A commonwealth observatory team has arrived Yaounde, Camerounean capital to commence monitoring activities as the Camerounean election knocks and the presidential is billed to hold on October 9 this year.
The Commonwealth team of expert has been dispatched to watch and make reports on the election outcome.
Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma said the team of experts will commence their activities on October 9 when the presidential election will be held and their role will be mainly on observatory basis and will report back to the union after the elections.
The Team has been constituted following invitations from Camerounean government and from the office of the Minister of External Relations of Cameroon.
Mr Sharma said that the team of six experts, supported by a four-member staff team from the Commonwealth Secretariat, will be led by Frederick Mitchell MP, former Foreign Affairs Minister for The Bahamas.
The Secretary-General added that the mandate of the team is to observe the preparations for the election; the polling, counting and results process; and the overall electoral environment.
The team is to assess the overall conduct of the process and make appropriate recommendations for the future strengthening of the electoral process in Cameroon.
The team arrives in Yaoundé on 3 October 2011 and will remain in Cameroon until 15 October 2011.
The full composition of the Commonwealth Expert Team is as follows:
Fred Mitchell (Chair),Former Foreign Minister The Bahamas, Gabrielle Giroday Journalist Winnipeg Free Press Canada, Samuel Tembenu,Lawyer and former President, Malawi Law Society Malawi Irfan Abdool, Rahman, Electoral Commissioner Mauritius Ambassador Bariyu Adekunle Adeyemi, Former Diplomat, Nigeria Dr Tumelontle Thiba, Provincial Electoral Officer North West Province, South Africa
The Commonwealth Secretariat support staff team will be led by Linford Andrews, Political Affairs Officer in the Political Affairs Division.
The Commonwealth observed the 1997 Presidential Elections and the 2002 Municipal and Legislative Elections in Cameroon. The Commonwealth also observed the 2004 Presidential Elections. A Commonwealth Assessment Team was present for the 2007 Parliamentary Elections.
According to the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Team’s report will be submitted to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, who will then in turn send it to the Government of Cameroon, Elections Cameroon (ELECAM), and Commonwealth governments.
The Expert Team is expected to 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.