19 Feb 2015
A set of materials were developed by Governance Institutions and Political Processes, under its Political Parties Support Programme, on poll watching for training political party poll-watchers to the Lesotho 28 February parliamentary elections. EISA prepared materials for party poll-watchers on their role and functions, as well as materials on understanding the Lesotho electoral process, system and laws. These manuals were printed in both English and Sesotho. The materials were widely used by parties for internal briefing purposes.
On 19 February 2015, EISA conducted a one day training session for political parties in Lesotho on poll watching for party poll-watchers. Originally, this was to be jointly conducted with the IEC Lesotho based on an MOU, due to its capacity constraints and election preparation challenges, the Lesotho IEC was unable to commit to jointly executing this activity but nevertheless shared information and material with EISA.
The workshop was attended by ten (10) participants from the four main parties, namely the LPC, BDNP, ABC, and RCL. The training was successfully evaluated by the participants and the training materials used to conduct briefings for party poll-watchers within parties.
A regional workshop on poll watching was convened by EISA's Elections and Political Processes under its political party support activities. Representatives from the ruling and main opposition political parties from Southern African countries, namely Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia, attended the workshop.
The workshop provided an environment in which political parties shared their experiences in poll watching and highlighted ways in which they can further their engagement in the electoral process beyond their traditional role as contestants. The workshop highlighted the role that political parties can play in enhancing democracy generally and in promoting election integrity specifically through the election monitoring work that is undertaken by their agents at election time.