President John Magufuli has constituted the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security for observation of the 2016 National Assembly Elections in the Republic of the Seychelles.
A speech by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr Augustine Mahiga, made available from Victoria, Seychelles yesterday, pointed out that President Magufuli who is Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security mandated the executive secretary of SADC to prepare the logistics for its deployment.
“I am pleased to inform you that the SADC Electoral Observation Mission to the 2016 National Assembly Elections is now fully constituted and comprises 19 observers from eight SADC member states.
We also urge all political parties to adhere and accept the results of the elections and lodge their complaints and grievances through the relevant institutions.
“As the voting days of the 8-10 September, 2016 approaches …the outcome of this election lies in the hands of the people of the Republic of the Seychelles,” said Dr Mahiga who represented Dr Magufuli.
He noted that the mission in Seychelles was at the invitation of the Electoral Commission of the Republic of the Seychelles and that the practice is now part of democratic culture and tradition in the SADC region.
Minister Mahiga said a substantial amount of effort has already been invested in the preparations for the important mission, beginning with the ground work undertaken by the SADC Secretariat, the SADC Electoral Advisory Council Goodwill Mission, the Troika and other stakeholders, to ensure the realisation of the objectives and mandate of the observation mission.
Over the last two decades, SADC has developed and enhanced its normative frameworks governing democratic elections which have contributed to its endeavour as a region to work toward the realisation of the vision of the SADC Treaty of 1992.
On 20th July, 2015, the Ministerial Committee of the Organ adopted the revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections, which aim to strengthen their 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.
The SADC Electoral Advisory Council Goodwill Mission arrived in the Seychelles on 22 August, 2016 ahead of the main Short Term Electoral Observation Mission of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission, signifying the enhanced approach to election observation, which will eventually build their capacity to develop and sustain Long Term Election Observation (LTO) missions.
The Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, off East Africa that got independence from the United Kingdom on 29th June 1976