EISA's Election Observation Missions bring representatives of civil society organisations, election management bodies, political parties, academic institutions and the media of all SADC countries together to observe elections. These missions have proven very useful as they have allowed election stakeholders across the region to remain involved in election work during the period in-between elections as well as giving the participants a comparative perspective on electoral processes and models. This helps them to build their knowledge and hence gain the required confidence to engage in reform initiatives in their own countries. See also:
23 Feb - 4 Mar 2020
An EISA Technical Assessment Mission (TAM) was deployed to Guinea from 23 February to 4 March 2020, to assess the integrity of the electoral process in the Republic. Due to political tension in the country and the high risk of violence, the mission was withdrawn from the country on 1 March, and the legislative elections subsequently postponed.
Based on the premise that an election is more than a one-day event, EPP organised a two-day workshop in January 2020 to design an election observation methodology that covers all the elements necessary for a democratic electoral process. The workshop was attended by some of the EISA field office country directors, EPP staff and EISA's Operations Director.
It reviewed EISA's overall election assessment methodology, identifiedy the gaps in the current methodology and assessed the extent to which the post-election assessment can contribute to strengthening the integrity of electoral processes. The workshop informed the design the structure and content of EISA's election follow-up mission report which will be piloted during the Mozambique post-election report submission.
EISA deployed pre-election assessment missions (PAMs) in Tunisia (31 August - 4 September 2019), Botswana (16-19 September 2019) and Namibia (4 - 9 November 2019). The PAM to Tunisia complemented the assessment of EISA LTOs. The PAM to Botswana and Namibia contributed to strengthening the election assessment capacity of AU EOMs.
EISA deployed a fully-fledged international EOM to the presidential and parliamentary elections in Tunisia that comprised 4 LTOs who were deployed as part of an integrated mission with The Carter Center, 16 STOs deployed to the voting phases of the first round of the presidential election and the parliamentary elections respectively, and a technical assessment team of six experts deployed to the voting phase of the runoff presidential election. The mission was led by Cassam Uteem, former president of Mauritius. The EISA EOM, in its overall assessment of the elections, commended Tunisians for the conduct of the elections, despite it being called earlier than expected and commended the electoral authorities for professional conduct of the process. The EOM issued three public statements of its interim assessment of the process.
A fully-fledged EISA EOM was deployed to observe the 15 October 2019 presidential, legislative and provincial elections in Mozambique. The mission was composed of 20 LTOs and 20 STOs who were supported by a core team of four experts. The LTOs were deployed from 26 August to 30 October 2019. The short-term component was deployed from 9 to 18 October 2019. The EISA EOMs was led by His Excellency, John Dramani Mahama, former president of Ghana. The EISA EOMs issued public statements to announce its deployment, to register its concern about the assassination of a citizen observer and to announce its preliminary assessment of the process. these statements are available on the EISA website https://www.eisa.org.za/epp-mozambique.php It's preliminary assessment of the elections concluded that the integrity of the process was compromised by key aspects of the process. The EPP team also provided support to the Mozambique office programme in its citizen observation work, specifically the parallel vote tabulation process.
The EISA EOMs commends Mozambique for upholding democratic norms through the conduct of regular elections and the country's commitment to sustainable peace. Cognisant of the fact that the process is yet to be completed, the EISA EOMs notes that election day procedures were carried out in a satisfactory manner. However, key aspects of the process such as the security challenges, the voter registration, the campaigns and selective accreditation of citizen observers compromised the integrity of the elections.
- EISA EOMs preliminary conclusion
EISA deployed pre-election assessment missions (PAMs) in Malawi (7 - 13 April 2019), Mauritania (29 April - 3 May 2019) and Mozambique (5 - 9 August 2019). The PAMs to Malawi and Mauritania were deployed as part of EISA's ongoing support to the African Union (AU) while the PAM to Mozambique was part of EISA's programme in Mozambique. Findings of the PAMs to Malawi and Mauritania were of significant value to the core teams of the AUEOM which did not have any prior knowledge of the electoral context of these countries. The PAMs strengthened the election assessment capacity of the AU.
14 Apr - 20 May 2019
With support from the German Embassy in South Africa, EISA deployed a short-term election observer mission to the 2019 National and Provincial Elections in South Africa from 14 April 2019 to 20 May 2019. The mission was led by Goodluck Jonathan, former president of Nigeria, deputised by Denis Kadima, EISA's Executive Director. The mission consisted of 34 international observers deployed to all provinces of South Africa. The EOM observed the final stages of the election campaign period, the election period and the immediate post-election period. EISA's methodology for data collection at polling station level for the study on patterns of electoral violence was piloted during the EISA EOM. The study is being implemented by the GIPP, team in partnership with the University of Michigan. Teams were deployed to pre-determined polling stations through random sampling. The random sampling of deployment improved the patterns of polling station coverage by EISA observers.
The EISA EOMs made the following concluding remarks in its Preliminary Statement:
Overall, the 2019 elections were conducted within a strong legal and institutional framework that guarantees democratic elections. The key players in the process conducted themselves in accordance with stipulated laws and guidelines. South Africa, through these elections, met its obligations to democratic elections, set out in the different international instruments to which it is party.
EISA deployed four Long-Term Observers (LTOs) to Tunisia ahead of the Presidential and Parliamentary elections scheduled for 15 September and 6 October 2019 respectively. The deployment of long terms observers is in partnership with The Carter Center (TCC). The EISA LTOs have been integrated into TCC's team of 12 LTOs since 18 July 2019. The partnership with TCC and the deployment of EISA LTOs was made possible with funding from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
The deployment of the LTOs contributes to EISA's overall support to the integrity of the electoral process in Tunisia. EISA will deploy short-term observers during the two voting phases of the elections. The EISA EOMs is led by Cassam Uteem, former president of Mauritius.
