Thursday, December 10, 2015
EU observers call for swift end of the electoral process in Z'bar.
The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Tanzania has appealed again for a swift completion of the electoral process in Zanzibar in line with principles for inclusive, transparent, periodic and credible elections. Following Election Day on 25 October, the European Union Election Observation Mission remained in Tanzania to follow the postponed elections on Tanzania's mainland and the interrupted electoral process on Zanzibar, further to the statement of the Chairman of the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) on 28 October, nullifying the results of the Zanzibar general elections. The EU EOM met with key stakeholders on the Isles, including political parties, the former and current Attorneys-General, members of the legal community and the judiciary, civil society organisations and electoral officials. Regrettably, the EU EOM was unable to meet with the ZEC Chairman. The EU EOM has taken note of the ongoing discussions between CCM and CUF, with the involvement of former Presidents of Zanzibar. The EU EOM reiterates the appeal made jointly with other international observation missions on 29 October, calling on the ZEC to act with full transparency following its decision to nullify the elections and on the political leadership of Zanzibar to put the interest of the United Republic of Tanzania and Zanzibar first, with a view to the swift completion of the electoral process, in line with principles for democratic elections and the laws of Zanzibar. “The EU EOM has been in Tanzania since 11 September to follow the electoral processes in the Union and in Zanzibar. Most of the 141 EU observers in Tanzania returned to Europe in mid-November, but a small team of election analysts remained in country to follow the remaining steps of the electoral process,” said EU EOM Chief Observer, Judith Sargentini. “Although the electoral process in Zanzibar is not yet complete, the EU EOM will temporarily redeploy to Europe on 8 December. The European Union remains, however, fully committed to the electoral process in Zanzibar and to the broader democratic process in Tanzania. The EU EOM is ready to return and to observe the electoral process in Zanzibar when an agreement for the resumption of the electoral process is reached that is in line with inclusive, transparent, periodic and credible elections,” the Chief Observer added. The EU EOM was deployed following invitations from the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, the National Electoral Commission and the Zanzibar Electoral Commission. The EU EOM wishes to convey its appreciation to the NEC for extending the accreditation beyond the initial timeline, reflecting the EU EOM's broad scope and mandate, which go beyond short-term observation. The mission presented its preliminary assessment of the electoral process on 27 October. On 29 October, the EU EOM, along with the international observer missions of the African Union, SADC, and the Commonwealth, issued a joint statement on Zanzibar. The EU EOM will present a detailed final report, including recommendations for future elections, within three months of the completion of the electoral processes.