August 9, 2022

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Kenya Elections: Former Botswana President to head Commonwealth Observer Group

The Commonwealth Observer Group will arrive in Nairobi on 2 August 2022 and will be supported by a team from the Commonwealth Secretariat.

LONDON, 12 July 2022 – The Commonwealth has announced the appointment of Botswana’s former President, H.E. Festus Mogae, to lead its observer group for Kenya’s upcoming general elections.

The 20-person Group will be in Kenya for the 9 August polls at the invitation of the country’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. It follows a visit by a Commonwealth pre-election assessment team in April.

Announcing the team in London, Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said:

“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.”

Ahead of the Group’s arrival, an advance team from the Commonwealth will arrive on 16 July 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 on 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 2 August 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:

H.E. Festus Moga – Chairperson

Former President of Botswana

Dr Anne Gallagher

Director-General, Commonwealth Foundation, Australia

Mr Darrell Bradley

Former Mayor of Belize City, Belize

Dr Simon Munzu

Former UN Deputy Special Representative for Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon

Hon Halifa Sallah

Former National Assembly Member, The Gambia

Mr Jerald Joseph

Former Human Rights Commissioner, Malaysia

Dr Evarist Bartolo

Former Foreign Minister, Malta

Hon Maryan Street

Former Minister of Housing, New Zealand

Ms Idayat Hassan

Director, Centre for Democracy and Development, Nigeria

Prof Attahiru Jega

Former Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Nigeria

Ms Nighat Dad

Founder and Executive Director of Digital Rights Foundation, Pakistan

Mrs Marcella Samba-Sesay

Chairperson, National Election Watch, Sierra Leone

Professor Mandla Mchunu

Former Chief Election Officer, South Africa

Dr Victor Shale

Elections and governance Expert, South Africa

Mrs Fern Narcis-Scope

Chief Election Officer, Elections and Boundaries Commission Trinidad and Tobago

Justice James Ogoola

Former Principal Judge of the High Court, Uganda

Ms Zeinab Badawi

Broadcaster and President of School of Oriental and African Studies, United Kingdom

Baroness Denise Kingsmill

Member of the House of Lords, United Kingdom

Mr Mark Stephens CBE

Lawyer, United Kingdom

Dr Chaloka Beyani

Professor of Law, London School of Economics, Zambia

-ENDS-

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