2 Sep 2004

Observer teams at Pacific elections a growing phenomenon

8:14 pm on 2 September 2004

A leading academic says a growing number of Pacific countries are inviting observer teams in to monitor their general elections.

Graham Hassall, Professor of Governance at the University of the South Pacific, has been invited to lead a team of three to the Cook Islands ahead of next week's election.

The same team, from the Pacific Institute of Advanced Studies in Development and Governance, monitored the recent Vanuatu election and will also observe Palau's presidential election in November.

Professor Hassall says, increasingly, countries are keen to look at the quality of their electoral processes.

"The shortfalls are often to do with training in personnel and in the adequacy of their materials for example their computing capacity for generating electoral rolls, the finances required to adequately run the process, and also the training of the electoral officers."

Professor Graham Hassall.