Director and Commission, with a monthly narrative report to the Director.
5.3   The management style and the performance measures should depend on the needs of
      each section:
      a.     The Voter Registration should be considered as a production unit. Its task is to
             receive registration and amendment forms, to process these, and to publish
             accurate registers. It should therefore be measured by the number of forms it
             can correctly process in a day, the error rate, the length of the backlog, and the
             quality of the register, and these should be recorded daily and reported to the
             Commission each week. The Database Administrator should be able to organise
             the staff so as to keep the quality and throughput up, and the error rate and
             backlog down, and to maintain this day after day.
      b.     The Internal IT Service is an internal support service. Its task is simply to
             ensure that all the workstations, servers, networks etc. are working at the
             beginning of each day, and that they remain working until the next day. It
             should be measured by the quality of service it delivers, in terms of agreed
             Service Levels, and the performance in terms of availability, response, fault rate
             and time to restore should be recorded daily and reported to the commission
             each week. The System Administrator should be able to set standards, balance
             service levels against costs, and ensure that the systems meet the agreed service
             levels day after day.
      c.     The Development Team is responsible for delivering small changes and major
             projects, to work reliably, to time and within budget. This requires skills in
             business analysis, small systems development, and the ability to lead and
             manage project. They should follow a suitable project management
             methodology to ensure that issues are fully documented and resolved before the
             system goes live, rather than before. It should publish regular project plans and
             activity reports.
      d.     The IT Manager is responsible for the overall delivery of cost effective
             services and projects, to meet the overall requirement of the IEC. The task is to
             ensure that each of these sections meets its objectives, as well as being the chief
             Project Manager, and being responsible for strategy and budgets. He/she
             should understand the technologies, and how everything interacts, but is not
             expected to be a technician or a developer. The IT Manager should prepare the
             overall statistics and activity reports each week and report these to the
             Commission, highlighting problems and advising how they should be resolved.
5.4   Over the past 6 years the IT Manager has brought the technical skills required to build
      up the department. Now that a new IT Manager is due to be appointed, the Commission
      should look more for the management skills required to establish high service levels
      and to ensure that IT delivers everything required for the Voter Register and for future
      elections.
5.5   This will only be effective if the Commission plays its part. That is, the Commissioners
      take an active role in overseeing the IT department, approving strategy and budgets
      each year, overseeing major projects, and regularly receiving reports, monitoring
      progress, deciding issues, allocating resources and setting priorities. This means the
      creation of a formal IT Committee or Project Board.

6.    CONCLUSIONS
6.1   The IT Department is the key to the successful delivery of elections by the IEC. It
      fulfils several roles, including the public provision of the Voter Register and the
      conduct of elections, and the internal delivery of the IT service.
6.2   There is a public problem with the Voter Register. Although the National Assembly
      Election of 17th February went off comparatively well, there were times when it seemed
      that the IEC would have to announce that it did not have the capacity to run the
      elections and would have to postpone them because the voter register was only 90%
      complete when first published. Despite exceptional outside support and work to clean
      and complete this register it still does not contain all the images and is thought by the
      outside world to remain incomplete and full; of errors. To remove this impression from
      the public mind there must be an exercise, working with the parties, to clean the register
      and to demonstrate that it is complete and correct.
6.3   Internally, the Voter Register has a limited capacity, and depends on external assistance
      and micro-management. It requires both the proposed technical upgrades and
      strengthening of the management. If future embarrassments are to be avoided it should
      be able to demonstrate that it can maintain both throughput and quality.
6.4   Further, internal service levels do not meet the requirements of the IEC and could be
      better if run more professionally.
6.5   The IT department, and the IEC, are bad at managing projects, and they typically fail or
      are delayed, sometimes indefinitely. Such projects are managed at a technical level but
      are not owned or managed by the IEC as a whole. Previous recommendations for the
      Commission to operate a formal project board have not been adopted, but this problem
      should now be addressed.
6.6   There were other recommendations made in the reports up to 2004, to address these
      problems, but most of these were not adopted and consequently the service has not
      improved as hoped.
6.7   Notwithstanding the above, during the election period the IT department pulled
      together and demonstrated its dedication, flexibility, and capacity for sustained hard
      work. This should now be harnessed to delivering improved standards and ensuring
      that future elections go more smoothly.
6.8   However, the hands-on technical management style applied to the IT department
      during its early years is no longer appropriate for a department which should now be
      more mature and should be able to deliver professional, reliable and cost-effective
      services. The new IT Manager should apply a more professional managerial style.

7.    OBJECTIVES FOR THE COMING YEAR
7.1   To be able, without the problems apparent during the February 2007 election, to:
      a.     deliver by-elections (starting in May 2007) and National Assembly Elections
             (possibly in 2008);
      b.     demonstrate that the Voter Register is complete and clean.
7.2   Internally, to be able to deliver projects to enable the above, and to support all the work
      of the IEC.
7.3   To ensure that the internal IT service is run professionally, is robust and reliable, and
      meets agreed service levels, cost effectively.

8.    RECOMMENDATIONS
8.1   Take to opportunity to appoint an IT Manager with suitable professional and
      managerial rather than just technical experience, with the brief to establish formal
      procedures, to meet agreed service levels, and to manage all IT projects.
8.2   Develop and agree a formal IT strategy to support the IEC‟s overall development
      strategy, to upgrade the Voter Registration system, to complete and clean the Voter
      Register, to improve service levels, and other projects as required.
8.3   Set up a Project Board, chaired by a Commissioner, to oversee the IT function and to
      deliver the IT Strategy, to manage all IT projects, receive regular reports and statistics,
      allocate resources, identify problems and ensure that action is taken.
8.4   Use this plan as a basis for approaching donors, requesting support in exchange for the
      achievement of measurable, agreed goals.

