Port Louis, Mauritius, 2nd November 2019: The Head of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) to the 2019 National Assembly Elections in the Republic of Mauritius, Honourable Lieutenant General (retired) Dr. Sibusiso Moyo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Republic of Zimbabwe, launched the SEOM in Port Louis, Mauritius on the 2nd November 2019.
The launch of the SEOM was attended by Senator Ambassador Simon K. Moyo, Alternate Head of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission to the Republic of Mauritius; Director of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs, Mr. Jorge Cardoso, Heads of Diplomatic Missions, representatives and leaders of political parties, civil society organizations, government departments and the media.
Speaking at the launch of the SEOM, Honourable Minister Moyo highlighted that all SADC Member States affirmed their commitment to the implementation of the SADC Principles and Guidelines of 2015. He noted that the Principles and Guidelines provide an objective and scientific methodology for the observation of elections, in order to contribute to the consolidation of democracy within the region by enhancing best electoral practices. He pointed out that, the SADC Principles and Guidelines are informed by key instruments of the African Union such as the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance of 2007 and the relevant Conventions of the United Nations.
The Head of SEOM noted that the Mauritian people are well known for their high level of participation in elections, therefore, he urged them to turn out to vote in their high numbers on election day.
He further encouraged the people of Mauritius to ensure that the elections are conducted in a peaceful, free, fair, transparent and credible manner. He added that the SADC region looks forward to an electoral process that adheres to the democratic values and principles envisioned in the SADC Treaty, the Protocol of Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation; and the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.
Delivering his welcome remarks at the launch, representing the SADC Executive Secretary, Her Excellency Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax, Mr Cardoso stated that SADC will observe the general elections based on the electoral cycle approach; the pre-election phase, the election phase, and the post-election phase. The pre-election assessment mission was deployed from 16th to 21st October 2019, to amongst others, assess if the legal, political, and security environment is conducive to hold free, fair and credible elections in conformity with the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.
Mr Cardoso added that the pre-election observation phase will continue until the 6th November 2019, on the eve of elections, while the election observation phase will take place on the 7th November, 2019, to asses if the environment was conducive for voters to exercise their civic rights on polling day.
He highlighted that the Post-election observation phase, will start immediately after the elections, and aims to promote electoral integrity, as per the commitments contained in the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.
The launch was also attended by members of SADC Organ Troika from the Republics of Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zambia as well as members of the SADC Electoral Advisory Council (SEAC).
The National Assembly Elections in the Republic of Mauritius will be held on the 7th November 2019 to elect Members of the National Assembly in each of the 21 constituencies and SEOM observers will be deployed to 20 constituencies.
The SEOM headquarters is located at Voila hotel in Bagatelle Mauritius. The Mission will issue its Preliminary Statement on the 9th November 2019 at the Caudan Arts Centre in Port Louis.