On Thursday 1 February 2018, the Executive Director of EISA, Denis Kadima and his team, Dr Catherine Musuva, Chief of Party of the Supporting Transition and Electoral Processes (STEP programme) and Jessica Ranohefy Andreas, EISA Representative in Madagascar, met with Mr Hery Rakotomanana, the Chair of the Electoral Commission of Madagascar.
The meeting focused on areas of collaboration between the two organizations in view of the 2018 electoral process in Madagascar. As part of the STEP programme, funded by USAID, EISA will implement activities to support the CENI as well as Civil Society Organizations in Civic and Voter Education.
Although elections were delayed in Madagascar during 2011, EISA used the opportunity provided by the local government elections in South Africa to organise a study tour for members of the National Electoral Commission (CENI), political parties and CSOs to South Africa to gain first hand exposure to see how Party Liaison Comitttees work as well as the EISA/IEC Conflict Management Panel structures function in practice. The study tour, which took place from 13 to 20 May, included three officials of the CENI, including the president of the CENI, two political party representatives and three CSO representatives. The delegation also observed polling day in the Gauteng province and held meetings with South African political parties, the South African Civil Society Election Coalition, the Municipal Demarcation Board and the IEC. The Malagasy delegation also established networks with the EMBs of Burundi, Zimbabwe and Mexico which were also in South Africa at the time.
Upon returning to Madagascar, EISA Madagascar convened a half day debriefing workshop which brought together the study tour participants, additional representatives from the participants' institutions, UN agencies, international NGOs, embassies and the media. The participants shared their experiences and reflected on the challenges facing the electoral process in Madagascar.