South Africa: EMB relations with stakeholder

Extracted from: Susan Booysen & Grant Masterson 2009 "Chapter 11: South Africa" IN Denis Kadima and Susan Booysen (eds) Compendium of Elections in Southern Africa 1989-2009: 20 Years of Multiparty Democracy, EISA, Johannesburg, 422.

Relations between political parties and civil society, the IEC and the media are governed by the regulations on Party Liaison Committees (PLCs; regulation 824 dated 18 June 1998), which is grouped with the Electoral Commission Act No. 51 of 1996. The act provides for a code of conduct which all contesting political parties sign prior to an election, regulating the party's conduct in relation to the IEC, civil society groups and other stakeholders. The regulations provide for two representatives from each party contesting elections in a province to sit on a Provincial Party Liaison Committee (PPLC; the same applies at the national level). These committees foster dialogue between the political parties, and provide a forum for the speedy resolution of disputes between stakeholders. The establishment of PLCs is intended to act as "a vehicle for consultation and cooperation between the [IEC] and registered [political] parties" in order to foster and ensure practices that promote free and fair elections. The PLCs were fully operational in all recent South African elections and continued contributing to consultative decision-making and conflict resolution.