Election Management Body (EMB) Reps from the Pacific Region have nominated Fiji to the eight-member Steering Committee of the Commonwealth Electoral Network [CEN] at the 2016 CEN Biennial Conference in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.
The CEN was launched in 2010 by the Commonwealth Secretariat after it was endorsed by the Commonwealth Heads of Government. The Network promotes capacity building of Commonwealth election management bodies in conducting credible and inclusive elections in line with international best practices.
The Steering Committee of the CEN is composed of national election commissioners of Commonwealth member countries. The Chairperson of the Election and Boundaries Commission of Trinidad & Tobago, Mr. Mark Ramkerrysingh, has taken over Chairmanship of the CEN from Mr. Ahmed Issack Hassan, Chairperson of the Kenyan Electoral Commission.
“This is the first time that Fiji has participated at the CEN Biennial Conference which had participants from 39 Commonwealth member countries and being nominated as Pacific Rep to the Steering Committee is a great honor,” said Mr. Mohammed Saneem, Supervisor of Elections.
The 2016 CEN Biennial Conference served as a platform to discuss important issues such as strengthening women’s participation in elections, use ofnew technologies, social media, Commonwealth principles of good electoral practice, media guidelines, independence of EMBs and voter registration.
As one of the presenters at the Conference, Mr. Saneem spoke about the success of the Pacific Electoral Networks [PEN] Meeting held in Nadi, Fiji earlier this year which was hosted by the FEO in collaboration with the CEN and the Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand Electoral Administrators Network [PIANZEA]. Mr. Saneem also presented a report on Gender Mainstreaming in Pacific Elections.
“It was also an opportunity for the FEO to extend its network and strengthen their institutional capacity through the exchange of knowledge and experiences,” Mr. Saneem said. “We will definitely continue to expand on this front and gain friends in the international electoral arena.”
The Conference took place from 22-24 June, 2016 and Samoa has also been nominated as a Rep for the Pacific Region.