Political party liaison committees as conflict resolution mechanisms - the South African experience
Napier, Clive J.
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With the advent of inclusive multiparty elections and democracy in South Africa and many parts of Africa and beyond in the 1990s, the need for cooperation between political parties and electoral management bodies has become important in order to avoid conflict situations from flaring up and to underpin legitimate and credible election outcomes. In South Africa structures such as the Party Liaison Committee (PLC), have been introduced during the early 1990s as a measure to resolve issues that have the potential for conflict. This article aims to describe the theoretical, legal and political environment that impacted on the evolution of the South African political party liaison committee system. It refers to the functions of the PLC and relates instances where the potential for conflict has been reduced during recent election periods. To illustrate the successes achieved, examples are referred to. The article ends with a reference to some of the strengths and weaknesses of the PLC and reaches a positive conclusion as to the success and future of the PLC.