Association for Free Research and International Cooperation

AFRIC election observation mission in Zimbabwe

AFRIC dispatched 43 international observers in more than 100 polling stations in all the ten regions of Zimbabwe that held the General Harmonised Elections 2018 to elect the President and members of the Local Authority, Parliament Assemblies. International observers were allowed to work at the elections in Zimbabwe for the first time in the countries’ history. An association for Africa’s Free Research and International Cooperation (AFRIC) has been accredited by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to observe the forthcoming Harmonized Elections set for the 30th of July 2018.

Among the participants of the AFRIC mission were representatives of the following countries: Mozambique, Belarus, South Africa, Cape Verde, Portugal, India, Russia, Mongolia, Greece, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, Germany.

All AFRIC observers have arrived several days prior to the election and had a detailed briefing regarding procedures and regulations accepted by the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission. On the election day, observers traveled to all provinces of the country in groups of three.

During their visits to the polling stations, AFRIC observers carefully examined the voting areas and after having obtained access voting procedure, highlighting professionalism of the staff in their reports. Representatives of AFRIC also noted the enthusiasm of the voters, who were willing to exercise their constitutional rights.

AFRIC observers were actively communicating with the press: a few days before the E-Day, the head of the mission gave an interview to the Zimbabwe state media, AFRIC press conferences were held before and after the voting day.

According to AFRIC’s General report, the elections met international standards for fair, equitable and transparent voting procedures. The voting and counting procedures were conducted in compliance with the local legislation. However, AFRIC observers stated that introducing modern (digital) technologies would have made the counting process more effective and transparent.

The rights of all participants of the electoral process were exercised, including the right to freedom of Assembly and mass campaigning during the election campaign; equal access of all candidates to the media, respect for the right of candidates and political parties to distribute campaign materials during the election campaign; actual and legal provision of all candidates and political parties with the opportunity to send their representatives to election commissions at all levels, to receive copies of the protocols.

During the escalation of the conflict after the elections, AFRIC international observers released a statement addressing the citizens of Zimbabwe, including leaders of all political parties, military personnel and law enforcement officials, to act in a manner that corresponds with the kindness that was observed from the people of Zimbabwe throughout the mission, condemning violence in all forms and calling everyone to follow legal procedures.

Along with the AFRIC mission, the following organization monitored the election: Southern African Development Community (SADC), SADC Parliamentary Forum, African Union (AU) Commission, The Commonwealth, Pan-African Parliament, European Union (EU) Commission, EU Parliament, International Republican Institute, IRI, National Democratic Institute, NDI.

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