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Pacific Islands Forum Election Observer Mission here to observe Cook Islands elections The Pacific Islands Forum Election Observer team has been in Rarotonga since last week to observe the Cook Islands 2018 elections scheduled for 14 June.
The Observer Mission of four is led by a Solomon Islands Senior official and includes the Chief Electoral Officer of Niue and staff from the Forum Secretariat.
They are here at the invitation of the Cook Islands Government and will observe the electoral process through to the close of polling on 14 June.
Under the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, the 18 member countries of the Pacific Islands Forum which include the Cook Islands, is committed to promoting and upholding the principles of good governance across its membership and Forum Election Observer Missions are a cornerstone of this work.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Secretary, Tepaeru Herrmann, welcomes the observer mission “The Cook Islands Government sees immense value in independent observer missions such as this as an opportunity to strengthen our national democratic processes and to share our experiences with our neighbouring Forum Members”.
In the course of its mission, the Observer Team will meet with a wide range of Cook Islands stakeholders including government officials, political parties, youth and church groups, civil society
organisations, private sector and the media.
The Team will also travel to Aitutaki as part of the observer mission.
The Forum mission has also been welcomed by Cook Islands Chief Electoral Officer Taggy Tangimetua, who herself was previously a member of the Forum’s Election Observer Team to the Vanuatu 2016 elections.
“The Forum Election Observer Mission, through their observations and post mission report, avail to the Electoral Office and the Cook Islands Government valuable feedback which can only strengthen our electoral processes,” said Tangimetua. “This can only contribute to greater transparency and integrity of our Cook Islands electoral processes”.
Forum Electoral missions are independent with membership drawn from electoral and governance experts from across the Pacific.
The mission covers the enabling environment in which elections are held, including the electoral framework, as well as the processes for the conduct of elections. In addition to engagements with stakeholders, the team will observe the opening of polls, polling, closing and the counting of votes
SOURCE: COOK ISLANDS GOVT/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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