The first component of EISA's EOM deployed to observe the 2019 presidential, legislative and provincial elections in Mozambique arrived in the country on 31 August 2019. The mission consists of 20 Long-term observers (LTOs), who were deployed to the 11 provinces of Mozambique after three days of briefing and orientation. The LTOs will be on the ground until 30 October 2019. They will be joined by STOs and the mission leadership in October, during the voting phase. The EOM issued its arrival statement on 1 September 2019 to announce its presence to relevant stakeholders in Mozambique. Based on lessons learnt from its recent missions, a security expert is included in the core team supporting the LTOs in Maputo. As the mission is currently ongoing, feedback on the implementation of the mission and its preliminary conclusions will be provided in the next reporting period.
An EISA Election Observer Mission (EOM) was deployed to Nigeria from 6 February to 1 March 2019 to observe the 23 February 2019 general elections in Nigeria. The mission consisted of 16 Short Term Observers (STOs) deployed in teams of two to observe the electoral process in Abuja, Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Enugu, Ondo, Kanu, and Kwara. The EOM covered the final stages of the election campaign period, the election period and the immediate post-election periods.
The implementation of the EISA EOMs was impacted by the last-minute postponement of the elections. EISA had initially envisaged to deploy a technical team to the state elections on 2 March, but the budgetary implications of the postponement, the EOM's assessment was restricted to the national elections. The EOM made the following concluding remarks in its Preliminary Statement:
Cognisant of the fact the process is yet to be concluded, with the results collation for the presidential and national assembly elections still ongoing, the EISA EOMs refrains from making a conclusion at this point. The EISA EOMs commends Nigerians for their commitment and resilience and encourages them to remain peaceful throughout the final stages of the process.
EISA deployed pre-election assessment missions (PAMs) in Nigeria (6-12 January 2019), Senegal (14-10 Jan 2019; Report) and Guinea Bissau (4-8 February 2019). Findings of these PAMs informed the technical assessment and operational work of an EISA Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Nigeria's general elections and contributed to its technical support to EOof the African Union (AU) in Senegal and Guinea Bissau. Findings of the PAMs to Senegal and Guinea Bissau were of significant value to the technical teams of AU EOwhich did not have any prior knowledge of the electoral context of these countries. The PAMs strengthened the election assessment capacity of the AU.
25 Sep-16 Oct 2018
A medium term EISA Election Observer Mission (EOM) was deployed from 25 September 2018-16 October 2018, to observe the 10 October municipal elections in Mozambique. The mission consisted of 17 Medium Term Observers (MTO's) deployed in teams of two to observe the electoral process in Maputo, Quelimane, Beira, Gurue, Marromeu, Ilha de Mocambique and Angoche. The EOM covered the campaign period, the election period and the post-election periods, to build on the assessment of the EISA Technical Team that was deployed to observe the voter registration process. In its Preliminary Statement, the mission concluded that:
Mozambicans turned out on 10 October to perform their civic duty and the election administration institutions set in place effective structures smooth electoral operations. While the mission notes that there are gaps in the legal framework that impacted on the level playing field and inclusiveness of the process for all parties, it also notes that the framework allowed for a largely competitive process, where citizens were able to freely express their will at the ballot. However, the counting process was marred by irregularities and violence in some municipalities, and the intermediate results aggregation, whilst largely regular in most municipalities, are alleged to have discrepancies in at least four municipalities. The EISA EOMs urges all parties and institutions to remain calm and act within the confines of the law whilst awaiting the outcome of the results validation process.
3-11 Aug 2018
EISA partnered with The Carter Center (TCC) to deploy a joint pre-election assessment mission (PAM) in Madagascar from 3 to 11 August 2018. The joint PAM sought to achieve three key objectives: to fundraise for the deployment of a joint international election observation mission (EOM), to inform EISA's technical support to international EOin Madagascar, including the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and to enable EISA to further contribute to increased knowledge on the electoral environment in Madagascar. Unfortunately, funding was not secured to deploy an EISA/TCC EOM.
EISA, in partnership with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, funded by DFID, is undertaking an assessment of the electronic voting machines (EVMs) scheduled to be used in the forthcoming December 2018 presidential and parliamentary elections in the DRC and to engage with the CENI regarding the findings. EISA has contracted an expert to assist with the assessment. An initial assessment was conducted in May 2018 and a further assessment will be conducted in June and July. EISA has received extremely favourable feedback regarding its support to date. The EVare widely seen as a tool by President Kabila and the CENI to steal the elections and allow a very unpopular president to win the elections. EISA is very mindful of the sensitive nature of the project and its polarising effect on the country and is therefore very cautious.
18-22 Jun 2018
An EISA pre-election assessment mission (PAM) was deployed to Zimbabwe from 18 to 22 June 2018. The outcome of the pre-election assessment will inform EISA's technical support to international EOin Zimbabwe such as the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Furthermore, the pre-election assessment will contribute to EISA's documentation and dissemination of knowledge on electoral processes on the continent.
Mar & May 2018
EPP supported the EISA Mozambique office in the deployment of an EISA Technical Assessment Mission (TAM) to observe the voter registration and the public inspection of the provisional voter's roll in Mozambique. The mission was deployed in two phases from 14 to 25 March 2018 to assess and document the beginning of the voter registration period; and from 13 to 22 May 2018 to assess the end of the voter registration and the period of inspection of the provisional voter's roll.
