27 Nov 2020
EISA took advantage of the eighth ordinary session of the ECCAS Heads of State and Government Conference held in Libreville on 27 November 2020 to meet with the Minister of State, Minister of Cooperation, Regional Integration and Francophonie of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Chadians Abroad to present the "Principles Governing Democratic Elections in ECCAS". The contents of the draft guidelines were shared, and discussions initiated for EISA's formal visit to both countries to table the guidelines with the relevant authorities. The meeting was well received and arrangements will be made for these visits to take place before years end.
EISA supported ECCAS in the drafting of an ECCAS election observation mission staff handbook to enable them to plan for and implement an EOM. The content of the manual was finalised with the ECCAS electoral support unit, and the draft was completed. Following discussions with ECCAS Commission's Commissioner for Peace and Security, the manual was tabled with the newly appointed structure for further input before piloting and finalisation.
24-30 Oct 2020
Supported by EISA, ECCAS deployed a PAM to CAR from the 24 to 30 October 2020. ECCAS used the methodology learned from EISA, using EISA's grid of questions when interviewing stakeholders. In addition, the previous presence of EISA in this country greatly facilitated easy interaction with stakeholders. Meetings took place with CAR stakeholders including civil society, local media, Ambassadors and/or representatives of ECCAS member States, the Minister of National Defence and Army Reconstruction, the coalition of democratic opposition political parties, the coalition of ruling majority political parties, the Minister of Territorial Administration, the National Election Authority (ANE), the Consultation Framework for Elections and armed groups. After the mission, a report was drafted by ECCAS.
9-13 Mar 2020
Supported by EISA, ECCAS deployed a three-member pre assessment mission to Burundi from the 9 to 13 March 2020, prior to the lockdown caused by the pandemic. Meetings took place with Burundian stakeholders including civil society, local media such as Radio Isanganiro, the National Communication Council, the CNL party and former Burundian President Ntibantunganya. At the completion of the mission, the ECCAS pre assessment mission expressed its satisfaction regarding the election preparations.
Supported by EISA, ECCAS deployed a technical mission of three people to the Cameroonian elections. The mission met Cameroonian stakeholders and was able to observe media coverage during the electoral and post-electoral period. At the completion of the mission, the ECCAS technical mission expressed its satisfaction after examining newspapers and television programmes on their election coverage.
EISA superted ECCAS in drafting an ECCAS election observation mission staff handbook to enable them to plan for and implement an EOM. The contents were agreed on and EISA Gabon drew on the expertise of the EISA's Elections and Political Processes Department to assist in the development of the handbook.
Nov 2018 - Jan 2019
ECCAS and COMESA deployed a joint pre-election assessment mission (PAM) from 11 to 16tNovember 2018, to the DRC in the run up to the presidential, legislative and provincial elections initially scheduled for December 23, 2018 and postponed to 30 December 2013. The mission was led by Ambassador Baudouin HAMULI KABARHUZA, Director of Political Affairs and Mechanism of Rapid Alert of Central Africa (MARAC) of ECCAS and Mrs. Elizabeth MUTUNGA, Head of the Governance, Peace and Security Unit of COMESA. It also included the members of the COMESA Committee of Elders, the Representative of the Secretary General and Head of the ECCAS DRC Office, the Electoral Officers and experts of the two Communities, as well as two EISA staff, who provided technical support to ECCAS.
Thereafter ECCAS, with the technical support of EISA, deployed 22 observers the 30 December presidential, legislative and provincial elections to DRC. During the EOM, ECCAS collaborated with the African Union sharing information. The ECCAS mission released its preliminary statement, assisted by EISA, at the same venue with African Union and SADC on the 2 January 2019.
Nov & Dec 2018
ECCAS, with the technical support of EISA, deployed an eight member election observation mission to the 7 October 2018 Presidential election to Cameroon. ECCAS collaborated with the African Union sharing information. The ECCAS mission released its preliminary statement, assisted by EISA, at the same venue as the African Union.
EISA similarly supported ECCAS in observing the 30 December 2018 elections in the DRC. ECCAS also shared information with the African Union in the DRC.
