Mahe, Seychelles: On 2 September 2016 the SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) to the 2016 National Assembly Elections in the Republic of the Seychelles was officially launched by the Head of Mission, Honourable Dr Augustine P. Mahiga (MP) Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania, at the Avani Hotel, Mahe, Seychelles. The SEOM is in Seychelles to observe the forthcoming 2016 National Assembly Elections which take place on 8-10 September 2016.
The launch event was opened on behalf of the SADC Executive Secretary, Dr. Stergomena L. Tax by Mr. Jorge C. Cardoso, the Director of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs. The Head of Mission, the Honourable Minister Mahiga, outlined the role of SEOM in Seychelles. Representatives from Electoral Commission of Seychelles (EC) Heads and representatives of Diplomatic Missions accredited to the Republic of the Seychelles representatives of political parties, members of civil society, the media and other electoral stakeholders were present at the launch.
In his remarks, the Head of Mission highlighted that SADC Member States continue to uphold democratic values and practices through the holding of regular democratic elections as well as the promotion of election observation.
The Head of the Mission recalled that in July 2015, SADC adopted the revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections, which aim to strengthen the region' skills and capabilities of assessing the major inter-related segments of the electoral cycle in order to provide stronger evidence-based recommendations and electoral assistance to Member States. He further stated that the launch of the SEOM was preceded by the Pre-election SEAC Goodwill Mission to Seychelles in August 2016, which assessed the country's level of preparedness and readiness to hold the 2016 National Assembly Elections.
Additionally, the Honourable Minister noted the steps undertaken by the Electoral Commission of Seychelles and other electoral stakeholders to prepare for the National Assembly Elections.
In his conclusion he encouraged electoral stakeholders to adhere to all relevant legislation governing the electoral process.
On the same day the Head of Mission also paid a courtesy call to the President of the Republic of the Seychelles, His Excellency James Michel at the State House in Victoria on Mahe Island. The Head of Mission briefed H.E. Michel on the launch of the SEOM and the deployment of the SADC observers in the context of the 8-10 September 2016 National Assembly Elections.