The Electoral Commissions Forum of SADC countries deployed an observer mission the Kingdom of Eswatini in the period 20th September to 3rd October 2023. The Mission is led by Wendy Didon, a Commissioner at the Electoral Commission of Seychelles and supported by the deputy Mission Leader, Dr Molefe Phirinyane also a Commissioner at the Independent Electoral Commission of Botswana. The Mission has twenty-five (25) members from nine (9) electoral commissions namely- CNE Angola, CENI Democratic Republic of Congo, IEC Botswana, Malawi Electoral Commission, CNE Mozambique, Electoral Commission of Namibia, IEC South Africa, Electoral Commission of Seychelles and National Electoral Commission of Tanzania.
The purpose of the Mission is to provide an independent, impartial, and objective assessment of the preparations and conduct of the elections, to determine the extent of compliance with the legal framework which governs conduct of elections in Eswatini and regional and international obligations for democratic elections.
The Mission shall use complementary data collection methods which include documentary review; media review; meetings with the EBC and key electoral stakeholders; observing campaign by candidates; observing polling processes and vote counting, and results management and determination of results processes.
The observers will be deployed in all four regions of Eswatini in the period 26- 29 September 2023. The ECF-SADC Preliminary Statement will be released together with other Statements for other International Organizations on 1st October 2023. The Preliminary Statement covers the Mission’s observations of the pre-election period up to the close of polling day activities. The Mission’s comprehensive final report will cover its observation of the pre-election, polling and results management and will include overall assessment of the entire electoral process. The Observer Mission report will be released within 30 days after conclusion of observer Mission.
The Kingdom of Eswatini’s Constitution stipulates that the country shall conduct elections every five (5) years for three elective positions, Bucopho(Community Headsman), Indvuna Yenkhundla (Constituency Headman) and a Member of Parliament (MP) to form government. The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) is mandated to oversee the whole process of elections.