There should be electoral reforms

MEMBERS of ruling parties in southern Africa think running elections is their prerogative. The haughty leaders think they have a divine right to rule.

I exclude Zanu-PF because of the Western governments' onslaught on Zimbabwe's ruling party. Zanu-PF is not exonerated but I want to focus on the ANC, Botswana Democratic Party and Swapo.

The chief and deputy electoral officer s must be appointed by parliament and not by a simple majority. They must report to parliament and be independent of government and all political parties.

They must be assisted by a chief legal counsel and the commissioner of elections and the broadcasting arbitrator, as happens in Canada.

The president should have nothing to do with declaring election dates because after five years parliament must be dissolved.

The ANC and DA are resisting legislation to regulate party funding. Are South Africa, Botswana and Namibia not signatories to the UN Convention Against Corruption? According to the global experience of political finance regulation, political finance is vital for democracy, governance and development.

No matter how flawless elections are, how active civil society is, how competitive political parties are and how responsible local authorities are, money in politics influences the quality of democracy and governance.

There should be electoral reforms in the countries mentioned and constitutional amendments if the need arises.

Sam Ditshego, Kagiso