Archive for the ‘Election monitoring’ Category

OAS observer praises electoral process

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

The Organisation of American States (OAS), observer team has given its endorsement to yesterday’s polls.

OAS Deputy Secretary General Albert Ramdin who lead the mission praised all stakeholders: voters; the electoral authorities; political leaders and security forces.

The 38-member OAS team visited 53 of the 60 constituencies throughout the country.

“These accredited observers had unfettered access to the polling stations and counting centres, meeting with many authorities, party agents and voters alike,” read the statement, issued several minutes ago.

Other OAS observations:

  • The EOJ was able to recover from Hurricane Dean.
  • Security was adequate
  • Election Day workers manned the polls.
  • Most polls opened on time.
  • Almost without exception, voters found their names on the voters list and were able to vote.
  • Voters without adequate ID were verified alternatively;
  • However this slowed voting
  • Violence and murders were reported during the campaign.
  • The Election Centre with the participation of stakeholders, decreased tension

The OAS will continue to monitor the post-election period and on Thursday, Mr. Ramdin will present a more comprehensive verbal report to the Organisation’s Permanent Council in Washington, D.C.

CARICOM okays election preparation

Friday, August 31st, 2007

powerlogo23.jpgClick here to listen to Power 106 FM online

The CARICOM electoral observer mission to Jamaica is reporting that its satisfied with the state of readiness of the electoral machinery ahead of the general election on Monday.
Speaking today at a press conference at the Courtleigh Hotel in New Kingston, Chief of the Mission, Gerald Watt said the team has targeted 14 constituencies in Kingston and St. Andrew, including marginal seats.

He told journalists that the CARICOM observers would monitor the elections and submit a report to the Jamaican government and the CARICOM Secretariat.

The group was invited to observe the election by the Jamaican government.

On Tuesday, the mission will convene a press conference to brief the media on its assessment of the election.

Taken from the Power 106 FM 5 p.m. bulletin

OAS deputy head arrives to monitor polls

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

The Assistant Secretary General of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Albert Ramdin, is scheduled to arrive in Jamaica today to spearhead the regional body’s election monitoring mission.

Ambassador Ramdin will consult with political and electoral figures regarding over preparations and how they may have been affected by Hurricane Dean.

The OAS began deploying its monitors last Friday, with the arrival of the core group of electoral experts who observed security forces and Election Day workers voting on Tuesday, ahead of Election Day on Monday, September 3.

The OAS team expressed satisfaction with the overall organisation of this event and will include its observations in its final report to the OAS Permanent Council after the elections.

Assistant Chief of Mission, Steven Griner, said that the remaining OAS observers are undergoing training ahead of the election, including to sensitise them on the local electoral process.

Some 50 observers from 13 countries of the hemisphere comprise the observation mission, which will be deployed to at least 70 per cent of the 60 constituencies in the country.

The OAS were invited to monitor the polls by the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (EOJ) and have so far received funding from Canada and the United States. Other OAS Member countries will provide observers on Election Day.

CAFFE: Election Day volunteers still wanted

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

caffe.jpgCitizens’ Action for Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE) are still looking for Jamaicans to come forward and volunteer as observers on Election Day, August 27.

Persons will be able to volunteer no later than August 21, when CAFFE holds its last training session. Sessions are being conducted throughout the parishes and observers will get their first taste of elections when they monitor Election Day workers voting on August 21.

CAFFE still wants to achieve its objective of 2,000 volunteers, says Fabian Brown, Director and Parish Coordinator of the St. Andrew chapter.

“We are closer to the 2,000 which is what we would like to field but that is a minimum; so as many Jamaicans who are interested, we would invite them to come forward,” said Mr. Brown.

For more information: telephone CAFFE on 922-0008 or toll-free 1-888-462-2333.

OAS to send election observers to Jamaica

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

The Organisation of American States (OAS) will send election observers to Jamaica to monitor the polls on Election Day, August 27.

OAS Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin, who will lead the observers, said two-person teams could be deployed in all 60 constituencies but that the number depended on the level of funding made available from member states, with only Canada having committed funding so far.

The OAS is also requesting local diplomatic missions lend observers during the election.

Speaking during the press conference held at the Hilton Hotel in New Kingston to announce the cooperation agreement with the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ), Mr. Ramdin said the OAS would prioritise ‘most needed’ constituencies. These constituencies will be assessed in partnership with the EOJ, while the OAS will also work closely with Jamaica’s Citizens’ Action for Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE), which also provides observers on Election Day.

However he stressed that Jamaica’s situation was not extraordinary and that it would also be a learning process for the OAS: “I have not seen in my experience, any election going (totally) smoothly … you come to many, many challenges on the day of elections.”

Director of Elections Danville Walker, while repeating his expectation of an efficient election, said the EOJ had similarly benefited from the knowledge gained by employees working overseas in improving the national electoral system.

Volunteer this election

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

Founded ten years Citizens’ Action for Free and Fair Election (CAFFE) is staffed solely by volunteers who will again act as observers come Election Day, August 27.

With 177 volunteers registered so far CAFFE says is still needs more to preside over polling stations across Jamaica’s 60 constituencies. While this number may sound sufficient it is considerably short of the 1,682 people who volunteered in the 2002 general election - it has a target of 1,850 volunteers this election.


Photo by Jaevion Nelson: Citizens’ Action for Free and Fair Election (CAFFE) volunteers Donna Singh and Andrew Gauntlet.

The work of CAFFE would be impossible without voluntary effort, said CAFFE Chairman Dr. Lloyd Barnett. Speaking at a press conference at the Hilton Hotel in Kingston yesterday he implored more Jamaicans to step forward.

“CAFFE is appealing to all to maintain a peaceful election campaign. We are asking all Jamaica to assist so that we do not plunge into an election campaign period that is characterised by violence, tension and crime,” said Dr. Barnett.

Meetings have been scheduled around the island from today through to the July 19. Training is also being provided for those already registered - people like Donna Singh.

“The experience has been really rewarding and has contributed to my personal growth,” said Ms. Singh, supervisor for the Eastern St. Andrew constituency. She has observed two general elections, one parish council election and one bi-election.

“There is a thing about putting on that bib,” she said. “At the end of the day you feel a sense of achievement.”

The public also appreciate the work, she said, recalling when her car broke down during the 2002 election and members of the public came to her assistance upon recognising her as a CAFFE volunteer.

“This is one of the best ways we can contribute to preserving our democracy,” said Andrew Gauntlet who has been a CAFFE volunteer throughout its ten years of operation. It is the best way to ensure elections are free and fair, added Mr. Gauntlet.

To volunteer for Citizens’ Action for Free and Fair Election (CAFFE) telephone: 922-0008-9

Read the related Gleaner article on CAFFE published today