EISA superted ECCAS in drafting an ECCAS election observation mission staff handbook to enable them to plan for and implement an EOM. The contents were agreed on and EISA Gabon drew on the expertise of the EISA's Elections and Political Processes Department to assist in the development of the handbook.
Nov 2018 - Jan 2019
ECCAS and COMESA deployed a joint pre-election assessment mission (PAM) from 11 to 16tNovember 2018, to the DRC in the run up to the presidential, legislative and provincial elections initially scheduled for December 23, 2018 and postponed to 30 December 2013. The mission was led by Ambassador Baudouin HAMULI KABARHUZA, Director of Political Affairs and Mechanism of Rapid Alert of Central Africa (MARAC) of ECCAS and Mrs. Elizabeth MUTUNGA, Head of the Governance, Peace and Security Unit of COMESA. It also included the members of the COMESA Committee of Elders, the Representative of the Secretary General and Head of the ECCAS DRC Office, the Electoral Officers and experts of the two Communities, as well as two EISA staff, who provided technical support to ECCAS.
Thereafter ECCAS, with the technical support of EISA, deployed 22 observers the 30 December presidential, legislative and provincial elections to DRC. During the EOM, ECCAS collaborated with the African Union sharing information. The ECCAS mission released its preliminary statement, assisted by EISA, at the same venue with African Union and SADC on the 2 January 2019.
Seven hundred copies of the ECCAS Election Observation Handbook completed earlier in the year, were printed in French and translated into Portuguese and Spanish. The Handbook has officially been presented to the General Secretariat and disseminated, for the first time, to observers who were deployed during the ECCAS election observation mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo on December 30, 2018. The Handbook has been well received and widely used by the observers to this election.
ECCAS deployed a pre-election assessment mission (PAM) ahead of the 7 October presidential election in Cameroon from 9-15 September 2018. The Mission was comprised of the Head of the Electoral Assistance Unit and the EISA Regional Representative. The pre-election assessment mission report informed ECCAS observers to the presidential elections.
Thereafter ECCAS, with the technical support of EISA, deployed an eight member election observation mission to the 7 October 2018 Presidential election to Cameroon. ECCAS collaborated with the African Union sharing information. The ECCAS mission released its preliminary statement, assisted by EISA, at the same venue as the African Union.
The election observation manual manual finalised and sent for printing.
Supported by the EISA Executive Director, the EISA liaison office held consultative meetings in Libreville at the beginning of October with ECCAS representatives and local partners. Following these consultative meetings, EISA has identified four main areas of support to ECCA depending on funding, namely:
A draft manual was finalised and shared with EISA Francophone colleagues for further input. It will be finalised in the next quarter. This is the first observation manual developed in the 12 years of the unit's existence and will be an important tool for their observers.
EISA consolidated the electoral documentation of all member countries. The electoral assistance unit of ECCAS thus has reliable and up-to-date archives.
EISA had initially proposed that ECCAS develop an electronic database of observers. To start the process, ECCAS has set up a simple database of observers and will be able to develop it further in future.
EISA supported ECCAS in observing elections to Congo Brazzaville, Rwanda and Angola. In the Republic of Congo and Rwanda, EISA collaborated with the African Union. Through this collaboration, the ECCAS electoral assistance unit had the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the African Union's methodology namely, briefing, deployment, debriefing, drafting of declarations and publication. In Angola, ECCAS deployed its own electoral observation mission and had the opportunity to apply the lessons learned during the elections observed with the African Union in the Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
EISA together with EISA's Elections and Political Processes Department coordinated the deployment of a pre-election assessment mission (PAM) to Equatorial Guinea and São Tomé and Príncipe. Through these PAMs, EISA gathered requisite information on the countries to contribute to the EOM planning including logistics, background information on the electoral process and drafting of ECCAS EOM reports.
From 25-27 of May 2016, the Secretariat General of ECCAS held in Yaounde, Cameroon, a review of ECCAS Electoral Observation, with the financial support of the European Union through its second support program for ECCAS Peace and Security (PAPS II) and EISA technical support.
The main objective was to assess what has been achieved since 2005 in terms of ECCAS electoral support to member states and to make relevant recommendations to ECCAS accordingly in order to execute its mandate and to plan its future action.
Thirty-two (32) participants, including 5 women, from EMBs of member States, African Union, ECOWAS, PAPS II, the Secretariat General of ECCAS and EISA were among the participants of the workshop.
Mar & Apr 2016
EISA provided technical assistance to the ECCAS Technical Mission in the Republic of Congo for the 20 March 2016 presidential election and in Chad for the 10 April 2016 presidential election. While ECCAS did not deploy observers to the Congo and Chad due to the lack of funds, three of its staff observed. The EISA Central Africa provided technical assistance to the ECCAS EOM deployed in Equatorial Guinea for the 24 April 2016 presidential election. EISA trained seven of the observers of the ECCAS EOM who were deployed in April 2015 in Brazzaville.
EISA developed for the REC a systematic comprehensive manual to inform their election methodology. A draft was submitted to the head of the ECCAS electoral unit for a first reading. The handbook must be approved by the ministries conference before dissemination.
EISA provided technical assistance to the ECCAS EOM deployed in CAR for the 30 December 2015 and 14 February 2016 general election. It is important to note that the only three observers of the ECCAS EOM were trained by EISA in April 2015 in Brazzaville. ECCAS will not deploy an EOM in CAR for the second round of the legislative elections scheduled for the 27th of March due to financial constraints.
Meetings were held with the ECCAS Electoral Unit for the revision of the workplan in consideration of the recommendations of the evaluation workshop held in Yaoundé in May 2016 (see below) and the recommendations of the session of Heads of States and governments held in Libreville the 27 November 2016. Three main recommendations made at the Heads of State meeting, included the following:
EISA conducted desktop research towards the development of an election map. This map will cover information on laws, legal framework, electoral institutions composition etc of ECCAS member states. This will contribute to improve the ECCAS Electoral Unit in election observation and electoral assistance in the sub region.
The map will be completed once ECCAS delegates visit the entire sub region. The plan is to develop a map of the entire region. With ECCAS limited fund this project us now scheduled to take place in 2016.
EISA and the Elections and Political Processes Department coordinated the deployment of a pre-election assessment mission to Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo. Through these PAMs, EISA Central Africa gathered requisite information on the countries to contribute to the EOM planning including logistics, background information on the electoral process and drafting of ECCAS EOM reports.
To support capacity building of ECCAS Electoral Unit, the regional representative reviewed and updated ECCAS'S electoral manual which was weak, outdated and without an appropriate methodology. With EISA's review and input into a revised version, this will be the first time that the regional community will have a systematic comprehensive manual to inform their election methodology. The manual has been submitted to the ECCAS electoral unit for a first reading. The ECCAS checklists have been also reviewed and updated.