Seven hundred copies of the ECCAS Election Observation Handbook completed earlier in the year, were printed in French and translated into Portuguese and Spanish. The Handbook has officially been presented to the General Secretariat and disseminated, for the first time, to observers who were deployed during the ECCAS election observation mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo on December 30, 2018. The Handbook has been well received and widely used by the observers to this election.
11-16 Nov 2018
ECCAS conducted a joint ECCAS-Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) mission in the DRC from 11 to 16 November. The DRC mission was led by Ambassador Baudouin Hamuli Kabarhuza, Director of ECCAS's Political Affairs and Mechanism of Rapid Alert of Central Africa and Elizabeth Mutunga, Head of the Governance, Peace and Security Unit of COMESA. It also included the members of the COMESA Committee of Elders, the representative of the Secretary General and head of the ECCAS DRC Office, the electoral officers and experts of the two communities and representatives from EISA, who provided technical support.
24-25 Oct 2018
With technical and financial support from EISA, ECCAS organised a two-day workshop in Congo- Brazzaville (Republic of Congo) on 24 and 25 October 2018. The theme was 'Prevention of crises and violence related to electoral processes in Central Africa'.
The workshop was attended by 24 participants, three of them women. They included the chairpersons of election management bodies, members of civil society organisations from ECCAS member states and a representative from UNOCA.
A report on the workshop included recommendations addressed to the General Secretariat of ECCAS for the effective prevention of crises and violence-related electoral processes in Central Africa. This was the first time the participants had engaged constructively and made recommendations about preventing and managing election-related conflict.
9-15 Sep 2018
ECCAS deployed a pre-election assessment mission (PAM) ahead of the 7 October presidential election in Cameroon from 9-15 September 2018. The Mission was comprised of the Head of the Electoral Assistance Unit and the EISA Regional Representative. The pre-election assessment mission report informed ECCAS observers to the presidential elections.
EISA helped ECCAS to develop sub-regional election standards and principles. Following a roundtable held in November 2017 (see below), a two-day validation workshop was held in May 2018 led by EISA's executive director.
Participants included the chairpersons of election management bodies and members of civil society organisations in the region. Representatives from the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Office of Central Africa (UNOCA) also attended. Angola, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea the Central African Republic, São Tomé and Príncipe and Chad were represented.
Following the workshop EISA finalised draft guidelines, which have been submitted to the secretary general of ECCAS for adoption by the relevant ECCAS authorities. Once the guidelines have been endorsed they will be submitted to the Council of Ministers for adoption and thereafter transmitted to the Council of Heads of States for signature. In the lead-up to the adoption the ECCAS electoral assistance unit, with the support of EISA, will lobby member states.
The election observation manual manual finalised and sent for printing.
23-24 Nov 2017
EISA arranged a roundtable in Douala, Cameroon, on 23 and 24 November, initiating a discussion on the development of election principles and guidelines for ECCAS.
The roundtable was attended by chairpersons of election management bodies, members of civil society organisations of ECCAS member states, the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Office for Central Africa. Countries that participated included Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, São Tomé and Príncipe and Chad.
The first draft of the principles and guidelines will be tabled and debated at a follow-up meeting before being sent to the relevant members for furtherdiscussion, finalisation and endorsement.
Supported by the EISA Executive Director, the EISA liaison office held consultative meetings in Libreville at the beginning of October with ECCAS representatives and local partners. Following these consultative meetings, EISA has identified four main areas of support to ECCA depending on funding, namely:
A draft manual was finalised and shared with EISA Francophone colleagues for further input. It will be finalised in the next quarter. This is the first observation manual developed in the 12 years of the unit's existence and will be an important tool for their observers.
EISA consolidated the electoral documentation of all member countries. The electoral assistance unit of ECCAS thus has reliable and up-to-date archives.
EISA had initially proposed that ECCAS develop an electronic database of observers. To start the process, ECCAS has set up a simple database of observers and will be able to develop it further in future.
