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Former Nigeria Head of State General Yakubu Gowon to lead Commonwealth Observer Group for Zambia Elections

9 September 2011

A Commonwealth Observer Group (COG) will be present during Zambia’s Elections due to be held on 20 September 2011. The COG will be led by former Nigeria Head of State General Yakubu Gowon.

The Group was constituted by the Commonwealth Secretary-General at the invitation of the President of Zambia.

“The Commonwealth has a long history of engagement with Zambia and we are happy to observe these important elections”, the Secretary-General said. He went on, “We very much hope that these elections will further strengthen the democratic process in the country and that all sides will engage peacefully and constructively throughout.”

The Group’s mandate is to observe and consider all aspects of the process with a view to assessing compliance with the standards for democratic elections to which Zambia has committed itself. Where appropriate the Team may also make recommendations for the future strengthening of the electoral framework.

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

The Group’s report will be submitted to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, who will in turn send it to the Government of Zambia, the Electoral Commission of Zambia, political parties, and eventually to all Commonwealth Governments.

The Commonwealth Observer Group will arrive in Zambia on 13 September 2011 and will stay until 27 September 2011.

The full composition of the COG is:

General Yakubu Gowon (Chair)

Former Head of State



Mr Alberto August

Chairman, Election & Boundaries Commission



Mr Tony Colman

Former Member of Parliament



Ms Alexandra Devon

International Development Consultant



Ms Sarah Fradgley

Media and Communications Expert

New Zealand


Ms Liesl Harewood

Youth Representative & Development Consultant



Dr Nazmul Kalimullah




Hon John Mnyika

Member of Parliament



Justice Paul Evande Mwambo




Mr Kennedy Nyaundi

Commissioner, Interim Independent  Election Commission



Mr Malcolm Rodrigues

Chairman, Electoral Assistance Bureau



Rev Fr Dr Rwomukubwe Silvester

Executive Secretary

Uganda Joint Christian Council