David Mathieson, ERIS
20th March 2007
Appendix A: REQUIRED SERVICE LEVELS
                 Coded:                   Green:
                                 Fully meets agreed SLA
                          Yellow:Does not fully meet SLA, but tolerable in the short term
                          Red:                      Fails the agreed SLA, Unacceptable
                          Grey:                                No information available.
                                                           GREEN         YELLOW            RED
                                                          (Agreed)      (Tolerable)    (Unacceptable)
                                                                     RELIABILITY
Computerised Voter Register
                                                        Secure Server
Security: Physical                                        No outside          -        Server insecure
                                                            access
                                                         Separate Ids    Common
Security: Access                                                                        No Passwords
                                                        & Passwords         Ids
                                                        Positive Data      User                            Che
Data Integrity                                                                          No Validation
                                                          Validation     Validation                      regist
                                                          Permanent
Data Preservation                                                             -         No Backups
                                                           Backups
Unscheduled outage due to Hardware/Software                                            More than once    Failur
                                                            None        Once a Year
failure                                                                                   a year
Time to restore service after outage                       <1 day          1 week        >1 week
Loss of stored data after outage                            None              -        Any data loss
Forms to be reloaded after outage                          <1 day          1 week        > 1 week

Desktop Office Systems
                                                                                                           Ser
Security: Physical                                      Secure Server         -        Server insecure
Security: Access                               Ids/Passwords      -                     No Passwords
                                                Centralised, Centralised,                                Mixe
Data Preservation: Backups                                                             Local or None
                                                 Automatic    Manual
Average time between user problems & help-desk 1 month each 1 week each                  > 1 call per
calls                                               user        user                    week per user
                                                                                                           All
                                                                           Local
Protection from abuse and Viruses                        Automatic                           None          hav
                                                                         Procedure
Time to resolve user problems                               1 day         1 week            >1 week
Average time between hardware failures                      1 year        1 month           >1 month
Time to restore after hardware failure                      1 day          2 days            >2 days
Loss of stored data after failure                           1 day                            > 1 day
E-mail Services
                                                        Separate Ids
Security: Access                                                              -         No Passwords
                                                        & Passwords
                                                        Positive Data
Data Integrity                                                                -         No Validation
                                                         Validation
                                                   GREEN          YELLOW           RED
                                                  (Agreed)       (Tolerable)   (Unacceptable)
Data Preservation: Backups                       With Server          -            None
                                                                    Local
Protection from Spam and Viruses                  Automatic                        None
                                                                   Update
Availability of service during the working day     100%             90%            <90%          By ob
Time to restore service after failure              1 hour          <1 day         >1 day         By ob
Potential loss of service                        Mail delayed         -           Mail lost      By ob
Internet Access
                                                                   Local
Protection from Worms and Viruses                 Automatic                        None          Firew
                                                                  Update
Availability of service during the working day      100%           90%             <90%          By ob
Time to restore service after outage                <1 day        <1 week         >1 week        By ob
Time to restore service after failure               1 hour         1 day           >1 day        By ob
AccPac Accounting System
Security: Physical                               Secure Server        -        Server insecure
                                                  Separate Ids
Security: Access                                                      -        No Passwords         U
                                                 & Passwords
                                                 Positive Data     User                          Old sy
Data Integrity                                                                 No Validation
                                                   Validation    Validation
                                                   Permanent
Data Preservation                                                     -         No Backups
                                                    Backups
Unscheduled outage due to Hardware/Software                                                          F
                                                    None         Once a Year    > once a year
failure
Time to restore service after outage                <1 day        <1 week         >1 week        By ob
Loss of stored data after outage                     None            -          Any data loss    By ob

HR & Departmental Records
Security: Physical                               Secure Server        -        Server insecure
Security: Access                                  By User Id          -         No Controls
                                                 Positive Data
Data Integrity                                                        -        No Validation
                                                  Validation
                                                  Permanent
Data Preservation                                                     -         No Backups
                                                   Backups
Unscheduled outage due to Hardware/Software
                                                    None         Once a Year    > once a year
failure
Time to restore service after outage                1 day          1 week         >1 week
Loss of stored data after outage                    None              -         Any data loss
                                                         GREEN      YELLOW         RED
                                                        (Agreed)   (Tolerable) (Unacceptable)
                                                          RECOVERY AFTER DISASTER
All services are housed on servers in the secure,
                                                         Machine                Machine Room    Not a
locked machine room, protected by security
                                                       Room Secure               NOT Secure
systems, fire protection, powers stabilisation, etc.
Computerised Voter Register
Time to restore service after total loss                 1 week      1 month      > 1 month
Data lost in case of total system loss                    1 day      1 week        >1 week
Forms lost through a major fire                          1 week      1 month      > 1 month
Desktop Office Systems
Time to restore service after total loss                 1 week      1 month      > 1 month
Data lost in case of total system loss                    1 day      1 week        >1 week
E-mail Services
Time to restore service after total loss                 1 week      1 month      > 1 month
Data lost in case of total system loss                    1 day      1 week        >1 week
Internet Access
Time to restore service after total loss                 1 week      1 month      > 1 month
Data lost in case of total system loss                     N/a         N/a           N/a
AccPac Accounting System
Time to restore service after total loss                 1 week      1 month      > 1 month
Data lost in case of total system loss                    1 day      1 week        >1 week
HR & Departmental Records
Time to restore service after total loss                 1 week      1 month      > 1 month
Data lost in case of total system loss                    1 day      1 week        >1 week
                                     ANNEXURE B




SUMMARY OF OBSERVER REPORTS – NATIONAL ELECTIONS, FEB, 2007,
                       LESOTHO

                                                                        Thomas Mathew
                                                                     Project Coordinator


The observations and recommendations of the observer groups in their reports so far
received have been compiled in the table below. In the end, I have added my own
observations and recommendations on issues, which have not been covered by the
observers . If there is no recommendation against a particular observation, the
recommendation column is left blank. Similarly, if there is only recommendation with out
any observation corresponding to this, the observation column is left blank.

