Tanzania reknown Taarab singer Mrs Sabah salum mchacho was also present
A fan asked for a photo apportunity
The Royal Commonwealth Society and Commonwealth Parliamentary
Association UK are delighted to announce the impending arrival of their
Observation Team to the UK General Election. 11 Observers, all from
Commonwealth countries, will arrive in the UK on Sunday 2nd May.
This is the first time that a Commonwealth team has observed elections in a
developed country. The observers will be taking advantage of a recent
change in UK law which will allow them into polling stations for the very first
The 11 Observers will include young Parliamentarians from 7 Commonwealth
countries, plus 4 civil society democracy delegates. (See below for more
The Observation Team will:
gain insight into the electoral processes of the UK
share lessons from their own countries
make recommendations for improvement
The participants will be in the UK from Sunday 2 May until Sunday 9 May.
Their programme will include:
briefings from key political organisations
several days shadowing prospective candidates in constituencies
around England and Scotland
observing polling stations and the count
submitting a final report
Dr Danny Sriskandarajah, Director of the RCS said: “For far too long, election
observation has been a one-way street. Given how much effort has gone into
designing strong democratic systems and electoral processes in many
developing Commonwealth countries, Britain has much to learn from the rest
of the world. I hope our Observers will contribute to and inform the debate on
electoral reform in the UK.”
Andrew Tuggey, Secretary of CPA UK said: “This innovative project is most
welcome – and overdue. It will give Commonwealth MPs a detailed and
practical insight into how their colleagues in the House of Commons are
elected, during what promises to be a most exciting political contest. Their
views and those from the civil society delegates will inform CPA UK’s
important work on strengthening parliamentary democracy”.
Notes to Editors
• Bangladesh: Hon. Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh MP
A Barrister-at-Law and Member of the Bangladeshi Parliament, Sheikh Taposh has
been practising in the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh since
2001. He was elected as a Member of Parliament in the 2008 General Election. He is
married with two sons and presently lives in Dhaka.
• Kenya: Hon. Ababu Namwamba MP
Born in Uganda to Kenyan parents, Ababu is an International Human Rights Lawyer
who trained in Nairobi and Washington DC, USA. He is currently serving his first term
as Member of Parliament for Budalang’i Constituency. He co-chairs the Parliamentary
Sect Committee on Constitution Review; serves on Parliament’s Committee on
Administration of Justice and the Committee on Delegated Legislation; and chairs
Bunge Football Club, of which he is the lead striker. In 2003, Ababu won the Jubilee
Global Award for Social Justice in recognition of his international human rights work
and in 2009, he was voted a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum.
• Rwanda: Hon. Jeanne d'Arc Uwimanimpaye MP
A member of the ruling party, RPF, Hon. Jeanne d'Arc Uwimanimpaye joined the
parliament in 2008 as a representative from the Eastern Province. She is a member of
the Women Parliamentarian Forum and the Economic Affairs Committee. She
graduated in Economics from the National University of Rwanda. Before joining
Parliament, she worked as a secondary school teacher and in local government as a
Public Relations Officer and district internal auditor. She is the mother of two sons.
• Ghana: Hon. George Boakye, MP
MP for Asunafo South in the Brong Ahafo region (middle belt) of Ghana, George
Boakye is a teacher by profession. He holds a Master of Education degree and a
degree in Law and Sociology from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and
Technology in Ghana. He is also the holder of a Bachelor of Arts with a Diploma in
Education from the University of Education, Winneba. George joined politics in 2001
when he was nominated as the District Chief Executive (Mayor) for Asunafo District in
the Brong Ahafo Region. He was sworn in as a Parliamentarian in January 2009 and
serves as a member of the select committee on Education and Poverty Reduction.
• Jamaica: Ms Lisa Hanna MP
The Member of Parliament for South East St Ann, Lisa Hanna is a former winner of
Miss World (1993). Before moving into politics, she worked as a television presenter
and communications consultant.
• Sierra Leone: Hon. Marie Marilyn Jalloh
A member of the All People’s Congress Party and MP in Bombali District, Marie
Marilyn Jalloh sits on the Committees for Appointments and Pubic Service,
Education, Youth and Sports, and Agriculture and Food Security. She studied Rural
Development and worked as a Development Specialist before becoming an MP.
• Malaysia: Hon. Chua Tee Yong MP
Chau Tee Long was MCA’s youngest candidate in Johor at the 12th general
elections. He has been a MP since 2008 for Labis.
