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  • Observing the conduct of elections

    The Commonwealth has observed more than 130 elections in 36 countries since 1980, most recently observing Zimbabwe’s 2018 General Elections.

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Democracy and Elections

Building, supporting and strengthening legal systems in our member countries is a key aim of the Commonwealth. This includes promoting regular elections and strengthening election bodies, institutions and processes.

The Commonwealth regularly sends teams to observe and report on the conduct of elections.  We help build lasting democratic institutions, enabling citizen participation and representation at national and local level. We believe in invitation, not intervention, and follow the principles outlined in the international declaration and code of conduct for election observers

The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) assesses violations of Commonwealth values and recommends measures to restore democracy and constitutional rule. Composed of 10 Commonwealth member countries, CMAG has authority to suspend a country from the Commonwealth. Its activities, composition and remit are reviewed every two years.

Commonwealth observers share initial findings on Nigeria elections

The Commonwealth Group observing Nigeria’s general election has concluded that despite difficulties faced during the vote, “for the most part, Nigerians had the opportunity to express their will and exercise their franchise.”

Commonwealth team observes polling day in Nigeria

Millions of Nigerians turned out on Saturday 23 February to elect their President and National Assembly representatives, witnessed by Commonwealth election observers deployed around the country. In the lead up to election day, more than 72.7 million voters had collected their Personal Voting Cards required for voting from the Independent National Electoral Commission, amounting to 86.6 per cent of the registered electorate

Building media capacity in Malawi ahead of May elections

The Commonwealth, in partnership with the Malawi Electoral Commission, has invited media managers and editors from across Malawi to a workshop in Lilongwe. 

Election observation experts return to Commonwealth headquarters

The Commonwealth will host representatives from some of the leading organisations engaged in international election observation later this week.

Zimbabwe Election: Commonwealth releases Observer Group Report

The Commonwealth Observer Group deployed by the Secretary-General to observe Zimbabwe’s Harmonised Elections on 30 July has released its final report. They are the first elections the Commonwealth has observed in Zimbabwe in 16 years.

Ask the Expert: Deepening democracy in Commonwealth Africa

The ‘Ask The Expert’ series features the leading specialists who work at the Commonwealth Secretariat. In this edition, Yvonne Apea Mensah, Adviser and Head, Africa Section, Governance and Peace Directorate shares insights into how the Commonwealth is promoting democracy in member countries.

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