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Commonwealth observers issue statement on arrival in Papua New Guinea

21 June 2017

Commonwealth election observers in Papua New Guinea will be “objective, independent and impartial”, the group’s chair has said.

Sir Anand Satyanand, the former Governor-General of New Zealand, issued a statement on Wednesday 21 June 2017 on behalf of the 12-member Commonwealth Observer Group.

The observers are in the country for the general election scheduled to start this weekend, on 24 June. Voting will take place over two weeks until 4 July, with 3,332 candidates vying for 111 seats in Parliament.

“Our presence here reaffirms the Commonwealth’s strong and longstanding support for Papua New Guinea’s democratic processes,” said Sir Anand in a statement issued upon arrival.

“Our terms of reference are to observe the electoral process and consider the factors that could impinge on the credibility of the electoral process as a whole. This includes observing the re-election environment, polling day, the count, and post-election period.”

The chair continued: “We are committed to being objective, independent and impartial. The assessment of the Group will be its own, and not that of any member government or organisation. We will also make recommendations to assist the conduct of future elections.”

The Commonwealth team joins around 800 international and national election observers in Papua New Guinea.

Note to Editors:

Since 1980, the Commonwealth has observed more than 140 elections in 36 countries. Commonwealth observers have contributed to the entrenchment of democratic practices globally by offering recommendations for practical action and giving voters confidence that an independent, impartial and public view will be taken on the integrity of an electoral process.

Commonwealth observers act impartially and independently and conduct themselves according to the International Declaration of Principles for Election Observation.

Find out more and read the chair’s arrival statement in full on the Commonwealth website: thecommonwealth.org/pngelection2017

Media Contact:

Communications Officer Ulafala Aiavao [email protected]