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    SADC Electoral Observation Mission Pledged To Be Fair

    Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri who leading the Sadc Electoral Observer Mission in Namibia.
    The SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) will not interfere in the upcoming presidential and National Assembly elections in Namibia.

    The Zimbabwean War Veterans Affairs Minister Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri who is leading the Sadc Electoral Observer Mission (SEOM) has launched the regional observers assessment of Namibia’s Presidential and National Assembly elections to be held on November 27. A total of ten candidates are expected to run for the presidency. Cde Muchinguri-Kashiri is in Namibia following her appointment to lead the SEOM by President Mnangagwa who is the chairperson of the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.

    The SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) in Namibian General Elections 27 November consists of a total of 53 personnel from eight SADC states include Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Cde Muchinguri-Kashiri the head of mission said observers will be deployed to all 14 regions of Namibia.
    In this respect, the Sadc Electoral Observation Mission will assess the conduct of these elections in line with the Laws of the Republic of Namibia and the provisions of the revised Sadc Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections (2015). In addition to the provisions of the Constitution and Electoral Laws of the Republic of Namibia, our assessment will be based on the tenets stipulated in the revised Sadc Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections (2015) which include full participation of the citizens -Muchinguri-Kashiri 
    The SEOM will assess the pre-election, election and post-election period in Namibia. In a statement, Cde Muchinguri-Kashiri said the SEOM will issue its preliminary statement on November 29 and the final statement will come out 30 days after the end of the electoral cycle.

    They will furthermore be assessing the elections in line with the guidelines provided in the Electoral Act and tenets stipulated in the revised SADC principles and guidelines governing democratic elections. These guidelines include the full participation of citizens in the political process, freedom of association, assembly and expression. They also include provisions on bribery, political violence, intimidation and intolerance, as well as the equal opportunities for all political parties to access state media.

    Muchinguri-Kashiri, however, rejected accusations that they were working to favour the ruling Swapo Party during the elections by not reporting on all events happening in the country, which could question the credibility of the elections. She added that the mission has so far observed that there were several issues of concern to the voters, such as the use of the electronic voting machines (EVMs) and the disputed process of barring some people who held positions in the public service from contesting in the National Assembly elections.

    Such issues of concern, Muchinguri-Kashiri said, will be reported to the government and the ECN as part of their report. She was responding to questions from RDP leader Mike Kavekotora, who suggested that the mission was not properly constituted due to the fact that it was dominated by Zimbabwean nationals, whose country held a violent electoral process last year. “We are here to observe, not to tell Namibians how to conduct their elections, or interfere in any manner,” she continued.
    Let me also take this opportunity to encourage all stakeholders to ensure that these elections are conducted in a peaceful, free, fair, transparent and credible manner.
    Prior to the launch of the observer mission, the regional body had initially deployed a pre-election assessment mission of the SADC electoral advisory council from 16 to 20 September 2019. The purpose of the mission was to assess the legal, political and security environment to determine whether it was conducive for the holding of the elections. That mission, according to Joseph Andre Nourrice – who is also part of the mission – confirmed the state of preparedness of the ECN and relevant stakeholders to hold the elections.

    SEOM will focus on the pre and post-election periods which includes the campaigns, the voting day activities and the process of the counting of the ballot papers. “As Sadc, we look forward to an electoral process that adheres to democratic values and principles envisioned in our Sadc Treaty, the Protocol of Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation; and the revised Sadc Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections (2015),” said Cde Muchinguri-Kashiri.

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