Reflecting its continued commitment to support credible, transparent and inclusive elections in Honduras, the European Union also observed the 2013 and 2017 elections.
EU EOMs aim to promote democracy and human rights in a framework of cooperation with third countries.
Honduran authorities and civil society have reiterated that the presence of the EU EOM is an important and constructive contribution to the electoral process.
EU Election Observation Missions are financed exclusively from European Union budgets.
The EU EOM is guided by the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation adopted under the auspices of the United Nations in 2005 by various international bodies and entities involved in international election observation.
Over the past 25 years, the European Union has deployed more than 200 election observation missions in some 75 countries on five continents and has developed a methodology based on the following principles:
- Comprehensive observation of electoral processes in accordance with international and regional obligations for democratic elections.
- Absolute independence of the mission.
- Non-interference in the electoral process.
- Neutrality and impartiality of observers;
- Adherence to the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, commemorated at the United Nations in 2005.
- Respect for the Code of Conduct for international election observation and host country legislation.
The EU EOM conducts a comprehensive analysis of the electoral process, based on long-term observation. To this end, observers meet with the Honduran electoral and political authorities, the different candidates, civil society organisations and the media to analyse, among other aspects:
- The legal framework and its application.
- The impartiality of the electoral administration.
- The reliability and integrity of the electoral roll.
- The registration of parties and candidates.
- The conduct of the election campaign.
- The use of public resources during the campaign.
- Fairness of candidates' access to the media.
- Respect for the universal rights of freedom of expression and assembly.
- Voting, the counting of votes, their reflection in the electoral register and the scrutiny of votes.
- Appeals and complaints.
EU EOM composition
Željana Zovko is the Chief of the EU EOM. Ms. Zovko, a Croatian diplomat and politician, has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2016 for the European People's Party (HDZ/EPP), of which she is Vice-President. Before becoming an MEP, she had an extensive diplomatic career as ambassador to France, Spain and Italy. In the field of election observation, Ms. Zovko was head of the EU EOM in Nepal in 2017.
For Election Day, the mission will comprise around 70 observers from EU member states.
The core team arrived in Tegucigalpa on 13 October and is composed of:
- A deputy chief of Mission.
- A political analyst.
- A legal analyst.
- An electoral analyst.
- A deputy electoral analyst.
- An electoral technology analyst.
- A media analyst.
- A social media analyst.
- A press officer.
- An observers’ coordinator.
- And a data analyst.
This group was joined in late October by 30 long-term observers (LTO) who were deployed in teams of two and are covering all departments of the country. A delegation from the European Parliament and diplomats from member states accredited in Honduras and concurrent embassies will join the mission close to the vote. The mission will remain in the country until the conclusion of the electoral process.
Findings of the Mission
The Mission does not pronounce on the verdict of the polls but assesses the electoral process as a whole. Following the elections, the EU EOM will issue two reports. In the first, normally two days after Election Day, the mission will issue a preliminary statement during a press conference in Tegucigalpa.
Approximately two months after the elections, a representation of the mission will return to Honduras to share the final report with the government, electoral bodies, political parties and civil society. The report will include recommendations for possible reforms of future electoral processes.