PNP electoral commissioners withdraw support for ECJ statement

Monday, May 21, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The two People's National Party (PNP) commissioners on the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) today say they have withdrawn their support for a statement issued, which inter alia specified that there was no evidence of political interference in the operations of the Electoral Office of Jamaica.

In a joint statement today, Julian Robinson and Wensworth Skeffery disclosed that they participated in the meeting where the statement was drafted and agreed with its contents, as there was a media report which referenced political interference at the EOJ.

However, the two stated that subsequent to that statement, and having received copies of the resignation letter of Former Director of Elections, Orrette Fisher and two other letters written by him to the Chairman of the ECJ, they have withdrawn their support for the statement issued by the commission on May 13, and called for an urgent investigation into the issues raised by Fisher.

“We are deeply concerned that these issues raised by Fisher could affect the integrity of the operations of the ECJ and public confidence in the institution,” said the statement.

The commissioners added that, since joining the ECJ (Robinson – July 2017 and Skeffery – January 2018), they have seen and witnessed firsthand behaviour from a commissioner that they view as disrespectful, abusive and hostile to Fisher as well as to other members of the ECJ, including independent members.

“On these occasions where we have seen this behavior, we have both challenged the commissioner in question and sought the intervention of the chairman and other independent members to restore decorum,” said the PNP representatives.

They added that these developments are unprecedented within the ECJ and decisive steps must be taken to resolve these matters.

“It is incumbent on the independent commissioners to be the protectors of the integrity and balance in the ECJ and they should assert their leadership to ensure that the ECJ continues to enjoy public confidence and trust,” the statement ended.

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