No comments have been offered to the recommendations as in the first instance the
commission may like to take decisions on them. Once the Commission takes decisions on
them, detailed notes on the accepted recommendations can be prepared for further
deliberations.


             Observations                           Recommendations
                                       EISA
The Government could have used its        Stake holders should be alerted to the
discretion to ascertain the state of      possibility of an early election
readiness of the electoral commission
(to conduct the elections)
Elections would have proceeded better Crucial election related activities
if the setting of dates had taken account should not be organized over the
of the holiday season (Christmas and      festive or any other holiday season
New Year period
Some of the alliances (of political       Urge the political parties to respect and
parties) have the potential to abuse the  uphold the spirit of the MMP system
MMP system by negating the
compensatory mechanism
The election period was not adequate for Civic and voter education should be
stake holders to deliver the education    continuous
required to reinforce voters‟
understanding of the electoral system as
well as to assess the candidates
There is no provision for funding of      Electoral stakeholders should consider
political parties in between elections    and determine the amount and time
and even the provisions for campaign      lines of campaign and election related
financing are not clear                   funding for parties, using an agreed
                                          formula
The mission noted that the parties did    The relevant authorities) should
not disclose the sources of their funding enforce the law on the disclosure of
as required by the law                    campaign funding.

Most parties were of the opinion that     In future airtime (should) be allocated
access to the media, particularly the     to all contesting parties and candidates
public media, was inadequate and that     in an equitable manner from the
the Govt.(ruling party) was abusing the   beginning of the campaign period.
media to gain an unfair advantage over
other political parties.
A number of voters were confused about    Ballot boxes to be colour coded to
the ballot boxes in which box to place    make casting the ballots easier for
the different ballots                     voters
Voting procedures were not applied        The training and instructions given to
uniformly                                 the polling officials need to be
                                          evaluated.
Voting procedure would have been          A review of the voting procedure in
quicker with a different lay out of the   order to quicken the flow of voting and
polling stations and removing some of     the processing of the voters (is
the steps in the voting process such as   needed).
receiving the two ballots separately
The requirement to record the voter‟s     A review of the counterfoil procedure
registration number on the ballot paper in order to enhance the secrecy of the
counterfoil and the submission of a       ballot (may be done)
marked ballot to the polling official for
detachment of the counterfoil have the
potential to undermine the secrecy of the
ballot
Some polling officials appeared to be The training of polling officials be
not conversant with the counting          reviewed to improve the application of
process and in some cases the             counting procedure
reconciliation of the ballots was not
done
                      SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM
Not withstanding the legality of snap     Mechanism should be put in place to
elections, such elections could, as was   facilitate the work of the IEC in the
the case in the just ended elections,     event of a snap election. The measures
result in unforeseen logistical and       should include allocation of additional
administrative challenges on the part of funds and other resources to enable the
the IEC and other political parties       IEC to meet the extra ordinary pressure
                                          and deadlines that accompany a snap
                                          election
There are political and legal challenges       The mission recommends enactment
to the manner in which the MMP system          of legislation and /or adoption of
was being implemented in these                 guidelines to govern such alliances.
elections. In view of the concerns raised      This would enhance the benefits of the
by the stake holders that political            MMP electoral system and promote
inclusiveness, which is one of the main        inter-party collaboration and fair
benefits of the MMP system, was                contest.
threatened by pre-election alliances
Some voters were not able to vote due          Voter registration and related process
to missing names in the roll, though           should be carried out on a continuous
they were having cards issued by IEC           basis to ensure that the voters‟ roll is
                                               kept up to date.
Party agents were not having copies of         Copies of the voters‟ roll should be
the voters roll and had to rely on the         made available to party agents to
polling officials and official witnesses       enable them to independently verify
to verify the identity of voters               the identities of voters
Though there was a census in April,
2006, no new constituency boundaries
were created, hence the 2002
constituency boundaries remained in
place, despite a 10% increase in the
number of polling stations to the current
2558
Apparent lack of familiarity with voting       The IEC should develop a long-term
procedures resulted in polling staff           strategy on voter education. Political
taking time to illustrate (to the voters) in   parties, civil society organizations and
some detail how to exercise the right to       the media, all should be the key stake
vote.                                          holders in this process
Stakeholders including the IEC                 As provided in the law, the IEC should
informed the mission that the public           be proactive in monitoring media
electronic media‟s coverage of the             coverage of election campaigns to
elections had hitherto been largely            ensure professional, fair and balanced
skewed in favour of the ruling party.          coverage..
After the establishment of the media
monitoring panel, there has been some
improvement in the coverage of the
election campaign by the public media.
Lesotho like majority of other SADC            Political parties should put in place
countries continues to lag behind in the       practical measures to promote
advancement of women in politics.              participation of women in political
                                               process. The MMP system presents the
                                               opportunity to act decisively by
                                               putting women at the top of the PR
                                               lists.
Complaints regarding late release of           Campaign funding should be made
campaign funds from the IEC were               available well ahead of the election
received                                  date.
Complaints were received regarding use Government resources should not be
of Government vehicles for campaigns used to abet one political party at the
                                          expense of others.
Whereas election results were promptly Mechanism should be developed to
announced at polling stations, the same expedite the announcement of election
cannot be said with regard to the         results at national level to forestall
declaration of consolidated results to    unnecessary anxiety in the population.
the nation.                               Through comprehensive training and
                                          logistical support, the IEC should
                                          enhance the capacity of the polling
                                          station staff to compile accurate results
                                          and facilitate speedy flow of
                                          information to constituency centers
                                          and to the IEC headquarters.
                                          The IEC should seriously consider
                                          establishing user-friendly voting
                                          facilities for people with disabilities
                                AFRICAN UNION
At some polling stations especially in
the mountainous areas, certain voting
materials were delivered late.
Some polling stations did not have
furniture.
Some card bearing voters whose            Innovative methods should be evolved
particulars were not in the register were to curb the continuous apathy of voters
not allowed to vote. In some cases it was towards their responsibility during
the failure of such people to respond the registration in order to ensue cleaning
appeal by the IEC for re-updating (their of registers before elections.
registration)
