“These are elections of Zimbabwean people” – EU Chief Eelection Observer

The Chief Observer of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to the Republic of Zimbabwe, Mr. Fabio Massimo Castaldo, emphasises the EU EOM’s principles of independence, impartiality and non-interference in its observation of the 23 August Harmonised Elections. While unable to travel to Harare in time, due to two delayed flights and subsequently missed connections, he spoke through the EU EOM Deputy Chief Observer Dr. Beata Martin-Rozumilowicz in a press conference in Harare.

“The EU EOM was formally invited by the government of Zimbabwe and I’m excited to lead this mission. In accordance with the Administrative Arrangement signed with the Zimbabwean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, we are here to deliver an independent and impartial assessment of the entire electoral process. We will not correct possible short-comings and we will not endorse the results or make any other statement about the quality of the process until respective stages are completed. Zimbabwe and its people can count on our commitment to work undeterred and professionally as promised. These are the elections of the Zimbabwean people.”

“Our mandate is to assess all aspects of the electoral process and to analyse the extent to which these elections comply with international and regional standards for elections, as well as with Zimbabwean law”, said the Chief Observer, adding: “These standards are not imposed by the EU EOM. They are signed by Zimbabwe as part of Zimbabwe’s commitment to democratic processes.”

“We are independent in our work. The EU EOM sees the deployment of the mission in the spirit of partnership in achieving common goals. The EU is to committed to accompanying the Zimbabwean people throughout the process”, underlined the Chief Observer.

“Following the deployment of our core team on 8 July and our 46 long-term observers earlier this week, I will come to Zimbabwe as soon as possible to learn also first-hand about the ongoing process for the 2023 Harmonised Elections”, said Mr. Castaldo.

“For election day our mission will be joined by 44 short-term observers, a delegation from the European Parliament and diplomats, accredited to the Republic of Zimbabwe. The EU EOM is expected to comprise over 150 observers from all 27 EU member states, plus Canada, Norway, and Switzerland.”

Chief Observer Castaldo will present a preliminary statement to the Zimbabwean authorities and to the Zimbabwean people some two days after the elections. EU observers will remain in Zimbabwe after election day to observe also the post-election environment. A final report with recommendations will be delivered about two months after the elections. – EU Election Observer Mission