The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is set to deploy short term an electoral observation mission to the upcoming presidential in Rwanda scheduled for 4th August 2017.
This was confirmed in a press statement from the regional bloc whose headquarters are in Lusaka, Zambia.
Another team will be sent to Kenya for the general elections scheduled for 8th August 2017.
Bishop Mary Nkosi from Malawi will lead the team to Rwanda and they are expected to arrive to Kigali on Thursday 27th July, 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 at the elections is to observe the pre-election, election and post-election activities and also 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, according to the statement reads in part.
“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 institutionalizing democracy in the 19-member bloc,” reads the statement.
The forthcoming elections are considered important in Rwanda’s socio-economic and political progress.
In the past years, Rwanda has made significant progress in consolidating its political stability, economic growth and development. Furthermore, Rwanda has recorded major milestones in consolidating democracy through holding periodic parliamentary and presidential elections as stipulated in its legal framework.
Since 2008, COMESA has continued to support the elections process in Rwanda. COMESA observed the parliamentary elections that were held in 2008, 2013 and the presidential elections held in 2010.
COMESA observes elections in Member States as a means of promoting and consolidating democracy in the region.