The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Malawi deployed today 32 short-term observers throughout the country. The group is the third contingent, following the core team and the 28 long-term observers, which have been in Malawi since the beginning of April.
“The short-term observers will enable our coverage of nearly all the Districts in Malawi, observing in both urban and rural areas. Together with the other EU EOM observers they will be the eyes and the ears of the mission on election day during polling, counting and tallying of results”, said Chief Observer Miroslav Poche, member of the European Parliament.
Prior to their deployment, the short-term observers received a two-day in depth briefing in Blantyre on the legal framework, electoral background and preparations, voting procedures, the political environment and other topics.
The short-term observers will be supplemented by a small group of observers drawn from among diplomats from EU member states accredited in Malawi. In total the EU EOM will comprise on election day 83 Observers from all 28 member states as well as Norway.
“The EU EOM observers will be visiting many polling stations from the opening to the closing of the polls. They will not interfere in the process. They are there to watch and take note of how the voting is conducted, assessing issues such as respect of the right to vote, secrecy of the vote, performance of polling staff members, the role of monitors and domestic observers, women's participation. During the counting, observers will assess the transparency, accuracy and integrity of the process,” said Chief Observer Poche.
“The EU EOM’s overall analysis also includes aspects such as the legal framework, the work of the election administration, the campaign activities of candidates and political parties, the extentto which there is a level playing field, the conduct of the media, voting, counting, the tallying and transmission of results and the resolution of any election-related disputes” elaborated the Chief Observer further.
The EU EOM will issue a preliminary statement two days after the elections. A final report - with technical recommendations for future elections - will be published at a later stage.