AFRICAN UNION ELECTION OBSERVERS ARRIVE IN GUINEA-BISSAU AHEAD OF DECEMBER 29 ELECTIONS

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[Africa\Guinea-Bissau Elections]
The short-term observers (STO) delegation will remain in Bissau until January 2, 2020, while the long- term Observers (LTO) and Core Team will stay in the country until January 5, 2020 to follow the management and proclamation of the election results.
Photo: African Union

Dr. Joaquim Raphael Branco, (above middle) Former Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe has arrived in Guinea-Bissau as Head of the African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM) ahead of the December 29th elections.

Dr. Joaquim Branco was received upon his arrival by His Excellency, Amb. Ovidio M.B. Pequeno, Special Representative and Head of the AU Liaison Office in Guinea-Bissau.

Being present in Guinea-Bissau since 22 December 2019, the AUEOM will observe and assess the 29 December 2019 presidential elections with a view to contributing to the peacefulness, transparency and integrity of these elections. The AUEOM is in the country at the invitation of the Government of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau and the National Electoral Commission.

The short-term observers (STO) delegation will remain in Bissau until January 2, 2020, while the long- term Observers (LTO) and Core Team will stay in the country until January 5, 2020 to follow the management and proclamation of the election results. The leadership of the AU-UN-ECOWAS high-level political mission will hold courtesy and consultative meetings with national stakeholders and the leadership of peer International Election Observation Missions present in Bissau.

Prior to the arrival of H.E Joaquim Raphael Branco, the AU Election Observation Mission concluded a two-day technical briefing programme for its Short-term Observers in Bissau. The purpose of the technical briefing was to provide key information on the political context of the 2019 run-off elections and the state of preparedness of the National Electoral Commission and other national stakeholders, as well as familiarization with AU election observation methodology.

AU Short Term observers will be re-deployed on 27 December to cover 9 regions in Guinea-Bissau. They will observe the end of campaign and preparations for Election Day in their areas of deployment. After Election Day, the STOs will debrief on their findings on 30 December upon their return from the counties. The AUEOM will release a statement on its preliminary findings on the conduct of the 2019 elections at a press conference to be held on the 31 December 2019.

The re-deployment of AUEOM to Guinea-Bissau is in line with the AU’s mandate of promoting and deepening democracy on the continent, as enshrined in relevant instruments of the continental body. It is also in line with the third aspiration of the AU Agenda 2063 which aims to ensure good governance, democracy, and respect for human rights, justice and rule of law on the continent. The conduct of transparent and credible elections in Member States, which AUEOMs aim to ensure, is a prerequisite to the realization of the aspirations of Agenda 2063, and the overall goal of ensuring an integrated, peaceful and prosperous Africa.

The AUEOM comprises 13 Long-Term Observers (LTOs) and 40 Short-Term Observers (STOs), who arrived in Bissau on December 26, 2019. The STO delegation comprises members from the African Union Permanent Representatives Council (PRC), Pan-African Parliament (PAP), the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC), African Election Management Bodies, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and Independent Experts from Thinks Tanks, Academic Institutions, etc.

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