The African Union (AU) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Election Observer Mission (EOM) has commended the generally peaceful and transparent nature of the 2023 Harmonised Elections.
Despite logistical challenges, including issues with the availability and distribution of local authority ballot papers in certain regions, the election process up to the counting stage has been acknowledged as a positive step forward for Zimbabwe’s democracy.
In a preliminary statement, the AU-COMESA EOM acknowledged the efforts of the electoral authorities and the political stakeholders in maintaining a peaceful atmosphere throughout the election period. The Mission’s observers were deployed across the country to monitor polling stations, assess the conduct of election officials, and ensure the transparency and fairness of the process.
“The AU-COMESA EOM observed that the 2023 Harmonised Elections were conducted, up to the counting process, in a generally peaceful and transparent manner,” the statement read.
The AU-COMESA EOM’s statement acknowledged the existence of logistical challenges that affected certain areas, particularly related to the availability and distribution of local authority ballot papers. Despite these hurdles, the mission highlighted that the voting process remained relatively smooth in most regions.
While the voting process has concluded, the Mission continues to play a crucial role by observing the tallying process. This observation ensures that the entire electoral process maintains its integrity and adheres to democratic principles.
His Excellency Goodluck Jonathan Head of AU-COMESA Election Observation Mission, expressed optimism regarding the final stages of the electoral process.
“We are diligently monitoring the tallying process to ensure that the integrity of the elections is upheld. Our observers are working closely with local election officials to ensure that the final results accurately reflect the will of the voters,” Jonathan said.
The AU-COMESA EOM will issue a comprehensive report within the next two months. This report will provide a detailed analysis of the election process, including assessments of voting procedures, adherence to legal frameworks, and the overall fairness of the elections.
As Zimbabwe eagerly awaits the comprehensive report, the initial statement from the AU-COMESA EOM offers a positive perspective on the progress of the 2023 Harmonised Elections.
The AU-COMESA EOM’s assessment, although preliminary, acknowledges the efforts made by all stakeholders involved in conducting the elections. It also emphasizes the need for continuous improvements in addressing logistical challenges to further enhance the electoral process’s efficiency and effectiveness.
The final report of the AU-COMESA EOM is anticipated to provide a detailed roadmap for strengthening Zimbabwe’s electoral processes in the future, ensuring that democratic principles remain at the forefront of the nation’s governance.