SADC Elections Observers Mission (SEOM) is back to Madagascar to observe the run-off for the presidential election scheduled to take place on 19th December 2018. The mission established its Head Quarters at Colbert Hotel and is composed of 51 members to cover 10 out of the 22 Regions in the country (the same covered in the first round).
SADC Director Organ on Politics and Cooperation Affairs, Mr. Jorge Cardoso welcomed the participants on behalf of SADC Executive Secretary Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax and commended Member States for the commitment in upholding good governance and democracy by sending observers to the second round of the Presidential Election in Madagascar. Director Cardoso recalled that as a region SADC has deployed simultaneously in Madagascar and in the DRC and thanked the observers for making a personal sacrifice in a moment when families prepare for the festive season.
In his remarks, the SEOM Head of Mission (HoM), Dr. Katele Kalumba, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Zambia, reminded the observers on their role as well as their obligations and rights as per the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections whilst they are members of the observation team. He specifically requested observers to comply with the cardinal principles enshrined in the code of conduct by observing impartiality; respect the culture and laws of the country as well as reporting with high quality and evidence based information.
Earlier, all observers went through a pre-deployment refresher course facilitated by the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA).
The HoM is supported by Organ Troila Member States, Angola and Zimbabwe, as well as members of the SADC Electoral Advisory Council (SADC). H.E Joaquim Chissano, former President of Mozambique and Special Envoy to Madagascar will also join the mission on 17th December.
SEOM will release its preliminary statement on the 21st December 2018, at the Colbert Hotel.