In its assessment, the TAM noted that the majority of the centres observed opened at the scheduled time. Late opening of the other centres was due to the equipment. Queues were observed at most stations during the visits of EISA teams. The daily working hours of registration centres were extended towards the end of the process to accommodate last minute rush especially in urban areas. Despite the observed interruptions that were caused by the breakdown of registration equipment, the voter registration process was largely smooth and conducted within a peaceful environment. The mission noted a number of issues in its Report such as:
The mission enabled EISA to strengthen its methodology for assessing specific thematic electoral issues. The mission also provided an opportunity to interrogate the value of the use of biometric registration in the country.
See Assessment statements and reports.
21 Mar - 3 Apr 2018
Following the deployment of an EISA election observation mission to the general elections in Sierra Leone that were held in February 2018, EISA deployed a TAM from 21 March to 3 April 2018 to assess the runoff presidential election held on 31 March 2018. The TAM was led by Dr Goodluck Jonathan, former Nigerian President, with Ilona Tip, EISA's Operations Director as the Deputy Mission Leader. The TAM comprised four election experts who were part of the EOM during the first round.
Due to the limited election day coverage of the TAM, a public statement was not issued. The leadership of the EISA TAM however played a key role in the efforts of international EOMs to mediate the conflict between the two contending parties and the NEC. The TAM noted that the political context of the runoff election was tenser than the first round of the elections. The conflict on procedures for results tabulation and announcement placed the NEC in a difficult position that was resolved after interventions by the African leaders who were present in the country.
26 Feb - 11 Mar 2018
An EISA EOM, led by Dr Goodluck Jonathan, former Nigerian president, was deployed was deployed from 26 February to 11 March to the elections in Sierra Leone held on 7 March 2018; it comprised observers.
See also Sierra Leone: Observation reports and statements.
During the year under review the EPP department co-ordinated the deployment of Pre-Election Assessment Missions to Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone and The Gambia. An EISA Needs Assessment Mission (NAM) was deployed to Mali.
EISA deployed election observation missions to the snap elections held on 3 June 2017 in Lesotho, led by former President of Zambia Rupiah Banda, and to the first round of the general elections in Liberia, held on 10 October 2017, led by former Prime Minister of Senegal Dr Aminata Touré. An EISA technical assessment mission (TAM) followed to assess the run-off presidential election held on 26 December 2017 in Liberia.
EISA deployed a Technical Assessment Mission (TAM) to the Liberian presidential run-off elections, held on 26 December 2017. The mission was comprised of three STO's that were a part of the EISA EOMs deployed in the first round. Through direct engagement with electoral stakeholders and the observation of Election Day proceedings the team was able to provide findings and recommendations that will assist the EISA EOMs in finalising its final report.
The TAM noted that the protracted legal cases following the announcement of results of the first round as well as the fact that Election Day occurred during the holiday season, could have impacted on voter turnout that was significantly lower. Voter turnout decreased by 19.4% in comparison to the turnout in the first round. The credibility of the voter's roll was the main source of contention and this impacted negatively on the NEC's overall credibility.
19-24 Nov 2017
An EISA PAM was deployed to Sierra Leone from 19 to 24 November 2017. Findings of the PAM (see Pre-Election Assessment Report, 19-24 Nov 2017) informed the deployment of an EISA Election Observation Mission (EOM) and contributes to its technical support to other International EOin Sierra Leone. Furthermore, the pre-election assessment will contribute to increasing EISA's knowledge on the electoral process in Sierra Leone and strengthen the election assessment capacity of the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
As part of its contribution to the conduct of credible electoral processes through recommendations for future reforms, EISA deployed an EOM to the 10 October 2017 presidential and representatives' elections in Liberia. The mission was comprised of 14 experienced observers representing civil society and election management bodies from 12 African countries. It was led by Dr Aminata Touré, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Senegal, who was supported by Denis Kadima as the Deputy Mission Leader. Due to budgetary constraints EISA's methodology was limited to short term observation.
Drawing on lessons learnt from the recent events in Kenya and the Supreme Court's annulment of the elections, the preliminary statements of international election observation missions were worded very carefully leaving no room for interpretation. The EISA EOMs in its Preliminary Statement released on 12 October stated that:
...the process thus far has been peaceful and largely conducted in a transparent manner, allowing Liberian voters to freely express their will. Furthermore, the EISA mission is of the opinion that this phase of the electoral process has been largely in conformity with the laws of Liberia and with international, continental and sub-regional standards for credible elections.
Despite the satisfactory assessment of the 10 October election in Liberia, On November 1 2017, the Liberian Supreme Court halted the runoff election until a petition by the candidate who came in at third place (receiving 9.6% of the vote) in the first round was fully addressed. EISA was set to deploy a Technical Assessment Mission comprised of four experts to observe the runoff election, the mission has been put it on hold pending the Supreme Court's decision.
11-15 Sep 2017
An EISA PAM was deployed to Liberia from 11 to 15 September 2017 (see Report. The PAM provided requisite background information to the EISA Election Observation Mission (EOM) and other International EOthat were supported by EISA in Liberia. EISA experts attached to the AUEOM were in a better position to make technical inputs to the AUEOM's preliminary assessment of the election, drawing on the findings of the EISA PAMs.
