Friday, 22 October 2010

Commonwealth to Deploy Election Observers

A Commonwealth Observer Group (COG) will be present during Tanzania's General Elections due to be held on 31 October 2010. The COG will be led by former New Zealand Attorney-General, Rt Hon Paul East QC.

The Group was constituted by Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, at the invitation of the National Electoral Commission of Tanzania.

"The Commonwealth has a history of engagement with Tanzania, and we are pleased to observe these important elections," the Secretary-General said. He went on, "We very much hope that they will further strengthen the democratic process and advance development in the country."

The Group's mandate is to observe the preparations for the election, the polling, the counting and the results process, and the overall electoral environment. The team will be there to assess the conduct of the process as a whole and, where appropriate, make recommendations for the future strengthening of the electoral framework in Tanzania, including the process in Zanzibar.

The Group will act impartially and independently, and will conduct itself according to the standards expressed in the International Declaration of Principles for Election Observation, to which the Commonwealth is a signatory.

The Group's report will be submitted to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, who will in turn send it to the Government of Tanzania as well as to the authorities in Zanzibar, the National Electoral Commission, the Zanzibar Electoral Commission and political parties, and eventually to all Commonwealth Governments.

The Commonwealth Observer Group is expected to comprise 15 experienced persons, including the Chair. The team will arrive in Tanzania on 24 October 2010, and stay until 7 November 2010.

Commonwealth Observer Group - Tanzania 2010

Chair: Rt Hon Mr Paul East, QC, Former Attorney-General, New Zealand

Mrs Judy Hopwood MP, Member of Parliament, Australia

Ms Juliette Maughan, Youth Representative, Barbados

Mr Pierre Paul Martin, Elections Expert, Canada

Hon Omar Jallow, Politician, Gambia

Mrs Pauline Dadzawa, Election Commissioner, Ghana

Dr Rupert Roopnaraine, Politician, Guyana

Mr Akshay Rout, Director General, Election Commission, India

Ms Jane Godia, Media/Gender Expert, Kenya

Ms Cheryl Dorall, Media Consultant, Malaysia

Sheikh (Dr) Abdul Karimo, Co-ordinator, Elections Obsevatory, Mozambique

Mr Charles Munyaneza, Executive Secretary, National Election Commission, Rwanda

Mr Pesi Fonua, Publisher/Editor, Tonga

Hon Irene Ovonji-Odida, Former Member of the East African Legislative Assembly, Uganda

Mr Frank Martin, Former Diplomat, United Kingdom

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