EU Election Observation Mission deploys 46 long-term observers, says will not interfere with Zim’s electoral processes

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By Anna Chibamu

THE European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Zimbabwe Wednesday deployed 46 long-term observers across the country.

At a press conference in Harare, the EU EOM deputy chief Beata Martin-Rozumiłowicz said the “observers will be working across all of the country’s ten provinces and will focus on rural and urban areas without any interference in the electoral processes.”

“In the course of their duty, EU observers will meet local electoral officials, candidates and representatives from political parties, as well as civil society and the media.”

She said the mission will stick to its mandate.

“All EU election observers are bound by a code of conduct and ethical guidelines that guarantee their neutrality and impartiality.

“The EU EOM does not validate the results or comments on the process while it is still ongoing,” Martin-Rozumilowicz said adding that observers do not interfere in the electoral process and have no authority to change or correct any possible shortcomings.

“The observers will be impartial and they will not interfere in the electoral process in the course of their work. They will only use first hand and verified observation in their reporting”, stressed Martin- Rozumiłowicz.

According to the deputy chief observer, the findings of the long-term observers will be analysed by the core team in Harare.

She highlighted that on election day, the mission will be supplemented across the country by 44 short-term observers, a delegation from the European Parliament and a number of locally recruited short-term observers, drawn from the diplomatic community.

This will bring the number of EU observers on polling day to over 150, from all 27 EU member states as well as Canada, Norway and Switzerland.

Martin-Rozumiłowicz said, “the Chief Observer of the EU EOM, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, will present the initial findings and conclusions of the mission two days after the elections.

“The mission will remain in Zimbabwe to observe also the post electoral environment and follow possible appeals and complaints whilst a final report, with recommendations for future elections, will be published some two months after election day.

The EU EOM will present a preliminary statement within 48 hours after election day and will continue to observe until the end of the electoral process.

A comprehensive final report, as well as recommendations for future elections, will be presented approximately two months after the conclusion of the electoral process.

The EU EOM was invited by the government amongst other 70 or so mission observers for the August 23, 2023 harmonised elections.