Functions of accredited election observers

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EDITOR –  Persons who are accredited by the Commission in terms of this Part as observers of an election shall be entitled to do all or any of the following—

 

(a) to observe the entire electoral process, including the registration of voters, the preparation and maintenance of voters rolls, preparations made for elections, the conduct of polling, the counting of votes and the declaration of results;

 

(b) to be present at the counting or collating of votes cast at the election and the verification of polling-station returns by presiding officers in terms of sections 96, 97 and 98;

 

(c) to bring any irregularity or apparent irregularity in the conduct of the poll or the counting or collating of votes to the attention of the Commission;

 

(d) to provide the Commission with a comprehensive review of the election taking into account all relevant circumstances, including—

 

(i) the degree of impartiality shown by the Commission; and

 

(ii) the degree of freedom of political parties to organise, move, assemble and express their

views publicly; and

 

(ii) the opportunity for political parties to have their agents observe all aspects of the electoral process; and

 

(iii) the fairness of access afforded to political parties to the national media and other resources of the State; and

 

(iv) any factors that have a bearing on gender considerations;

(v) the proper conduct of the polling and the counting of the votes at the election; and

(vi) any other issue concerning the essential freedom and fairness of the election; and

(vii) any other matter that has a bearing on the conduct of the polling at the election.

 

(2) The Commission and all electoral officers shall take any steps as may be necessary to ensure that—

 

(a) accredited observers are provided with the facilities and information they may reasonably require; and

 

(b) generally, are able to exercise their functions under subsection (1) n any part of the country. 

 

 

 Observers Accreditation Committee

 

(1) The Commission shall establish a committee, to be called the Observers Accreditation

Committee, consisting of—

 

(a) the chairperson of the Commission, who shall be the chairperson of the committee; and

(b) the deputy chairperson of the Commission; and

(c) three Commissioners appointed by the Commission; and

(d) two other members appointed by the Commission after consultation with the Ministers

responsible for foreign affairs, security and immigration.

 

(2) The functions of the Observers Accreditation Committee shall be, subject to this Part, to

recommend to the Commission the accreditation of the following persons as observers—

 

(a) individuals representing foreign countries or international organisations and foreign eminent persons who have applied to be accepted as observers; and

 

(b) individuals representing local organisations and eminent persons from within Zimbabwe who have applied to be accepted as observers; and

 

(c) individuals representing bodies that exercise functions similar to those of the Commission and that have been invited by the Commission to observe an election; and

 

(d) individuals representing foreign countries or international organisations and foreign eminent persons who have been invited by the Minister responsible for foreign affairs to observe an election; and

 

(e) individuals representing local organisations and eminent persons from within Zimbabwe who have been invited by the Minister to observe an election.

 

(3) The Commission shall publish the names of the members of the Observers Accreditation Committee in the Gazette.

 

-ZESN 

 

Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) formed in 2000 is a coalition of 36 non-governmental organisations formed to co-ordinate activities pertaining to elections. The major focus of the Network is to promote democratic processes in general and free and fair elections in particular.

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