Tag Archives: elections

EU appoints observation mission to Sierra Leone

In response to an invitation by the Sierra Leonean authorities, the European Union has decided to deploy an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Sierra Leone to observe the general elections scheduled for 7 March. This is the fourth time that the European Union is observing general elections in Sierra Leone, which reflects the EU’s long-term commitment to supporting credible, transparent and inclusive elections in the country.

Federica Mogherini, the EU top diplomat, has appointed Ms. Jean Lambert, Member of the European Parliament, as Chief Observer:

“The elections of 7 March 2008 are a milestone for the democratic process of Sierra Leone. It’s a great opportunity for the government, the National Election Commission and political parties to foster transparent, credible and peaceful elections” , Mogherini said. “This year’s general elections are very competitive and the rule of law should prevail. Under the leadership of Chief Observer Lambert the EU EOM will make an important contribution to this electoral process”.

“I am honoured to lead the EU EOM to Sierra Leone. The forthcoming general elections will be another defining moment in the country’s democratic process as a peaceful transition of power will take place for the second time after the end of the civil war” – the Chief Observer, Ms. Lambert, said ahead of his mission.  “Sierra Leone has achieved progress in terms of democratisation and governance since the end of the civil war, and this election should further consolidate stable democratic institutions. I trust that all institutions and political parties will work together to ensure that voters will be able to express their choice in a free, peaceful and calm environment, with all sides refraining from any actions or statements that may incite violence.”

The EOM Core Team of nine EU election analysts arrived in Freetown on 25 January, and will stay in the country until the completion of the electoral process to prepare a comprehensive assessment.

On 7 February, an additional group of 28 long-term observers will be deployed to Sierra Leone’s counties, ‘In this respect, the work of our long-term observers will be essential for our assessment. They all have substantial experience in observing elections around the world’ – declared Ms. Lambert.

In early March additional 40 short-term observers will be deployed across the country. A delegation of the European Parliament and diplomats from EU Member States will also reinforce the mission on election day. The EU EOM looks forward to cooperate with other international elections observation missions that have endorsed the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation.

The deployment of an EU EOM aims to contribute to enhancing the transparency of the process, the respect for fundamental freedoms and will submit to the consideration of the authorities a set of recommendations to further improve the election framework for future elections.

MEPs call Kabila to hold elections in 2018

Democratic Republic of Congo: government must hold elections on 23 December 2018

The European Parliament regrets that the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) did not hold elections by the 2017 deadline and calls on its President Joseph Kabila, and his government to guarantee to hold presidential and legislative elections on 23 December 2018. They add that any EU contribution to the electoral process should be conditional on concrete government measures that demonstrate the political will to hold the elections in December 2018, including the publication of a realistic electoral budget.

MEPs ask Congolese authorities to release all prisoners of conscience and to conduct an independent investigation into the violent repression of the demonstrations of December 2017. The European Parliament also urges the International Criminal Court and the UN to investigate the claims put forward by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), which says Congolese security forces and government-backed militias are perpetrating crimes against humanity in Kasai province, where 40 mass grave sites have been discovered. To combat the escalating cholera epidemic in the DRC, MEPs ask the EU and its member states to increase financial and humanitarian aid through reliable organisations.


Kenyan elections: from hopes to confrontations

European Union observers of Kenya’s 2017 presidential and parliamentary elections said on that a lack of government cooperation meant they were unable to travel to the East African nation to present their final report on the vote.

“Kenyans went from high hopes for these elections to many disappointments and confrontations. Kenya remains deeply divided. Our final report and recommendations are intended to contribute to a better democratic process and a restoration of trust. But with every recommendation, leadership from those in power, support from the population, and cooperation between different fractions are needed in order to initiate reforms” – Chief Observer, Marietje Schaake (pictured) Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from the Netherlands explained.

Chief observer said the EU mission was scheduled to present its final report to the government and other groups in Kenya this week. The report to be published imperatively within three months of the vote, per the mission’s agreement with the government.

“We hope the recommendations in our final report will contribute to more resilient
democracy from which all Kenyans benefit”, – MEP Schaake concluded.

“This takes time to build up, which is why it is important that steps
are taken promptly to improve the legal framework, institutions and practices.”

