Report for Entrenchment of Electoral Commission Submitted to Parliament


A report for the entrenchment of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) in the Constitution, has been submitted to Parliament, ECJ Chairman, Professor Errol Miller, has advised.
Addressing journalists at a media briefing at the organisation’s New Kingston offices on Wednesday (Feb. 4), Professor Miller said the submission was a move towards fulfilling a commitment by the ECJ’s predecessor, the Electoral Advisory Committee (EAC), during its 27-year existence, to establish and entrench the Commission in the Constitution.
“It is to be debated, hopefully, agreed on, then the necessary legislation will follow, and the process of amendment will proceed from there,” the ECJ Chairman stated.
In the meantime, he informed that the ECJ’s inaugural report, ‘Elections 2007’, which has been tabled in Parliament, represents the Commission’s activities from its establishment in December 2006 up to March 2008. Copies of the report were circulated to the media.
“We entitled it ‘Elections 2007’, principally because from we were established until the time of this report, what we were just dealing with were the general elections, and the local government elections of 2007/08,” Professor Miller explained.
“But… it’s not simply a report of the elections,” he said, noting that “it documents all of the processes we used, the entire preparatory processes, what happened … on election day, what happened afterwards, whatever complaints that were made, whatever mistakes we made, we have all put it down here. So, it’s a full report.”
He said that the report was drafted in an “historical context” to facilitate a better and deeper understanding of the issues which the former EAC, now ECJ, has grappled with over the years.
“What the Commission has accomplished with the work of the nominated and selected members, the involvement of the political parties, (and) the involvement of the public, is a collective achievement of the entire society, and we want to record, as much as possible, (so) that the country can understand what has happened and how we are going about it,” he stated.
The ECJ Chairman said feedback on the report has been forthcoming from the international community, with one responder ranking the document among the best reports on an electoral process prepared anywhere in the world. “We were gratified to get this response,” he said.
Professor Miller also advised that the ECJ is up-to-date on its submission of annual reports to Parliament.

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