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Commonwealth to Observe Papua New Guinea Elections

15 June 2012
London, 15 June 2012 – A Commonwealth Observer Group will be in Papua New Guinea for the country’s forthcoming national elections, to be held in June and July 2012. The Group will consist of eight observers, supported by six Commonwealth Secretariat staff. Mr Nipake Edward Natapei, Vanuatu’s former Prime Minister, will lead the Group.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma constituted the Group at the invitation of the Government of Papua New Guinea.

Mr Sharma said: “Papua New Guinea is a valued member of the Commonwealth, and we have a long history of observing elections there. We welcome the opportunity to contribute to these elections by deploying an Observer Group.

“Following the turbulent events of recent months, these elections are particularly significant for the people of Papua New Guinea. We very much hope that the elections will strengthen the democratic process in the country, and that all involved will participate peacefully and constructively to ensure their success.”

The Group’s mandate is to observe and consider all aspects of the process, and to assess compliance with international standards for democratic elections, to which Papua New Guinea has committed itself. Where appropriate, the Group may also make recommendations on strengthening the electoral framework.

The Commonwealth Observer Group will act impartially and independently, and will conduct itself according to standards expressed in the International Declaration of Principles for Election Observation, to which the Commonwealth is a signatory.

They will submit a report to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, who will in turn send it to the Government of Papua New Guinea, the Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission, political parties, and eventually to all Commonwealth governments.

The Commonwealth Observer Group will arrive in Papua New Guinea on 16 June and will remain in the country until 16 July.

Composition of the Group

Chair: Mr Nipake Edward Natapei MP

Former Prime Minister

Vanuatu

 

Ms Kathryn Omwandho

Journalist and Media Expert

Kenya

 

Ms Sarah Fradgley

Media and Communications Consultant

New Zealand

 

Mr Daryl Mapu

Senior Registration Officer, Election Commission

Samoa

 

Ms Emmanuella Kauhue

Community Participation Coordinator

Solomon Islands

 

Ambassador Mohamed Mohideen Amanul Farouque

Former Diplomat

Sri Lanka

 

Mr Joseph Biribonwa

Deputy Chair, Electoral Commission

Uganda

 

Mr Henry Hogger

Consultant and Former Diplomat

United Kingdom

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