In keeping with its ongoing commitment to good governance and free and fair elections in the region, the Pacific Islands Forum will be participating in election related missions to Indonesia and Nauru this week.
Indonesian Regional Head Elections
The Forum has received an invitation from the Chairman of Indonesia’s General Elections Commission to take part in the Election Visit Programme for the 2017 Indonesian Regional Head Elections, which take place on Wednesday 15 February.
The elections will see over one hundred regions within seven provinces across the country go to the polls. The Forum team will observe electoral activity in Jayapura and Manokwari in the provinces of Papua and West Papua.
Secretary General of the Pacific Islands, Dame Meg Taylor accepted the invitation saying “The Pacific region and Indonesia share a belief in the principles of good governance and fair and free elections. I’m sure there is much we can learn from the third largest democracy in the world.”
The Forum team will comprise Acting Director-General for Vanuatu’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Mr Sambue Antas, and Fetogi Vaai of the Samoan Electoral Commission, with support from the Forum Secretariat.
Nauru Post 2016 Election Workshop
At the invitation of Nauru’s Electoral Commission, the Pacific Islands Forum and the Commonwealth Secretariat will undertake a joint mission to Nauru to support the Electoral Commission’s ‘Post 2016 Election Workshop’ on Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th February.
This Forum mission will be led by by Gail Owen, who was a member of last year’s Observer Team for the Nauru election. Ms Owen will be supported by staff from the Forum Secretariat.
Secretary General Taylor welcomed the invitation from the Electoral Commission, saying “this demonstrates a commitment from Nauru to be open and transparent about their electoral processes. It also shows that they are interested in further improving their systems into the future.”
In addition to supporting the Electoral Commission with the workshop, the Forum team will discuss the report and recommendations that they submitted to the Commission following the 2016 poll.
The Forum’s post-election visit to Nauru is consistent with the recommendation of the 2016 Forum Regional Security Committee meeting which encouraged the Secretariat to undertake post-election visits.
The Pacific Islands Forum has undertaken 21 election observer missions in the region since 2001. [/restrict]