A legal framework to check floor
crossing in parliament thereby
promoting party instability is absent..
Such a provision may have avoided this
unprecedented call for a snap election.
The process of voting and counting was
slow.
                                          It is legally viable to call snap
                                          elections, but it is the view of the AU
                                          observer team that election time
                                          should in future be extended beyond
                                          90 days limit
                                          The IEC should intensify continuous
                                          voter education
                                          The political parties should be made
                                          aware that they are solely liable for the
                                          poor turnout at the elections.
                         LESOTHO COUNCIL OF NGOS
Some political party candidates used
public resources to further their
campaign strategies. This provided
undue advantage to these candidates
over others who were not entrusted with
such public funds.
The legal electoral timetable did not
allow the IEC the flexibility to make
necessary adjustments to accommodate
the high demand for registration. There
were large number of people who
wanted to register but were unable to do
so due the legal electoral time table
At the polling stations, some eligible
voters were not allowed to vote as their
names were not in the voters‟ roll. In
some other cases, the names appeared
only in the roll with the party agents.
Though such persons were allowed to
vote, it is surprising that the two rolls 1.Web based electoral rolls be
were supplied by IEC as a true record considered in future.
of those registered.
On an average about 5% of the voters in 2. Directions from IEC should be
each polling station claimed to have      consistent especially on issues related
registered, but were not found in the     to voters roll and voting procedures..
roll.
A few eligible voters were turned away 3. IEC should develop a systematic
due to discrepancies of the number of     approach to provide opportunity for
the voter registration card and the       continuous registration of voters as
number in the voters‟ rolls.              stipulated in the law.
The decision about distribution of
voters at the polling stations (in the    4.. IEC should update and publish the
same location) in the alphabetical order voters‟ lists at least every two years in
was not communicated to the voters,       order to avoid the rush during election
which caused confusion among the          period.
voters
There were contradictory directions       5. .Ensure proper supervision of IEC
from the IEC about the persons who        staff at the registration centers – it is
claimed to have registered, but were not totally unacceptable that people go to
in the list. According to the official    register only to find that the officials
position of the IEC, these persons were are not in the office
not to be allowed to vote, but according
to the polling station handbook, they
could vote by tendered ballots.
Further confusion arose when the IEC
indicated that voters whose names did
not appear in the voters‟ list in the
polling station, but whose name
appeared in the mother list at the district
level would be entitled to vote. It is not
clear whether the information has been
communicated to the polling staff.
Further, the mother list was not
available for immediate use at the
polling stations.
The role of party agents in verifying the
eligibility of voters was very minimal
The counting of votes and compilation
of results was very low.
The same logistical problems (of 20002        1. IEC should strengthen the
elections) of late delivery of election           communication means
materials and consequent delay in                 between polling centers and
opening of the voting process occurred            central office so that immediate
in this election also. The delay was              response can be given to the
about 3 to 6 hours. This happened in              problems which may emerge
about 10% of the polling stations                 in the field
visited..                                     2. The capacity of the logistical
                                                  section of the IEC should be
                                                  assessed with a view to
                                                  strengthen it to meet the
                                                  expectation of the situation.
The polling staff in some of the polling Training of the polling staff should be
stations was incompetent which resulted improved by the IEC in order to avoid
in delay in finalizing the counting       poor management at the polling
process.                                  stations.
CATHOLIC CHURCH AND LESOTHO EVANGELICAL CHURCH
A few polling stations opened late due
to late delivery of polling materials
Polling staff appeared to lack proper
training to handle issues and challenges
which emerged.
People with 1998 registration cards
were not able to vote as their names
were not on the electoral roll. A few
others with cards whose names were
not in the electoral rolls also could not
vote.
Due to lack of training (awareness),
some electors did not understand the
alliances made by the political parties
and sought clarifications as to which
party represented the alliance. This
compromised the secrecy of the ballot
In a few cases there was no consistency
in the steps followed (at the polling
station)
Counting was very slow and the lack of
proper lighting was an impediment to
the smooth process
In some constituencies errors occurred     It is expected that such errors in
during counting and subsequent             additions or omissions be dealt
announcement of results.                   diligently, legally and timely
Some Government ministers used their
official vehicles to bring voters to the
polling stations especially at New
Jerusalema and in Seqonoka polling
stations. This could have happened else
where also.
Noted with concern the low turnout of
voters.
Communication between IEC staff at
polling stations and at higher levels was
very poor.
In the present elections, a number of      This practice should be discouraged
political parties have formed alliances to and the Church urges Parliament to
exploit the weakness in the MMP            enact a law that makes it (the alliances)
system in order to maximize their          illegal if the MMP has to survive
numbers. This arrangement while it may
have worked for some parties, it has a
potential of dismantling the MMP
system.
                           CROSS ROADS LESOTHO
Many youth in Mafeteng and Mohale‟s
have not registered due to various
reasons like, registration period was
very short, and they were closed, while
some others did not find a reason to
register.
Young people were not motivated or         One option that can play an important
mobilized to register or to vote           role in reversing the decline in
                                           participation of the youth is
                                           Information, communication
                                           Technology ( This recommendation is
                                           not clear)
There was no proper voter education in
prisons
Voters in prisons were confused about
the political parties and alliances and in
some cases polling staff asked the voters
about the name of the party they wanted
to vote, which compromised the secrecy
of ballot
Presiding officers indicated that they       Presiding Officers need to be given a
were not given airtime for their mobile      platform to communicate with the
phones and some had to use their own         constituency offices as well as
airtime to communicate.                      returning officers (airline, cell phones
                                             and walky-talkies )
The IEC staff at polling stations was        They need on job training and work
incompetent. Most of them were school        orientation before hand.
leavers or school going and had no
experience of this kind of work
Polling stations lacked materials like
adhesive tapes, envelopes and voting
documents
One vehicle is inadequate to serve one       Transportation means need to be
entire constituency with approximately       improved.
40 polling stations
The constituency office does not have
the required information about the
polling stations, which falls under it.
No justice was done to the youth of          Before we teach the youth how to vote
Lesotho as far as voter education is         it should be stressed on the importance
concerned.                                   of youth in the country, their vital
                                             potency in the functioning democracy
                                             and that the power rested on their
                                             sound decisions, which are reflected
                                             on the vote caste (sic).
It appeared that a significant number of
party agents seemed to have not
understood their roles.

