Terms of reference for EISA fact finding mission to Swaziland - October 2003

Updated October 2003

Introduction

The Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA) is sending a 7-member Fact Finding Mission to observe the Swaziland Secondary Elections to be held on the 18 October 2003. This is a short term Observer Mission concerning itself only to a limited extent with the pre-election process and focusing on the actual electoral process after familiarising itself with the legal framework of the Swaziland electoral process.

Represented in the Mission will be EISA staff and members of Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network (ZESN).

Objectives of the mission

1. To assess whether conditions exist for the conduct of an election that reflects the will of the Swaziland people.

2. Assess whether the election is conducted in accordance with the electoral legislative framework of Swaziland.

3. The Mission will use the draft "Principles for Election Management, Monitoring and Observation in the SADC Region" to assess the elections.

Method of the mission

In order to achieve the above the mission will:

  • Obtain accreditation from the appropriate Swaziland electoral authority.
  • Obtain information on the electoral process from relevant authorities.
  • Meet with academics, representatives of Civil Society and other stakeholders to acquaint itself with the electoral environment.
  • Report accurately on its observations and refer any irregularities to the authorities.
  • Observe all aspects of the election in those areas that it will visit.
  • Assess if qualifying Swaziland citizens have been able to exercise their right to register as voters.
  • Assess if the registered voters have easy access to voting stations and that they are able to exercise their vote in secret.
  • Assess the logistical arrangements to confirm if all the necessary material is available for voting to take place efficiently.

Conduct of observers

Observers are required to disclose any conflict of interest that may influence their opinion about the conduct of the election, or discredit the election observer mission. The delegates are equally urged to observe strictly the section of the draft "Principles for Election Management, Monitoring and Observation in the SADC Region" dealing with the Code of Conduct for observers (Pages 24-26 of the draft document).

EISA has prepared a dossier for this Mission, Swaziland Election Dossier 2003 [PDF document], No 1 October 2003. This document contains information pertinent to the Swaziland elections, including an historical and socio-economic overview and information around elections and electoral law and traditions in Swaziland.