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year's general election was relatively peaceful Carter
REFRAINING from criticising an Amnesty International report
which described last year's general election as violent, the
Carter Center said it is still of the view that the national
polls were relatively peaceful.
Atlanta, Georgia-based organisation, which has observed the
last two general elections, was, however, quick to point out
that there were still aspects of the island's electoral process
that are badly in need of reforming.
we have read the Amnesty report," said Laura Neuman,
Senior Programme Associate for the Carter Center in an interview
with The Gleaner yesterday. "The elections last year,
in our view, ran relatively well. That is not to say however
that there weren't problems. There was violence that clearly
was politically motivated. How much of it can be attributed
to the elections...that would be difficult to say."
international human rights group, Amnesty International, said
last week in its annual report that "the elections were
accompanied by an increase in politically motivated violence,
with at least 60 people killed in the days leading to the
Neuman, whose organisation, in collaboration with the Department
of Government at the University of the West Indies, will be
holding a symposium on "Elections in Jamaica: The Next
Steps for Democracy" on Thursday at the Hilton Hotel,
said political intimidation was a serious problem that had
to be addressed.
what the Carter Centre hopes to accomplish on Thursday, she
said, "We are hoping for a lively debate... we are planning
on issuing recommendations which hopefully will assist in
the country's electoral process, where we will see a reduction
in violence during elections. We will also be releasing our
report on last October's elections...our findings."
Neuman added that the much talked about issue of campaign
finance reform will be discussed, noting that it was critical
in how elections are conducted in democratic societies worldwide.
"At the end of the day we are hoping that Jamaica will
one day see no more need to have international observers,"
she said. Government Senator Trevor Munroe and his Opposition
counterpart Bruce Golding will be making presentations at