With the presidential, parliamentary and provincial elections scheduled to be held tomorrow in the Republic of Mozambique, the international election observation missions are ready to oversee the voting process to ensure that it is free, fair, transparent and void of fraud and other election malpractices.
Today, the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) electoral advisory council expressed hope and optimism that the country is ready for the democratic voting process.
“Even though the first democratic elections of 1994 came in the wake of a 16-year civil war that started in 1977, the Republic of Mozambique has done well in practicing democratic principles as well as promoting democratic institutions in the country,” the head of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM), Honourable Oppah CZ Muchinguri-Kashiri, the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs of the Republic of Zimbabwe, announced.
The African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM) led by the former president of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, also committed “to supporting credible, transparent, inclusive and peaceful electoral processes in its Member States by providing an objective assessment of the process and the political environment surrounding it.”
The European Union has also sent its mission to observe the voting. The Spanish member of the European Parliament, Ignacio Sánchez Amor, was chosen to head it.
“My objective is for the EOM to provide a positive input – through impartial and objective assessments and constructive recommendations – to an overall credible, transparent and inclusive process,” he explained.
Musa Mwenye, the former attorney General of Zambia who leads the Commonwealth observers, also emphasized what the group objectives were.
“Our mandate is to observe and evaluate the pre-election environment, polling day as well as the post-election period. We will consider the various factors impinging on the credibility of the electoral process as a whole, and report on whether it has been conducted to the national, regional, Commonwealth and international standards to which Mozambique has committed itself.”
Apart from the above mentioned, other observer missions are present in the country. The Association for Free Research and International Cooperation (AFRIC) sent their observers from 15 different countries of Africa, Asia and Europe. They held a conference on Monday to share their first impressions about the situation in Mozambique on the eve of the general elections.
They advised that 62 of their observers had been accredited by the National Electoral Commission of Mozambique and would be deployed to all 10 provinces and the capital city of Maputo on the polling day.
According to the mission speakers, they expect a high turnout tomorrow, especially in some provinces such as Gaza and Maputo, as the Mozambicans are motivated to cast their vote and they feel that their vote matters. Many citizens expressed hope that the democratic election would change their life for better and bring safety and stability to the country. Despite of the recent incidents, they are willing to vote and voice their views in a democratic way.
In 2018-2019, the AFRIC organized successful observer missions in Madagascar, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Republic of South Africa. Their observers’ key principles are to only report what they have witnessed and to analyse the situation within its own context instead of relying on the rumours and hearsay.