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Eswatini Elections Support Network (EESN) on Primary Elections Preliminary Report

PRESS STATEMENT

2018-09-18


The Eswatini Elections Support Network under CANGO would like to clarify its position regarding its Preliminary report issued on August 27th, 2018, by the Chairperson on the National Primary Elections held on 25 August 2018.


EESN is an independent and nonpartisan network set up in 2003 by CANGO to observe elections with a view to provide an independent opinion on how elections are conducted. In 2018, EESN deployed 120 observers during the nominations and primary elections. The local observers were trained on what to report and observe in elections.
The basis of the mission is to observe compliance with the Constitution, national laws and the international instruments such as SADC Guideline on Elections. The preliminary report issued after elections highlighted major issues observed. Hence, it is not a comprehensive report.
The EESN Observers observed the following: the time of opening of Polling Stations or centre; the environment outside and Inside the Polling Centre; accessibility to polling stations; orderliness; voting procedures and; counting and announcement of results.
We note the concerns raised on the conclusion that the elections were free and fair. It must be understood that as elections are still ongoing, the statement was not giving an overall assessment of the elections. What was essentially being stated was that on the day of elections most of the election processes allowed the voters to cast their votes in an environment that was not intimidating as well as facilitated the secrecy of the vote.
We would like to reiterate that indeed the elections were peaceful in most of the polling stations; security forces were visible and did not interfere with elections; the counting process was also peaceful and orderly; most candidates had a chance to validate the results; there were also no campaigning materials in the poling stations.
The EBC team which conducted elections did their best to ensure that the voting process was efficient.

Statement by
Ms Tjengisile Shabangu
EESN Chairperson
2404 4721