An EISA EOMs was deployed to the 3 June 2017 elections in Lesotho (Report). The mission was comprised of 19 short term observers drawn from civil society organisations and electoral commissions from eleven African countries and led by Rupiah Banda, former President of Zambia, who assisted by Denis Kadima as the Deputy Mission Leader. The mission presented its preliminary findings, conclusions and recommendations at a joint press conference held in Maseru on 5 June 2017. The EOM noted the prevailing disagreements between former coalition members and the fragile security situation which arose as a result of the politicisation of national security forces remains a source of concern for future stability in the country. The EISA EOM Preliminary statement conclusion was that:
...the process has been so far generally peaceful, and conducted in a professional and transparent manner, which allowed Basotho voters to express their will freely within a challenging and tension-filled political environment. Furthermore, the EISA Mission is of the opinion that the electoral process generally conformed to the laws of Lesotho and international, continental and sub-regional standards for credible elections. EISA will continue to observe the process until the tabulation and announcement of results are concluded, before making a final assessment.
The deployment of its EOM in Lesotho enabled EISA to further contribute to the improvement of the electoral process in these countries through recommendations for future constitutional, legal and institutional reforms.
Four EISA PAMs were deployed namely to: Lesotho (26-30 Mar 2017; Report), Senegal (5-9 June 2017) and Rwanda and Kenya (simultaneously from 26 to 30 June 2017). Findings of the EISA PAMs continue to contribute to its support to the AU and RECs in their assessment of elections.
19-25 Feb 2017
EISA deployed a pre-election assessment mission (PAM) to The Gambia from 19-25 February 2017. The outcome of EISA's pre-election assessment in the Gambia will provide critical knowledge and technical insights to the AUEOM, considering that the continental body did not dispatch a fully-fledged mission during the 2016 presidential election in the Gambia.
Jul & Sep 2016
EISA deployed a PAM to Cape Verde (22-26 Feb 2016; Report), Gabon (16-23 July 2016; Report) and Ghana (26-30 September 2016; Report). EISA PAMs continue to be a valuable reference resource of context specific information and technical analysis for EISA technical teams deployed to support the AU and RECs. These reports are also a source of relevant knowledge and technical insights to other international observer missions. Based on their context specific knowledge, EISA teams have been requested to prepare technical briefing notes for the leadership of the Department of Political Affairs of the AU for informed decision-making.
EISA deployed its sixth EOM to South Africa for the country's 3 August 2016 municipal elections (Report).
In South Africa, the deployment of an EISA EOMs was the sixth in a series of EISA EOMs since the 1999 National Assembly and provincial Elections. The EISA EOMs was the only international EOM hurriedly deployed to the elections after securing last minute funding from USAID. It was led by Denis Kadima, Executive Director, it comprised of 14 short term observers drawn from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from Southern Africa given the short timeline which did not allow to observers from beyond the sub-region to apply for the South African visa. The Mission presented its preliminary findings, conclusions and recommendations at a press conference in Pretoria on 4 August 2016 on the basis of observations during the special voting that was conducted on 1 and 2 August 2016 and on Election Day.
The EOM made the following Preliminary Statement conclusion on the historic municipal elections:
The 2016 local government elections are a milestone in the democratic consolidation of South Africa. The EISA Election Observation Mission concludes that the 2016 Local Government Elections were conducted in a transparent, fair and credible manner in line with the constitutional and legal framework of elections as well as regional and international electoral standards. The Mission urges all stakeholders to pursue values of political tolerance and to strongly castigate the surging malpractice of alleged political assassinations.
The EISA EOMs deployed to the 11 August 2016 general elections in Zambia was the fifth in a series of EISA EOMs deployed since the 2006 tripartite elections. The mission was composed of 10 short term observers drawn from civil society organisations and electoral commissions across the African continent. It was led by Cassam Uteem, former President of Mauritius, who was assisted by Denis Kadima as the Deputy Head of Mission. In its preliminary statement (see 2016 Zambian general elections and referendum: EISA EOM statements), the Mission presented its preliminary findings, conclusions and recommendations at a press conference in Lusaka on 13 August 2016 on the basis of observations made on Election Day. The EOM noted the competitiveness of the elections and the challenges associated with conducting a referendum alongside general elections. The EOM's Preliminary Statement conclusion on the process was:
... so far the elections were conducted in a context of open competition, where Zambians were given the opportunity to express their will freely, in a generally peaceful atmosphere, albeit on an unlevelled playing field. Election day procedures were technically satisfactory and in line with the laws of Zambia and international, continental and sub-regional standards for credible elections. EISA will continue to observe the process until the tabulation and announcement of results is concluded and any petitions determined, before making a final assessment of the process.
EISA EOMs provided the Institute and civil society representatives an opportunity to further improve on the use of technology in election observation. The deployment of its EOin South Africa and Zambia enabled EISA to further contribute to the improvement of the electoral process in these countries through recommendations for future legal and electoral reforms.
EISA PAMs were deployed in Equatorial Guinea and São Tomé and Prìncipe and a NAM in Nigeria. EISA PAMs continue to be a valuable reference resource of context specific information and technical analysis for EISA technical teams deployed to support the AU and RECs as well as being a source of relevant knowledge and technical insights to other international observer missions. Based on their context specific knowledge, EISA teams have been requested to prepare technical briefing notes for the leadership of the Department of Political Affairs of the AU for informed decision-making.
