10-11 December 2004, Sheraton Hotel, Pretoria, South Africa
EISA and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) hosted a Conference entitled Dialogue on Political Parties in Southern Africa.
Political parties play a critical role in the democratisation process and institutionalisation of governance throughout the whole world. The SADC region is no exception to this general rule. Among their many attributes, political parties aggregate and articulate interests of the electorate and thus act as the primary vehicle through which candidates lobby public opinion and contest elections. The importance of the functioning of political parties is therefore critical to the broader promotion of democratic culture and practice.
Given the important role that political parties play in the promotion of governance and public policy, EISA and IDEA embarked upon a SADC-wide project aimed at assessing the state of political parties and their role with respect to the democratisation and institutionalisation of governance, over the past one and half years. The project involved data collection through interviews with key stakeholders, including political parties themselves.
This conference is the culmination of the research work, undertaken by a regional network of researchers, aimed at sharing with other key stakeholders, especially political parties, the research results.
The specific objectives of the conference are to