Seychelles: Citizen observation

Citizen observer training in Seychelles


Citizen observer training in Seychelles

EISA received a request from the Electoral Commissioner's office for training of citizen observers in Seychelles. It is important to note that citizen observation is a new concept in the Republic of Seychelles. This training was therefore the first in its history. EPP trained approximately fifty citizen observers drawn from the Citizen Democracy Watch in Victoria, Seychelles in September 2011. This was the first pool of domestic observers in Seychelles history that were equipped with knowledge and skills to observe the September 29 to October 1 2011 parliamentary elections. Through this training, citizen observers in Seychelles were exposed to international best practices. The deployment of citizen observers in these elections contributed to the perceived credibility of the Electoral Commission and it increased the integrity of the electoral process.


Election observation by CSOs in the SADC

EISA's Elections and Political Processes, as part of it's support for civil society electoral initiatives, has contributed to enhancing the capacity of civil society organisations in the region to plan and conduct election observation mission. Each of the networks that EPP has worked with was able to develop good quality training manuals for the training of election observers. They were also able to plan, assemble and deploy professionally sound citizen election observation missions.

These organisations have become bolder in their approach to election observation and their increasingly effective participation in election reform debates.

All the civil society organisations which directly benefited from the Principles for Election Management, Monitoring and Observation in the SADC Region (PEMMO) training have used it in designing their election observation checklists as well as training their observers. This has led to a great deal of incorporation of PEMMO principles into the actual work of domestic observer groups. Indeed, the signs are that most of the election stakeholders in the region are aware of the principles and some have started to incorporate it into manuals, training materials and assessment tools. A wave of electoral reforms will hopefully close the circle by ensuring that the benchmarks set in PEMMO influence new laws positively.