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Former Vice President picked by Commonwealth to observe elections

The  former  Vice  President, Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka  will be among four other dignitaries that have been picked as the Commonwealth team to observe elections in Mozambique.

The elections that will take place next week on Tuesday October 15 will also see Former Zambia Solicitor General, and former Attorney General, Musa Mwenye , the Head of Africa Programme ,Chatham House, Dr. Alex  Vines, ,South Africa Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Nomsa Masuku, Commissioner and Ms. Emma Lee Wilson, the  Lecturer in Conflict Mediation, Department of Politics and International Studies, Cambridge University  as part of the observation group.

In a press release on Monday ahead of the elections, the  Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland  said the elections are crucial for the further consolidation of peace and democracy in Mozambique.

“I am pleased that through this group of eminent persons, the Commonwealth will once again be present to demonstrate its support to the people of Mozambique,” she said.

Scotland added that the recommendations the Group will make in its final report will contribute to the strengthening of Mozambique’s democratic culture.

The  Commonwealth Observer Group  will be in Mozambique from October 10 to 20 to consider the pre-election environment, election preparations, the vote on election day itself and the immediate post-election environment, including the results process.

As  with all Commonwealth observer groups, the team will function with impartiality and independence, and conduct itself  according to the standards set out in the International Declaration of Principles for Election Observation, to which  the Commonwealth is a signatory.

The  Secretary-General added, “The responsibility for conducting credible and peaceful elections is a collective one. It falls on all concerned, including the election management body, to political parties, civil society, community leaders, security agencies, the media and the electorate. Each stakeholder has a constitutional duty and responsibility to ensure that the process is credible and peaceful.”

Mozambique joined the Commonwealth in November 1995 as the first member country with no colonial links to Britain. The Commonwealth last deployed a Group to observe elections in Mozambique in 2014.

The observer group is supported by a Commonwealth staff team led by Yvonne Apea Mensah, Adviser and Head of Africa in the Governance and Peace Directorate.

The Commonwealth of Nations is a voluntary association of 53 sovereign states. Nearly all of them are former British colonies or dependencies of those colonies. No one government in the Commonwealth exercises power over the others, as is the case in a political union.

By  Wangari  Ndirangu

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