The Commonwealth is to observe Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council Elections, Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma announced today. A Commonwealth Observation Mission will be deployed for the 21 September elections. Former Vice President Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka of Kenya will lead the mission.
The Commonwealth Secretary-General constituted the mission at the invitation of Sri Lanka’s Commissioner of Elections.
"These are landmark elections in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province," the Secretary-General said. "It is my hope that they will proceed peacefully and be held on a level playing field, in an environment where the electors can freely exercise their franchise," he added.
The Commonwealth Observer Mission’s mandate is to observe and consider all aspects of the electoral process and assess compliance with the standards for democratic elections to which Sri Lanka has committed itself. Where appropriate, the mission may also make recommendations for the future strengthening of the electoral framework.
Commonwealth observer missions act impartially and independently and conduct themselves according to the standards expressed in the International Declaration of Principles for Election Observation, to which the Commonwealth is a signatory.
The mission will submit its report to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, who will in turn send it to the Government of Sri Lanka, the Office of the Commissioner of Elections, relevant Sri Lankan political parties and eventually to all Commonwealth governments.
The four-member mission will be in Sri Lanka from the 14 to 28 September and be based mainly in Jaffna. A three-person team deployed from the Commonwealth Secretariat will support the mission. Mr Martin Kasirye, Head of the Democracy Section of the Secretariat’s Political Affairs Division, will lead this support team.
Mr Kalonzo Musyoka (Chair)
Former Vice President
Republic of Kenya
Ms Jenni McMullan
Former Electoral Officer for Victoria
Dr Shamsul Huda
Former Chief Election Commissioner
Ms Examin Philbert
Secretary, Caribbean Association of Local Government Authorities Saint Lucia