The Joint AU-ECCAS Election Observation Mission held a successful observer orientation programme and met with key stakeholders in Libreville, Gabon

The Heads of Mission, in their closing remarks at the training session, reminded observers of the critical role that was bestowed upon them and wished them success and safety in their respective assignments. The twenty-seven (27) observer teams will be dispatched across the country starting 25 August 2016 until 28 August 2016.

The objective of the AUEOM is to make an independent, objective and impartial assessment of the Presidential Elections in the Republic of Gabon in accordance with the national, regional and international standards in view to reinforce and consolidate the democratic aspirations of the country and its people.

Seventy-five (75) continental short term and long term observers drawn from thirty-two (32) Member States underwent an insightful two (2) day briefing programme that aimed to empower them with tools and information that will ensure their successful deployment and engagement in all electoral zones of Gabon during the Presidential Elections to be held on 27 August 2016.

During the programme, the observers of the Joint African Union (AU) � Economic Communities of Central African States (ECCAS) Election Observation Mission, drawn from the Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC), the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), Election Management Bodies (EMBs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) were briefed on Continental and International legal instruments and observation standards that will allow them to conduct their observation mission professionally and impartially as well as enable them to report their findings efficiently and accurately while preserving neutrality throughout the Electoral process.

The observers were briefed and interacted with representatives of key national stakeholder. The sessions provided an opportunity to discuss current electoral guidelines and best practices as well as to identify challenges and concerns in regards to the overall electoral campaigning and voting processes.

The Heads of the Joint AU-ECCAS Elections Observation Mission in Gabon H.E. Cassam UTEEM, former President of the Republic of Mauritius and H.E. Mr. Abou MOUSSA, Former Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) held audience with key stakeholders in the country with aims to gather as much information on the conduct of the electoral campaigns and get insight on preparations and the overall state of readiness for the upcoming electoral process. Among others, they met with: The Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; The Secretary General at the Office of the President; The President of the National Communication Council (CNC); The Minister of Equal Opportunities; The Minister of Interior; The President of the Constitutional Court; And the President of the National Autonomous and Permanent Elections Commission (CENAP).

H.E. Cassam UTEEM and H.E. Mr. Abou MOUSSA also held bilateral meetings with international stakeholders, namely: The Head of the European Union Observation Mission; The Head of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA); The African Diplomatic Corps in Gabon; As well as the Head of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF). They will continue meeting with key actors and representatives of the media in order to ensure the Mission’s credibility and visibility.

Source: African Union Commission (AUC).