Mogae Selected to Head Commonwealth Election Observer Group in Kenya

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In short
Announcing the team in London, Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, said election observation is an essential component of their efforts to support member countries to strengthen the processes, culture, and institutions of democracy, and to enable citizen participation and representation at all levels.

Botswana's former President, Festus Mogae will lead the Commonwealth Election Observers Group in the upcoming Kenyan general elections.


According to a statement from the Commonwealth Secretariat,  Uganda's former Principal Judge, Retired Justice James Ogola will be part of the 20-person delegation invited by Kenya's Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. 

The statement issued on Tuesday said the Group is expected in Kenya for the August 9th, 2022 Presidential polls. The Commonwealth had a pre-election assessment in Kenya in April this year. As Kenya prepares for the 2022 general elections, there have been concerns over ethnicized political discourse and a higher wave of fake news and disinformation.  


Announcing the team in London, Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, said election observation is an essential component of their 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," he said.


Ahead of the Group's arrival, an advance team from the Commonwealth is expected in Kenya 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 of 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 Deputy Secretary-General Dr Arjoon Suddhoo.  


The Commonwealth Observer Group members are H.E. Festus Moga - Chairperson and Former President of Botswana  
Dr Anne Gallagher, the Director-General, Commonwealth Foundation, Australia  
Mr Darrell Bradley, the Former Mayor of Belize City, Belize
Dr Simon Munzu, the Former UN Deputy Special Representative for Côte d'Ivoire
Hon Halifa Sallah Former National Assembly Member, The Gambia, 
Mr Jerald Joseph Former Human Rights Commissioner, Malaysia  
Dr Evarist Bartolo Former Foreign Minister, MaltaHon 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 LeoneProfessor Mandla Mchunu-Former Chief Election Officer, South Africa
Dr Victor Shale Elections and governance Expert, South AfricaMrs 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, a Professor of Law, London School of Economics