The leader of the Commonwealth election observer mission to the Dominica ambassador Dr Amina Mohamed has affirmed their presence at the Caribbean nation adding that they will act impartially and adhere to the standards of the Commonwealth Guidelines for the Observation of Elections as well as the International Declaration of Principles for Election Observation, to which the Commonwealth is a signatory.
The Kenya's former Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary who enjoyed a successful stint at the docket before transfer to Education and Sports ministries is leading a Commonwealth Observer Group (COG) consisting of five-members to watch over the polls that took place on December 6, 2022.
The team which also include Ms Liberata Mulamula, Tanzania’s former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Prof Praja Trivedi, Ian Hughes and Wyvolyn Patterson will start giving updates on the progress of the exercise on Wednesday
"While we are here, our mandate is to observe and assess the pre-election environment, the conduct of elections on polling day, and the post-election period against the backdrop of the Commonwealth of Dominica’s national legislation and regulations - as well as regional and international commitments.
"As is customary, we will report on whether the elections have been conducted to the standards to which the Commonwealth of Dominica has committed itself, including its own laws." part of the statement by the head of CoG read.
Commonwealth Observer Groups (COGs) are independent and autonomous and are normally chaired by a former Head of Government or senior political figure.
According to the international political analysts,the consideration of Ms Mohamed is attributed to her global diplomatic reputation which was shaped by successful tenure when she served as the Ambassador and Permanent Representative for Kenya's diplomatic mission at the UN (2000-2006).
She has had an illustrious career in both the diplomatic and public service spanning three decades having represented Kenya at the UN office in Geneva, Switzerland as a legal advisor and the UN Security Council in New York.
Two days after election day, the Observer group will issue an interim statement outlining its initial findings. A final report, which will include the assessment of the electoral process and a set of recommendations for reforms to improve future elections, will be presented to the Government of Dominica, the Electoral Office, and other stakeholders, before being made public.
The Commonwealth has been observing electoral processes for over four decades. In that time, more than 160 elections have been observed in 40 countries. .
They are composed of eminent persons from a range of fields, including electoral commissioners, parliamentarians, legal experts, gender experts, human rights experts, and media experts.
The group will depart Dominica by 11 December 2022
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit was expected to remain leader of the eastern Caribbean island of Dominica after general elections on Tuesday.
Twenty-one of 32 seats in the House of Assembly were up for grabs, with several automatically going to Skerrit’s Dominica Labor Party since the opposition parties did not submit candidates.
The remaining nine members are chosen by the assembly or president and two other positions are ex-officio, held by the speaker and attorney general.