A European Union election exploratory mission arrives in Zimbabwe tomorrow for a week-long pre-election assessment, which includes meeting officials from Government, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, political parties and civil society.
Head of the European Union Delegation to Zimbabwe Ambassador Phillipe Van Damme confirmed the visit yesterday.
He said the main agenda was to assess the feasibility, usefulness and advisability of observing Zimbabwe’s elections, which are due between July 21 and August 21, 2018.
Ambassador Van Damme said, “We will meet the President, political party leaders, ZEC and the media. At the end of the visit the mission will prepare a report advising the Head of the (EU) Commission on the way forward.”
Last week Sadc sent a similar mission to Zimbabwe in response to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s open door policy on electoral observation.
President Mnangagwa’s administration has pledged to invite international election observers, marking an end to the isolationist policies of his predecessor, Mr Robert Mugabe.
Ahead of the Sadc mission’s visit, Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ambassador Joey Bimha said: “Observation (of elections) is now being done at three stages. The first one entails observing the pre-election period, the second stage is the campaigns and the polling, before a final team is sent to assess stability and acceptability after results have been announced.”
More than 5,3 million Zimbabweans have registered to vote under a biometric voter registration programme.