Just In: EU Deploys long term Observers
The European Union Election Observation Mission to the Republic of Zimbabwe today deployed 44 long term observers throughout the country. This is the first time the country prepares for its first vote since independence without longtime leader Robert Mugabe.
The deployment follows an invitation to EU by the Government of Zimbabwe and a subsequent Memorandum of Understanding between the European bloc and Harare. The deployment is the second contingent, following the arrival of the core team early this month.
Addressing the media in Harare,Deputy Chief Observer Mark Stevens said the observer team will cover all the provinces.
“The Long Term Observers (LTOs) will cover all ten provinces in both rural and urban areas. they will observe the entire electoral process prior, during and after the harmonized elections, scheduled for 30 July. The observers will be meeting electoral officials, candidates and representatives from political parties, civil society and the media,” explained Stevens.
Prior to the deployment the long term observers received a three day in depth briefing in Harare on the electoral background, political environment and other topics
Another team of 44 short term observers and a delegation will join the LTOs shortly before the election. Together with diplomats accredited in Harare the EU EOM is expected to deploy on election day about 140 observers from all 28 member stated as well as Norway Switzerland and Canada.
“The EU EOM conducts a comprehensive analysis of the electoral process based on a methodology developed by EU over many years. The EU EOM is impartial and does not interfere in the electoral process,.
“The EU EOM’s analysis includes aspects such as the legal framework, the work of the the election administration, the campaigning activities of the candidates and political parties, the conduct of the media, the voting, counting, and the tabulation of the results, the resolution of election related disputes,”added the Deputy Chief Observer.