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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.

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.

Communities strengthen dispute resolution skills in Malawi Commonwealth panel on dispute resolution in Malawi

Community actors in Malawi are set to benefit from a special training programme aimed at enhancing local skills in dialogue and dispute resolution.

Malawi women reflect on political advancement Women voting in Malawi elections

Malawian women in politics have been taking stock of their success in the May elections and brainstorming how to gain an even greater say in the running of their country.

Mozambique election day ‘largely peaceful’ despite allegations of irregularities COG chair, former Kenyan Vice-President Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka speaking to media

Voting in Mozambique’s general elections was largely peaceful but with allegations of irregularities, according to the Commonwealth Observer Group (COG).

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