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marks for EOJ, EAC CAFFE praises groups on running of last October's
ACTION for Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE), the independent
observer group, has given passing grades to the Electoral Office
of Jamaica (EOJ) and the Electoral Advisory Committee (EAC)
on the running of last October's General Election.
there were several areas which the organisation believes were
came to the conclusion that the elections were overall fairly
conducted and that although there were a number of irregularities
and deficiencies, those were not sufficient to affect the
choice of the people and overall, the result of the elections,"
said Dr. Lloyd Barnett, CAFFE Chairman.
was speaking yesterday at a press conference at the Election
Centre, Hope Road, St. Andrew, during which the organisation
officially presented its report on the October election.
absence or late arrival of election materials, the impeding
of CAFFE volunteers by some EOJ election day workers, intimidation
of voters, disruption of voting and inadequate physical facilities
at polling stations were cited as the downfalls in the election.
had nearly 1,800 volunteers posted at numerous polling stations
across the island.
to the report, several presiding officers and poll clerks
appeared to be unfamiliar with the procedures for conducting
the poll and there were far too many instances where polling
divisions were clustered in one location.
contributed to confusion, congestion and disorderly conduct
and the discomfort of electors," it said.
report listed 184 cases of irregularities related to election
materials, 30 instances where CAFFE observers were impeded
and 94 cases of 'mix up' with names on the voters' list. It
said 22 election day workers were harassed, 41 voters intimidated,
and 29 persons prevented from voting. There was also the problem
of some polling stations being inaccessible to disabled persons.
made 12 recommendations to further improve the election procedures.
Among them, the reinstitution of the programme for the distribution
of voter identification cards, the inspection of polling stations
to determine their suitability before designating them as
polling stations and proper communication systems for security
personnel based at these stations.
observer group also provided suggestions to be adopted at
the close of polls and proposed that the pilot project for
testing the electronic voting system in St. Andrew Eastern
be carried out in several polling divisions with different
geographic, social and demographic conditions.