Antananarivo, Madagascar, 29th October, 2018: The Head of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Elections Observation Mission (SEOM) to the 2018 Presidential Elections in the Republic of Madagascar, Honourable Joseph Malanji on 29th October, 2018 presided over the launch of SEOM in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
The launch of SEOM was attended by Heads of Diplomatic Missions, representatives and leaders of political parties, civil society organisations, religious organisations and the media.
In his remarks, the SEOM Head of Mission said the launch of the election observation mission for the 2018 Presidential elections in Madagascar is part of the on-going initiatives designed to bring lasting political stability to the country.
Hon. Malanji reminded stakeholders that SADC has been involved in several initiatives aimed at implementing long-lasting solutions to the political challenges in Madagascar. He cited the peaceful elections held in 2013 under the facilitation of SADC Special Envoy to Madagascar, H.E. Joaquim Chissano Former President of Mozambique.
The SEOM Head of Mission also paid courtesy calls on the Acting President of Madagascar, His Excellency Mr Rivo Rakotovao, the Prime Minister of Madagascar, Right Honourable Mr Olivier Mahafaly Solonandrasana, Acting President of the Senate, Hon Mr Mananjara Andriambololona and the Chairperson of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mr Yves Herinirina Rakotomanana who said, they look forward to the cooperation and support from SADC as the country holds its Presidential elections on 7th November, 2018.
During the courtesy calls, the SEOM Head of Mission, reiterated his unwavering commitment to support the electoral process in Madagascar as mandated by His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia and Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.
Hon. Malanji said SEOM will work closely with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that the forth-coming elections are conducted in a free, fair and credible manner and in accordance with the provisions of the revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections (2015). On this note, the Head of Mission said SEOM will work closely with other accredited elections observers, diplomatic missions and the Malagasy people to have a broader appreciation of the situation for effective monitoring of the elections.
He added that SEOM respects the sovereignty of Madagascar and as such, it will conduct its duties according to the laws governing the elections in Madagascar.
The Head of Mission was accompanied to his engagements by Mr Jorge Cardoso, the Director of Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs at the SADC Secretariat, Dr Katele Kalumba, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Zambia and the SEOM Alternate Head of Mission, members of the SADC Elections Advisory Council (SEAC) and other officials from the Republic of Zambia and SADC Secretariat.
SEOM headquarters is located at the Corbert Hotel in the Madagascar’s capital, Antananarivo and SEOM will issue its interim statement on the elections on 9th November, 2018 at its headquarters.
The SEOM Head of Mission, Hon Joseph Malanji wth Acting President of Madagascar, His Excellency Mr Rivo Rakotovao
Head of Mission and SEAC Members with Acting President of the Madagascar Senate Hon Mr Mananjara Andriambololona and senate members
HoM and his team meeting the Chairperson of Independent National Electoral Commission, Mr Yves Herinirina Rakotomanana