Civil Society Observers:
• Nigeria: Mr Innocent Chukwuma, Transition Monitoring Group
Mr. Innocent Chukwuma is a co-founder and former chairman of Transition
Monitoring Group (TMG), a coalition of 250 civil society organizations (CSOs) that
observe elections in Nigeria. Under his leadership, CSOs fielded 50,000 observers in
Nigeria’s general elections in 2007. Mr. Chukwuma is currently the executive Director
of CLEEN Foundation, Nigeria’s leading non-governmental organization on
promotion of public safety, security and accessible justice. He is a leading
researcher, consultant and change manager on policing and criminal justice reform in
West Africa. He has a Masters degree in criminal justice from the University of
Leicester, UK and has worked as a consultant to the European Union, Department for
International Development, United Nations Office for Drug and Crime (UNODC),
British Council, South African Institute for International Affairs (SAIA), International
Council on Human Rights Policy, Nigeria Police Force, Police Service Commission,
Ministry of Police Affairs, International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), among
others. He has numerous publications to his credit.
• Guyana: Mr Gino Persaud, Electoral Assistance Bureau
A young Attorney-at-Law with nine years at the Bar, Gino Persaud work as an
Associate at the Law Firm of de Caires Fitzpatrick & Karran in Guyana. He was
awarded a British Chevening Scholarship in 2004 and has a growing human rights
practice. He is also an active member of civil society having worked with the Electoral
Assistance Bureau for the 2006 general elections. He is also a Commissioner on the
Catholic Justice andPeace Commission and Vice-Chairman of a local NGO.
• Malawi: Mr Aloisious Nthenda, Malawi Electoral Support Network
Aloisious Nthenda has worked for the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in
Malawi since 1997 as Archdiocesan Secretary. He was elected Chairperson for the
Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) in 2008. MESN is a grouping of civil
society organizations involved in national elections and democratic governance
in Malawi. He is also the Chairperson for the SADC Electoral Support Network, the
electoral network for all Southern African countries. He has actively participated in
Elections in Malawi and the SADC region since 1998 and has been on International
Observer Missions to countries like Mozambique and Zambia. He holds a Master of
Arts Degree in Sustainable Development.
• Sri Lanka: Mr Dasanayaka Dissanayake, Centre for Monitoring Election
An attorney-at-Law and LLB graduate of the University of Colombo, Mr Dasanayaka
Dissanayake has been involved in Election monitoring since 1999 and has served as
the National Coordinator of the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence since 2005.
He was a member of a long-term election observation mission conducted by NDI
USA for Bangladesh in parliamentary elections.
Interviews with participants can be arranged on request. Please see contact details
below. Blogs, video clips and more information about the Team will be posted on
The Royal Commonwealth Society’s website: www.thercs.org/society/214
The Royal Commonwealth Society is grateful to The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust
Ltd for its funding of the civil society participants taking part in this initiative.
The Royal Commonwealth Society: Founded in 1868, the RCS conducts a range of
events and activities aimed at promoting international understanding. Its
educational, youth and cultural programmes include one of the world’s oldest and
largest schools essay competitions, and an innovative international youth leadership
programme. HM Queen Elizabeth II is Patron and Peter Kellner is Chairman.
Headquartered at the Commonwealth Club in London, the RCS has some 4000
members in the UK and a presence in 40 Commonwealth countries through a
network of branches and Commonwealth societies. The RCS is a registered charity in
England & Wales (226748) See www.thercs.org
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) UK is one of over 175 branches
of the CPA – the professional association of all Commonwealth parliamentarians.
CPA UK’s membership is made up of Members from both Houses of the United
Kingdom Parliament who work to strengthen parliamentary democracy. CPA UK
conducts international parliamentary outreach on behalf of Parliament and the wider
CPA by parliamentary diplomacy and parliamentary strengthening activities to
contribute to the capacity of partner parliaments. See www.cpaukbranch.org
The Commonwealth: The modern Commonwealth was established with 8 members
in 1949. In 2010, it has 54 members with a total population of nearly 2 billion. It is an
association of governments and peoples, built around shared language, institutions,
challenges, aspirations and values. The Commonwealth promotes democracy,
development, and diversity within its member countries and across the world.
For all media enquiries, please contact Danny Sriskandarajah on +44 (0) 7717 417 037
/ +44 (0) 20 7766 9211 / firstname.lastname@example.org or Amanda Sives on 0777 593 3704 /