EISA Observer Mission to the 2010 Zanzibar Elections: Arrival statement

EISA is pleased to announce the arrival of its Election Observer Mission to the 2010 Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government Elections in Zanzibar, scheduled for 31 October 2010. The mission is in Zanzibar at the invitation of the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) and is led by Yusuf Aboobaker (Senior Advocate and Chairperson of the Electoral Supervisory Commission of Mauritius and Chairman of the Electoral Boundaries Commission of Mauritius). The deputy mission leader is Mr. Felix Odhiambo (Country Director, EISA Kenya).

The mission is made up of 15 members drawn from civil society and election management bodies in various African countries. The deployment of the mission is in line with the following strategic objectives of EISA:

  • To enhance electoral processes, to ensure their inclusiveness and legitimacy
  • To promote effective citizen participation in democratic processes, to strengthen institutional accountability and responsiveness
  • To strengthen governance institutions, to ensure effective, accessible and sustainable democratic processes
  • To promote principles, values and practices that lead to a culture of democracy and human rights

Mission objectives

Specific objectives for this mission include the following:

  • To assess whether conditions exist for the conduct of elections that allow the people of Zanzibar to freely express their will;
  • To assess and determine whether the elections are conducted in accordance with the constitutional and legal framework for elections in Zanzibar;
  • To determine whether the final results of the electoral process as a whole reflect the wishes of the people of Zanzibar;
  • To assess whether the elections meet the benchmarks set out in the Principles for Election Management, Monitoring and Observation in the SADC Region.

Deployment and Activities

  • Members of the mission began arriving in Zanzibar on 24 October 2010 and will remain in the country until 3 November 2010.
  • Observers will attend a briefing by various electoral stakeholders on 25-26 October 2010
  • On 27 October, members of the mission will be deployed throughout Zanzibar and Pemba Island where they will meet with electoral stakeholders including electoral officials, civil society and representatives of political parties and the media.
  • On Election Day, mission members will observe voting and counting at the polling stations.
  • On 1 November mission members based at Pemba Island will return to Zanzibar for debriefing and to assess the electoral process.
  • An interim statement will be issued 2 November and the mission will begin to leave Zanzibar on 3 November 2010.
  • EISA will continue to monitor the process until the finalisation of the election results upon which the the mission's final report and assessment will be compiled.

Senior Advocate Yusuf Aboobaker
EISA EOM Mission Leader