Commonwealth announces 20 election observers posted in Kenya

The Commonwealth Observer Group will arrive in Nairobi on August 2 ahead of the 2022 elections

Ballot boxes during a past General Election in Kenya [Photo: AFP]

At the invitation of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the Commonwealth Secretariat on Tuesday announced the 20 election observers selected for the 2022 elections.

In a statement to newsrooms, the Commonwealth announced the appointment of Botswana’s former President Festus Mogae as the head of delegation for the observer group.

“Election observation is an essential component of our efforts to support member countries to strengthen the processes, culture, and institutions of democracy, and to enable citizen participation and representation at all levels.

“I am grateful to President Mogae and all observers for accepting this important assignment, as we continue to promote and protect electoral democracy – and the right of individuals to participate in processes which shape their societies through credible, inclusive, and transparent elections – in line with the Commonwealth Charter," Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said while announcing the team.

Ahead of the Group’s arrival, an advance team from the Commonwealth will arrive on July 16 to meet key stakeholders, including the election management body, political parties, civil society groups, media, and other international observers.

They will travel across the country to build a comprehensive picture of the conduct of the process and to observe the campaign and the electoral preparations.

The Chair and observers have been given the mandate to observe and consider the factors affecting the credibility of the electoral process as a whole and to judge whether elections have been conducted according to the standards for democratic elections to which Kenya has committed itself, including legislation and relevant regional, commonwealth and international commitments.

The Commonwealth Observer Group will arrive in Nairobi on August 2, 2022 and will be supported by a team from the Commonwealth Secretariat, led by the Deputy Secretary-General Dr Arjoon Suddhoo.

The Commonwealth Observer Group members are:

  1. H.E. Festus Moga – Chairperson, Former President of Botswana
  2. Dr Anne Gallagher - Director-General, Commonwealth Foundation, Australia 
  3. Darrell Bradley - Former Mayor of Belize City, Belize
  4. Dr Simon Munzu - Former UN Deputy Special Representative for Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon
  5. Halifa Sallah - Former National Assembly Member, The Gambia
  6. Jerald Joseph - Former Human Rights Commissioner, Malaysia
  7. Dr Evarist Bartolo - Former Foreign Minister, Malta
  8. Maryan Street - Former Minister of Housing, New Zealand
  9. Idayat Hassan - Director, Centre for Democracy and Development, Nigeria
  10. Prof Attahiru Jega - Former Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Nigeria
  11. Nighat Dad - Founder and Executive Director of Digital Rights Foundation, Pakistan
  12. Marcella Samba-Sesay - Chairperson, National Election Watch, Sierra Leone
  13. Professor Mandla Mchunu - Former Chief Election Officer, South Africa
  14. Dr Victor Shale - Elections and governance Expert, South Africa
  15.  Fern Narcis-Scope - Chief Election Officer, Elections and Boundaries Commission Trinidad and Tobago
  16. Justice James Ogoola - Former Principal Judge of the High Court, Uganda
  17. Zeinab Badawi - Broadcaster and President of School of Oriental and AfricanStudies, UK
  18. Baroness Denise Kingsmill - Member of the House of Lords, UK
  19. Mark Stephens CBE - Lawyer, UK
  20. Dr Chaloka Beyani - Professor of Law, London School of Economics, Zambia

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