EAC election observers set to arrive next week

17Oct 2020
Marc Nkwame
The Guardian
EAC election observers set to arrive next week

ELECTION observers from member states of the East African Community (EAC) for this month’s general election are scheduled to arrive on Friday next week.

Former president of Burundi, Sylvestre Ntibantunganya.

The EAC Secretariat said in a statement here yesterday that the former president of Burundi, Sylvestre Ntibantunganya will lead the team in scrutinizing the polls.

The deployment of an EAC election observer mission is mandated by EAC treaty protocols, pursuant to the invitation of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and a decision of the Council of Ministers on observation of elections inl any partner state.

The mandate of the observer mission is to observe the overall electoral environment, pre-election activities, the polling day, along with the counting and tallying of votes, followed by announcement of results.

The mission will deploy experts in various regions of the country including Zanzibar, after a preliminary briefing session in Dar es Salaam, the statement noted.

The team draws observers from the East African Legislative Assembly, EAC ministries responsible for  cooperation with other partner states, country electoral commissions, and EAC youth ambassadors, it further noted. No Tanzanian citizens are included in the mission, consistent with EAC rules in the matter, it said.

 EAC Secretary General, Ambassador Libérat Mfumukeko, said that the mission was being undertaken pursuant to Article 3 of the Treaty, which requires “…adherence to universally acceptable principles of democratic governance and in line with the EAC Principles of Election Observation and Evaluation.”

 “As the region moves deeper in the integration process with the ultimate goal of having a political federation, EAC Partner States need to standardise their governance practices and should take keen interest in each other’s political and electoral processes,” he asserted.

 Successful and peaceful elections in Tanzania is a matter of paramount importance to the partner states  as lack of peace and stability in any partner state undermines the milestones the region has so far achieved in the quest for integration, he emphasized.

“Therefore, we expect a successful mission and we very much believe that this will further strengthen the democratic process and advance development in the region,” he said.

The mission will prepare a report that will be submitted to NEC through the EAC Council of Ministers for consideration and implementation of recommendations. The mission is expected to leave Tanzania on 2nd November.

Prior to its deployment, the EAC mission will hold a press conference to launch its activities on 24th October, at a well known lobby on the Kivukoni waterfront area. Local and international media representatives will have an opportunity to interact with mission experts, the statement added.

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