An 18-member EAC elections observer mission arrived in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania over the weekend to observe the general elections in both the Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar, The New Times reports.
The National Electoral Commission of Tanzania invited the mission for the elections slated for 31 October 2010.
According to an EAC statement, the mission’s mandate will be to observe the preparations for the elections, the polling, the counting and the results process, as well as the overall electoral environment.
The mission is headed by legislator Abdul Karim Harelimana, a member of the East African Legislative Assembly (Rwanda).
The EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Federation, Beatrice Kiraso, said that as the region moves deeper in the integration process with the ultimate goal of having a political federation, EAC partner states need to standardize their governance practices and should take keen interest in each others’ political and electoral processes.
“Therefore we expect a successful mission and we very much hope that they will further strengthen the democratic process and advance development in the region,” she noted.
The mission will also ascertain whether the elections were free and fair and conform to principles of good governance and democracy in the region.
The mission is expected to prepare a report that will be submitted to, among others, the National Electoral Commission of Tanzania, and the EAC Council of Ministers for consideration to inform future engagement and interaction during electoral processes in other Partner States.