Thursday, July 18, 2024

SADC Electoral Observer Mission in Eswatini

Enock Kavindele, former Vice President of Zambia who is the Head of Southern African Development Community (SADC) Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) to the Kingdom of Eswatini, met with the Leadership of the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) of the Kingdom of Eswatini.

According to a note from SADC, Kavindele also held a meeting with SADC ambassadors/ High Commissioners accredited to the Kingdom of Eswatini; the Coordinating Assembly for Non-Governmental Organisations (CANGO) and the Luthano Women Regiment of Eswatini as part of on-going consultations with key electoral stakeholders ahead of the General Elections scheduled for 29th September 2023. 

The consultative process will continue with other key stakeholders until 28th September 2023, the day before the elections.

The consultations afforded the Head of Mission and the SEOM team to appreciate the perspectives of different stakeholders on the forthcoming elections and to provide feedback on the level of preparedness of the country to conduct elections as well as any obstacles that may impact the electoral process.

The Head of Mission was accompanied to his engagements by Terry Rose, Senior Officer for Politics and Diplomacy at the SADC Secretariat who represented the SADC Secretariat.

Also accompanying HoM were representatives from the Troika of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence, and Security Cooperation, which comprises the Republics of Zambia, Namibia, and the United Republic of Tanzania as well as members of the SADC Electoral Advisory Council (SEAC).

In accordance with the Revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections (2021) and the African Union (AU) Guidelines for Electoral Observation and Monitoring Missions, the SEOM has the mandate to engage all stakeholders which include election management bodies, contesting candidates, media and civil society organisations.

The SEOM, in its consultations with electoral stakeholders seeks to assess the key elements of the electoral cycle to observe whether the electoral process is being conducted in conformity with the “Principles for Conducting Democratic Elections”, which are stipulated in section four (4) of the Revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections (2021).

The ongoing consultations includes representatives from a wide range of organisations, such as government entities, law enforcement agencies, human rights groups, candidates, religious organisations, traditional leaders, youth groups, civil society organisations, political parties and citizens of the kingdom of the Eswatini.

SADC Election Observation Mission will  release its Preliminary Statement on Sunday 1st October 2023 covering the Mission’s observations of the pre-election period and voting day activities.

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