Makerere University's Prof. Sylvia Tamale will constitute part of the 17-strong Commonwealth observer team to the presidential elections of Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean.
The polls are set to take place early next month, a statement from the Commonwealth Secretariat indicated on Thursday. The team which will be led by former Prime Minister of Malta, Dr. Lawrence Gonzi, was put together by the Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma at the request of the Maldives electoral commission.
The Commonwealth Observer Group's mandate will be to observe and consider all aspects of the electoral process with a view to assessing compliance with the standards for democratic elections to which the Maldive Islands - as the island nation is also referred to as - has committed itself. Where appropriate, the group may also make recommendations for the future strengthening of the electoral framework in the island nation.
The island nation has had its share of political upheavals. Here, riot police arrest ex-president Mohamed Nasheed/AFP
Commonwealth Observer Groups act impartially and independently and conduct themselves according to the standards expressed in the International Declaration of Principles for Election Observation, to which the Commonwealth is a signatory. The Commonwealth Observer Group to the 2013 Maldives elections will submit its report to the Commonwealth Secretary-General.
From here, the report will be send to the government of Maldives, the elections commission, Maldivian political parties and eventually to all Commonwealth governments. Maldives was forced into a snap election following a spate of resignations from the ruling coalition government led by Gaumee Itthihaad party by a number of smaller parties.
Maldives' 9th presidential polls will be conducted on September 7, with a run-off three weeks later if no candidate garners 50 per cent of the total ballot polled in the first round.