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Arid officially launches its election observer mission | 21 October 2020

Arid officially launches its election observer mission

The Arid team in a souvenir photograph (Photo: Jude Morel)

• 38 observers trained and accredited to work for the upcoming election

 

The Association for Rights Information and Democracy (Arid) yesterday launched its observer mission for the presidential and parliamentary elections which will be held from tomorrow, October 22, to October 24.

In total 38 observers from Arid will be on the field in line with observation and monitoring principles of regional and continental framework from October 22 to October 25.

The observer mission will be guided by the African Charter on Election, Democracy and Governance. The aim of the Arid election observer mission is to support the democratic process of our country and to produce an objective, independent and comprehensive assessment of the process.

The launch event, which took place at NAYOPI, Providence, was also attended by the representative of Eastern African Standby Force, Jules Hoareau and virtually by the Commonwealth director of peace and governance directorate (UK), Professor Luis Franceschi and other international observers.

The chairperson of Arid, Lucianne Sofola Bristol, congratulated the new observers that joined the bandwagon after a training done in September.

“We also acknowledge our deepest appreciation for the excellent support that we have been receiving from the Commonwealth. Following the receipt of an invitation from the Electoral Commission, we set up a team for deployment to observe the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled to be held on October 22-24, 2020. I am pleased to have been able to set up a big group of 38 observers for this mission that was done with the help of our core team.”

Mrs Sofola further explained that “observing election is one of our many activities and our assessment and observations will be guided by our legal framework for the elections of Seychelles. Arid will issue a preliminary statement based on an objective and independent assessment of the election process on November 7 in a press conference and a final and comprehensive report will be released within two to three months from the date of announcement of the final election results.”

Professor Luis Franceschi noted that Covid is here to stay but democracy can never be paralysed by Covid.

“Seychelles is one of the most exemplary islands in the Commonwealth and I know you are up for the task ahead of you. The Commonwealth is here to help in this democratic process. The success of credible election is if it is done within standards set and also peaceful. All stakeholders should be objective, impartial and act with integrity. With this election, tell the world, Seychelles is the model to follow.”

Mr Hoareau from Eastern Africa Standby Force, noted that the process of democracy is evolving in Seychelles.

“This year the situation is different and we do not have many international observers on the ground. Eastern Africa Standby Force is happy to announce that a team has been deployed to Seychelles for the upcoming elections. In order to do our job correctly, we have to work with the local observers as you know the reality. We will work in line with these principles: objectivity, neutrality and independence. This is the same principles that are being observed in all African states,” stated Mr Hoareau.

Mrs Sophola concluded the meeting by calling on all Arid observers to discharge their duties as per their code of conduct and that laid down by the Electoral Commission.

“Let your observation be objective, independent and neutral. May peace prevail in Seychelles!” she concluded.

 

Vidya Gappy

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