Election observers from across East Africa arrive in Seychelles ahead of October 22-24 vote
The SADC observer mission members (left) for the legislative election in September 2016 meeting with press representatives. (Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - A team of 10 members from the Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) who will be observing the upcoming general elections arrived in Seychelles on Friday.
The information manager of EASF, Seychellois Jules Hoareau, told SNA that "the core mandate of the mission is to support the democratic process of the country with a clear message of peace, mutual respect and tolerance to its citizens."
Following an invitation from the Seychelles' government, EASF began planning for the mission in Nairobi, Kenya from September 21-25 with the support of the Seychelles Electoral Commission, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Public Health Authority.
The international election observer mission consists of observers from Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Burundi, Sudan and Uganda.
Hoareau added that the team "will use the African Union Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance as the main framework to guide our mission in the work that we would be doing in Seychelles during the elections."
The presidential and legislative elections in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, will take place from October 22-24 in which around 70,000 people are eligible to vote.
Both local and international observers will have to abide by the code of conduct for election observers released by the Electoral Commission on September 4. For local observers, the code of conduct applies from the time of accreditation until the declaration of results whereas, for International Observers, the regulations apply from their time of arrival in Seychelles up until their time of departure. The regulations cover the period prior to, during and after the polling day.
As per the local public health requirement put in place amid the COVID-19 pandemic, all observers will serve a 14-day quarantine period at the Berjaya facility with strict adherence to the public health protocol.
Seychelles has four active cases of COVID-19 as of October 7 and this includes three Seychellois and one foreigner.
The EASF observer mission is planning to meet all presidential candidates, members of the civil society and other relevant stakeholders prior to the elections.
Three political parties -- Linyon Demokratik Seselwa (LDS), United Seychelles (US) and One Seychelles -- are contesting the presidential elections. For the National Assembly, LDS and US have candidates in all 26 districts while One Seychelles has 18 and Lalyans Seselwa three.