The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is set to deploy an electoral observation mission for the upcoming presidential elections in Rwanda scheduled for August 4, 2017.
This was confirmed in a statement from the regional bloc whose headquarters are in Lusaka, Zambia.
Another team will be sent to Kenya for the general elections scheduled for August 8, 2017.
Bishop Mary Nkosi, from Malawi, will lead the team to Rwanda and they are expected to arrive to Kigali on Thursday July 27, while Ambassador Dr Simbi Mubako, from Zimbabwe, will lead the team to Nairobi.
The two heads of the observation missions, according to the statement, are members of the COMESA Committee of Elders.
The teams’ role include observing the pre-election, election and post-election activities, and consult with other key stakeholders in both countries.
Their mandate is to issue preliminary statements immediately after observing the elections while comprehensive reports should follow after 90 days.
“Premised on this critical role, Member States have continued holding periodic elections which have heralded a new dawn by signifying steady progress towards deepening and institutionalising democracy in the 19-member bloc,” the statement reads in part.
The forthcoming elections are considered important in Rwanda’s socio-economic and political progress.
COMESA observed the parliamentary elections that were held in 2008, 2013 and the presidential elections held in 2010.
COMESA observes elections in member states to help promote and consolidate democracy in the region.