The European Union has deployed an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Malawi, in response to an invitation by the country’s Electoral Commission.
This is the third time that the European Union is observing elections in Malawi (previously in 2004 and 2009), which reflects the EU’s long term commitment to supporting credible, transparent and inclusive elections in the country, noted an EU statement on Wednesday.
The EOM will be tasked with observing the presidential, parliamentary and local elections scheduled on May 20.
EU High Representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Catherine Ashton, appointed Veronique De Keyser, Member of the European Parliament, as Chief Observer for this EOM.
A core team of seven EU election analysts arrived in Malawi on 12 April; it will be joined by 28 long-term observers on April 23 and 24 short-term observers on May 14.
The EOM will liaise with other international observation missions such as the African Union and will issue a preliminary statement shortly after election day, and a final report a few weeks later after final results are published.
Meanwhile, 10 -member African Union (AU) long-term observers (LTOs) are in the country to carry out a comprehensive observation of the election process until the day the final results are announced.
Briefing journalists in Lilongwe Monday evening, AU Ambassador to Malawi and Regional Delegate to Southern Africa, Salif Sada Sall, said the observers were in the country at the invitation of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) and that they were drawn from representative countries of the continents’ blocs of SADC, ECOWAS and AEC.
“The African Union LTOs are from Kenya, Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Lesotho and Namibia and they will carry out a comprehensive observation of the whole process in all parts of Malawi,” explained Sall.
“The observers will meet regularly with representatives of Malawi Electoral Commission, political parties, independent candidates, civil society organisations, media, domestic observers, and international organizations’ representatives in the country to assess electoral preparations and the pre-electoral environment throughout the country in advance of the May 20 polls.”