The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, has released the final report of the Commonwealth Expert Team which observed the 19-21 May 2011 Presidential Election in Seychelles.
Commenting on the report, he said: “The Commonwealth Expert Team found that the electoral process was credible. I note, however, areas of concern, and the team’s assessment that while some fundamental elements of a democratic environment were met, others were not. Specific issues highlighted in the report included the need for a thorough review of electoral legislation, an independent electoral commission, reform of party and campaign expenditure and financial reporting, and the reduction of media licensing costs.”
The Secretary-General welcomed the positive steps announced and enacted by the Seychelles Government after the recent elections to address some of these issues, notably providing for the creation of an Election Commission.
“I encourage the Seychelles Government to consider how the remaining recommendations of the Commonwealth Expert Team could best be implemented,” he added.
The Secretary-General further stated: “I note that the other candidates that contested the election rejected the result. I encourage all political leaders to engage in constructive dialogue; the team’s report may prove helpful in this regard. The Commonwealth Secretariat stands ready to assist and support these efforts, and to help consolidate their democratic development and achievements.”
Note to Editors:
The report was completed and signed by all members of the Commonwealth Expert Team prior to their departure from Seychelles. It was presented to the Commonwealth Secretary-General by the chair of the Expert Team, Dr Julian Hunte, a former Foreign Minister of St Lucia and erstwhile President of the United Nations General Assembly. It has subsequently been distributed to the Government of Seychelles, political parties, the Electoral Commissioner and all Commonwealth governments.