A Commonwealth Expert Team (CET) will arrive in Colombo on Tuesday January 19, and stay until February 1, 2010 for the forthcoming Presidential Elections to be held on January 26. The CET will be led by former Jamaican Foreign Minister K.D. Knight, the office of the Commonwealth Secretary said.
IN the team are Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma at the invitation of the Sri Lanka Commissioner of Elections.
“The Group’s mandate is to assess the overall conduct of the electoral process and the environment in which the election is conducted, according to the standards for democratic elections to which the country has committed itself,” he added.
The Group will act impartially and independently and shall conduct itself according to the standards expressed in the International Declaration of Principles for Election Observation to which the Commonwealth is a signatory. The Group’s report will be submitted to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, who will in turn send it to the Government of Sri Lanka, the Commissioner of Elections, political parties, and eventually to all Commonwealth Governments.
The Commonwealth Expert Team will comprise five persons, including the Chair. The Team comprises, Ms Cynthia Barrow-Giles, Lecturer in Political Science (University of the West Indies, Barbados), St Lucia, Subba Rao Ilapavuluri - Chief Electoral Officer of Andhra Pradesh, India, Ms Jane Michuki-Lawyer, Kenya, Tim Neale - Media Expert, UK.