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At the invitation of the Guinean authorities, the European Union (EU) has deployed an Election Observation Mission (EOM) ahead of the presidential election on 11 October 2015.
Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, has appointed Mr Frank Engel, Member of the European Parliament, as Chief Observer.
This is the European Union's third observation mission in the country since 2010; it has accompanied Guinea every step of the way towards democratic consolidation.
High Representative Federica Mogherini said:
'The presidential election on 11 October 2015 is a key event for the consolidation of democracy in Guinea following the agreement on electoral issues of 20 August between presidential supporters and the republican opposition. Inclusive, transparent and credible elections will help to establish strong and legitimate institutions capable of addressing the many challenges that Guinea faces, including the eradication of Ebola. The EU is continuing to support Guinea in those efforts. I am confident that the Election Observation Mission led by Mr Engel, Member of the European Parliament, will once again make an important contribution towards accomplishing those objectives'.
Mr Engel himself stressed that:
'This Election Observation Mission forms part of the cooperation between the EU and the Republic of Guinea and aims to further anchor human rights and the principles of the rule of law in Guinean democracy and in Guinea's republican institutions. For the EU it is essential to be present in order to underline once again our commitment to the citizens of Guinea. We are there not to interfere in the electoral process, but to help make it more transparent. It is vital that all those involved act responsibly in this delicate phase of Guinea's democratic life'.
The EU's Election Observation Mission operates with complete independence and neutrality. Its observers are obliged to abide by a code of conduct which satisfies 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 undertakings in the field of democratic elections which have been endorsed by Guinea. The EU EOM will monitor every stage of the process, including any electoral disputes.
A core team comprising seven analysts arrived in Guinea on 2 September. 20 long-term observers have been deployed in the country since 10 September. A few days before the poll opens, the Mission will be reinforced by the arrival of 26 short-term observers and by European members of the diplomatic community in Guinea. On polling day itself, the EU EOM will therefore have almost 70 observers present throughout Guinea, all of whom will be nationals of the various Member States of the European Union plus Norway.
Once the poll closes, the EU EOM will publicly present a preliminary statement setting out its preliminary conclusions on the electoral process. A comprehensive 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.