EU deploys Election Observation Mission to Tanzania
In response to an invitation by the Tanzanian authorities, the European Union has deployed an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Tanzania to observe the Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Council elections which are scheduled for 25 October. Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, appointed as Chief Observer Judith Sargentini, Member of the European Parliament. The High Representative stated: "For more than a decade, the EU has been committed to accompany credible, transparent and peaceful elections in Tanzania. I trust that the forthcoming elections will contribute to further consolide Tanzanian's democracy. Under the leadership of Chief Observer Sargentini, I am confident that the EU EOM will make an important contribution to this electoral process". The Chief Observer, Judith Sargentini, declared: "I am honoured to lead the EU EOM to Tanzania. The forthcoming general elections will be a key moment in the country's development and hopefully an example for the region at large." The upcoming elections are taking place both in Tanzania mainland and in Zanzibar, following also from the Union structure of the country. The EU has already closely followed the early stages of the electoral process and deployed an EU Election Expert Mission from early May until the end of July to assess the Biometric Voter Registration and the wider electoral framework. This is the fourth time that the European Union is observing elections in Tanzania (previously in 2010, 2005 and 2000), which reflects the EU's long-term commitment to supporting credible, transparent and inclusive elections in the country. Backgorund The EOM Core Team of eight EU election analysts arrived in Tanzania on 11 September and will stay in the country until the completion of the election process. They will be joined by 34 long-term observers on 24 Septemberand 60 short-term observers on 18 October and be deployed across the country. A delegation of the European Parliament and Tanzania-based diplomats from EU Member States will reinforce the mission on election day. The EU EOM will liaise with other international observation missions such as those deployed by the African Union, SADC, EAC or Commonwealth. The EOM will issue a Preliminary Statement 48 hours after election day, and a Final Report with recommendations at a later stage. The deployment of an EOM aims to contribute at enhancing the transparency of the process and the respect for fundamental freedoms. The EU has supported African efforts to reinforce the democratisation process across the continent. Since 2007, around 40 election observation missions have been deployed by the EU in Africa.