The Commonwealth Secretariat announced Thursday that Rwanda’s Charles Munyaneza, the Executive Secretary of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), will be on the Commonwealth Observer team for the upcoming Tanzanian polls.
In a released statement, former New Zealand Attorney-General, Rt. Hon. Paul East, QC, will lead the Commonwealth Observer Group (COG) to the elections slated for October 31, 2010.
The Group was constituted by the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, at the invitation of the Tanzanian National Electoral Commission.
“The Commonwealth has a history of engagement with Tanzania, and we are pleased to observe these important elections,” the Secretary-General is quoted as saying.
“We very much hope that they will further strengthen the democratic process and advance development in the country”.
The team is expected to comprise 15 experienced persons including the Chair, and will arrive in Tanzania on October 24; their stay will end on November 7, 2010.
Others on the team include Judy Hopwood, An Australian Member of Parliament, Juliette Maughan, a Youth Representative from Barbados, Pierre Paul Martin, an elections expert from Canada, Omar Jallow, a Gambian politician, Pauline Dadzawa, a Ghanaian Election Commissioner and Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, a politician from Guyana.
The team also has Akshay Rout, the Director General of India’s Election Commission, Jane Godia, a media and gender expert from Kenya, Cheryl Dorall, a Media Consultant from Malaysia, Sheikh (Dr) Abdul Karimo from Mozambique, Pesi Fonua, a Publisher and Editor from Tonga, Irene Ovonji-Odida, a former member of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) from Uganda, and Frank Martin, a former UK diplomat.
The Group’s report will be submitted to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, who will in turn send it to the Government of Tanzania as well as to the authorities in Zanzibar, the National Electoral Commission, the Zanzibar Electoral Commission and political parties, and eventually to all Commonwealth Governments.