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
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
Uganda Joint Christian Council