Seychelles’ former President Danny Faure will lead a team of Commonwealth observers to the general election of Antigua and Barbuda scheduled for January 18.
According to a press release on Thursday, the announcement for the composition of the Commonwealth Observation Group was announced by the Secretary-General, Baroness Patricia Scotland, in response to an invitation from the government of Antigua and Barbuda.
The Secretary-General said: “I thank Danny Faure for accepting my invitation to lead this group and each of the Commonwealth observers for agreeing to undertake this important assignment.”
She added that “the group, which is independent and impartial, will assess the overall conduct of the election and, at the end, make recommendations which will contribute towards strengthening the electoral process in Antigua and Barbuda.”
The press release stated that the group’s mandate is to observe the preparations for the election, the polling, counting, tabulation procedures and the overall electoral environment as well as consider any factors that could impinge upon the credibility of the process as a whole.
The Commonwealth said that prior to deployment of the observer team in the general elections, the group will have briefings with the country’s political party representatives, police officers and several stakeholders, including officials from the Electoral Commission, the media and social society groups representing women, youth and people with disabilities.
The group’s recommendation “will be submitted in a report to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, who will forward it to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, the country’s Electoral Commission, the leadership of political parties taking part in the elections and all Commonwealth governments,” added the press release.
The date for the general elections of Antigua and Barbuda was announced by Prime Minister Gaston Browne on December 19.
Elections in the twin island nation are constitutionally due in March 2023.
The last general elections in Antigua and Barbuda were last held on March 21, 2018. Browne’s ABLP won 15 of the 17 seats while the main opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) and the Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM) won the other two seats.