SADC deploys Electoral Observation Mission
- On 19 September 2023, the President of the Republic of Zambia, and Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation announced that SADC will deploy its Electoral Observation Mission to the Kingdom (SEOM) of Eswatini.
- This deployment follows the invitation to SADC by the Government of Eswatini to observe their General Elections scheduled for 29 September 2023.
- SEOM will be headed by H.E. Enock P. Kavindele, the former Vice President of the Republic of Zambia.
- According to Article 3 of the amended SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections (2021), which states that SADC shall observe all general elections held in its Member States, the deployment of SEOM is in conformity with this provision.
- In an endeavour to increase awareness of the SEOM’s main initiatives, H.E. Kavindele will organise a formal launch on 22 September 2023.
- The SEOM team will be deployed in all four (4) regions of the Kingdom of Eswatini to monitor the pre-, election-, and post-election phases.
- The elections will be carried out in the four regions – Hhohho, Lubombo, Manzini and Shiselweni. There are 59 tinkhundla with each of the four regions further divided into tinkhundla centres. The 59 tinkhundla centres have 336 chiefdoms under them. There will be 664 polling stations throughout the kingdom.
PHOTO: H.E Kavindele (right) with Honourable Lady Howard Mabuza
SEOM Activity Schedule
|18 – 21 September 2023||Refresher Training for Observers revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections (2021)|
|21st – 30th September 2023||Consultation Meetings with all relevant stakeholders for Electoral Stakeholders|
|22 September 2023||Launch of SEOM – Awareness-Raising Activities (Open to public and media)|
|29 September 2023||Election Day (Field observations for SEOM)|
|1 October 2023||Release of the SEOM Preliminary Statement (Open to public and media)|
|30 September – 5 October 2023||Deployment of Long-Term-Observation (LTO) in Ezulwini and Mbabane|
Mxolisi Zondo is a Researcher in the Governance Delivery and Impact programme at Good Governance Africa. He holds a BA Honours in International Relations and a Bachelor of Political Science from the University of Pretoria (UP). He is currently pursuing his Master of Arts Degree in Diplomatic Studies at UP. His dissertation looks at the extent to which South Africa’s involvement in peace missions on the African continent serves the country’s national interest. Before joining Good Governance Africa, he worked as a Public Policy Intern at Frontline Africa Advisory. He has also worked as an Assistant Lecturer and Research Assistant at the University of Pretoria.