Southern Africa: The African Union and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Announce the Arrival of the Joint Election Observation Mission to the 16 November 2023 Presidential Election in the Republic of Madagascar

A vehicle with a poster promoting the campaign of Andry Rajoelina, on November 8, 2023, in Antalaha.
press release

The joint African Union Commission (AUC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Election Observation Mission (EOM) arrived in Madagascar on 10 November 2023. At the invitation of the Government of Madagascar, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, approved the deployment of the joint short-term AU-COMESA EOM to observe and report on the conduct of the 16 November 2023 presidential election.

The joint EOM is led by H.E. Catherine Samba-Panza née Souga, former Transitional President of the Central African Republic, in collaboration with Ambassador Patrice Eugene Cure, Member of the COMESA Committee of Elders from Mauritius.

The Joint Mission arrived in Antananarivo on 10 November and will be in Madagascar until 22 November 2023. The Mission comprises seventy (70) short-term observers (STOs) drawn from Ambassadors accredited to the African Union, Members of the Pan African Parliament, Officials of election management bodies (EMBs), members of African civil society organisations, African election experts, human rights specialists, gender and media experts, and representatives of youth organisations. The observers are drawn from thirty-five (35) countries. These include Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Egypt, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sahrawi, Senegal, Seychelles, Sao Tome and Principe, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. They will be deployed to all six (6) provinces and twenty-one (21) of the twenty-three regions in Madagascar.

The EOM will base its observation on the legal framework governing elections in the Republic of Madagascar and the OAU/AU Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections, the standards and obligations stipulated in the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, the Principles for Election Management, Monitoring and Observation (PEMMO), COMESA Elections Observation Guidelines and the International Declaration of Principles (DoP) for International Election Observation among others. The assessment shall focus on the regularity of the electoral process, its transparency and credibility.

During the Mission, the observers shall interact with state authorities, the Independent National Electoral Commission, candidates, the media, civil society organisations and international community representatives. The Mission will equally interact with other election observation missions deployed to observe the 2023 Presidential Election in Madagascar.

The Mission will release a Preliminary Statement of its initial findings and assessment of the conduct of the vote after election day during a press conference in Antananarivo, Madagascar. A final and comprehensive report on the entire electoral process will be released within a month from the date of announcement of the final results of the election. It will be posted on the websites of the AU Commission and COMESA. The Mission's secretariat is located at the Carlton Hotel, Antananarivo.

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