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In focus: Commonwealth elections

Sierra Leone, 2012

Man placing his vote in a ballot box watched by and election offical, Sierra Leone, 2012

In November 2012, Sierra Leone went to the polls and witnessed another peaceful election, further consolidating the political, social and economic stability built after many years of conflict. It was the sixth time the Commonwealth had observed the country’s elections. The Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group helped support local efforts to broker a meeting between opposition parties who eventually accepted the outcome of the elections. Read more


Pakistan, 2013

People walking near colourful buses in Pakistan

The Commonwealth Observer Group to Pakistan’s 2013 General Elections concluded that enormous progress had been made in its journey to democracy.  The elections represented the first time in Pakistan that power was peacefully transferred from one elected civilian government, after completing its full term, to another. However, the elections were marred by violence, intimidation and bloodshed carried out by militant groups. Despite this, the Commonwealth Observer Group noted several highlights such as the overall voter turn-out and a significant number of first-time voters. This was, in part, due to an improved electoral register and the use of technology to disseminate information to voters. Read more


Solomon Islands, 2014

Polling station in Solomon Islands

The people of the Solomon Islands participated peacefully in the 2014 national election. The Commonwealth Observer Group reported that messages by community leaders encouraging voters to participate peacefully went a long way to ensuring that both the vote and the count proceeded in a peaceful and calm environment. Electoral commissions across the Pacific are supported by international bodies including Commonwealth Electoral Network and the Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand Electoral Administrators (PIANZEA) Network. Read more


Nigeria, 2015 

People queuing to vote in Nigeria

Africa has seen significant democratic gains in recent years. Nigeria’s elections in 2015 ushered in the country’s first peaceful transition of political power between two political parties, and in the continent’s largest democracy. In the months leading up to the March 2015 presidential poll, some experts predicted largescale violence as the likely outcome of the election. Nigeria in the event held a closely contested election, observed by the Commonwealth, which resulted in a peaceful transfer or power. Read more


St Vincent and the Grenadines, 2015

Polling station St Vincent and the Grenadines

The Commonwealth team for the 2015 election in St Vincent and the Grenadines comprised two electoral experts: Mr Paulo Cuinica, Commissioner of the Mozambique Electoral Commission and Ms Myrtle Palacio, former Chief Elections Officer of Belize. The team expressed their "congratulations to the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines for the positive and peaceful manner in which they engaged in the democratic process." Read more