The deployment of the EISA EOM to Uganda was the second in a series of EISA election assessment initiatives in the country (Report). During the 2011 general elections, EISA deployed a technical assessment mission to document and assess the process. The EOM to the 2016 elections was comprised of 42 observers including 12 long term observers. The EOM was led by His Excellency Rupiah Banda, former President of Zambia. The EOM in its Preliminary Statement conclusion on the elections stated that:
... the elections were largely peaceful but with shortcomings. These shortcomings were inconsistent with the requirements stipulated in the legal framework for elections in Uganda and continental and international principles and obligations for democratic elections; thus undermining essential aspects of electoral integrity.
The EPP department co-ordinated the deployment of ten PAMs and three EISA EOMs. The EOMs contributed to peer learning and dissemination of international good practices by providing opportunities for exchanges among its observers, who were drawn from civil society organisations and election management bodies across the continent. It also drew up a set of recommendations aimed at enhancing the electoral process through reforms.
The department contributed to further development and refinement of EISA's election observation methodology. In this regard, the EPP team worked with the information technology (IT) team to finalise the development of EISA's election data management system called Popola system. The system, which was piloted in four elections held in the final quarter of the year, has further strengthened EISA's election observation methodology by providing a platform for the timely creation of observer checklists, data collection and analysis for more factual reporting. The system has also proved to be user-friendly and cost-effective as all EISA EOM staff are able to collate data and are not entirely reliant on IT consultants.
EISA deployed PAMs to Burundi (22-26 Mar; Report), Chad (30 Mar - 4 Apr 2015; Report), Namibia (Apr; Electronic Voting Report), Burkina Faso (31 Aug - 5 Sep; Report), Uganda (Nov; Report) Niger (6-11 Dec; Report). PAMs were also sent to Benin, Egypt, Guinea Conakry, Sudan, Tanzania and Togo, Central African Republic, Comoros, Côte d'Ivoire, Seychelles and the Republic of Congo.
The missions to Burkina Faso, Togo and Benin had a twin objectives of a PAM and a Needs Assessment Mission (NAM) where EISA also took the opportunity to identify potential areas of work based on identified prospects where EISA has not had any direct engagements with national electoral and political processes. Outcomes of the assessments will inform EISA EOMs and EISA's advisory and technical support to AUEOMs and EOMs of RECs at the time of their deployment.
EISA PAMs Pre-election assessments conducted continue to be a crucial source of technical analysis and context specific information for EISA technical teams deployed to support the AU and RECs. Furthermore, these reports are useful to other international observer missions. Based on the context specific knowledge of EISA teams, they have been requested to prepare technical briefing notes for the leadership of the Department of Political Affairs for informed decision-making. These services, which often go beyond the remit of the "officially" recognised roles attributed to EISA, continue to demonstrate the unique place that the Institute occupies continent-wide.
The deployment of EISA EOM to the 2015 parliamentary elections in Egypt was the sixth in a series of EISA election assessment initiatives in Egypt (see Egypt: Election witnessing reports and statements). Though EISA did not deploy a mission to the 2014 presidential elections, its decision to deploy an EOM to the parliamentary elections was informed by considerations that parliamentary elections will provide a platform for wider competition as opposed to the 2014 presidential "one-horse race".
The mission comprised ten long-term observers and 24 short term observers drawn from civil society organisations and electoral commissions across the African continent. During the first phase of the elections, the EOM was led by Sheikh Abdul Karimo Sau, the Chairperson of National Electoral Commission of Mozambique. His Excellency, Honourable Cassam Uteem, former President of the Republic of Mauritius led the second phase of the EOM.
Marked by a low turnout, the EISA EOM in its Final Report noted that this as unusual in young democracies and called on all the role-players in Egypt to reflect, analyse and address the underlying causes of the low voter turnout the legitimacy of the electoral outcome and that of future elections. The EOM also noted the fact that the elections took place within a deeply divided context characterised by widespread arrests and intimidation, it therefore highlighted the need for national reconciliation.
The EISA EOM deployed to the parliamentary elections held on 28 February 2015 in Lesotho was the third since the 1998 National Assembly elections (see Lesotho: Election observation reports and statements). The EOM, which comprised 18 shortterm observers, was led by Advocate Pansy Tlakula, Commissioner of the African Commission on Human and People's Rights (ACHPR) and former chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of South Africa.
The EISA EOM (see Preliminary Statement, 2 March 2015) noted that the factors that fuelled the political crisis that necessitated the snap elections needed to be adequately addressed through political dialogue and constitutional reforms and made a series of recommendations. While the recommendations are yet to be implemented, it is important to note that political dialogue facilitated by SADC has continued in the country. The case of Lesotho highlights the importance of a holistic approach to democratic governance because the crisis in the country requires political reforms that extend beyond elections.
The EISA EOM to the presidential by-election in Zambia held on 20 January 2015 was the fourth in a series of EISA EOMs to Zambia since the 2006 tripartite elections (see Zambia: Election observation reports and statements. The short-term EOM was led by Cassam Uteem, former president of Mauritius. It comprised 14 observers who were deployed in teams to five provinces.
In its Final Report the mission made several recommendations, among them the need to introduce the joint election of the president and vice-president as running mates on a single ticket; a revision of the electoral system to introduce a requirement that the president be elected by an absolute majority; an extension of the period between the announcement of results and the presidential inauguration to allow for the resolution of electoral complaints and appeals before the inauguration. The key outcome of the deployment of this mission was the legal and constitutional reforms initiated after the elections that led to the implementation of these recommendations.
