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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Arrival of the SADC Parliamentary Forum Election Observation Mission to observe the 2013 Zimbabwe harmonised general elections
    SADC Parliamentary Forum
    July 10, 2013

    The SADC Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) announces the arrival of its 60-member Mission to observe the 31st July 2013 Harmonised General Elections in the Republic of Zimbabwe. The arrival of the delegation is at the invitation of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). This is the 30th such Mission to be deployed to a SADC Member State since 1999 when SADC Parliamentary Forum started observing elections. The 29th SADC PF Mission was the Constitutional Referendum Mission which was deployed to Zimbabwe from 11 to 19 March 2013, to observe the Constitution Referendum of 16 March 2013. The Mission’s Head Quarters will be at Cresta Lodge in Msasa, Harare.

    The Mission Leader is His Royal Highness Prince Guduza Dlamini, the Speaker of the National Assembly of Swaziland, who was also the Leader of the Constitution Referendum Mission, and it comprises Parliamentarians from Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia. The Secretary General of SADC PF, Dr. Esau Chiviya, Parliamentary and SADC PF Secretariat staff are also part of the Mission.

    The Mission will be in the country from 11 July until 4 August 2013 and will commence its business with an Official Opening Session on Friday 12 July from 09:00 to 10:00 and all members of the media are invited. This will be followed by an Orientation and Training Session for all members of the Mission to acquaint them with the context and environment within which the 2013 Zimbabwe harmonised elections are being held, the Terms of Reference of the Mission and other issues on the Zimbabwe Elections.

    The Mission will deploy its teams to all the country’s 10 Provinces from Sunday 14 July, where they will interact with stakeholders and the electorate and will observe the polling and the counting of votes. The Mission will re-convene in Harare on Thursday 1 August 2013 to compile and issue its Interim Statement For Immediate Release detailing the findings, recommendations and conclusions on the credibility of the electoral process. These will be made public on Saturday 3 August during a press conference at the Mission’s Headquarters at Cresta Lodge in Msasa, Harare, before the Mission’s departure on 4 August 2013.

    The observation process will be based on SADC PF’s Norms and Standards for Elections in the SADC Region, SADC Principles and Guidelines on Elections, and other regional and international election instruments.

    Based on its Terms of Reference approved by the SADC PF’s policy organs, the Mission will assess the following:

    1. The constitutional and legal framework within which the 2013 Zimbabwe Harmonised General Elections are conducted;

    2. The historical, socio-economic and political environment within which elections are taking place;

    3. The extent to which the elections are conducted in line with the constitutional and legal framework provisions of Zimbabwe and in relation to the Norms and Standards for Elections in the SADC Region, SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections and other international Election Instruments;

    4. The gender trends and voter turnout in comparison to previous elections;

    5. The organisational arrangements of the electoral process by examining the following:

    a) Independence, impartiality and accountability of electoral institutions, including stakeholders’ confidence in the election authorities;
    b) Secrecy of the ballot and the transparency and legitimacy of the electoral process;
    c) Voter registration and the state of the voters roll, paying special attention to the inclusiveness and availability of voters roll to stakeholders;
    d) The campaign process and the conduct of political parties;
    e) Publication of the election calendar, preparation and distribution of voting materials;
    f) Civic and voter education including the quality of the education, the role of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, political parties and civil society organisations;
    g) Role of security forces;
    h) Gender mainstreaming in political activities and manifestos, electoral systems, practices and processes, including the management and administration of elections;
    i) Role of the media with respect to fair and balanced media reporting and coverage on election activities;
    j) Polling stations with reference to adequacy, location and voters’ access to information on polling stations;
    k) Polling arrangements with reference to opening of polling stations, availability of voting materials, secrecy of the ballot, and related administrative arrangements;
    l) Counting, reconciliation, verification, tabulation and announcement of results as well as the legitimacy of results in the views of stakeholders;
    m) Conflict resolution mechanisms in place with reference to the working relationship between the Electoral Commission, Government, political parties and other stakeholders;
    n) Complaints and Appeals Procedures; and

    6. Overall assessment of the elections process, drawing some good practices, conclusions and recommendations on the elections in line with principles of election observation.

    The Mission wishes Zimbabweans a credible and peaceful electoral process.

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