Sustainable democracy is inconceivable without political parties. Multiparty democracy depends on the existence of well-functioning political parties, a conducive electoral environment and rules that enhance the effective participation of all political stakeholders in the electoral process. Political parties are particularly crucial actors as they are the only stakeholders that participate in elections with the sole purpose of winning or retaining power. Because of this, how political parties engage and participate in electoral processes, the issues they deal with, the challenges they encounter, and the way they interact with various stakeholders significantly influence the way elections are held. As political parties engage in electoral processes, they generate lessons and experiences that, if systematically considered, can inform broad and strategic discussions that can contribute to the improvement in the conduct of future elections in particular and the democratisation agenda of the country in particular general.
In August 2022, Angola held her general election to elect the President and the National Assembly. Like in the previous elections, political parties had to engage in and deal with a number of issues related to their participation in these elections. These, among others, included campaign funding, selection of candidates, mobilisation of voters, compliance with electoral laws and regulations, election monitoring, and engaging with other electoral stakeholders, particularly the CNE.
Democracy Works Foundation (DWF), with the support of USAID, has been implementing a Southern African Political Parties and Dialogue (SAPP&D) Programme in Angola amongst other countries, including Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi and Zambia. The programme aims at strengthening the institutional capacities of political parties for them to play a more effective role in being responsive to people’s needs and aspirations. In addition- particularly in Angola- the programme also contributes to building political parties’ capacities for meaningful participation in elections and the electoral processes.
Against this background, DWF has organised a two-day workshop to bring together political parties and other relevant stakeholders. The overall goal is for political parties and the selected stakeholders to identify and reflect on lessons and experiences that can be drawn from the political parties’ participation in the 2022 general elections, to inform and inspire areas of improvement and reforms for future elections.
Specifically, the objectives of the workshop are:
- To provide political parties with a platform through which they can reflect on the way in which they prepared for and participated in the 2022 elections with the view to identifying party specific areas of improvement for future elections
- To identify specific areas in the election process and the legal framework that merit reforms based on 2022 experiences
- To provide political party assistance providers and implementers such as DWF with an opportunity to identify and reflect on lessons that can inform future programming in strengthening the capacities of political parties and other stakeholders to participate in electoral processes meaningfully.
- The political parties that participated in the elections
- Other relevant electoral stakeholders (Media, Civil society organisations, Church institutions, assistance providers, independent experts and electoral management bodies).
Participation in this workshop is strictly by invitation.