Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman and Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira have been selected to be part of an elections observing mission for the upcoming General Election in the United Kingdom (UK).
A statement from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA UK) stated that the two local parliamentarians “will observe as part of an Election Assessment Mission (EAM) of the UK General Election in June 2017 and contribute to recommendations to improve future UK general elections”.
The Mission, which is being arranged by the CPA UK, as it did in the 2015 and 2010 general elections, will also observe elections in seven other UK constituencies to oversee polling, counting, and post-election complaints or appeals.
The Mission will comprise up to 34 Commonwealth parliamentarians and election officials from 23 countries and territories. They will monitor Election Day procedures at polling stations, and meet with candidates, returning officers, local officials, community groups and other relevant stakeholders in order to assess the conduct of the election.
Head of Mission, Sebastian Pillay, MP, from Seychelles, said: “Exercising the right to vote is a fundamental part of democracy. CPA UK’s Election Assessment Mission will seek to ensure the UK election process is legitimate and representative of the electorate. On behalf of the team, we look forward to engaging with the democratic process in the UK.”
Meanwhile, Chief Executive of CPA UK, Andrew Tuggey, CBE, noted, “This third UK Election Assessment Mission is a vital element of CPA UK’s commitment to enhance openness and transparency in parliamentary democracy across the Commonwealth. Assessing elections upholds the core values of the Commonwealth. I warmly welcome parliamentarians and election officials from across the Commonwealth and thank them for their commitment. Their assessments will add value to the UK’s electoral processes, and I know they will find the Mission extremely interesting and worthwhile.”
CPA UK defines an Election Assessment Mission (EAM) as a very short mission comprising less than a week of deployment, covering Election Day and only one or two days before and after. An EAM will only examine the administration of Election Day as opposed to the entire election period.
CPA UK conducts EAMs as part of its parliamentary strengthening programmes, to enhance the skills and capacity of parliamentarians as election observers. The Mission will observe the following UK constituencies: Gower (Wales); Manchester Central; Edinburgh West (Scotland); Birmingham Ladywood; North Norfolk; East Devon; Darlington; and Hendon (London).
The Mission will collate its observations and produce a preliminary report within a day of the General Election and a final report with recommendations within two months of the election.
Outcomes of previous Missions
Following a recommendation from the 2010 Mission, voters queuing when polling stations close at 22:00h can still cast their votes.
Previously, polling stations operated by different rules on the issue owing to a lack of clarity and consistency.
As part of the 2017 Mission, CPA UK will also consider the outcomes from the 2015 Mission.