Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma today announced that a Commonwealth Election Assessment Team will be deployed for the 28 November 2011 elections in Saint Lucia, following an invitation from the Prime Minister, Hon Stephenson King.
“The Commonwealth attaches great importance to the democratic choice of the people and elections lie at the very heart of democracy. I am delighted that a Commonwealth Election Assessment Team will be present to see the people of Saint Lucia exercise their franchise and elect their leaders and representatives,” Mr Sharma said.
The three-member team will be led by Mr Jean-Pierre Kingsley, former Chief Electoral Officer of Canada and former President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). He will be supported by Mr Linford Andrews and Ms Charlene Lee Ling, both staff from the Secretariat’s Political Affairs Division.
The Team will be present in the country from 22 November. In the lead-up to the poll, it will meet with relevant stakeholders, notably officials responsible for organising the elections, representatives of political parties, civil society, other international groups present for the elections and Commonwealth diplomatic missions.
The Team will conduct an analysis of the general conduct and framework for the elections, considering the preparations as well as the polling, counting and results. It will also assess the overall electoral environment, according to the standards for democratic elections to which the country has committed itself, with reference to national election-related legislation and relevant regional, Commonwealth and other international commitments.
Upon completion of its duties, the Team will submit a report to the Commonwealth Secretary-General.