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Issack Hassan among Commonwealth election observers in Pakistan

Former Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Issack Hassan has been named as part of a 13-member Commonwealth Observer Group (COG) that will monitor elections in Pakistan.

The Commonwealth team, led by former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, will be deployed to Pakistan to observe the general elections scheduled for February 8, 2024.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Rt Patricia Scotland KC expressed confidence that the team would provide an independent and comprehensive assessment of the electoral process.

“I applaud Pakistan’s commitment to transparency and accountability. The Commonwealth is pleased to support Pakistan’s democratic journey. We look forward to peaceful and fair elections,” Patricia said.

She said the team had been selected at the request of the Election Commission of Pakistan through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The team is already in Islamabad and will remain there until the end of the electoral process.

“The observer team will assess the overall conduct of the process and, where appropriate, make recommendations for further strengthening of the electoral system. It is hoped that these recommendations will be useful to the people and government of Pakistan in strengthening their electoral processes”.

The EOM members will also meet with a wide range of interlocutors, including representatives of political parties, election officials, media stakeholders and civil society groups.

Other members include Dr Linet Damaris Njeri Muthoni from Australia, Ms Barbara Malimali from Fiji, Ms Nazima Natasha Raghubir from Guyana, Ms Anahila Lose Kanongata’a JP from New Zealand, Ms Belinda Kora from Papua New Guinea, Ms Sarah Lucy Flood-Beaubrun of St Lucia, Mr Umaru Fofana of Sierra Leone, Mr Mohamed Mahdoom Mohamed of Sri Lanka, Mr Brian Speers of the United Kingdom, Mr Mohamed Chande Othman of Tanzania and Mr Jacob Goma of Zambia.

He served as IEBC Chairperson from November 2011 to 6 October 2016, when he left office along with other IEBC Commissioners to pave way for the new team led by Mr Wafula Chebukati, which conducted Kenya’s two elections in 2017 and 2023.

Issack also chaired the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) from May 2009 to November 2011.

In 2011, Issack was selected to head the African Union Observer Mission to Nigeria and served as an observer for the 2012 elections in Ghana.