AU to deploy poll observation missions in 3 countries

ADDIS ABABA (AA) – The African Union (AU) said it will deploy election observation missions to the elections to be held in Mozambique, Tunisia as well as Sao Tome and Principe.

In a statement, the pan-African body said the mission to Mozambique’s general elections, due on October 15, will comprise of 35 short-term observers from 24 AU member states.

“The AU observers will arrive in Mozambique on October 8 and will be deployed throughout the country to follow the electoral process and to meet with government and electoral officials, candidates and political parties, civil society representatives and media,” according to an AU statement release late Monday.

The mission would be led by former President of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights Sophia Akuffo, it noted.

The AU will also deploy an 11-member long-term election observation mission to Tunisia as of October 1 to witness the scheduled parliamentary and presidential elections in October and November, the statement said.

“The mission will be deployed in teams to cover different locations in Tunisia and will observe various aspects of the electoral process, including voter education, campaign activities of political parties and candidates, training of election staff, media coverage, preparations for polling, as well as complaints and appeals process,” the statement said.

Earlier, the AU approved the deployment of a similar mission to observe the October 12 parliamentary and local elections in Sao Tome and Principe. The mission will be deployed in the tiny island nation from October 5 to 19.

The 25-member mission will be headed by former Angolan prime minister Fernando José de Franca Dias Van-Dunem.

The missions have mandate to observe and report on the election processes to be held in the three countries, the release said.

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