Kalonzo to head Sri Lanka election observer team

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Kalonzo_Former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has been appointed by the Commonwealth to lead an observer team to Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council Elections slated for the 21st September 2013.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma announced the four member observer mission team with Mr Musyoka as the Chairman.

Other members are Ms Jenni McMullan, former Electoral Officer for Victoria, Australia, Dr Shamsul Huda, former Chief Election Commissioner Bangladesh and Ms Examin Philbert, Secretary, Caribbean Association of Local Government Authorities Saint Lucia.

In his letter to Mr Musyoka, the Commonwealth Secretary-General said the elections were a “landmark to the Sri Lankan North Province” and thus Mr Kalonzo’s vast political and diplomatic experience will be of great benefit.

The Wiper leader who left the country Friday night for Colombo and later for Jaffna, where he is expected to take up the new assignment as from the 14th to 28th September, 2013 said it is heart-warming to serve humanity and thanked the Common Wealth for appreciating his work.

Pivotal role

“We have just come from a hotly contested election and the fact that the Commonwealth Secretariat has seen it fit to appoint an opposition leader to lead an observer mission to an election in the Asian continent speaks volumes,” Kalonzo said.

Kalonzo who has been involved in numerous peace missions said that Kenya has a pivotal role to play among the member nations as well as the international community.

Kalonzo who helped broker peace in the Sudan, Somalia and Burundi among others, said the role of Kenya among the nation states cannot be ignored.

Thus the Kenyan citizenry should embrace peace, tolerance and a common agenda for prosperity of the country in a globalised society, he added.

The Sri Lankan North Province hit the headlines from the early 1980s up to 2009 during the Sri Lankan Civil War.

The war pitted the government against the Tamil Tigers who were agitating for cessation.

Mandate

The Kalonzo led mission is mandated to observe and consider all aspects of the electoral process and assess compliance with the standards for democratic elections to which Sri Lanka has committed itself.

Where appropriate, the mission may also make recommendations for the future strengthening of the electoral framework.

The two weeks mission will culminate in the submission of a report to the Commonwealth Secretariat in London.

The Secretariat will in turn send it to the Government of Sri Lanka, the Office of the Commissioner of Elections, relevant Sri Lankan political parties and eventually to all Commonwealth governments.

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