AU, EAC deploy electoral monitors to Burundi ahead of presidential poll

17:10, June 25, 2010      

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Some 40 African Union electoral monitors have arrived in Burundi to observe the presidential elections due on Monday, June 28.

The AU delegation is notably made up of Pan African parliamentarians, members of electoral institutions and the civil society as well as African ambassadors accredited to the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The declaration says the mandate of the AU delegates is to ensure transparency and equity of the presidential election. The delegates are ready to meet political leaders and other electoral stakeholders if they wish.

The East African Community, EAC, has also sent election observers to monitor the presidential election in Burundi. A 24- member EAC Election Observer Mission arrived in Bujumbura on Thursday. In a press statement issued on Thursday, the Mission is to stay in Burundi until July 3.

The statement says the main objective of the EAC monitors is to ascertain that the elections are free and fair and that they conform to principles of good governance and democracy in the region.

It will also look out for best electoral practices that could be emulated in the region. The mission also seeks to widen and deepen cooperation between Partner States in socioeconomic and political affairs.

The EAC electoral monitors' delegation is comprised of Members of the East African Legislative Assembly, EALA, as well as Members of National Assemblies from Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya.

Otieno Karan, a Member of EALA from the Republic of Kenya will lead the Mission. The statement says the exclusion of Members of EALA from Burundi is consistent with adopted practice that Members of the Mission should not participate in election observation in their own countries.

The European Union also sent electoral monitors to Burundi. More than 80 EU observers arrived in Burundi before the beginning of communal elections that took place on May 24.

Burundi has entered a four-month electoral period. After the May 24 communal elections whose results were rejected by the opposition, the next one is the presidential election due on June 28.

Source: Xinhua


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