Observers pledge impartially for Bahamas election
NASSAU – Observers from the Commonwealth who will be observing the upcoming general election have promised to “act impartially and independently”.
Chairman of the group, Hanna Tetteh, a former foreign minister of Ghana, made the statement on behalf of the group that arrived here last week.
“Our task as the Commonwealth Observer Group is to consider all the factors, to our knowledge, that would impact the credibility of the electoral process as a whole,” she said.
“We will consider, among other things, the general preparedness of the country’s electoral systems and processes – including whether there is a level playing field that allows all political parties and all candidates to take their campaigns to The Bahamian people, whether the voter register was compiled in such a way that all eligible voters who chose to register the vote had the ability to do so, and whether sufficiently robust mechanisms exist to ensure the integrity of the register.”
“Additionally, we will consider whether the state apparatus and public media are impartial; whether freedom of expression is provided for; whether voters are free to express their will; and whether the results process is transparent and timely.”
Tetteh added that she was “greatly honoured” to have been asked by Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland to lead the observer group, which includes independent experts from Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, and Guyana.
The observers are expected to issue an interim statement of their preliminary findings shortly after election day.
This is the first time the Commonwealth has observed elections to in The Bahamas.
The group is scheduled to depart on May 13. (CMC)