EISA supported ECCAS in observing elections to Congo Brazzaville, Rwanda and Angola. In the Republic of Congo and Rwanda, EISA collaborated with the African Union. Through this collaboration, the ECCAS electoral assistance unit had the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the African Union's methodology namely, briefing, deployment, debriefing, drafting of declarations and publication. In Angola, ECCAS deployed its own electoral observation mission and had the opportunity to apply the lessons learned during the elections observed with the African Union in the Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
A follow-up meeting was held in Libreville. There the ECCAS electoral unit considered its work plan to reflect the recommendations of the evaluation workshop held in Yaoundé and the recommendations of the session of heads of states and governments held in Libreville on 27 November 2016.
Among the recommendations made at the heads of state meeting were that:
EISA together with EISA's Elections and Political Processes Department coordinated the deployment of a pre-election assessment mission (PAM) to Equatorial Guinea and São Tomé and Príncipe. Through these PAMs, EISA gathered requisite information on the countries to contribute to the EOM planning including logistics, background information on the electoral process and drafting of ECCAS EOM reports.
From 25-27 of May 2016, the Secretariat General of ECCAS held in Yaounde, Cameroon, a review of ECCAS electoral observation, with the financial support of the European Union through its second support program for ECCAS Peace and Security (PAPS II) and EISA technical support.
The main objective was to assess what has been achieved since 2005 in terms of ECCAS electoral support to member states and to make relevant recommendations to ECCAS accordingly in order to execute its mandate and to plan its future action.
Thirty-two participants, including five women, from election management bodies of member States, African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, PAPS II, the Secretariat General of ECCAS and EISA were among the participants of the workshop.
Among the recommendations arising from the meeting were the following:
Mar & Apr 2016
EISA provided technical assistance to the ECCAS Technical Mission in the Republic of Congo for the 20 March 2016 presidential election and in Chad for the 10 April 2016 presidential election. While ECCAS did not deploy observers to the Congo and Chad due to the lack of funds, three of its staff observed. The EISA Central Africa provided technical assistance to the ECCAS EOM deployed in Equatorial Guinea for the 24 April 2016 presidential election. EISA trained seven of the observers of the ECCAS EOM who were deployed in April 2015 in Brazzaville.
EISA developed for the REC a systematic comprehensive manual to inform their election methodology. A draft was submitted to the head of the ECCAS electoral unit for a first reading. The handbook must be approved by the ministries conference before dissemination.
EISA provided technical assistance to the ECCAS EOM deployed in CAR for the 30 December 2015 and 14 February 2016 general election. It is important to note that the only three observers of the ECCAS EOM were trained by EISA in April 2015 in Brazzaville. ECCAS will not deploy an EOM in CAR for the second round of the legislative elections scheduled for the 27th of March due to financial constraints.
Meetings were held with the ECCAS Electoral Unit for the revision of the workplan in consideration of the recommendations of the evaluation workshop held in Yaoundé in May 2016 (see below) and the recommendations of the session of Heads of States and governments held in Libreville the 27 November 2016. Three main recommendations made at the Heads of State meeting, included the following:
EISA conducted desktop research towards the development of an election map, which will cover information on laws, legal frameworks and the composition and work of the electoral institutions of ECCAS member states. This will contribute to improving ECCAS's election observation missions (EOMs] and electoral assistance in the sub-region.
EISA conducted desktop research towards the development of an election map. This map will cover information on laws, legal framework, electoral institutions composition etc of ECCAS member states. This will contribute to improve the ECCAS Electoral Unit in election observation and electoral assistance in the sub region.
The map will be completed once ECCAS delegates visit the entire sub region. The plan is to develop a map of the entire region. With ECCAS limited fund this project us now scheduled to take place in 2016.
EISA and the Elections and Political Processes Department coordinated the deployment of a pre-election assessment mission to Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo. Through these PAMs, EISA Central Africa gathered requisite information on the countries to contribute to the EOM planning including logistics, background information on the electoral process and drafting of ECCAS EOM reports.
To support capacity building of ECCAS Electoral Unit, the regional representative reviewed and updated ECCAS'S electoral manual which was weak, outdated and without an appropriate methodology. With EISA's review and input into a revised version, this will be the first time that the regional community will have a systematic comprehensive manual to inform their election methodology. The manual has been submitted to the ECCAS electoral unit for a first reading. The ECCAS checklists have been also reviewed and updated.