The EPP team co-ordinated the deployment of EISA's continental election observer missions (EOMs) to the January 2014 referendum in Egypt and the October 2014 presidential and parliamentary elections in Mozambique. Through these observer missions, EISA contributed to the transparency and integrity of the electoral processes. The EISA EOMs also served as platforms for peer learning among civil society groups and Election Management Bodies drawn from across the continent. The use of computer tablets enabled the EOto collect and analyse data in a more efficient and timely manner. The recommendations made by these EOcontributed to amendments to electoral legislation.
EISA deployed PAMs to Guinea-Bissau (Mar; Report), Malawi (May 2014; Report), Mozambique (11-15 Aug 2014; Report), Namibia (0-14 Nov; Report), Mauritius (23-29 Nov; Report), Zambia (1-5 Dec 2014; Report) and Lesotho (8-12 Dec 2014; Report). Outcomes of the assessments will inform EISA EOMs and EISA's advisory and technical support to AUEOMs and EOMs of RECs at the time of their deployment.
The EISA EOMs to the 2014 Egyptian constitutional referendum was the fifth in a series of EISA election assessment initiatives in Egypt. EISA deployed EOto the 2011-2012 parliamentary elections, the 2012 presidential elections and the 2012 referendum in Egypt. A team of seven long term observers (LTOs) and 10 short term witnesses (STWs) were deployed to seven governorates across the country on voting days. The EISA EOMs was led by Cassam Uteem, former President of Mauritius.
In its Preliminary Statement on the referendum, the EISA EOMs noted that the referendum took place within the context of restricted individual rights and freedoms. It therefore called on the interim government to undertake re conciliatory initiatives ahead of the presidential elections.
EPP conducted a seminar on 25 September 2014 at EISAs head office in Johannesburg to analyse the state of play in the 15 October 2014 general elections in Mozambique. Participants for the seminar were drawn from the academia, media, civil society organisations, and the diplomatic corps. The seminar was led by EISA-Mozambique Country Director Miguel de Brito and was conducted under the "Chattam House rules".
Some of the questions framing the current thinking and debate around the electoral process and the future of democracy in Mozambique resulting from those anxieties and uncertainties were considered, including inter alia the stability of the Government-RENAMO political-military arrangements, opposition acceptance of the outcome, the impact of the rise of the MDM on RENAMO, the efficacy and efficiency of a politicised Independent Electoral Commission as well as the possibilities of a presidential runoff and a hung Parliament.
EISA deployed an Integrated Election Observation Mission in partnership with The Carter Center (TCC) to the 15 October 2014 Presidential, Legislative and Provincial Assembly elections in Mozambique (Report). The Mission comprised a team of 23 EISA long-term, who were later joined by a contingent of 64 Short Term Observers (STOs) drawn from EISA and TCC, to constitute a fully-fledged mission comprising 87 observers drawn from over 40 countries worldwide. Within the framework of the integrated EOM, both organisations adopted the same methodology and issued separate final assessments of the elections. The EISA EOMs was led by the Right Honourable Raila Odinga, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya and the TCC EOM was led by Professor John Stremlau, Vice President of Peace Programmes at The Carter Center. The Integrated EOM received extensive coverage in local and international media. The recommendations made by the EOM provided the basis for post-election reviews and on-going discussions on electoral reforms.
EISA's technical assessment missions are comprised of election experts mostly drawn from EISA staff for the primary purpose of documenting critical electoral processes in countries where it is not deploying fully-fledged missions that can effectively cover election day processes.
As part of its election documentation initiatives, EISA introduced the conduct of Pre-election Assessment Missions (PAMs) in 2012. EISA continued to draw from this best practice by deploying PAMs in 2013 to the following six countries: Cameroon, Kenya, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Conakry, Tunisia and Rwanda. These reports serve as a valuable resource for EISA's technical support to EOMs deployed by the AU and RECs. They also contribute to EISA's knowledge-generation initiatives.
EISA deployed a three-member Technical Assessment Missions to the 4 March 2013 general elections in Kenya and the first round presidential election in Mali held on 28 July 2013. In Kenya, the EISA team was in the country from 25 February to 7 March 2013 consulting with stakeholders and observing election day processes. In Mali, the EISA team was in the country from 22 to 30 July 2013 conducting similar activities. The TAprovide useful pre-election background information that is shared with the AU missions as well as the broader public through our website.
While it is not standard practice for EISA to observe municipal or local elections, at the request of donors and national stakeholders in Mozambique, EISA deployed a six member technical assessment mission to the 20 November 2013 municipal elections to these elections (Report). During 12 days of observation, the EISA Technical Team consulted stakeholders and observed the final stages of the campaigns and election day in seven municipalities in northern, central and southern Mozambique: Moçimboa da Praia, Pemba, Nacala, Ilha de Moçambique, Quelimane, Beira and Maputo City. One team member observed the postponed election in Nampula on 1 December 2013. The deployment of this mission set the ground for deployment of an EISA EOMs to the national and provincial elections that will take place in 2014.
Fully-fledged EISA EOMs were deployed to the 25 October 2013 presidential election and the 20 December 2013 parliamentary and run-off presidential elections in Madagascar (Combined Report). These missions were led by Cassam Uteem, former President of the Republic of Mauritius and Denis Kadima, EISA Executive Director as the deputy mission leader. The EOM to the 20 December elections was deployed in partnership with The Carter Center as an Integrated Election Observation Mission (IEOM).
