EU deploys long-term observers for polls

HARARE - The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Zimbabwe said it will deploy 44 long-term observers throughout the country for the July 30 election.

“Observers will be present in the EU EOM mission outfit with the EU EOM logo,” the mission said in a statement.

The observers will be sent off from Harare by deputy chief observer Mark Stevens. The observer group is one of the largest to be deployed so far after Zimbabwe invited Western observers for the first time since 2002.

The deployment will come after the joint International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute Zimbabwe election observer mission also deployed 14 long-term observers throughout the country on Friday.

The arrival of the 44 long-term observers follows the mission’s 10-member core team that arrived in Zimbabwe early this month.

In total, the EU is planning to deploy about 140 observers for the first post-Mugabe era election, with more than 40 short-term observers expected to be deployed a week before the poll.

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