Southern African Development Community (SADC) Election Observer Mission Post-Electoral Campaign Statement by HE Ajay Bramdeo on the Mauritian General Elections

Let me at the outset begin by welcoming you all, on behalf of SADC and, indeed, on my own behalf, to this Post-Electoral Campaign Press Briefing. The SADC Electoral Observer Mission (composed of representatives of the Member States as well the SADC Secretariat) would like to convey through you, the members of the media, its congratulations to the people of Mauritius for the orderly behaviour displayed thus far during the electoral campaign. This is a true demonstration of the level of maturity of democracy in Mauritius and in Southern Africa in particular and Africa in general.

Consistent with the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections which was adopted by the SADC Summit in August 2004 in Mauritius, the SADC Electoral Observer Mission was launched on 20 June 2005 and deployed to all constituencies. The Observer Mission has been following the electoral campaign, meeting electoral managing bodies, political parties, members of the media, opinion makers and other stakeholders from civil society. The Mission also held meetings with other observer missions.

During the deployment the SADC Mission observed:

a. A commendable level of political tolerance and maturity and civil behaviour of political leadership across the spectrum;

b. The generally peaceful manner in which supporters of different parties behaved when attending political rallies and meetings;

c. Visible policing before, during and after political campaign meetings;

d. A readiness on the part of all stakeholders including ordinary citizens, party agents and leaders, as well as members of the police force to interact and assist the Observers;

That the SADC Observer Mission presence had a positive role in easing tensions amongst party supporters

The SADC Mission also notes with satisfaction the high level of democratic maturity, confidence in Electoral Management Bodies and the honesty of the voters as well as respect for the rule of law governing the holding of elections, this, in SADC's view, bodes well for nurturing a culture that tolerates multipartyism as an essential building block for democracy.

As the electoral campaign draws to a closure and the Mauritian people are getting ready to cast their vote, it is the SADC Mission's conclusion that, despite isolated cases of violence and other incidents that have occurred, the electoral campaign has been peaceful and free of intimidation.

The SADC Mission congratulates the people of Mauritius for displaying the level of tolerance and maturity witnessed through their conduct during the campaign period,

The SADC Observer Mission will release its interim statement on the conduct of the voting and counting of the votes once the election results have all been announced.

Issued by: Department of Foreign Affairs
1 July 2005

 



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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa