(November 9, 2017) – At the invitation of the Government of Tonga the Pacific Islands Forum will field a team to observe Tonga’s National Election.
The Election will be held on 16 November 2017; this will be the first time the Forum will observe elections in Tonga.
The Forum Elections Observer Team comprising Forum member countries will be in-country between November 9th and 17th; the Team will be supported by Forum Secretariat officials.
Forum Elections Observer teams observe the pre-polling environment, polling, and counting.
Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor expressed appreciation to the Government of Tonga for the invitation, recognising that “at heart, elections are a sovereign exercise”.
“This invitation from Tonga to observe its national election therefore is a great demonstration of transparency and Tonga’s commitment to democracy and good governance,” Dame Meg said.
“Forum election observer missions serve as an independent source of analysis regarding the conduct of Forum Members’ election processes, and provide practical demonstration at community levels of the Forum’s commitment to good governance”
The Secretary General reaffirmed the Forum’s support for strengthening good governance under the Biketawa Declaration and the Framework for Pacific Regionalism.
Dame Meg also commended support from international partners towards strengthening electoral governance in the Pacific.
“I am pleased to note that the Forum Observer Team will hold joint consultations with the Commonwealth Observer Team in Tonga, and the two teams will deploy to ‘Eua, Vava’u, Ha’apai and Tongatapu,” she said.
The Forum supports a range of good governance activities in Member countries of which election observation is an important component.
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