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Carter Center Launches Election Observation Mission to Guinea

By Hakes, Deborah
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The Carter Center will deploy eight long-term observers throughout Guinea this week to formally launch its international election observation mission of the country's June 27 elections. The mission is supported by an office in Conakry, which was established in mid-May and led by Field Office Representative John Koogler.

"The Carter Center welcomes the opportunity to observe Guinea's electoral process," said Therese Laanela, assistant director of the Carter Center's Democracy Program. "We hope that our presence will contribute to a peaceful, transparent, and credible electoral process and will support Guinea's efforts to promote key reforms for future elections."

Observers will meet with election officials; political party and civil society representatives, including domestic observation groups; members of the international community; and other stakeholders, to form an assessment that focuses on elections administration, the campaign period, voting and counting procedures, and other issues related to the overall electoral process in Guinea. They will be joined by 22 additional short-term observers from various nationalities around election day.

The Center's evaluation will be made against the Guinean electoral legal framework, the constitution, and the country's international commitments regarding democratic elections. The Carter Center received a letter of invitation to observe on March 12, 2010.

The Carter Center conducts its activities in a nonpartisan, professional manner in accordance with applicable law and international standards for election monitoring set forth in the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, adopted at the United Nations in 2005. The Center will remain in close communication with the Guinean authorities, all political parties, candidates, civil society organizations, media, and other international and domestic observer missions.

The Center will release periodic public statements on electoral findings, available on its Web site: www.cartercenter.org.