By Wallace Mawire
The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to the Republic of Zimbabwe has deployed 44 short-term observers throughout the country. The group is the third contingent, following the core team and the 44 long-term observers, which have arrived in Zimbabwe on 6 June.
“The short-term observers will cover all ten provinces in both, urban and rural areas. Together with the other EU EOM observers they will be the eyes and the ears of the mission on election day during polling, counting and tabulation of results”, said Chief Observer Elmar Brok.
Prior to their deployment the short-term observers received a two-day in depth briefing in Harare on the electoral background, voting procedures, the political environment and other topics.
The short-term observers will observe as well as a Delegation of the European Parliament and EU diplomats accredited in Zimbabwe. In total the EU EOM will comprise on election day 140 Observers from all 28 member states as well as Norway, Switzerland and Canada.
The EU EOM is led by Chief Observer Elmar Brok, Member of the European Parliament from Germany.
“Although the EU EOM observers will be visiting many polling stations from the opening to the closing of the polls, they will not interfere in the process. They are there to watch and take note of how the voting is conducted,” said Brok.
“The EU EOM’s analysis also includes aspects such as the legal framework, the work of the election administration, the campaign activities of the candidates and political parties, the extend to which there is a level playing field, the conduct of the media, the voting, counting and the tabulation of results, the resolution of election related disputes,” elaborated the Chief Observer further.
The EU EOM will issue a preliminary statement two days after the elections. A final report – with technical recommendations for future elections – will be published later.