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SADC Launches Electoral Observation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Southern African Development Community (SADC) has taken a significant step toward ensuring transparency and fairness in the forthcoming Presidential, Legislative, and Provincial Elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by officially launching its Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM). The launch ceremony occurred at the Fleuve Congo Hotel in Kinshasa on December 14th, 2023.

Headed by H.E Mr. Enoch Kavindele, former Vice President of the Republic of Zambia and current Head of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission, the SEOM comprises 71 personnel from five SADC Member States: Angola, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, and the United Republic of Tanzania. 

Among the observers, 52 are deployable and have been strategically stationed across various provinces in the DRC.

The launch ceremony was attended by distinguished guests, including representatives from the SADC Organ Troika, the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and international electoral observation missions. 

His Excellency Mr. Elias Magosi, SADC Executive Secretary, and Professor Kula Theletsane, Director of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence, and Security Affairs, were among the prominent figures present.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Enoch Kavindele expressed gratitude to the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo for inviting SADC to observe the elections, scheduled for December 20th, 2023. 

He highlighted the importance of the SEOM’s role in assessing the electoral process in line with the revised SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.

The SEOM’s mandate includes evaluating the legal and constitutional framework, electoral systems, Electoral Management Body (EMB), and other crucial aspects to ensure the adherence to democratic principles. 

The mission will observe the pre-election, election day, and post-election periods, providing an impartial and comprehensive assessment.

The launch ceremony concluded with an invitation for all stakeholders, including voters and political parties, to contribute to a peaceful, free, fair, transparent, and credible electoral process. 

The SEOM will release its Preliminary Statement on December 22th, 2023, sharing observations and insights gathered during the mission.

As the Democratic Republic of Congo prepares for a crucial electoral event, the SADC Electoral Observation Mission stands as a testament to the commitment to democratic values and principles within the Southern African region.

Source: SADC Secretariat

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