Kalonzo to head commonwealth team in Sri Lanka

September 14, 2013 11:16 am

, VP-PRESSERNAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 14 – Wiper Democratic Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka has been appointed by the Commonwealth to lead the observer team to Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council Elections slated for September 21.

The four-member observer mission, which was announced by the Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma, will comprise Musyoka as the Chairman, members Jenni McMullan former Electoral Officer for Victoria, Australia, Dr Shamsul Huda former Chief Election Commissioner Bangladesh, Ms Examin Philbert Secretary, Caribbean Association of Local Government Authorities Saint Lucia.

In his letter to the former Vice President, the Commonwealth Secretary-General said the elections were a “landmark to the Sri Lankan north province” and thus Musyoka’s vast political and diplomatic experience will be of great benefit.

The Wiper leader who left the country on Friday night for Colombo and later Jaffna, where he is expected to take up the new assignment as from September 14 to 28 said it is heartwarming to serve humanity and thanked the commonwealth for appreciating his work.

“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,” he said.

Musyoka 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.

The opposition leader 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.

The Sri Lankan North Province hit the headlines in the early 80’s up-to 2009 during the Sri Lankan Civil War, pitting the government against the Tamil Tigers who were agitating for cessation.

The 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 to and where appropriate, the mission may also make recommendations for the future strengthening of the electoral framework.

The two weeks mission will culminate with the submission of a report to the commonwealth secretariat in London, who 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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