Local team to observe upcoming by-election


The official launch of the observer group yesterday

This observer mission was officially launched yesterday at the Liaison Unit of Non-Governmental Organisations of Seychelles headquarters in the Orion Mall.

The Citizens Democracy Watch is a non-governmental organisation accredited last year by the Office of the Electoral Commission for the National Assembly election.

Present at the launch were members of the Electoral Commission and that of the electoral reform forum as well as the Independent candidate standing for the election Lucas Georges.

Also there were Lungos chairman Bernard Elizabeth as well as representatives of the diplomatic corps.

During the meeting the executive committee members were also introduced – chairperson Michael Padayachy, vice-chairperson Gelage Hoareau, secretary Eline Moses, treasurer Collin Dubignon and members Steve Lalande, Giovanna Rousseau and Lucianne Sofola.

Mr Padayachy said they will observe this election with the highest degree of impartiality.
“Election is a continuous process from before registration of voters to polling day and thereafter.”

He said it is also expected that members of the public take part in the observation process and help them as much as possible.

He also hoped that the election is conducted in a peaceful atmosphere.

Mr Padayachy added that since the observer mission is a costly exercise, he called on all organisations, businesses, countries, individuals to help them with any financial support.

After his address the local mission deployment strategy was also presented by Ms Moses.

She explained that an 11-member team comprising one chief observer, one deputy chief observer and one team leader will be deployed to observe this by-election.

On August 8 they will be at the polling stations on outer islands (Ile Aux Vaches, Farquhar, Desroches, Coetivy, Alphonse, Darros and Marie-Louise). On the same day the observers will also be on Silhouette and Baie Ste Anne Praslin.

On August 10 they will be at the Anse Aux Pins district.
Ms Moses explained that the mission is also observing the pre-voting process which includes arrival of ballot papers and voter education.

“We will also be observing the campaigning – the approaches of contesting parties, behaviour of citizens, voters in the communities and in the vicinity of the polling stations.”

“The mission will also be observing whether the media meet their responsibilities to provide balanced and neutral coverage of the electoral process.”

She added that this include the print and televised media as well as social networks such as Facebook.

Ms Moses said they will also be involved on polling day, during voting procedures, tabulation and announcement of results.

Miss Rousseau said the Citizens Democracy Watch has also asked the Electoral Commission to ensure that two observers are allowed at any one time in the voting stations.

During the ceremony there were queries and clarifications from the audience which included fundings for the association for this by-election and if they have approached the electoral commission for help.

Mr Padayachy said they have already sent a request for assistance to the electoral commission but they were still waiting for a response.

The Citizens Democracy Watch can be reached on hotline number 2600612.