Within the framework of the integrated mission, EISA deployed short term observers and TCC deployed medium term observers. Both organisations retained their identities and adopted a harmonised election observation methodology. The harmonised methodology included a joint orientation of observers, joint leadership meetings, deployment of observers and use of the same observer checklists. Both organisations released separate assessments of the elections. The TCC mission was led by Professor John Stremlau, Vice President of the Peace Programme at TCC. The deployment of an IEOM to Madagascar was the second of the kind following the deployment of integrated EISA and TCC observer missions in Liberia in 2011. With a joint mission approach EISA was able to extend its observation covering a wider outreach and to share the lessons learned. The EISA mission attracted wide media coverage.
In the year 2012, EISA deployed its own Election Observation Missions (EOMs) to the presidential and parliamentary elections in Egypt, the parliamentary elections in Lesotho and the general elections in Ghana. EISA Technical Assessment Missions were deployed to the different phases of the presidential and parliamentary elections in Senegal and the constitutional referendum in Egypt. To further improve on the use of the tablets for observation, the EPP department worked with the EISA Information Communications and Technology team to develop a standardised template for observer checklists to ensure that standardised data is generated from each election to enable EISA to present comparative data on elections on the continent over a period of time. The use of the tablets improved the efficiency and co-ordination of the Missions which were able to release a preliminary assessment of these elections ahead of other international observer Missions.
In its efforts to contribute to the overall assessment of electoral processes and to improve the support provided to its partners, EISA introduced the conduct of Pre-Election Assessment Missions (PAMs) to countries where it either deploys a Mission or provides technical assistance to its partners. These Missions were deployed to Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso and Ghana and provided these Missions provided an opportunity to assess the level of preparedness for the elections and to make preliminary arrangements for the deployment of a Mission. The reports of the PAM provided relevant preliminary information for the work of the EISA Missions and Technical Support Teams later deployed in the country. The reports were also shared with relevant partners.
EISA's work in Egypt started with the deployment of a long and short term observation mission to the Shura Council (Report) and to the People's Assembly (Report) elections. The first quarter of the year was dedicated to the completion of this Mission which ended in February.
EISA deployed 33 long and short term observers to the first and second round Egyptian Presidential elections from May to June 2012, led by Cassam Uteem, former President of Mauritius. It received extensive media coverage with the Mission Leader, the Deputy Mission Leader, Denis Kadima and other senior EISA staff giving radio and television interviews to local and international media. The Mission Leader also met high level officials and other Heads of Observer Mission. A more detailed report is contained in the Egypt Field Office report.
EISA deployed a Technical Assessment Mission to witness the constitutional referendum that took place on 15 and 22 December 2012 in the Arab Republic of Egypt. The Mission was led by Ilona Tip, EISA's Operations Director. It is important to mention that the Mission was deployed within a context of political tensions and uncertainty characterised by sporadic public protests that turned out violent in some cases. Within this context, the short notice for the referendum and the challenges experienced with the accreditation of observers, EISA deployed a Technical Assessment Mission instead of a fully-fledged observer mission. The decision to deploy a Mission amidst the controversies and uncertainties surrounding the referendum was based on EISA's commitment to the development of Egypt's electoral democracy and the need to build on its documentation of the transition process.
An EISA observer mission led by Rupiah Banda, former President of the Republic of Zambia was deployed to the 26 May 2012 National Assembly elections in Lesotho (Report). The Mission hosted Electoral Commissioners from the East African Community (EAC) under the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding between EISA and the EAC.
The EISA mission played a significant role in facilitating the adoption and release of a joint appeal by 4 international election observer missions that were present in Lesotho, namely, those of the AU, the SADC, the Commonwealth, and EISA.
EISA deployed an EOM to the 7 December 2012 Presidential and Parliamentary elections in Ghana. The mission was led by Ahmed Issack Hassan, Chairperson of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission of Kenya., The involvement of the Chair of the Kenyan EMB along with two of the Commissioners from the Kenyan Commission in the Ghanaian elections provided a lesson learning opportunity for the Kenyans as they were preparing to adopt the use of similar technology for the verification and identification of voters in the 2013 elections in Kenya.
EISA deployed Technical Assessment Missions to the two phases of the historic presidential elections (Report) and the parliamentary elections in Senegal. The successive missions were led by Vincent Tohbi, EISA's Programmes Director.
During 2011 EPP coordinated the deployment of continental election observer missions (EOMs) to Central African Republic (Report), Egypt (Report), Liberia (Report) and Zambia (Report). Technical evaluation missions were sent to Seychelles (Report) and Uganda (Report).
These missions provided an opportunity for EISA to contribute to the transparency and integrity of the electoral processes as well as serve as avenues for peer learning. The latter was particularly crucial for long and short-term observers drawn from Tunisia who were able to acquire knowledge and skills in election observation through participating in EISA's observer mission to the Egyptian parliamentary elections which started in November 2011.
The EISA EOMs to Zambia was an important learning experience for EISA as a whole, as the institute piloted the use of computer tablets in election observation. Twelve observers were deployed in teams of two and each team was equipped with a computer tablet for the purpose of collection and transmission of election day observations. Using the Open Data Kit (ODK) software, the observer checklists were uploaded on the tablets and observers were able to fill out the forms electronically using the hard copy of the checklists as back up.
At the end of the mission, the tablets were returned to the headquarters and the data was retrieved for collation and analysis. This mission was, however, the pilot phase. During the EOM to Liberia, EISA further improved the ODK system.
