A nine member European Union (EU) election exploratory team led by the bloc’s Head of Democracy and Support Unit, Mr Patrick Costello, arrived in Zimbabwe yesterday for pre-election assessment ahead of the harmonised elections this year.
The team will begin work today and will be in the country until Friday. EU ambassador to Zimbabwe, Phillipe Van Damme said the team will meet Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo and Zimbabwe Electoral Commission officials today. On the make up of the team Van Damme said:
We have quite an extensive team of nine people coming, five have come from our headquarters (Brussels, Belgium) led by the Head of Division for Electoral Observation Mission Mr Costello and flanked by heads of Southern Africa Division in our headquarters. On top of our internal people, we have also mobilised for external experts precisely to help quantify what will be required to mobilise an Electoral Observation Mission.
He said the purpose of the team is to determine whether it will be feasible, useful and advisable to deploy an Electoral Observation Mission. The team is expected to meet various stakeholders, including opposition parties and civic society.