SADC launched its Electoral Observation Mission to the 2019 Legislative Elections in the Republic of Madagascar on 24thMay 2019. The mission is led by Honorable Katele Kalumba, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Zambia, representing the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia.
The launch ceremony was attended the representatives of the United Nations, Diplomatic Corps, Civil Society Organisations, Faith based Organisations and Political parties.
In addressing the audience, Hon. Dr. Kalumba stressed that SADC was deploying its third SADC Electoral Observation Mission to the Republic of Madagascar within a period of six (6) months, after the first and second rounds of 7th November and 19th December 2018 Presidential elections. This shows the unwavering commitment of the region in supporting the strengthening Democracy in the country.
The Head of Mission ceased the opportunity to congratulate the elected President H.E Mr. Andry Rajoelina and commended all political stakeholders for the acceptance of the results of the 2018 Presidential Electionsand the subsequent peaceful handover of power.
The Head of SEOM further urged the Malagasy people to keep the same spirit for the forthcoming Legislative elections and to consolidate the progressive democratic environment that is prevailing in the country.
The Director of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs, Mr. Jorge Cardoso representing the Executive Secretary of SADC, stressed the importance of democratic elections for SADC as a foundation for common goal of achieving a peaceful and stable environment necessary for regional integration. He thanked the National Independent Electoral Commission of Madagascar and relevant stakeholders for facilitating the deployment of 37 observers in 7 of the 22 regions of the country, namely: Analamanga, Analanjirofo, Haute Matsiatra, Vakinankaratra, Atsinanana, Amoron'l Mania and Boeny.
Prior to the launch, SEOM observers were trained on the various technical aspects of election observation and reporting and were accredited by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI).
Elections will take place on Monday 27th May and 10,302,194 people are expected to cast their votes and choose among 810 candidates for 151 seats in Parliament.
SEOM is headquartered at Carlton Hotel, Antananarivo, Madagascar from where it will deliver its preliminary statement on 29th May 2019.
Source: Southern African Development Community (SADC)