Former Chief of Staff and immediate past Minister of the Interior Mr. Prosper Douglas Bani is leading a 10-member team from the Commonwealth of nations to observe the upcoming general elections in Sri Lanka.
The Commonwealth team is being deployed to observe the Presidential Election which is scheduled take place on 16th November, 2019.
The 2019 Sri Lankan Presidential Election will be the eighth and the first in which no sitting President, Prime Minister or Opposition leader will contest.
The Commonwealth team is comprised of eminent persons drawn from across the different regions of the Commonwealth, including Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Pacific. The members of the team bring a wealth of experience from across the social and political spectrum.
The Prosper Bani Chaired team includes former Deputy Electoral Commissioner (Australia) Paul Dacey, Senate President and CLGF Board member (Belize) Darrell Bradley, Young Diplomats of Canada Strategic Partnerships Advisor Sabrina Grover, Media and Communications Expert (New Zealand) Sarah Fradgley, Balochistan Provincial Assembly Member (Pakistan) Sana Ullah Baloch, National Commission for Human Rights Commission Chairperson (Rwanda) Madeleine Nirere, former Commonwealth Foundation Director-General (Trinidad and Tobago) Vijay Krishnarayan, former Ambassador (Uganda) Bernadette Olowo-Freers, International Gender and Development Specialist (United Kingdom) Dr. Meena Shivdas, and Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes Executive Director (Zambia) Boniface Cheembe.
The team will be on the ground in Colombo from 10th to 22nd November.
They will assess all factors which have the potential of or are affecting the credibility of the electoral process as a whole, evaluate the pre-electoral environment, the voting process, counting and tabulation procedures, and the result announcement.
Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland in a statement thanked the Former Interior Minister Mr. Bani and members of the team for accepting to undertake this significant assignment on behalf of the Organization.
Mr. Prosper Bani who chairs the team has enormous experience having been a senior manager and specialist in International peace-building and development processes for over 15 years. He has led innovative processes in peace and development with the United Nations in several locations across the world.
Under his watch as Interior Minster, Ghana witnessed one of the most credible and peaceful elections with the 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary elections under the 4th republic.
Speaking before his departure, Mr. Bani assured that his team will be transparent and objective in their role to ensure peaceful elections.
The group is independent and will determine in its own judgment whether the election has been conducted according to the standards of Sri Lanka’s election-related legislation as well as relevant regional, Commonwealth and international commitments.
The group will submit its report to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, who will share it with the Government of Sri Lanka, its Electoral Commission, political parties and all Commonwealth Governments. The report will then be made public.
Observers will be supported by a six-member staff team, led by the Commonwealth’s Governance and Peace Directorate Adviser and Head of Africa Yvonne Apea Mensah.
Story by: Osman Abadoo/Radiogoldlive.com