EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY
ELECTION OBSERVATION MISSION TO THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA GENERAL ELECTIONS TO BE HELD ON 28TH OCTOBER, 2020
STATEMENT BY THE HEAD OF MISSION DURING THE FLAG OFF OF THE MISSION
26TH October, 2020
DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA
- Upon invitation of the Government of the united Republic of Tanzania and the National Electoral Commission of Tanzania, the East African Community (EAC) has deployed an Observation Mission to the General Elections to be held on October 28th, 2020 in the United Republic of Tanzania.
- The Treaty establishing the East African Community stipulates, in Article 3, paragraph 3 (b) that membership of the Community requires respect for the universal principles of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights and social justice. Article 6 (d) of the Treaty further stipulates that Partner States adhere to the fundamental principles of good governance, including respect for the principles of democracy, the rule of law, accountability, transparency, social justice, equality of opportunities, gender equality as well as the recognition, promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights in accordance with the provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.
- On the basis of these principles, the East African Community has deployed, since October 23, 2020, an Election Observer Mission to the General Elections that are scheduled to be held in the United Republic of Tanzania on October 28, 2020.The Mission is led by His Excellency Sylvestre Ntibatunganya, former President of Burundi. The Deputy Head of the Mission is Hon Rose Akol of the East African Legislative Assembly.
- The Mission comprises 59 members, drawn from the East African Legislative Assembly, National Electoral Commissions EAC, Ministries responsible for EAC Affairs from the EAC Partner States, the East African Court of Justice, the EAC Secretariat , the EAC Youth Ambassadors, and youth leaders. The Mission is deploying Observers in the following locations: Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Unguja, Pemba, Lindi / Mtwara, Dodoma, Mbeya, Kigoma, Singida, Kilimanjaro, Morogoro and Mwanza.
- The objective of the Mission is to contribute to strengthening accountability among political actors and the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania for pluralistic, free, fair, just and peaceful, and therefore democratic elections. It will also be an opportunity for other Partner States of the East African Community to share their experiences on election management. Observing elections in a member country of the Community is also an opportunity to share experiences in the organization and holding of elections. Our Mission thus, intends to play a supporting role to the various protagonists engaged in the electoral process of the United Republic of Tanzania, to strengthen through its observation, the credibility of the elections and increase the confidence of the various stakeholders across the entire electoral process.
- The Mission is therefore deployed to observe the electoral process, particularly on election day. At the end, the Mission will make a public statement evaluating the organization and holding of these elections.
- By deploying an Observer Mission, the East African Community seeks to:
(a) Build public confidence in electoral processes by encouraging voters and other stakeholders to participate freely in the elections, in an environment that promotes competition and tolerance without intimidation or violence;
(b) Identify the challenges, weaknesses, opportunities and strengths that can be considered/exploited for the improvement of the electoral practices within the Community through an evaluation of an electoral process by peers and by the Civil Society Organizations;
(c) assess the legitimacy of the electoral processes and their results in accordance with internationally accepted standards; and
(d) Make recommendations for strengthening electoral processes for the benefit not only of the United Republic of Tanzania but also of all Partner States of the East African Community.
- From October 24 to 25, 2020, members of the Mission received a contextual training ahead of their deployment in the different regions of the country today October 26, 2020.
- During the course of this electoral process, the Mission urges the Tanzanian people, candidates and political parties involved in the elections as well as the media and other actors to demonstrate uphold peace, security and stability. For this reason, all electoral activities must be carried out in accordance with the constitutional and legal framework governing the organization of the elections.
- The Mission will make a preliminary statement on its observation on October 30, 2020.
Head of the EAC Election Observer Mission in the United Republic of Tanzania
HE Sylvestre NTIBANTUNGANYA
Former President of the Republic of Burundi