The Commonwealth Election Observation Review Group met at Marlborough House on February 26, 2018 to review the guidelines for observation first drafted in 1991
The Commonwealth Election Observation Review Group met at Marlborough House on February 26, 2018 to review the guidelines for observation first drafted in 1991.
Since the establishment of the group and guidelines, the Commonwealth has observed 136 elections in 38 countries, in order to ensure open, democratic electoral procedures are carried out in member states, as per the Commonwealth Charter.
Former Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, Chair of the review group, noted that election observations are an integral part of the Commonwealth’s work to advance democratic principles and values in its member countries.
A Commonwealth observation team, led by former Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama, is currently in Sierra Leone ahead of the March 7 general election.
Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, addressing the group, said: “Since 1991, there have been many developments in approaches to election observation and in the conduct of elections, notably with regard to the use of information and communication technology for the management of elections, women’s political participation and new media.
“So it is timely for there to be thorough reconsideration and revision of the guidelines.
“This is the first time in a generation that Commonwealth members collectively will re-examine, refresh and refocus this important aspect of our work.
“I hope that colleagues will be really pleased that young people are saying that the Commonwealth is the only organisation ‘walking the talk’ and including them at the table, where they have valuable things to say.”