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Further to the invitation from the Government of Burkina Faso to observe the presidential election and the legislative elections initially scheduled for 11 October 2015, the European Union deployed an Election Observation Mission (EOM) on 5 September. This Mission has remained in the country in recent weeks, despite the attempted coup on 16 September which suspended the entire transitional process and interrupted the electoral process.
Throughout the crisis Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, affirmed the European Union's rejection of any seizure of power by force and called for the return to power of the civil authorities in order to continue the transitional process which began in November 2014.
The High Representative has appointed Ms Kyenge, a Member of the European Parliament, to head this Mission as Chief Observer.
'Thanks to the efforts of the people of Burkina Faso and to the support from the international community, the transitional authorities have been returned to office. I am confident that it will also be possible to resume the electoral process shortly. The primary objective remains that of organising credible, transparent and free elections as soon as possible, allowing the country to put in place representative and stable institutions to consolidate the rule of law and boost development. The European Union's Electoral Observation Mission will continue its work and, under Ms Kyenge's leadership, will further contribute to the smooth running and transparency of these elections' stressed Ms Mogherini.
Ms Kyenge emphasised that 'this Electoral Observation Mission is an example of the close cooperation between the EU and Burkina Faso. Having stood by the Burkinabe since the beginning of this process, the EU wishes to continue its commitment to ensuring the restoration of institutions democratically and legitimately chosen by the people. We wish to accompany and support to its conclusion the transitional process that the people of Burkina Faso have undertaken with enthusiasm, conviction and courage.'
A framework team of six electoral experts has been based in Ouagadougou since 5 September. 24 long-term observers will be deployed three weeks ahead of the elections once the new election timetable has been announced. In total, the EU's EOM in Burkina Faso will have more than 80 observers from EU Member States and Norway at its disposal. The Mission will observe each phase of the electoral process.
The EU's EOM operates with complete independence and neutrality. Its observers are obliged to abide by a code of conduct which meets international election observation standards. Its mandate is to observe and analyse the entire electoral process in order to carry out an impartial, neutral and objective assessment. This analysis is based on the national and international standards and commitments in the field of democratic elections to which Burkina Faso has subscribed. Once the poll closes, the EU EOM will publicly present a preliminary statement setting out its preliminary conclusions on the electoral process. A full analytical report will subsequently be published several weeks after the presidential election. That report will include detailed recommendations with a view to the forthcoming elections.