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
Ms Kathryn Omwandho
Journalist and Media Expert
Ms Sarah Fradgley
Media and Communications Consultant
Mr Daryl Mapu
Senior Registration Officer, Election Commission
Ms Emmanuella Kauhue
Community Participation Coordinator
Ambassador Mohamed Mohideen Amanul Farouque
Mr Joseph Biribonwa
Deputy Chair, Electoral Commission
Mr Henry Hogger
Consultant and Former Diplomat