The cost of holding elections in a multiparty democracy is high and continues to rise. A random check on the cost per elector at a general election in 22 Commonwealth countries a few years ago revealed an average cost of US$4.24. There is however a growing awareness that the cost of not having elections often leads to conflict which is even more costly than elections. It is necessary that ways and means be found to ensure the long-term fiscal sustainability of democratic elections. The key to achieving this goal is to develop cost-effective measures in election preparation and conduct. It is well known that many of the southern African states find election budgets beyond their capacity at the present time and are willing to accept funding assistance from friendly foreign governments and organisations. Free and fair elections are considered essential to the growth of a healthy democratic state and so a long-term strategy needs to be formulated to ensure that electoral services are seen and funded as an essential service.
File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections