The Director of Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs at the SADC Secretariat, Mr Jorge Cardoso has called on the SADC Election Observers to adhere to the SADC Code of Conduct and revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections (2015), as they prepare to observe the Presidential Election in Madagascar to take place on 7th November, 2018.
Speaking at the opening of the pre-deployment training for the Short-term Observers under SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) in Antananarivo, Madagascar, Mr Cardoso said it is imperative for the SADC Observers to be guided by the revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections which are in conformity with international and regional frameworks such as the United Nations Charter and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.
Mr Cardoso underscored the need for the SADC Observers to understand the context and environment in which elections are conducted in the Republic of Madagascar. On this point, Mr Cardoso asked the observers to familiarize themselves with the Constitutional and Electoral frameworks, as well as to respect the culture of the Republic of Madagascar.
The training is being facilitated by the SADC Secretariat in conjunction with the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA). At the end of the training, the SADC Election Observers are expected to sign a Code of Conduct that regulates the conduct of observers.
Meanwhile, the Head of SEOM in Madagascar for the 2018 Presidential Election, Honourable Joseph Malanji, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Zambia and also the Chairperson of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ (MCO) will preside over the launch of the SEOM on 29th October, 2018 in Antananarivo.
While in Madagascar, Hon. Malanji who was appointed by the Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu of Zambia will hold a series of engagements with a number of electoral stakeholders.
The mandate of SEOM is to ensure adherence of the Member State holding elections to the relevant provisions of the Revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections. Over 9.9 million Malagasy have registered to vote in 24, 852 polling stations spread across the country.