A Commonwealth Expert Team will observe the St Kitts and Nevis General Elections scheduled to be held on 16 February 2015.
The two-member Team was constituted by Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma at the invitation of the Government of St Kitts and Nevis, and will be led by Justice Tuiloma Neroni Slade.
Mr Sharma said: “In the Commonwealth Charter, Commonwealth leaders have recognised the inalienable right of individuals to participate in democratic processes, in particular through free and fair elections. I am therefore pleased to establish a Commonwealth Expert Team to observe this important event. I hope that the Team will be able to offer useful recommendations for the further strengthening of the democratic process in the country.”
The Commonwealth Expert Team’s mandate is to observe and consider all aspects of the electoral process with a view to assessing compliance with the standards for democratic elections to which St Kitts and Nevis has committed itself. Where appropriate, the Team may also make recommendations for the future strengthening of the electoral framework.
Commonwealth observer teams act impartially and independently and conduct themselves according to the standards expressed in the International Declaration of Principles for Election Observation, to which the Commonwealth is a signatory.
The Expert Team will submit its report to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, who will in turn send it to the Government of St Kitts and Nevis, the Elections Commission, and the political parties.
The observers will commence their work in country on 12 February and will remain in St Kitts and Nevis until 20 February 2015. A two-member Commonwealth Secretariat staff team will support the Expert Team.
Composition of the Group:
Justice Tuiloma Neroni Slade
Former Judge of the International Criminal Court, and former Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Samoa
Ms Lorna Simon
Elections Supervisor, Antigua and Barbuda