African Union appoints Former Uganda Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda to monitor Zimbabwe polls

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The African Union (AU) has selected former Ugandan Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda to join a team of election observers monitoring the upcoming elections in Zimbabwe, scheduled for Wednesday, August 23, 2023.

Former Ugandan prime minister Hon Ruhakana Rugunda, former Uganda’s prime minister, addressing journalists during an interview in New York

Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, a former prime minister of Uganda, has been chosen bythe African Union (AU) to be a member of a team of election observers overseeing the upcoming elections in Zimbabwe, which are set to take place on Wednesday, August 23, 2023.

The African Union Commission (AUC) announced the formation of a joint AU Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Election Observation Mission (EOM) for the harmonized elections in Zimbabwe. The mission is led by H.E. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, former President of Nigeria, in collaboration with Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda and other prominent figures.

The EOM includes 86 short-term observers (STOs) representing a variety of backgrounds, such as ambassadors accredited to the African Union, election management officials, civil society members, election experts, human rights advocates, gender and media specialists, and representatives of youth organizations. These observers come from 23 countries, including Uganda, and will be deployed across all 10 provinces and 16 electoral districts in Zimbabwe.

The mission’s assessment will be based on the legal framework governing Zimbabwe’s elections, the OAU/AU Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, and other relevant international standards. The focus will be on evaluating the regularity, transparency, equity, and fair conduct of the electoral process.

Throughout their mission, the observers will engage with various stakeholders, including state authorities, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, political parties, media representatives, civil society organizations, and the international community. The mission will also interact with other election observation teams that are deployed to monitor the 2023 Harmonized Elections in Zimbabwe.

The involvement of Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda and other prominent figures in the election observation mission underscores the importance of credible and transparent elections in ensuring democratic processes and fostering regional cooperation.

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