At the invitation of the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, a Commonwealth Observer Group (COG) will be deployed to observe the country’s general elections scheduled for 6 December 2022.
The Commonwealth Secretary-General, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, constituted the five-member group of observers, which will be led by Kenya’s former Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Heritage and Culture and former Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Amina Mohammed.
The Secretary-General 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 Hon. Amina Mohammed, I firmly believe that the observer group will provide an informed, comprehensive, and impartial assessment of the electoral process.”
The observer group will arrive in Roseau on 30 November 2022 and stay until the completion of the electoral process. During their stay, which will see them deployed throughout the country, 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.
The COG will observe all aspects of the election process - from the opening of polling stations and the voting process to the counting of ballots and announcement of results - and 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.
As per the COG’s mandate, observers will act impartially and will 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.
Two days after election day, 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 group will depart Dominica by 11 December 2022.
The Commonwealth Observer Group members are:
Hon. Amina Mohamed - Chairperson
Former Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Heritage and Culture and former Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs
Hon. Liberata Mulamula
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs
United Republic of Tanzania
Prof. Praja Trivedi
Mr Ian Hughes
Assistant Chief Electoral Officer of Elections Commission
Antigua and Barbuda
Mrs Wyvolyn Patterson
The Commonwealth has been observing electoral processes for over four decades. In that time, more than 160 elections have been observed in 40 countries.
Commonwealth Observer Groups (COGs) are independent and autonomous and will normally be chaired by a former Head of Government or senior political figure.
They are composed of eminent persons from a range of fields, including electoral commissioners, parliamentarians, legal experts, gender experts, human rights experts, and media experts.