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Government resuscitates All Party Conference

Government intends to resuscitate  All Party Conference, a consultative forum that aims at nurturing  democracy and promote political tolerance, Vice President, Mr Slumber Tsogwane has said.

Addressing media briefing in Gaborone on Friday, he said the platform would create an opportunity for all political party leaders to engage on matters related to strengthening democracy as well as availing  an opportunity to discuss issues related to democracy and elections and other issues of mutual public interest.

Mr Tsogwane said all Party Conference would provide opportunity for the executive and political parties to appreciate issues of political interest before being escalated to policy or statutory level.

He said President Mokgweetsi Masisi would meet with party leaders this Thursday to map way forward with regard to reviving the All Party Conference.

Mr Tsogwane further said All Party Conference was provided for as a mandatory organ under Section 65A of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), but noted that for many years it has not been active.

Minister for Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Mr Nonofho Molefhi said All Party Conference would provide a platform for different party leaders to set out their own framework that will shape the political landscape.

“I will be responsible to convene its meetings and we will be discussing its roles beyond just considering commissioners of IEC because the section which speaks to ‘All Party Conference’ for now is only limited to the recommendation of names to Judicial Services Commission for appointment.

He said they would now be able to extend its mandate to include any other ancillary matters related to elections and that the scope for All Party Conference would be extended as well as reviewing its functions.

Mr Molefhi said initially the IEC was responsible for the implementation of  electoral reforms, saying the All Part Conference would enable all parties to discuss issues at length.

For example, he said the issue of introduction of the Electronic Voting Machine was brought about by IEC following its discussions with different political parties and the public, whereas if it had been discussed at All Party Conference forum, it would have canvassed at length ideas of all within the political sphere. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Mmoniemang Motsamai

Location : GABORONE

Event : Media briefing

Date : Jul 08 Sun,2018


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