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  • Observing the conduct of elections

    The Commonwealth has observed more than 130 elections in 36 countries since 1980, most recently observing Zimbabwe’s 2018 General Elections.

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Democracy and Elections

Building, supporting and strengthening legal systems in our member countries is a key aim of the Commonwealth. This includes promoting regular elections and strengthening election bodies, institutions and processes.

The Commonwealth regularly sends teams to observe and report on the conduct of elections.  We help build lasting democratic institutions, enabling citizen participation and representation at national and local level. We believe in invitation, not intervention, and follow the principles outlined in the international declaration and code of conduct for election observers

The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) assesses violations of Commonwealth values and recommends measures to restore democracy and constitutional rule. Composed of 10 Commonwealth member countries, CMAG has authority to suspend a country from the Commonwealth. Its activities, composition and remit are reviewed every two years.

International observers react to postponement of Nigerian elections

Heads of international observation missions in Nigeria have called for calm in the nation, following the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the 2019 general elections due to logistical and operational challenges.

Commonwealth Observer Group in Nigeria gears up for deployment to regions

The Commonwealth Observer Group currently in Nigeria to witness the general elections will be deployed this Wednesday to various regions of the country, to observe preparations for polling day.

Building media capacity in Malawi ahead of May elections

The Commonwealth, in partnership with the Malawi Electoral Commission, has invited media managers and editors from across Malawi to a workshop in Lilongwe. 

Election observation experts return to Commonwealth headquarters

The Commonwealth will host representatives from some of the leading organisations engaged in international election observation later this week.

Zimbabwe Election: Commonwealth releases Observer Group Report

The Commonwealth Observer Group deployed by the Secretary-General to observe Zimbabwe’s Harmonised Elections on 30 July has released its final report. They are the first elections the Commonwealth has observed in Zimbabwe in 16 years.

Ask the Expert: Deepening democracy in Commonwealth Africa

The ‘Ask The Expert’ series features the leading specialists who work at the Commonwealth Secretariat. In this edition, Yvonne Apea Mensah, Adviser and Head, Africa Section, Governance and Peace Directorate shares insights into how the Commonwealth is promoting democracy in member countries.

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