Thabo Mbeki, the second post-Apartheid South African President would lead a Commonwealth group appointed to observe the 2019 Malawi Tripartite elections.
Voters go to the polls on 21 May to elect a president as well as members of the national assembly and local government councillors.
The Commonwealth Observer Group (COG) is being deployed by Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland following a request from the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).
The group includes politicians, diplomats and experts in law, human rights, gender and election administration from across the Commonwealth.
The Secretary-General said: “Conducting credible elections through which citizens can choose their leaders and representatives freely in a peaceful environment is a fundamental part of a healthy democracy and is a collective strength of Commonwealth member states.
“The Commonwealth will be present to witness and observe the elections and to work in partnership with Malawi as it consolidates its democracy and strengthens and embeds good practice.”
She added: “The responsibility for conducting elections with integrity falls on all stakeholders in the process – from the election management body, to political parties and their leaders, to civil society, security agencies, the media and the voters. Each and every one has a rightful role to ensure a credible process and outcome.”
The observer group will examine preparations for the elections, before observing the voting process, vote-counting procedures and the announcement of results.
As with all COGs, this mission to Malawi will operate impartially and independently, according to the standards expressed in the International Declaration of Principles for Election Observation, to which the Commonwealth is a signatory.
Linford Andrews, Political Adviser in the Governance and Peace Directorate would lead the support staff for the observer group.
The full composition of the Commonwealth Observer Group is as follows:
- HE Thabo Mbeki, Former President, South Africa (Chairperson)
- Ms Paula C.M. Lee, Commissioner, Electoral Commission, Antigua and Barbuda
- Prof Simon Munzu, Former UN Deputy Special Representative for Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon
- Mr David Langtry, Deputy Chief Commissioner, Canadian Human Rights Commission, Canada
- Mr Aaron Joshua Pinto, International Trade and Investment Associate, Consulate General of Canada in New York, Canada
- Hon Fatoumata Jallow Tambajang, Former Vice President and Minister of Women Affairs, The Gambia
- Mr John Githongo, Former Permanent Secretary, Governance and Ethics, Kenya
- Mr Seabata Motsamai, Chairperson of Lesotho Council of Non-Governmental Organisations, Lesotho
- Prof Attahiru Jega, Former Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Nigeria
- Ms Marvi Memon, Former Federal Minister and Member of Parliament, Pakistan
- Ms Charmain Naidoo, Former Journalist Sunday Times, South Africa
- Ms Terry Dale Ince, Organizational Development Consultant CEDAW, Gender and Human Rights Advocate Trinidad and Tobago
- Mr Henry Hogger, Former Diplomat, United Kingdom