EU deploys 46 long-term observers
Harare (New Ziana)-The European Union said on Wednesday it has deployed 46 long term observers across the country ahead of the general elections to be held next month.
Zimbabwe will hold combined Presidential, Parliamentary and local government elections on August 23.
Addressing journalists, deputy chief observer Dr Beata Martin Rozumiłowicz said the observer mission would stick to its mandate without interfering in Zimbabwe’s electoral system.
“We have 46 long term observers drawn from all 27 of the EU member states of Canada, Norway and Switzerland and they will be in parts of Zimbabwe in all 10 provinces covering all elements of the elections process in the coming weeks before the August 23 harmonised elections,” she said.
Dr Rozumilowicz said the team would access all parts of the electoral process in any part of the country.
“We will be looking at the process in a very balanced and impartial way, meeting with all political sides, different actors from the point of view of the political cluster, civil society, media and the social media to understand how this election is taking place before, during and after elections,” she said.
She added: “It’s a long- term mandate which considers that elections are not just on election day but really have an element which marries international commitments such as equality or universality. Those are the kind of things we will be looking at before making a preliminary statement after election day.”
On voting day, the EU observer team will have 150 observers from EU member states as well as Canada, Norway and Switzerland.
Often, Western observers get entangled in Zimbabwe’s electoral processes on the side of the opposition, which their countries provide funding and advisory services.