IRI and NDI Announce Joint Delegation to Observe Zimbabwe’s July 30 Elections

Washington D.C., July 26, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Harare, Zimbabwe—The International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) today announced the members of the Institute’s joint election observation mission to Zimbabwe.

Former Liberian President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former Interim President of the Central African Republic Catherine Samba-Panza will co-lead the joint international observer delegation. They will be joined on the leadership team by U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass and former U.S. Assistant Secretaries of State for Africa Constance Berry Newman and Ambassador Johnnie Carson. 

In addition to the leadership, the delegation will include the following 22 short-term observers, who arrived in Zimbabwe on July 24:  

  • Dr. Hussaini Abdu, Chair of the Board, Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement Africa (YIAGA)
  • Michael Abramowitz, President, Freedom House  
  • Peter Aling'o, Resident Country Director, Tanzania, International Republican Institute  
  • Hon. Gerti Bogdani, International Secretary, Democratic Party of Albania
  • Lamin Darboe, Executive Director, National Youth Council (The Gambia)
  • Max Delices, Operations Director, Electoral Council of Haiti
  • Act. Anna Henga, Executive Director, Legal and Human Rights Centre  of Tanzania
  • Hon. Mike Igini, Barrister; Resident Electoral Commissioner, Akwa Ibom State (Nigeria), INEC
  • Nicole Wilett-Jensen, Deputy Director for Global Policy and Advocacy, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Natalie Kay, Program Officer, National Endowment for Democracy
  • Jerry Lavery, Technical Director, Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening
  • Fr. Cleophas Lungu, Acting Chairperson, Christian Churches Monitoring Group (CCMG)
  • Hon. Eugenio Chicas Martinez, Congressman, Central American Parliament; Former Chief Magistrate of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of El Salvador
  • Ambassador Liberata Mulamula, Associated Director, the Institute of African Studies, George Washington University; Former Tanzanian Ambassador to the United States
  • Dr. Alexander Noyes, Senior Associate, Center for International and Strategic Studies
  • Dave Peterson, Senior Director, Africa Program, National Endowment for Democracy
  • Bethany Poulos, Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)
  • Dr. Henry Kwasi Prempeh, Executive Director, Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana)
  • Hon. Jason Rweikiza, Member of Parliament (Tanzania)
  • Barbara Smith, Principal, Mountain Time Development; Senior Associate, Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Christopher Socha, Legislative Director to U.S. Senator James Risch (R-ID)
  • Dr. Lesley Warner Professional Staff Member, U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee

The short-term observers will join the 25 long-term staff who are currently in Zimbabwe, including 14 long-term observers covering all 10 provinces of Zimbabwe.  The IRI-NDI observation effort, which began with an in-country presence on April 23, also included a June 3-8 Pre-Election Assessment Mission, which issued a detailed statement at the conclusion of the mission that set forth 13 recommended steps for enhancing public confidence in the electoral process. The IRI-NDI Mission has received accreditation from the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) to observe the electoral process.


IRI and NDI have organized more than 200 international election observation missions around the globe, earning a reputation for impartiality and professionalism. In Zimbabwe, the IRI-NDI mission will conduct activities in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and Code of Conduct launched at the United Nations in 2005 and will base its findings on international standards for elections.

The mission’s approach is consistent with regional instruments to which Zimbabwe is a signatory, including the African Union Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections. All activities will be conducted on a strictly independent and nonpartisan basis, without interfering in the election process and in conformity with the laws of Zimbabwe.

About IRI

The International Republican Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing freedom and democracy worldwide. IRI enables political parties to become more issue-based and responsive, helps citizens to participate in government planning, and works to increase the role of marginalized groups in the political process. Since 1983, IRI has monitored 205 elections in 57 countries through international observation missions and assessments. For more information, visit

About NDI

The National Democratic Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government. Over the past 35 years, NDI has conducted more than 150 election observation missions in 62 countries. For more information, visit



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