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Former Prime Minister of Malta Dr Lawrence Gonzi to lead Commonwealth Observer Group for Maldives elections

22 August 2013
The Group will be in Maldives from 31 August – 14 September 2013

Dr Lawrence Gonzi, former Prime Minister of Malta, will lead a Commonwealth Observer Group to Maldives’ presidential elections scheduled for 7 September 2013. 

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma constituted the Group at the invitation of the Maldives Elections Commission. 

The Commonwealth Observer Group’s mandate is to observe and consider all aspects of the electoral process with a view to assessing compliance with the standards for democratic elections to which Maldives has committed itself. Where appropriate, the Group may also make recommendations for the future strengthening of the electoral framework. 

Commonwealth Observer Groups 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 Commonwealth Observer Group to the 2013 Maldives elections will submit its report to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, who will in turn send it to the Government of Maldives, the Elections Commission, Maldivian political parties and eventually to all Commonwealth governments. 

The 17-member Commonwealth Observer Group will arrive in Malé on 31 August and will remain there until 14 September 2013. A Commonwealth Secretariat team will support the Group, led by Ms Nishana Jayawickrama, Head of the Asia/Europe Section of the Political Affairs Division. 

Composition of the Group:

Chair:
Dr Lawrence Gonzi
Former Prime Minister
Malta

Mr Hugh Craft
Former Diplomat
Australia
    
Mr Bruce Hatch
Elections Expert
Canada

Ms Elizabeth Ohene
Former Minister and Media Expert
Ghana

Mr Navin Chawla
Former Chief Election Commissioner
India

Prof Lisa Ann Vasciannie 
Governance Expert
Jamaica

Mr Yusmadi Yusoff
Former Member of Parliament
Malaysia

Adv. Notemba Tjipueja
Chair, Elections Commission
Namibia

Ms Maryan Street
Member of Parliament
New Zealand

Prof Attahiru Jega
Chair, National Electoral Commission
Nigeria

Ms Zobaida Jalal 
Former Minister
Pakistan

Dr Alphonse Gelu
Registrar of Political Parties
Papua New Guinea

Mr Hendrick Gappy
Chair, Electoral Commission 
Seychelles

Ms Lindiwe Faith Mokate
Commissioner, Human Rights Commission
South Africa 

Mr Andi Schubert
Youth Representative
Sri Lanka

Prof Sylvia Tamale
Gender Expert
Uganda 

Mr John Turner
Elections Expert 
United Kingdom

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