Senior electoral officials from Commonwealth Pacific Election Management Bodies (E.M.B's) are gathering in Samoa this week.
They are taking part in a workshop at the Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel.
The workshop, part of the Commonwealth Election Professionals (C.E.P.) Initiative, will examine ways in which electoral democracy can be strengthened within the Commonwealth Pacific region, and for the region’s E.M.B's to discuss some of the key challenges and opportunities in delivering credible, inclusive and transparent elections.
Starting tomorrow, the participants will discuss issues relating to institutional independence, women’s participation, voter education, election observation, post-election assessment and technical support.
Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said: “Democracy is one of the Commonwealth’s fundamental values. Electoral commissions play an essential role as the custodians of elections, protecting the inalienable rights of voters to participate in their national elections and deepening our democratic culture.”
Samoa’s Electoral Commissioner, Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio said: “As a member of the Steering Committee for the Commonwealth Electoral Network (C.E.N.), Samoa looks forward to hosting this regional event in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat. which will be an excellent forum to have an exchange of views with my fellow Pacific E.M.B. colleagues to explore opportunities to learn and help each other in strengthening our national electoral processes.”
Also attending the event are seven Pacific E.M.B's who are not members of the Commonwealth but supported and funded by the Pacific Islands, New Zealand and Australia Electoral Administrators (P.I.A.N.Z.E.A.) Network.
The Commonwealth continues to work closely with P.I.A.N.Z.E.A. and other regional organisations to support elections in the Pacific.