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Media Launch Statement by Leader of EAC Election Observation Mission

EAC Election Observer Mission

Tanzania General Elections 2015

New Africa Hotel

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

 

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Today (Tuesday, 20th October 2015), the Leader of EAC Election Observation Mission to the 2015 United Republic of Tanzania’s General Elections, H.E. Arthur Athanasius Moody Awori, EGH, EBS, former Vice President of the Republic of Kenya, launched the Mission and wished the people of the United Republic of Tanzania free, fair, and peaceful elections. He asserted; “Observer Missions can only accompany the process. Tanzanians will determine how to express their democratic rights. We look forward to elections that strengthen and advance the democratic culture in East Africa, and that contribute to the peace, security and stability that East Africans enjoy”. Details of the Launch Statement are below:

The Deputy Secretary-General, Mr Charles Njoroge

EAC Ambassadors and High Commissioners in Tanzania

The Leader of EALA Team, Hon. Peter Mathuki

Honourable Members of EALA

Members of the EAC Election Observation Mission

Members of the Press

Ladies and Gentlemen

I’m greatly honoured to welcome you all to the Official Launch of the EAC Election Observation Mission to the 2015 General Elections in Tanzania. On behalf of the Mission and on my own behalf, allow me to thank the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania for inviting the East African Community to deploy this Mission.

The Mission arrived on Sunday, 18th October 2015 and will be on the ground until 30th October 2015. It was preceded by a 5 Member Expert Team that has been on the ground since 4th October 2015. The deployment of the EAC Election Observer Mission is part of EAC’s goal to promote democratic governance in order to complement economic integration and balanced development of our region in line with the fundamental principles of the Community.

Ladies and Gentlemen

The Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community Article 6(d) requires the Partner States to promote good governance through adherence to the principles of democracy, the rule of law, accountability, transparency, social justice, equal opportunities, gender equality and protection of human rights. In addition, Article 3(3)(b) of the Treaty requires new applicants who wish to join the Community to exhibit adherence to the principles of good governance, democracy and rule of law.

In addition, the 4th EAC Development Strategy is very explicit in its strategic interventions to promote democracy and inculcate a democratic culture in the region. To this end, election observation and evaluation by the EAC is an intervention that serves to enhance the capacity of our region in handling democratic processes.

Most importantly, the East African Community is the only regional organisation on the African continent that has a clear vision of attaining a Political Federation. This calls for setting regional standards in order to lay a firm foundation for a single Political Authority.

Honourable Members

Ladies and Gentlemen

The overall objective of the EAC Election Observer Mission is to contribute to the promotion of the conduct of free, fair and credible elections through an environment that is peaceful and stable. The specific objectives include:

  1. to observe the electoral process and to offer a balanced and informed assessment of the elections;
  2. to create public confidence in the electoral processes by encouraging the voters and other stakeholders to participate freely in an environment that promotes competition and tolerance without intimidation or violence;
  3. to identify challenges, weaknesses, opportunities and strengths that can be harnessed into best practices for the region through peer learning by the Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs);
  4. to assess the legitimacy of the electoral processes and outcome in accordance with internationally accepted standards; and
  5. to make recommendations for strengthening of electoral processes for the benefit of not only Tanzania but for the EAC region as a whole.

Ladies and Gentlemen

In line with the EAC Principles of Election Observation and Evaluation, the Mission will be a combination of a Pre-Election Assessment Team and a Short Term Election Observation Mission.

The EAC Mission is composed of 55 members drawn from all EAC Partner States except from the United Republic of Tanzania. The membership of the Mission has been drawn from different but complementary disciplines. It includes, Members of the East African Legislative Assembly, National Electoral Commissions, National Human Rights Commissions and youth representatives from EAC Youth Ambassadors Forum. The nominations are based on the principle of gender balance and youth involvement.

The Mission’s mandate is to observe and consider all aspects of the electoral process, and assess whether the elections are conducted according to the standards for democratic elections to which the country has committed itself. The Team is also expected to make recommendations for future strengthening of the electoral processes and enhancing the capacity of Electoral Management Bodies in the United Republic of Tanzania and in the whole of East Africa.

Ladies and Gentlemen

The EAC’s Observer Mission will be conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and Code of Conduct, adopted at the United Nations in 2005. The Mission will assess the electoral process based on the United Republic of Tanzania’s national legal framework and its obligations for democratic elections contained in regional and international agreements and more specifically, the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community.

The Mission will meet and consult with representatives of diverse stakeholders including political parties, civil society organisations, diplomatic missions, international community, media, as well as with candidates.

The Mission is expected to exercise professionalism and neutrality in order to be able to make credible and informed assessment of the electoral process. The Mission will deploy in all the zones of the country including the islands.

In conclusion, I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the EAC Mission to wish the people of the United Republic of Tanzania free, fair, and peaceful elections. Observer Missions can only accompany the process. Tanzanians will determine how to express their democratic rights. We look forward to elections that strengthen and advance the democratic culture in East Africa, and that contribute to the peace, security and stability that East Africans enjoy.

Finally, I appeal to the media as the Fourth Estate to play its right role and report objectively at this time of elections in Tanzania.

I thank you all for listening to me.


East African Community
EAC Close
Afrika Mashariki Road
P.O. Box 1096
Arusha
United Republic of Tanzania

Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
Email: eac@eachq.org