Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland will deploy a team to observe the Solomon Islands National General Election to be held on 3 April 2019.
The group will be led by Sato Kilman Livtuvanu, former Prime Minister of Vanuatu, and will comprise ten eminent persons drawn from across the regions of the Commonwealth with backgrounds in election management, law, youth, gender, civil society, media, and politics among others.
The Commonwealth Charter recognises ‘the inalienable right of individuals to participate in democratic processes, in particular through free and fair elections in shaping the society in which they live.’ The Charter further states that ‘Governments, political parties and civil society are responsible for upholding and promoting democratic culture and practices and are accountable to the public in this regard.’
The mandate of the group is to consider factors affecting the credibility of the electoral process as a whole. Members will form a judgement on whether the elections have been conducted according to the standards for democratic elections to which all Commonwealth member states have committed themselves, with particular reference to the Commonwealth Charter, national election-related legislation and other relevant regional and international commitments.
Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said: “The remit for the Commonwealth Observer Group is to act impartially and independently. It will be free to propose actions on institutional, procedural or other matters as would assist concerned authorities with elections in the future.”
The group is expected to arrive in Honiara on 27 March and will receive briefings from the Solomon Islands Election Commission, political parties, civil society, media and those responsible for security, and various stakeholders. Members will be deployed to various provinces from 1 April and return to Honiara on 5 April to consider their report.
- The Commonwealth has been an active partner and strong supporter of the Solomon Islands electoral processes since 2001.
- This election will be a significant event in the country’s ongoing democratic journey as it is the first poll conducted since the withdrawal of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI).
- The Commonwealth will continue to play an active role and support the country’s democratic processes and institutions.”