An independent Commonwealth Observer Group (COG) deployed in Dominica, has delivered its interim statement on the 2019 Dominica General Elections, stating the election results ‘reflect the collective will of the people who voted.’
Despite tensions leading up to Election Day, voters turned out in high numbers in order to exercise their franchise by casting a ballot.
The ten-person observer team, was led by Chairperson, Zainab Bangura, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sierra Leone and former Under-Secretary-General at the United Nations.
At a press conference in Roseau on 07 December, she said: “The election was conducted in accordance with the laws of Dominica.”
The Chairperson carried on by saying “the Group was particularly impressed by the large numbers of women and youth who participated in the electoral process.”
Since their arrival in Dominica, COG members have met with the country’s Electoral Commission, President Charles Savarin, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, Leader of the Opposition Lennox Linton, as well as the Chief of Police, civil society and others. The observers also witnessed campaign activities in and around Dominica to assess the pre-electoral environment.
Election observation is a core Commonwealth role undertaken with impartiality, independence and transparency.
On Election Day, members of the COG were present in all 21 constituencies, which included the areas of Castle Bruce, Cottage, Mahaut, Marigot, Portsmouth, Roseau and Salisbury. COG members observed the opening of polls, voting, closing of polls and the counting process.
Members of the COG will stay in Dominica until 11 December 2019 to finalise their report, observe the post-electoral-environment and continue meeting with stakeholders.
The Chairperson concluded the statement by stating: “Dominica will continue to serve as an inspiration for Commonwealth small state resilience through our family of 53 countries and beyond”.
The statement made by the Chairperson sets out the Group’s preliminary observations. Its final report will be issued at a later stage and will contain detailed findings and recommendations for future elections.