“Commonwealth observer group in Dominica for elections”

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A Commonwealth Observation Group (COG) is in Dominica to observe the upcoming elections.

The COG arrived in the country on November 27 following an invitation from Dominica Prime Minister Hon Roosevelt Skerrit to observe the general elections scheduled for Friday.

COG members will meet with stakeholders, including election management officials, representatives of political parties, civil society groups and others, and will deploy to observe the election environment, including related court proceedings and polling day preparations.

Group chairperson Zainab Bangura is the former Sierra Leone Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and former Under-Secretary-General at the United Nations.

In an arrival statement she said: “Our presence in Dominica affirms the support of the Commonwealth to Dominica and its democratic processes. The group’s assessment will be its own and not that of any other individual, institution or country.”

Election observation is a core Commonwealth role undertaken with impartiality, independence and transparency.

This role is in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and the Revised Commonwealth Guidelines for the Observation of Elections in Member Countries which was agreed by Commonwealth Heads of Governments in 2018.

COGs are made up of people from various regions of the Commonwealth bringing a wealth of experience with regards to political, social and legal issues.

The eight-member group comprises representatives from Belize, Uganda, Barbados, England, Jamaica, Kenya, Antigua & Barbuda and Malaysia.  

On election day they will observe opening, voting, closing, counting and the results management process until departure on December 13. An Interim Statement of preliminary findings will be issued after December 6. (PR/SAT)