May 28, 2024

SEOM in South Africa holds pre-election meeting with Heads of Regional Election Observation Missions

His Excellency Mr. Enock Kavindele, Head of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) to South Africa met with the Heads of the African Union Electoral Observation Mission (AU-EOM), Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) and Electoral Commissions Forum of SADC Countries (ECF SADC) on 28th May 2024, ahead of the National and Provincial Elections scheduled on Wednesday 29th May 2024.

The pre-election peer-exchange session was carried out in accordance with the SADC standard practice of observing elections in Member States. In line with the Revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections (2021) and the African Union (AU) Guidelines for Electoral Observation and Monitoring Missions, the SADC Electoral Observation Missions (SEOM) have the freedom and rights to communicate with all competing political parties, candidates and civil society organisations.

During the session, H.E Kavindele noted that following consultation with various stakeholders, the general consensus was that the country remains peaceful ahead of the elections. H.E Kavindele emphasised the general satisfaction among electoral stakeholders on the ability of the Independent Electoral Commission to conduct a credible electoral process.

His Excellency Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta, former President of the Republic of Kenya and Head of AU-EOM highlighted the legal electoral reforms that had been introduced including, among others, the first election where independent candidates are allowed to contest alongside political parties for seats either in the National Assembly or in the Provincial Legislatures in each of the nine Provinces. H.E Kenya noted the IEC’s establishment of an advanced national Results Operation Centre, a good practice that could facilitate data accessibility for all electoral stakeholders.

For his part, His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Jonathan former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Head of EISA underscored key elements of the electoral cycle and expressed optimism that the election in South Africa will further deepen the country’s democracy and reinforce the nation’s ideals of peace and unity on the continent.

ECF SADC Head of Mission and Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Zambia, Ms. Mwangala Zaloumis, in her consultations with several stakeholders, noted the IEC’s readiness to implement its mandate to deliver transparent and credible elections.

Other Organisations such as Yiaga Africa and Ideal International also attended the consultative engagement and shared similar observations made by SEOM, AU-EOM, ECF SADC and EISA.