EISA deployed a technical assessment team to the August 2011 referendum in Liberia. Thereafter, EISA deployed an integrated EOM with The Carter Centre to the two rounds of the presidential elections in October and November 2011. EISA shared technology and methodology with The Carter Centre using the ODK software on android phones. The integrated EISA/TCC missions enabled observers to have better coverage of the country and, using the ODK system, observations were transmitted in real time to the mission headquarters which in turn meant that both missions could release their findings almost immediately at the close of polling.
As part of its initiatives to establish its work in the North African region, EISA deployed a long term mission to the People's Assembly and Shura Council elections that began in November 2011. EISA also established a short term office in Egypt to coordinate the activities of the mission and establish EISA's presence in the country. The mission consisted of long term observers and short term observers during each phase of the elections. The Egyptian elections opened up opportunities for EISA to forge partnerships in the North African region.
EISA gained established contacts with the National Constituent Assembly (transitional) and CSOs in Tunisia. These CSOs were invited to participate in the EISA missions to Zambia and Egypt as part of EISA's peer learning initiatives in its missions.
The department coordinated the deployment of EISA continental election observer and technical missions to Guinea (Report), Mauritius (Report) and Zanzibar (Report). These missions were a combination of technical support to domestic observer groups in the host countries as well as the deployment of EISA continental election observer missions.
The missions provided an opportunity for EISA to collect information on the conduct of the electoral processes in the three countries and to contribute to peer learning and support.
EISA participated in the Carter Centre observer missions to the National Elections in Sudan which were held over six days from 11 to 16 April 2010, as well as the Carter Centre Mission to the National and Local Elections in the Philippines in May 2010. This was an opportunity for the two partner organisations to share their experiences in election observation management and deployment.
The main purpose of the EISA 's team to the Philippines election was to assess the automated voting technology which was used for the first time in these elections. EISA used this opportunity to include a study tour with the aim of enhancing EISA 's expertise in the area of automated election systems, an important aspect of EISA 's work with EMBs and other key electoral stakeholders on the continent, as well as the enhancement of its internal capacity through the use of automated voting in the Balloting and Electoral Services.
In 2009, the department coordinated the deployment of election observer and technical assessment missions to South Africa (Report), Malawi (Report), Mozambique (Report), Botswana (Report) and Namibia (Report).
EISA also participated in The Carter Center observation mission of the voter registration process in Côte d'Ivoire and the observation mission to the Sudan elections.
All these missions provided an opportunity for EISA to collect information on the conduct of the electoral processes in the four countries and also to contribute to peer learning and support. These missions were a mixture of technical support to domestic observer groups in the host countries as well as the deployment of partially or fully-fledged EISA election observer missions. In total, 71 observers were deployed in the five observer missions, coming from Angola, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, DRC, Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Tanzania. Observers from EISA's partner organisations in Belgium, Sweden and Thailand joined some of the EISA missions for peer learning purpose.
In 2008, the department coordinated the deployment of election observer missions to Zimbabwe (Report), Angola (Report), Swaziland (EOM Report), Zambia (Report:) and Ghana. These missions provided an opportunity for EISA to make an assessment of the conduct of electoral processes in the five countries, document these elections and also contribute to peer learning and support. These missions were a mixture of technical support to domestic observer groups in the host countries as well as the deployment of fully-fledged EISA election observer missions.
In 2007, the department coordinated the deployment of election observer missions to Lesotho (Report,) and Madagascar (Report). Both these missions provided an opportunity for EISA to collect information on the conduct of the electoral processes in the two countries and also to contribute to peer learning and support. Given the charged pre-election environment in Lesotho, EISA approached Sir Ketumile Masire, EISA's patron and former President of Botswana, to lead the mission. Sir Masire was subsequently appointed by SADC to mediate between the Basotho parties to resolve the post-election crisis in the Kingdom.
One of the main activities of the EPP department was the coordination of regional observation missions to three elections and one constitutional referendum. EPP coordinated four regional observation missions. The size of the missions deployed in 2005 ranged from nine observers in Zanzibar (Report) to 24 on the Tanzanian mainland ( Report). The organisational efficiency and the systematic and professional use of PEMMO in assessing the elections led to very successful observer missions. The high media profile is a tribute to the success of these missions.
EPP is pleased to note that public awareness around the principles is starting to pay off. The amount of press coverage EISA received attests to the fact that PEMMO has enjoyed a high media profile in the last two years. The level of awareness of the PEMMO in the region has clearly been enhanced. PEMMO has become a core reference document in election management, monitoring and observation in the region.
One of the main milestones of the EPP department has been in the area of election observation. Over the period under review, EPP coordinated the fielding of five EISA regional election observation missions. The quality of EISA election observation has improved, in terms of organisation and logistical arrangement as well as methodology and professional outlook. The average size of the mission deployed in 2004 was 32 members; the smallest delegation was to Botswana (Report) with 22 members and the largest was to South Africa (Report), with 40 observers.
Apart from organisational efficiency, EISA missions were qualitatively boosted by two additional factors: on the one hand, EISA missions witnessed a methodological improvement as a result of the systematic use of PEMMO in assessing electoral processes; and, on the other hand, the visibility of EISA missions was enhanced by the prominence of their leadership. High-profile personalities, such as Sir Ketumile Masire (former President of Botswana), Nthloi Motsamai (Speaker of the National Assembly of Lesotho) and Dr Brigalia Bam (Chairperson of the South Africa IEC) led the missions to Malawi (Report), Botswana and Mozambique (Report) respectively. A observation mission was also deployed to Namibia (Report).
A fact finding mission was deployed to the Swaziland general election that sought to observe the election and the environment within which it took place. The seven member mission comprised of two members of the Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network and five EISA staff members.