Kenya‘s former Sports ,Heritage and Culture Cabinet Secretary Amb Amina Mohammed has been selected to lead a five-member group of Commonwealth Observers to observe general elections at Dominica State scheduled for December 6, 2022.
Other members of the team are Liberata Mulamula Former Minister of Foreign Affairs United Republic of Tanzania, Prof Praja Trivedi Commonwealth Envoy India, Mr Ian Hughes Assistant Chief Electoral Officer of Elections Commission Antigua and Barbuda, Mrs Wyvolyn Patterson a Journalist from Jamaica.
The group was constituted by the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Rt Patricia Scotland KC, following the invitation of the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, to have a Commonwealth Observer Group (COG) to observe the country’s general elections.
In a press statement sent to newsrooms, Scotland said the Commonwealth has a long and proud history of standing in solidarity with citizens as they prepare to choose their leaders.
“Under the chairmanship of Amb Amina Mohammed, I firmly believe that the observer group will provide an informed, comprehensive, and impartial assessment of the electoral process,” said Scotland.
She said the observer group is expected to arrive in Roseau on November 30, 2022 and stay until the completion of the electoral process and depart on December 11, 2022.
The observers will be deployed across the country where they will be supported by a team from the Commonwealth Secretariat led by Ms Chantal Sciberras, Adviser and Head of Europe in the Governance and Peace Directorate.
During the election process, the COG will observe all aspects from the opening of polling stations, the voting process to the counting of ballots and announcement of result, they will determine whether the elections are conducted in line with international standards as well as the domestic democratic standards to which Dominica has committed itself.
They will also meet and hold briefings with stakeholders, including election management officials, representatives of political parties, civil society groups, the media, and other key stakeholders.
Two days after election, the Observer group will issue an interim statement outlining its initial findings. A final report, which will include the assessment of the electoral process and a set of recommendations for reforms to improve future elections, will be presented to the Government of Dominica, the Electoral Office, and other stakeholders, before being made public.
The COG’s mandate requires observers to act impartially, adhere to the standards of the Commonwealth Guidelines for the Observation of Elections as well as the International Declaration of Principles for Election Observation, to which the Commonwealth is a signatory.
The Commonwealth has been observing electoral processes for over four decades and to date it has observed more than 160 elections in 40 countries.
The Commonwealth Secretariat supports member countries to build democratic and inclusive institutions, strengthen governance and promote justice and human rights, besides helping states to grow economies and boost trade, deliver national resilience, empower young people, and address threats such as climate change, debt, and inequality.
By Bernadette Khaduli