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In response to an invitation by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Zimbabwe, the European Union has decided to deploy an EU Election Observation Mission (EOM) to the Harmonised elections of 23 August 2023.
Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has appointed Mr. Fabio Castaldo, Member of the European Parliament, as Chief Observer for this mission.
High Representative Josep Borrell stated:
“The deployment of an EU Election Observation Mission to the general elections in Zimbabwe shows the EU’s commitment to support democracy and the rule of law. Under the leadership of Chief Observer Castaldo, the EU EOM will contribute to enhancing citizens’ trust in the process and to further strengthening Zimbabwe’s democratic institutions. The Zimbabwean authorities have expressed their commitment to credible, transparent, inclusive and peaceful elections. This is what is expected and the Zimbabweans deserve”
The Chief Observer, Mr Castaldo declared: “Democracy requires more than elections, but a country cannot be a democracy without holding genuine elections. That is why I feel honored to head an EU EOM to Zimbabwe. Credible, transparent and inclusive elections are a cornerstone of democracy and play a critical role to promote a peaceful and democratic path towards greater stability and prosperity, not only for the individual countries, but also for the broader regions. On the basis of an impartial and objective assessment of the election process, we hope to continue working with the Zimbabwean authorities after the elections to encourage the implementation of the observation mission’s recommendations. The EU can play a pivotal role in this process, and we will always be by the side of Zimbabwean people.”
With the service provider of the EOM arriving in Harare the first week of July, the Core Team of the EU EOM will consist of 11 election experts that will arrive in Zimbabwe shortly after. Towards the end of July, 46 Long-Term Observers will join the mission and are to be deployed across the country to follow the electoral campaign. 44 Short-Term Observers are also foreseen to be deployed closer to election day. Finally, a number of Locally-Recruited Short-Term Observers from the EU Member States accredited in Zimbabwe may integrate the mission on Election Day. The EU EOM will remain in the country until the completion of the electoral process.
Following the EU election observation methodology, the mission will issue a preliminary statement and hold a press conference in Harare after the elections. The final report, which will include a set of recommendations for future electoral processes, will be presented and shared with stakeholders after the finalisation of the entire electoral process.
SOURCE: EUROPEAN UNION