The Angolan Institute for Electoral Systems and Democracy (IASED) in partnership with the Angolan National Electoral Commission (CNE) conducted a three-day BRIDGE workshop on Electoral Disputes Resolution, from 13th to 15th December 2017, in Luanda, Angola, thanks to the generous funding from UNDP Angola. The workshop was attended by 27 participants drawn from different Angolan Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), CNE staff from provincial and municipality branches, Political Parties, and Government.
This workshop aimed to address some of the challenges identified in the General Elections held on the 23rd of August 2017 and draw lessons for future electoral processes in the country. The workshop also aimed to enable three national BRIDGE facilitators to move to the next level (Accrediting Facilitator) and provide Angola with capacity to train and accredit other national BRIDGE facilitators without a need for international assistance.
Four facilitators delivered the workshop, namely:
- Miguel Ganga, Workshop facilitator, CNE, Angola (Lead Facilitator)
- Celestino Setucula, Workshop facilitator, IASED, Angola;
- Luís Jimbo, Workshop facilitator, IASED, Angola;
- Zefanias Matsimbe, Accrediting facilitator, Consultant, Mozambique.The workshop covered the following topics:
- Election disputes – how do they arise and how to deal with them;
- Standards and principles in electoral disputes resolution;
- Fairness and accessibility;
- Conflict management skills;
- The role of an EMB in conflict management;
- Potential electoral disputes resolution mechanisms.The course was preceded by two days of preparation, from 11th to 12th December 2017, during which the four facilitators undertook agenda drafting, selection of the contents, compiling of materials and resources, as well as addressing logistical issues.
From the feedback received, participants appreciated the workshop in terms of the content delivered, training methodology and facilitation techniques. They described it as a very useful training because it helped to clarify some of the aspects related to the disputes that have characterised Angolan electoral processes in the past. Participants called for the holding of similar workshops in the near future throughout the country involving people in the decision making positions like the commissioners and members of the parliament and leaders of political parties, because these are the actors who have been directly involved in electoral disputes. Participants also recommended the need for the organisers to increase the number of days of training to at least five.
Upon successful completion of the course, the 27 participants received certificates of completion from the hands of the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Angola, Dr Pier Paolo Balladelli. In his closing remarks, after congratulating the participants for the successful completion, Dr Balladelli highlighted the importance of these trainings for professional development of electoral stakeholders, an important condition for a more credible and sustainable democracy in Angola and beyond.
It should be recalled that, in its efforts to support the strengthening of democracy in the country, UNDP Angola provided tremendous support to the August electoral process; UNDP Angola funded three BRIDGE trainings on civic and electoral education, electoral observation and gender and elections. For more on the closing ceremony and UNDP support you can follow this link http://www.ao.undp.org/content/angola/en/home/presscenter/articles/2017/12/15/mais-angolanos-s-o-formados-no-mbito-do-bridge-p-s-eleitoral-/.