News and Information

International election observers arrive
October 22, 2004
22 October, 2004

GABORONE - International observers have started arriving in the country ahead of the October 30 national election.

According to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), observers from the SADC Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) have already arrived and other teams were expected to jet into the country before the weekend.

IEC chief information and education officers Dominic Khame told BOPA in an interview that among the major international bodies that will observe Botswana elections are the European Commission, African Union (AU), and the South African-based Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA).

Other missions include almost all-diplomatic missions based in the country and one international observer from Trent University in Canada, Professor Jacqueline Solway.

Khame said local observer teams comprised the Justice and Peace Commission, Evangelical Fellowship of Botswana and Emang Basadi.

The SADC PF team will observe elections in eight of the 10 districts from October 21 to November 3. A news release from SADC PF says Botswana's polls will be the 10th elections observed by the organisation in the region since 1999.

The SADC mission would pay particular attention to whether the constitutional and legal framework that govern elections are observed.

The mission is also to establish whether the electoral process in the country is in line with norms and standards for elections in the region, and scrutinise the conflict resolution mechanisms in place with reference to the working relationship between the government, political parties and the IEC.

"The SADC observer team will also pay attention to the campaign process and the conduct of political parties with reference to the code of conduct, the historical, socio-economic and political environment within which elections are held as well as the voter registration." Secretary general Takawira Musavengana said while in Botswana, the mission would consult all stakeholders in the electoral process, including the IEC, political parties, the diplomatic community, civil society and international organisations.

On the other hand, the EISA team will establish if the elections are conducted on the bases of the established principles for management, monitoring and observing elections in SADC, according to mission co-ordinator, Dieudonne Tshiyoyo. BOPA


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