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Commonwealth Pacific reps gather in Samoa

  Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland. [Photo: RNZI/Sally Round]

Senior electoral officials from Commonwealth countries in the Pacific will attend a workshop in Samoa next week to strengthen electoral democracy in the region.

Up for discussion are the various challenges in delivering credible, inclusive and transparent elections.

The Commonwealth Secretariat said participants will also discuss issues relating to institutional independence, women's participation, voter education and election observation.

Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said democracy is a fundamental value of the Commonwealth.

She said electoral commissions are the custodians of elections that play an essential role in protecting the rights of voters.

Samoa's electoral commissioner, Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio, said the forum provides Pacific electoral officals the opportunity to learn and help each other strengthen their electoral processes.