                                 Own Observation
The high number of invalid votes can      A recommendation should be made to
possibly be due to the rejection of       the Govt. to delete the provision in the
ballots without the official stamp on the law which treats such ballots as invalid
back.                                     as it is unjustified to throw away a
                                          vote properly cast due to the omission
                                          of a polling officer to put the official
                                          stamp on the ballot paper, if it can
                                          otherwise be established to be a
                                          genuine ballot paper issued from that
                                          polling station.
The polling percentage has been below     The historical voter apathy in the
50, may be the lowest among the           country needs to be studied in detail
emerging democracies.                     and efforts should be made to
                                          encourage the voters to vote either by
                                          increased motivation or by removing
                                          impediments, if any, which may be
                                          keeping the voters out of the polling
                                          stations.
The difference in the number of total     By deleting this provision in the law
votes polled in a constituency for the    and by issuing the two ballots together
candidates and the parties is justifiable to the voter, the same purpose can be
as the law permits a voter to decline to  achieved, as the voter will have the
vote for one election. However, the       option to leave any ballot he does not
difference might have also occurred due want to vote as blank. The advantage
to the omission of the polling officer    of this change will be that the voters
either intentionally or inadvertently to  and the ballots issued can be correlated
give the second ballot to the voter. .Any with the no. of voters and will be
how, this provision in the law prevents another form of reconciliation. Party
correlation of the voters visited the     agents can also become part of this as
polling station and the ballot papers     they too can keep a tab of the voters in
issued, which leaves scope for the ballot the copy of voters list they would be
paper issuer to issue more than one       having. This will also speed up the
ballot paper of the same election to a    voting process,
voter. .
 Counting process was very slow.          The counting procedure needs to
                                          revised to speed up the process
Party agents were mute spectators         Commission should produce a
during the polling process.               handbook describing the duties and
                                          responsibilities of the party agents at
                                          the polling stations and distributed
                                          freely to the political parties and
                                          candidates. Organizations like NDI
                                          should be roped in to conduct training
                                          for the party agents.
Having only one voting compartment in The number of voting compartments in
a polling station also contributed to the a polling station should be increased to
slow voting process, which also might two or three to speed up the voting
have contributed to the low voting        process.
percentage
There was controversy about the           Procedures should be devised to
authenticity PR lists of candidates,      ensure that the IEC is informed much
presented by a party which became a       in advance the name of the party
subject for judicial intervention         functionary who is authorized to
                                          authenticate the party list for the PR
                                          and the party sponsored candidates,
                                          submitted to the IEC
                                     ANNEXURE –C

              SUMMARY OF THE REPORTS OF THE MEDIATORS
                 NATIONAL ELECTIONS, 2007, LESOTHO

                                                                           Thomas Mathew
                                                                        Project Coordinator

Reports from nine of the eleven mediators have been received. A summary of the issues,
which the mediators have resolved/observed, is given below. As the mediators had not
visited all the polling stations, it can be indicative of the problems which might have
occurred through out the country. Majority of the issues arose due to lack of
experience/maturity/knowledge of the polling personnel. The reported case of one person
outside the polling station having a photocopy of the ballot paper is a serious lapse on the
part of the polling personnel there and needs detailed investigation.

      Complaints that the IEC staff are very slow
      Complaints about the low number of polling booths(compartments)
      In one polling station the polling started late as the indelible ink arrived late and
       there the polling continued up to 0100 hours and counting finished at 0500 hours
      At many polling stations the figures in the results sheet did not tally
      Results sheets were misplaced by the Presiding Officer
      Results sheets were not got signed by the party agents
      There was dispute over the venue of a polling station; the change of venue by the
       CEA was not communicated to the staff, which resulted in a dispute by the polling
       staff and local people
      Voters were allocated to a distant polling station, instead of to a nearby polling
       station and majority of these voters did not vote.
      There was confusion over the authenticating stamp as during training the polling
       staff were told that there would be separate stamps for the two ballot papers, but
       only one was provided, this resulted in a delay of three and half hours in opening
       the polling station
      A-38 forms were not provided at the polling stations to enable the polling staff to
       vote at the polling stations they were not working
      At Ha Sekake, the Returning Officer repeatedly failed to tally the results and the
       mediator had to intervene to get the results right.
      The R.O at Tsoelike had also problem with tallying the results
      There were no transport for the police personnel to the polling stations
      At one polling station, one minister was alleged to have transported voters to the
       polling station in a Government vehicle and the voters objected to these people
       voting which lead to a near physical fight. The issue was resolved amicably.
      In St. Paul polling station in Thupakubu constituency the polling started only at
       2pm due to late arrival of the polling materials
   Polling was suspended at Ntaja polling station as one ballot paper issued to a voter
    was found to have a mark on a party symbol. Polling resumed on the clarification
    that it was the mistake of the printer..
   In Senez polling station at Berea Constituency, a voter had photocopies of the
    ballot papers with him. Though the agents did not make it an issue, it is not
    known how the ballot paper was copied
   The names in the electoral rolls were not arranged alphabetically
   Polling staff was lazy to search for names in the electoral rolls
   Voters complained about keeping the doors of the polling station shut while one
    voter is voting as they suspected malpractices inside
   There was dispute over a hole made by a woman on the ballot paper instead of with
    a punching machine.
   The Presiding Officer inadvertently cancelled the result sheet which created
    confusion though the problem was resolved later
   Advance ballots were wrongly treated as tendered ballots, though corrected later
   100 voters were not allowed to vote as two pages of the voters roll in the copy at the
    polling station was missing; the Presiding officer refused to use the roll, which had
    the missing two pages
   Ballot boxes were found with broken seals
   Ballot papers which were issued without authentication stamps were stamped at the
    time of counting and validated
   The ballots of the polling staff were put in an envelope and not counted initially;
    later counted at the constituency office
   In one polling station the lid of the ballot box was missing and polling started only
    at 11.30 am
   There was dispute between the police officer and the presiding officer over the
    police officer entering the polling station.
   In the ballot paper it was written “Lesotho Independent Authority”
   Observers decided about the validity of ballot papers in one polling station
                                    ANNEXURE D


