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  • Observing the conduct of elections

    The Commonwealth has observed more than 130 elections in 36 countries since 1980, most recently observing Zimbabwe’s 2018 General Elections.

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Democracy and Elections

Building, supporting and strengthening legal systems in our member countries is a key aim of the Commonwealth. This includes promoting regular elections and strengthening election bodies, institutions and processes.

The Commonwealth regularly sends teams to observe and report on the conduct of elections.  We help build lasting democratic institutions, enabling citizen participation and representation at national and local level. We believe in invitation, not intervention, and follow the principles outlined in the international declaration and code of conduct for election observers

The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) assesses violations of Commonwealth values and recommends measures to restore democracy and constitutional rule. Composed of 10 Commonwealth member countries, CMAG has authority to suspend a country from the Commonwealth. Its activities, composition and remit are reviewed every two years.

Election cybersecurity in the Commonwealth strengthened by shared learning delegates at the election management bodies in the Asia-Pacific region

Commonwealth experts have provided training to senior officials from 15 election management bodies (EMBs) in the Asia-Pacific region to help protect electoral processes from cybersecurity threats.

Blog: How the Commonwealth is building capacity among election professionals in the Pacific Participants at first Commonwealth Election Professionals workshop in Honiara, Solomon Islands

Next week, the Commonwealth Election Professionals Initiative Asia Training Event will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In this blog, Kele Lui talks about his experience of participating in the Pacific Training Event in September as Tokelau’s delegate, and why the programme is so valuable for Commonwealth election administrators.

Sri Lanka election: largely peaceful and credible, although lack of social cohesion a concern Commonwealth Observer Group press conference

The Commonwealth Observer Group has commended the people of Sri Lanka on a largely peaceful, credible and orderly election, but expressed concern that some groups experienced fear and intimidation. The Group stressed that a credible election must be inclusive, guaranteeing every citizen’s right to participate freely and safely in the process.

Polls open across Sri Lanka Commonwealth observers at Sri Lanka polling station

Polling is under way in Sri Lanka's presidential election, with a Commonwealth team observing the process in six provinces. The 2019 presidential election is the eighth to be held in Sri Lanka and the first where no sitting president, prime minister or opposition leader is standing.

Commonwealth group begins observation of Sri Lankan presidential election The Commonwealth Observer Election Group in Sri Lanka

A group deployed by the Commonwealth to observe the presidential election in Sri Lanka has called on stakeholders to demonstrate commitment to a “peaceful, transparent, credible and inclusive” poll.

Women in politics unite to establish Inter-Party Gender Action Group(IGAG) in Malawi Participant speaking at workshop in Malawi

The Commonwealth has partnered-up with the Malawi Centre for Multi-Party Democracy (CMD-M) for a workshop designed to advance women’s political party leadership, strategy, advocacy and engagement.

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