The right to challenge election results should be provided for by law.
- The ability to challenge the results of the election was provided by law and was available to complainants as appropriate
- The legal framework for elections included the right to challenge the election results as necessary
- The legal framework provided clear guidance on the grounds for complaints and appeals as well as the processes for demanding a recount
- The right to challenge the election results was guaranteed by law
- SADC Member States shall adhere to the following principles in the conduct of democratic elections: Challenge of the election results as provided for in the law of the land.
- The right to challenge election results and for aggrieved parties to seek redress should be provided by law. The petition process should set out the scope of available review, procedures for its initiation and the powers of the independent judicial body charged with such review.
- The final results should not be published before all challenges of the preliminary results have been decided upon by the highest body of the judiciary or the constitutional court.
- Re-count procedures should be available in case of questionable results.
- All candidates and all voters registered in the constituency concerned must be entitled to appeal. A reasonable quorum may be imposed for appeals by voters on the results of elections.
- Where lower level electoral bodies are mandated to publish the preliminary results of the election, they should not be entitled to declare the results void but should be able to make non-binding recommendations to that purpose to the highest electoral body.
- Challenges pertaining to the preliminary results of the election within the mandate of lower level electoral bodies should be filed with the highest electoral body so as to secure a coherent and hierarchical procedure. The time-limit for filing and deciding upon such challenges should not exceed one month, so as to enable the publication of the final election results no later than this deadline (taking into account the deadline for publication of the preliminary results).
- All complaints pertaining to the overall final results or the declaration of election results to be partially or fully void should be filed with the highest body of the judiciary, the Constitutional Court or with the court where the highest electoral body is located. In the latter case, the ruling delivered by the court may be further appealed to the highest body of the judiciary.
- Additionally, the law must be clear as to what circumstances require a recount or new election in any or all polling stations. The law must be clear as to who can request a recount or new election, the deadline for the request, all necessary procedures to make the request, the deadline for adjudicating the request, and the date and procedures that will govern a recount or new election.
- If the electoral law provisions are to be more than just words on a page, failure to comply with the electoral law must be open to challenge before an appeal body. This applies in particular to the election results: individual citizens may challenge them on the grounds of irregularities in the voting procedures. It also applies to decisions taken before the elections, especially in connection with the right to vote, electoral registers and standing for election, the validity of candidatures, compliance with the rules governing the electoral campaign and access to the media or to party funding.
- Both the preliminary and the final results should be subject to challenges. Therefore the electoral law should differentiate between the procedures, deadlines and time-limits applicable to each phase.
- Where a polling-station-by-polling-station resolution mechanism applies, the invalidation of voting in a particular polling station should be considered by means of an evaluation of the way the alleged irregularities or violations have affected the outcome of the election.