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A Commonwealth election observation team will observe the St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) general elections on Wednesday.

The team was constituted by Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma at the invitation of the Government of SVG, and will be led by Paulo Cuinica, commissioner and spokesperson of the Mozambique Electoral Commission.

The other member is Myrtle Palacio,

former chief elections officer and secretary-general People’s United Party in Belize.

“In adopting the Commonwealth Charter, leaders of all our member states recognised the inalienable right of individuals to participate in democratic processes, in particular through free and fair elections,” the Secretary-General said.

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“I am therefore pleased to have been invited to deploy a Commonwealth Election Observation Team in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We would expect that in the light of their observations the team should be able to offer valuable, practical recommendations for continued strengthening of democratic processes.”

The Commonwealth election observation team’s mandate is to observe and consider all aspects of the electoral process with a view to assessing compliance with the standards for democratic elections to which SVG has committed itself. Where appropriate, the team may also make recommendations for the future strengthening of the electoral framework.

“Commonwealth observer teams act impartially and independently and conduct themselves according to the International Declaration of Principles for Election Observation, to which the Commonwealth is a signatory,” a statement said.

The two-member observer team will submit its report to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, who will in turn send it to the Government of SVG, the Supervisor of Elections and political parties. The observers will commence their work in country on Saturday and will remain in SVG until Dec. 13. A two-member Commonwealth Secretariat staff team will support the observer team.