On Tuesday, the European Union Chief Observer, Mr. Ignazio Corrao launched the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) and deployed 22 long-term election observers across the country in Maseru.
The launch of the EU EOM comes ahead of the National Assembly elections on 7 October 2022 where the mission will be permanently present in all ten districts of Lesotho for six months.
When addressing the press, Mr. Corrao said the observation will strengthen the relationship between the EU and the Kingdom of Lesotho, saying this is the first-ever EU election observation mission.
“Today we are deploying 11 teams of long-term observers each with two members, who will access every aspect of the electoral process, including campaigns by political parties, and the preparations for the elections across the country,” he stressed.
He further noted that the long-term observers are instrumental to the mission’s conduct of a full and comprehensive assessment of the electoral process, in line with the EU’s established election methodology.
He added that the mission will be reinforced around election day with 30 short-term Observers (STOs) as well as a delegation from European Parliament, saying an additional number of representatives from EU states’ diplomatic representations will add to this contingent.
The Chief Observer noted that the final report of the EU EOM, will present its preliminary findings to the public shortly after the elections day and remain in Lesotho until the completion of the electoral process, saying the final report of the EU EOM, including its recommendations, will be published after the electoral process.
The observers come from 27 EU Member States as well as from Norway.
The EU EOM undertakes its work in accordance with the Declaration Principle for International Election Observation endorsed under UN auspices in 2005.
It operates under a separate and distinct mandate from the EU Delegations in Lesotho, and it is independent in its findings from the EU Member States and all EU institutions.
Present at the press briefing included the Deputy Chief observer, Mr. Armin Rabitsch, Legal Analyst Ms. Renata Tardioli, Press Officer Mr. Kimmo Rantila, and other EU officers.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Government of Lesotho.