In pursuance of the Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa, the Chairperson of the African Union, His Excellency Jean Ping, deployed a mission to observe Rwanda’s three phase, Legislative Elections scheduled for 15th - 18th September.
In dispatching this Mission, the AU took cognizance of the fact that holding free, fair, transparent and credible elections is a cornerstone for the promotion of democracy and good governance in the Continent.
The Mission is led by Eng. Dr. Badru .M. Kiggundu, the Chairman of the Uganda Electoral Commission.
Other members of the Mission include Pan-African Parliamentarians, national parliamentarians, high-officials of election management bodies, prominent individuals and members of civil society drawn from various African Countries: The Mission consists of 12 members with a support team of 3 coordinators.
According to a press release, the Mission will be on the ground for a period of two weeks to cover the pre-election as well as post-election events.
After the main election for the Deputies, the Mission will remain for five more days to observe the elections for the Women Deputies, and those of the Youth and Persons with Disabilities.
“It will also give the team an opportunity to continue to assess the ‘latest post-election developments for effective observation,’ the release read in part.
The principal task of the Observer Mission is to make an independent and impartial observation of the Rwanda electoral process, in line with AU guidelines on election observation and monitoring, and guided by the AU Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa.
The Mission is expected to determine whether conditions exist for voters to freely express their will; the inclusiveness of the voter’s roll, whether some citizens have been unduly disenfranchised and whether the register is complete, accurate and current; whether these elections were conducted in accordance with the constitutional and legal framework and the rules and procedures governing the conduct of elections in the country, evaluate whether or not secrecy of the ballot was compromised and the degree to which the secrecy of the ballot is guaranteed; establish whether the results of the elections are a true reflection of the democratic will of the people of the country and to assess whether or not the elections were credible, among others.
The Mission will remain in the country until 20th September when it is expected that all results will have been collated and provisionally announced.
A statement on the Mission’s observation of the elections will be issued to the press prior to its departure, and a detailed report on the election process will be submitted to the AU Commission which will subsequently share it with the Government of Rwanda.
The report will, among others, profile the electoral process and make appropriate recommendations where necessary.