Mauritius is ready for democratic elections – SEOM

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Sharon Kavhu

Windhoek The SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM)’s pre-elections report on Mauritius shows that the country is ready for democratic elections as stipulated by the SADC principles and guidelines governing democratic elections.

In a statement, Head of SEOM, Zimbabwean Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Sibusiso Moyo, said Mauritius is prepared to hold it’s National Assembly elections on November 7, 2019.

“In assessing the level of preparedness for the country to hold the elections, the SEAC mission to the Republic of Mauritius noted, among other issues, that the Office of the Electoral Commissioner achieved the following: (a) registered 941,719 (nine hundred and forty-one thousand, seven hundred and nineteen) being 79% of the total population of eligible voters; (b) delivered voter education mainly through Information Communication Technology (ICT) portals; (c) established a total of 332 polling stations on the main island of Mauritius and on the island of Rodrigues; and (d) subsequent to the SEAC mission, the registration of a record 817 candidates contesting in the 21 constituencies of the country, which constitute all the 62 National Assembly seats. An additional 8 seats are allocated to political parties who would have stood for election but would not have been returned as members to represent constituencies (so-called Best Losers), to make a total of 70 seats of the National Assembly,” said Moyo in a statement.

He said the elections are mainly governed by the Constitution of Mauritius, 1968, the Representation of the People Act, National Assembly Elections Regulations, and the Rodrigues Regional Assembly Act.

According to Moyo, the SEOM in line with the national legal instruments, will assess the conduct of the elections against a set of central principles stipulated in the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.

“The principles include: full participation of the citizens in the political process; freedom of association, assembly and expression; measures to prevent corruption, bribery, political violence, intimidation and intolerance; equal opportunity for all political parties to access the State Media; respect for values of electoral justice; no undue restraints against the opportunity to exercise the right to vote and be voted for; independence of the Judiciary and impartiality of the electoral institutions; civic and Voter education; acceptance of and respect for the election results by political parties,” said the Head of SEOM.

He commended Mauritius for its long history of conducting democratic elections which date back to the debut general election in 1967 and the socio-ecomonic gains that the legacy bestowed on the country.

 

Moyo added, “The people of Mauritius are known for their high level of participation in the elections, we note positively that the average voter turn-out rate between 1983 and the last elections in 2014 was 82% of the total registered voters, although the actual turn-out in 2014 was historically lower at 74% of the total. In this regard, let me urge all registered voters to restore this positive legacy of participatory democracy by turning out in their high numbers on election day, 7th November 2019.”

Moyo urged all stakeholders to ensure that the elections are conducted in a peaceful, free, fair, transparent and credible manner.

The SEOM to the 2019 National Assembly Elections consists of a total, of 45 personnel from 9 SADC Member States namely Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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