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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 Tanzania’s General Elections.

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Democracy

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.

Zimbabwe begins process to re-join Commonwealth; observers invited to July elections

Zimbabwe has applied to re-join the Commonwealth. The proposal came in a letter dated 9 May to Secretary-General Patricia Scotland from Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Peaceful transition in Malaysia commended

The Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, has congratulated Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad following successful elections in Malaysia on 9 May.

Updated observation guidelines for Commonwealth elections

New guidelines for Commonwealth election observation have been agreed and released at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) today - the first such update in 27 years.