                                         DEEPENING DEMOCRACY IN LESOTHO
                                         PROPOSED WORKPLAN FOR 2007

                                                                         MONTHS
ACTIVITIES                                                   1st quarter  2nd quarter
                                                           Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun      Aug Sep
Office set up for the project
  . Placement of Program Coordinator Logistical
Manager
   . Staff recruitment ( PA & 2 Drivers )
  . Acquire office equipment
  . Acquire office equipment for Deputy Director
  . Acquire information technology equipment
  . Procurement of 3 Vehicles
  . Stakeholder identification
  . 1st Meeting / Inception meeting
  . Prepare Inception report
Strengthening IEC
  . Compilation of observer and Mediators reports
  . Review of observer reports and Commission
decision
  . Research on the increasing voter apathy
  . Study on the high percentage of invalid votes
  . Review of the draft electoral law from the electoral
   administration point of view
  . Development of Resource centre and Library at
IEC
  . Training of IEC Senior Staff (30) in number in
Bridge
    Course.
Traing of trainers in Bridge course
  . Training of of IEC staff in office procedure and
records
    management , induction and teambuilding courses
  . Development of a Communication Strategy
  . implementation of the recommendations obtained
in
    the Information Technology division.
    Consultant report attached - Mr. David Matheson
 A brief note on the pending actions in the work plan under the project “Deepening
                               Democracy in Lesotho


The work plan under the project :” Deepening democracy in Lesotho” was submitted to
the IEC for approval some time in March and it is understood that the work plan has since
been approved.. As the international staff of the project will not be here to pursue the
proposals in the work plan, a brief on each item in the work plan, which remains to be done,
is given below. Most of the subjects included in the work plan are based on general
observation, lessons learnt from the February national elections and from the observer
reports.

1. Review of the observer reports and Mediators Reports

The national and international groups, which observed the February elections, have
submitted their observations and recommendations. These include recommendations for
amending the election law and procedures. All their observations and recommendations
have been compiled in a table form and submitted to the IEC for their decision and follow
up action

2. Review of the draft electoral law

A panel consisting of international experts drafted the “National Assembly Electoral
Bill‟ 2006”, with a view to simplify the Electoral law of 92 and a draft “National
Assembly Electoral Bill, 2006” was prepared. . On a perusal of the draft bill, it has been
observed that it needs to be reviewed again from a practical angle. The cross references in
the bill also need to be corrected as most of them are wrong. Accordingly a note for
reconsideration of the draft bill has been prepared and is submitted to the IEC.. If
approved by the Commission, the proposals need to be discussed with the political parties
and then entrusted with a legal draftsman and an experienced electoral administrator for
redrafting the bill.

Any change in the electoral law will also necessitate consequential changes in the
procedure for registration of voters and polling..

3.Study on Voter Apathy

 It has been observed that the voter participation in the elections in the country is one of the
lowest in the African region in the elections held recently. Observer reports give various
reasons for this increasing voter apathy, like long wait at the polling stations to vote. This
issue needs to be studied to find out the reasons and remedial actions taken to motivate the
people to participate in the elections..
Accordingly, a study among the various sections of the society has been proposed and a
questionnaire for this purpose has been submitted to the IEC. The study is proposed to be
conducted by the electoral staff in the field
4. Study on high percentage of Invalid Votes
 The percentage of invalid votes in the February elections were about 5%, very high
compared to international standards. One possible reason for this is the provision in the law
to invalidate the ballots, which does not contain the authenticating stamp of the polling
stations. This issue needs to be investigated by checking the invalid votes by opening the
ballot boxes of the February elections.

5.Establishement of Library and Resource center at IEC

 It has been observed that the Commission does not have a proper resource center, which
cab help political parties/research staff/electoral officers to get information about any
electoral matter. It also lacks reference books on international elections. This necessitated
thinking about establishment of a library-cum-resource center at the IEC. In addition to
collection and compilation of election records locally, international organizations dealing
with elections can be approached to help to build up the resource center. .

6. Training in Bridge course

. It was observed that many of the senior electoral staff of the IEC does not have sufficient
experience in elections and lack exposure to the international standards of elections.
Therefore, it has been proposed to give them training in “Bridge” acourse. This course has
been designed by the Australian Election Commission in association with electoral experts
EAD of UN and other international organizations dealing with elections. Already the Dy.
Director and the Training Officer of IEC have been trained in the trainer‟s course of the
Bridge course in Pretoria May,2007.. It is understood that IEC is planning the conduct the
training for the senior staff of the IEC in August. An accredited trainer from South Africa
has been identified by the project staff and a budgeting for the training is being prepared..

7. Training in Records and Office Management

During the February elections, it was observed that that the records and office management
by the IEC staff in the limited sphere of observer coordination, with which the project
staff were involved, were deficient. Letters addressed to IEC by observer organizations
were to be retrieved from private contractors, who were engaged for issue of identity cards.
There are no records of some observer groups being accredited. These made the project to
include a training of the staff of the IEC in record management and office procedure in the
work plan. Once the suggestion is approved, suitable trainers need to be identified to
conduct the training.

