3-7 July 2006, Luanda
Elections are, by nature, conflict-ridden processes as power is disputed in order to gain control of the state. Taking into account the recent history of Angola, it is obvious that the forthcoming elections will raise tensions that, if not well managed, could result in negative or violent conflict.
The threat of conflict in any electoral process can place at risk the validity and legitimacy of its results, thereby marring the democratic process. Experiences in other SADC countries have showed that insufficient attention to conflict prevention and management before and during the electoral process exacerbates tension and can lead to violence. The challenges for electoral stakeholders are establishing effective conflict management mechanisms that allow for the prevention of potential conflicts, or the management and transformation in a peaceful manner should they arise.
The workshop sought to facilitate a national process that would create capacity at all levels and pave the way towards the establishment of formal or informal conflict management mechanisms that safeguard the integrity of the electoral process.
Through the creation of this technical capacity, it was hoped that the initiative will contribute towards enhanced transparency, since dialogue and consultation at all stages of the electoral process constitutes a fundamental tool for its success.
After the seminar, trainers were assisted in training other stakeholders at provincial and local levels to create increased capacity on a national level.