NDI/IRI 2018 Zimbabwe Observer Delegation Issues Post-Election Preliminary Statement

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

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This Preliminary Statement is offered by the joint International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI) Zimbabwe International Election Observation Mission (ZIEOM) to the 2018 harmonized elections. The election is presently incomplete; the ZIEOM will, therefore, continue its observation and may issue further statements as warranted.

An international, bipartisan delegation of short-term observers joined the ZIEOM over the voting period. The delegation members, which hailed from 11 countries, was co-led by: former Liberian President and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former Interim President of the Central African Republic Catherine Samba-Panza. The leadership team was further comprised of U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass, and former U.S. Assistant Secretaries of State for African Affairs, Constance Berry Newman and Ambassador Johnnie Carson. NDI Senior Associate and Director of Electoral Programs Patrick Merloe, IRI Vice President for Programs, Scott Mastic, IRI Regional Director John Tomaszewski, and ZIEOM co-directors Larry Garber (NDI) and Jessica Keegan (IRI) accompanied the leaders. Through this delegation, NDI and IRI seek to: express the international community’s interest in and support for credible, peaceful elections in Zimbabwe; provide an accurate and impartial report on the character of the election process to date; and offer recommendations appropriate at this interim point to improve the electoral process.

In addition to the leadership, the delegation included the following short-term observers, who arrived in Zimbabwe on July 24:  

  • Dr. Hussaini Abdu, Chair of the Board, Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement Africa (YIAGA)
  • Michael Abramowitz, President, Freedom House  
  • Peter Aling'o, Resident Country Director, Tanzania, International Republican Institute  
  • Hon. Gerti Bogdani, International Secretary, Democratic Party of Albania
  • Lamin Darboe, Executive Director, National Youth Council (The Gambia)
  • Max Delices, Operations Director, Electoral Council of Haiti
  • Act. Anna Henga, Executive Director, Legal and Human Rights Centre  of Tanzania
  • Hon. Mike Igini, Barrister; Resident Electoral Commissioner, Akwa Ibom State (Nigeria), INEC
  • Nicole Wilett-Jensen, Deputy Director for Global Policy and Advocacy, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Natalie Kay, Program Officer, National Endowment for Democracy
  • Jerry Lavery, Technical Director, Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening
  • Fr. Cleophas Lungu, Acting Chairperson, Christian Churches Monitoring Group (CCMG)
  • Hon. Eugenio Chicas Martinez, Congressman, Central American Parliament; Former Chief Magistrate of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of El Salvador
  • Ambassador Liberata Mulamula, Associated Director, the Institute of African Studies, George Washington University; Former Tanzanian Ambassador to the United States
  • Dr. Alexander Noyes, Senior Associate, Center for International and Strategic Studies
  • Dave Peterson, Senior Director, Africa Program, National Endowment for Democracy
  • Dr. Henry Kwasi Prempeh, Executive Director, Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana)
  • Hon. Jason Rweikiza, Member of Parliament (Tanzania)
  • Barbara Smith, Principal, Mountain Time Development; Senior Associate, Center for Strategic and International Studies

The short-term observers joined the following longer-term observers, covering all 10 provinces of Zimbabwe:

  • Moise Loka Fonton (Benin)
  • Sandi Gale (UK)
  • Asante Kissi (Ghana)
  • Franklin Bonner (USA)
  • Yomi Jacobs (Nigeria)
  • Peter Panar (USA)
  • Sonia Mickevicius (Canada)
  • King Rudi (Malawi)
  • Edward Bagnall (UK)
  • Geu Bullen (UK)
  • Sandra Urquiza (Peru, USA)
  • Anne Kathurima (Kenya)
  • Donna Ochago (Uganda)
  • Fernanda Damaso (Portugal)
Party agents in a polling station in Harare, with their observation materials, notebooks and identifying accreditation, watch on as citizens vote the July 30th elections in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabweans vote to elect a new president. July 31, 2018
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