8. Development of a Communication strategy

The IEC has a PRO. However, the news about elections, which are being fed to the public,
is the distorted ones from the press reporters. The Commission has not come out with any
press releases during or after the elections, excepting for some interviews.
 The Public Relations unit of the IEC needs to be trained in developing a communication
strategy to publicize the activities of the Commission to build up the confidence of the
public in the impartiality and independence of the Commission.
Once the proposal is approved a suitable organization need to be identified to provide the
necessary training to the staff of the PRO unit of the IEC.

9. Voter Education Strategy
There have been complaints from some observers about lack of proper voter education
during last elections. A proper strategy needs to be developed for this purpose regarding
the materials and the mode of voter education. Engaging local NGOs for this purpose is a
viable solution. Voter Education needs to be strengthened prior and during the voter
registration period and from one year prior to the elections.

It is not known, whether the present school curricula contains any thing about the
Government, Parliament and about elections. If not, it may be advisable to include these
subjects as part of Civics at school level, which will be the best method of civic education
to the people as the school children can disseminate their knowledge to their parents also

10. Improvements in IT section
Mr. David Matheson has submitted a note for improving the IT section of the IEC, which
needs to be acted upon in consultation with IT experts. .

11. Logistical issues

During last elections there were a lot of reports about late arrival of materials at polling
stations, which resulted in late opening of the polling stations. Mr. Paul Dale, logistical
adviser has identified the logistical constraints during the last elections and has made some
recommendations. (waiting for report).




                                     ANNEXURE E
COMMENTS ON DRAFT NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ELECTORAL BILL.2006

                                                                              Thomas Mathew
                                                                           Project Coordinator


I have gone through the Draft National Assembly Electoral Bill, 2006 and a few comments
and suggestions are given below. The suggestions are based on observations from the Feb
elections and on practices in other countries. The cross references are also wrong in most
cases.. The note is not exhaustive, as more issues will emerge once the process of review is
undertaken

Role of Director in the law

In the existing and in the draft law, the powers and responsibilities of the Director and the
Commission overlaps at many places. . In certain matters, the director takes precedence
over the Commission. . To correct this anomaly, all the powers and responsibilities for
conducting the elections should be vested with the Commission and to avoid the need for
the Commission to take decisions on each and every electoral matter, it can delegate any of
its powers to the Director or the Deputy Director by making a provision in the law in this
regard..

Compulsory Registration of Voters

The provision in the National Assembly Elections Act, 1992, making it a civic duty for
every qualified citizen to register as a voter, has been retained in the draft bill also. Failure
to register invites a penalty of fine or imprisonment up to three months. However, there is
no similar provision for voting in the existing or in the draft law leaving voting optional
only. However, this provision for penalty for non-registration has never been
implemented in the country.

Compulsory voting is in the law books of about 30 countries in the world. In some of them
only voting is compulsory; but it is not known whether there is any other country in the
world where only registration is compulsory. Among these 30 countries, other than in
Australia and in Cyprus, this law is not being seriously enforced, probably due to the
practical difficulties in its implementation. The main argument in favor of compulsory
voting is that its gives legitimacy to the elected government by having the mandate of
majority of the voters. However, having only compulsory registration and not compulsory
voting does not contribute in this regard; rather it will have the contrary effect as the voter
participation in elections in percentage will go down with many disinterested voters who
are compulsorily registered not voting...

A possible adverse consequence of the continuation of the penal clause for
non-registration in the law is that it can be selectively used against political adversaries to
settle scores.
 Therefore, it is to be considered whether this provision in which has never been
implemented and which does not have any tangible contribution to the development of
democracy in the country, is to be retained in the law.

Registration Process

If the provision for compulsory registration is dropped, the concept of a live electoral roll
envisaged in the law (which never worked effectively) fails unless the roll can be derived
from the census data. The responsibility for registration also shifts from the individual
concerned to the IEC. If the census data cannot be depended on for this purpose, periodic
revision (yearly) of rolls in the field will have to undertaken by the IEC as was done before
the February general elections. However, a provision of inclusion or deletion of names in
the rolls during the intervening periods on individual applications can be provided to take
care of persons who were left out in the general revision.

Qualifying date for registration

Under the present law and the draft law, a person, who becomes eligible to be enrolled as
an elector on attaining the age of 18 has to compulsorily apply to the Director for
registration within a prescribed period. There is also the provision for enrolment of persons
of 17 years of age on a provisional basis. . In the case of periodic revision, the IEC should
prescribe a date as the qualifying date for eligibility.

Registration Officers

Under the present law and the draft law, it is the responsibility of the Director to compile
and maintain the voters register. The decision of the Director can only be questioned before
a Magistrate designated by the Chief Justice. It is proposed that the IEC officer in the
constituency should be designated as the Electoral Registration Officer, who will be
in-charge of the registration in the constituency. Appeals against his decision may lie with
the District Election Officer. The judiciary should come in the picture only at the second or
third appeal stage, making the procedure voter friendly.

Registration of Political Parties

The following suggestions are made:

      A form should be prescribed for the parties to apply for registration.

      The constitution of the party should include a provision regarding the office bearer,
       by designation, who is authorized to communicate with the IEC, to avoid situations
       as happened in the February elections.

      In case of the independent candidates, instead of the present system of allowing the
       candidate to have a symbol of his/her choice and registering them in his/her name,
       they may be asked to select a symbol from a list of free symbols provided by the
       Commission. This symbol should be allotted to the candidate for that election only.
       This will save time during the elections to check on the acceptability of symbols
       chosen by independent candidates.

Alliances of Political Parties

Informal alliances of political parties to take advantage of the loop hole in the law to get
maximum seats from the proportional quota have been a cause for the post-election turmoil
in the country. These informal alliances though legally correct, undermine the very basis of
the MMP system. Therefore to plug this loophole in the law and to uphold the principles of
MMP, it is suggested that:
1.      a clause should be included in the law that it will be incumbent on the political
        parties which contests any election in a constituency to contest in the party
        elections also; or
2.      do away with the two ballot papers and allot seats under the proportional quota on
        the basis of the total votes received by the party candidates in the constituencies.

