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EU Deploys Long-term Election Observers Across Zimbabwe

The European Union Election Observation Mission (EOM) on Wednesday deployed its 46 long-term election observers to Zimbabwe’s 10 administrative provinces to commence their work.

The long-term observers join a core team of 11 analysts from the mission, who arrived in Zimbabwe on July 8.

The observers were sent off by EU EOM deputy chief observer Beata Martin-Rozumilowicz, who wished them a successful deployment.

“I think that by the end, we hope to have a very independent, a very impartial and very reflective report which will be able to show back to the Zimbabwean people, like a mirror, the things that they themselves see and the things that they themselves would like reflected,” she said in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe.

She said the observers will not only be in urban areas but will be deployed in remote, rural areas down to the village level to better understand how the elections are developing. “We are here to observe elections, not monitor elections. This means that we do this in an independent and impartial way,” she noted.

It was premature to make a statement on the pre-electoral environment before understanding all the different aspects of Zimbabwe’s electoral processes, the deputy chief observer said, adding that the mission will issue its preliminary election observation report approximately two days after the election.

Zimbabwe will hold elections on Aug. 23 to choose a president, members of parliament and representatives of local governments.

On election day, the EU EOM will be supplemented across the country by 44 short-term observers, a delegation from the European Parliament and a number of locally recruited short-term observers, drawn from the diplomatic community.

This will bring the number of EU observers on polling day to more than 150, from all 27 EU member states as well as Canada, Norway and Switzerland.

The mission is among a host of countries, regional and international organizations that have been invited by the Zimbabwean government to observe the elections.

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