Thu | Oct 21, 2021

Bruce Golding to head Commonwealth observer mission for Bahamas election

Published:Saturday | September 11, 2021 | 6:36 PM
Former Prime Minister Bruce Golding

Former Prime Minister Bruce Golding is to head a team from the Commonwealth to observe the general elections in The Bahamas on September 16, 2021.

Golding arrived in Nassau on September 9 along with an advance party of observers to see the close of advance polling. 

This is the second time the Commonwealth will observe the Bahamian election.

The first was in May 2017.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland convened the observer group after receiving an invitation from the Governor General of The Bahamas, Sir Cornelius A Smith.

Golding said he was honoured to be a part of the observer group.

“Our mandate is to observe and evaluate the pre-election environment, polling day activities and the post-election period against the backdrop of Bahamian national legislation and regulations, as well as regional and international commitments," said Golding.

The team will then report on whether the elections were conducted in accordance with the standards to which The Commonwealth of The Bahamas has committed itself.

Over the coming days, the group will be meeting stakeholders including the government, political parties, civil society groups, international observer groups, and the media.

From September 14, the observers will be deployed in small teams across various islands to observe the voting, counting and results process, as well as meet with other stakeholders in respective locations.

On Election Day, they will observe the opening, voting, closing, counting and the results management processes.

The Group will then issue an interim statement on its preliminary findings on September 18, 2021.

A final report will be prepared and submitted to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, and subsequently shared with relevant stakeholders and made publicly available.

The Group will depart The Bahamas by September 23.

Full composition of the Commonwealth Observer Group:

Bruce Golding (Chairperson)
Former Prime Minister of Jamaica

Josephine Tamai
Chief Elections Officer
Belize

Ian Michael Anthony
Chief Elections Officer
Dominica

Tyrone Buckmire
Civil Society Expert
Grenada

Dr Asha Kissoon
Leader, Movement Party
Guyana

Erick Okong'o Mogeni
Senator
Kenya 

Eno Jonathan Ovuorho
Communications and Media Expert
Nigeria

Mark Stephens 
Lawyer 
United Kingdom

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