13 February 2023
Councillor Ronald Coleman and Deputy Speaker Catherine (Cathy) Cranfield received certificates for participating in the virtual Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) British Islands and Mediterranean Region (BIMR) Election Observation Training.
The training was delivered virtually over a two-day period by trainers Anne Serafini, Mark Stevens and Fleur ten Hacken. It covered a number of topics and issues related to election observation and consisted of theoretical and practical learning alongside group discussions.
In addition to St Helena, delegations from the legislatures of Alderney, Anguilla, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Malta, Montserrat, Namibia, Turks and Caicos Islands, the UK and Wales participated in the training.
The programme aimed to increase the capacity of parliamentarians in the Commonwealth to take part in CPA BIMR election observation missions in the future. Election observation in the Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies is an important part of CPA UK’s work. Recommendations by election observers are most commonly aimed at improving democratic processes around the many Commonwealth jurisdictions.
Councillor Ronald Coleman explained:
“Various speakers went through the declaration of principles and the code of conduct for international election observers and the media standards ordinance for elections, which dealt with how elections are held or should be held. We also covered the processes and procedures and what we should be observing or looking out for whilst an election is being conducted, so that as observers we can be confident the systems in place are fair and that there is indeed a secret ballot.”
“Most of the procedures were similar or the same as in St Helena but in some jurisdictions there is also mobile voting where the ballot box is taken to care homes or Hospitals and include postal vote, which is something that could be considered in St Helena going forward.”
Deputy Speaker, Cathy Cranfield, commented:
“This interactive group training was very engaging and identified key activities for observation. The certificate will allow me to take advantage of possible opportunities to join an observation team for future short-term election observations, not just on-Island but also beyond St Helena’s shores.”
“Thanks are extended to the CPA for this training opportunity. Election observation is a valuable tool for improving the quality of elections and helping to build public confidence in the honesty of electoral processes.”
The Hon Speaker of the House of Legislative Council, Cyril Gunnell, concluded:
“I am very grateful to CPA Headquarters for again extending election observation training to St Helena. Election observers observe the conduct of the election voting process, and in doing so promote and protect democracy. The role is incredibly important in helping to ensure accountability. Councillor Coleman and Deputy Speaker Cranfield had no hesitation accepting the training, and on behalf of the Legislative Council I congratulate them joining others now qualified to observe at elections.”
#StHelena #CPA #ElectionObservation
13 February 2023