Liberia “new era” after elections

The EU sends its congratulations to George Weah for his victory in the Presidential elections in Liberia as announced by the National Elections Commission.

“All political leaders showed responsibility in accepting swiftly the outcome of the elections. The professionalism of the Liberian Institutions, in particular the National Elections Commission and the Liberian National Police, was key,” – says the text of the statement of the European External Action Service spokesperson.

“The high and peaceful participation of Liberian people contributed to the success of the electoral process. These elections open a new era after twelve years of successful leadership by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.”

“The EU Election Observation Mission, headed by Chief Observer Maria Arena, observed the elections in close cooperation with national and international actors. It began its work in Liberia since September 2017, observed the full process of the elections and will soon issue its final report. The report will include recommendations for the strengthening of Liberia’s future electoral processes. The important role of ECOWAS and UNMIL during the elections are positive expressions of the role of regional and international organisations.”

“The recent presidential executive order will allow a peaceful transition process from the current government to the new one. The EU will remain an important and reliable partner of Liberia and is ready to continue working with the new Government on national issues, as well as on regional and international challenges.”

EU expects Equatorial Guinea to comply with democracy

“The campaign and vote of the local and legislative elections held in Equatorial Guinea this month took place in a largely orderly and calm atmosphere. At the same time, the two opposition electoral lists denounced serious irregularities. Moreover, long-standing restrictions on internet and communication systems were enforced” – said the text of the statement of the European External Action Service (EEAS).

“The EU supports the African Union’s call to preserve equal conditions and fair competition between political parties in order to make progress towards democratic consolidation, as highlighted in the preliminary statement of its observation mission.”

“The results proclaimed on 20 November imply a further restriction of the already narrow political space granted to legal opposition parties, which is in contradiction to the intentions agreed at the National Dialogue Table held in 2014.”

“The European Union expects Equatorial Guinean authorities to make all necessary efforts to ensure compliance with democracy and human rights, international norms and standards. This is particularly relevant at a time when the country is preparing to take up a non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council.”




MEPs to observe elections in Liberia

In response to an invitation by the Liberian authorities, the European Union has deployed an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Liberia to observe the general elections scheduled for 10 October. This is the fourth time that the European Union is observing general elections in Liberia reflecting the EU’s long-term commitment to supporting credible, transparent and inclusive elections in the country.

Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy has appointed Ms. Maria Arena (Belgian, Socialists and Democrats, pictured) Member of the European Parliament, as Chief Observation mission.

“Liberia has succeeded in establishing a functioning democracy after two civil wars. These elections are key in the democratic history of the country” Mogherini said. ” The EU’s Electoral Observation Mission reflects our common resolve for credible, transparent and inclusive elections in the country. I am confident the Electoral Observation Mission led by Chief Observer Ms. Arena will make an important contribution to the electoral process”.

“It is a great honour to have been appointed Chief Observer of the EU Election Observation Mission in Liberia, a task that I accept with a great sense of responsibility. These elections are an important step in the consolidation of peace and the strengthening of the democratic institutions in the country. The EU EOM stands ready to accompany Liberia in this process,” – The Chief Observer, Ms. Arena, declared.

The EOM Core Team of 10 EU analysts arrived in Monrovia on 1st September. They will stay in the country until the completion of the elections and the finalisation of a comprehensive assessment of the electoral process, including recommendations for future elections. On 14 September 20 long-term observers were deployed to different regions of the country; they will be joined by an additional 34 short-term observers around election day.

A number of Liberia-based diplomats from EU Member States will reinforce the mission on Election Day. The EU EOM looks forward to cooperate with other international observation missions.

Kenya’s elections annulled

Kenya’s Supreme Court has annulled the result of last month’s presidential election, citing irregularities, and ordered a new one within 60 days.

The election commission had declared incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta the winner by a margin of 1.4 million votes.

Raila Odinga, Mr Kenyatta’s opponent, said the commission was “rotten” and demanded resignations and prosecutions.

President Kenyatta said he would respect the court’s decision but also branded the judges “crooks”.

Other elections in Africa have been annulled or cancelled but this appears to be the first time on the continent that an opposition court challenge against a presidential poll result has been successful.

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