Whatever the quality of the legislative framework or the resolve of the government departments,the role given to political parties by the new Constitution is crucial in terms of ensuring electoralintegrity and preserving the sanctity of institutions.Political parties are therefore expected to compete in developing creative, realistic election
platforms which meet our citizens’ real concerns they are also called upon to recommend qualified
candidates who are able to live up to legislative and executive responsibility, whether they are in theGovernment or in the Opposition.Parties should also encourage the participation of women and young people in order to havecompetent elites and to inject new blood into political life and constitutional institutions.Given the extensive powers afforded to local councils by the local democracy approach, I thinkpolitical life in our country
in terms of both philosophy and practice
is about to witness afundamental change which involves more than just government posts and seats in parliament.Indeed, vast prospects will be opened up through the election of thousands of regional, provincialand local councillors. Regional, provincial and local councils are basic institutions for forming eliteswho will run public affairs.To highlight the noble essence of political commitment, political stakeholders have to view theelectoral mandate as more than just a concern for seats on central, local or regional councils, givent
he possibility they offer of being close to the citizens’ legitimate concerns and basic needs.
To voters who, by voting freely, help express the will of the people, I want to say this: By taking partin the ballot, you are doing more than merely exercising a personal right.You are delegating, to whomever you vote for, the power to manage public affairs on your behalf.This makes it incumbent upon you to realize the particular importance of voting, a right whichshould not be subjected to any kind of manipulation. You should display a sense of national duty asyou choose realistic programs and vote for honest, qualified candidates.To candidates, I want to say this: Now is the time to do away with the shameful electoral practiceswhich, in the past, weakened the credibility of elected councils and undermined the noble essenceof political action.Whoever intends to stand for the upcoming elections must bear in mind that the Constitutionestablishes a clear link between the exercise of power and accountability.