Promulgation of Elections

In the law, the King on the advice of the council of state proclaims the date of the elections.
Consultation with the Commission (to know its preparedness to conduct the elections) has
not been provided in the law. The absence of such a provision in the law may create a
situation in which the Commission may be asked to conduct an election on a date for which
the Commission is not prepared. To avoid such situations it may be advisable to provide for
consultation with the Commission by the Council of State a statutory necessity, before the
proclamation is issued by the King.

Nomination of Candidates –Qualifications

No minimum age limit for being a candidate has been prescribed under the law excepting
that he/she should be voter, which puts the age limit for a candidate as 18. In many
countries a higher age limit than that of the voter is prescribed for becoming a candidate as
it is perceived that a member of Parliament should be a matured person, who can function
effectively in the parliament. Therefore, it may be considered whether a minimum age for a
person to be a candidate, say 25 years, is necessary to be included in the law. .

Nomination of Candidates

The person authorized to present the nomination documents of a candidate has not been
mentioned in the law; it can be the candidate himself, his proposer..

A candidate in a constituency can be a registered voter from any where in the country and
the Returning officer of the constituency may not have copy of the whole electoral roll of
the country to check it. Therefore, it may be advisable if the candidate is required to submit
proof of his registration along with nomination paper.
In case of a party candidate, the designated office bearer of the party in the constitution of
the party (as proposed earlier) should sign the letter of sponsorship

The Returning Officer has no powers under the law to object to the nomination of a
candidate who is not qualified or is disqualified unless objection in this regard is raised by
a voter or political party. In case of the party list, the Director has been given the powers to
object to the list or any individual. It may be necessary to give powers to the Returning
Officer also to raise objections in case of constituency candidates, who are not qualified or
disqualified to be a candidate under the law.

Further there is no provision in the law for a candidate whose nomination is being
objected , being heard, before the decision is taken, which is against natural justice. Such
a provision may help to reduce the number of litigations in this regard.

The party list to be signed and submitted by the official bearer authorized in the
Constitution (see earlier proposal) to avoid situations as has happened during the Feb.
elections.



Failure of Constituency election

The declaration of the failure of a constituency election on the death of a candidate should
be limited to a party sponsored candidate to give a chance to the party to nominate another
candidate. In case of the death of an independent candidate, no such substitution is
necessary. If the death occurs late during the election period and the name of the dead
candidate appears in the ballot papers, the Commission can either blank it or make an
announcement about he death of the candidate before the elections. In the remote
possibility of the dead independent candidate gets maximum votes and is elected, a
bye-election may have to be conducted. This alternative may be better than
countermanding the elections on the death of an independent candidate. {There are
instances in some countries where persons on deathbed are nominated as candidates to get
an election countermanded to keep certain leaders out of the parliament}

Election Campaign

The wording of section 53 (1) needs to be amended suitably to make the intention of the
section clear. Section 64 cannot be applied to independents as stated in the beginning of
this chapter in the draft law. (Section 54).

Determination of the Election Result

The purpose of putting the official stamp on the ballot paper is for the limited purpose of
ensuring that it is a genuine ballot paper issued at the polling station. Many times, the
polling officers forget to put the official stamp on the ballot paper and rejecting such ballot
papers for this reason alone is not justifiable as the choice of the voters is being thrown
away due to the lapse of the polling officials. This may be a possible cause for the high
percentage of invalid votes (above 5%) in the February election.

The best course in such cases would be that the Voting Station Manager should examine
the genuineness of such ballot papers at the time of counting and if he is satisfied that such
ballot papers are genuine and issued from that voting station, the ballots should be
counted, if otherwise valid.
If the proposal is acceptable, section 86 (1)(a) of the draft law should be omitted.

Filing of return of election expenses

Under the draft law (section 97), the return is to be submitted thirty days (seven weeks
under the present law) after the publication of the results failing which the candidate or
political party is liable to conviction to a term not exceeding 12 months or fine or both.
This provision is defective on two counts; first, in the absence of a maximum time limit
nobody can be held guilty of not filing the return. Secondly, no party as an entity can be
imprisoned

Further filing an election expenditure return by a candidate or a party is relevant when there
is a ceiling on the expenditure under the law or it is an account of the campaign funds
provided by the state. There is no provision for either of it in the law.

In this circumstances, it is to be considered whether such a provision should remain in the
law or whether a maximum limit for the expenditure need to be prescribed to control the
effect of money power in the elections. Spending in excess of the limit can be treated as a
corrupt practice.

If it is decided to retain the provision for filing the return in the law, the wording regarding
time limit for filing the return need to be changed by substituting the word “after” with
“within” and the penalties also need to be changed to make it applicable to political parties.

Election Petitions

The interpretation of Article 69 of the constitution regarding the jurisdiction of the High
Court in election petitions to arrive at new provisions in the draft law does not appear to be
correct. Interpreting it for the commission to refer the matter regarding the validity of a
nomination to the High Court (section 116(1)) amounts the Commission surrendering its
powers to the High Court. It appears that Article 69(1), which relates to the senate, has
been misunderstood as relating to the National Assembly to arrive at such an interpretation.
Therefore, section 115(a) and section 116(1) in the draft law need to be deleted.

Interference of courts in the election process during the election period may result in
upsetting the programme of elections. . To avoid such problems, some countries have put
in provisions in their law to bar the interference of court in electoral matters during the
election period; any electoral matter can be challenged in an election petition after the
completion of the elections
Corrupt practices

Use of vehicles to transport voters to and from the voting station may be included as a
corrupt practice under bribery. Such a complaint is understood to be a subject of judicial
scrutiny now and an explicit provision in this regard may act as a deterrent in future.
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