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Brown humbled by ECJ recommendation

Thursday, July 12, 2018

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GLASSPOLE Brown, the man recommended to take over the reins at the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ), says he is humbled by the decision.

Brown, who spoke to the Jamaica Observer yesterday, was recommended for the position by the eight commissioners of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ). Governor General Sir Patrick Allen is expected to appoint him shortly.

“I am humbled by the recommendation. It is a matter of continuing the work that we have set out to do as an organisation and it's just for me to lead the process. I've been in the system for quite a while. I have a good team working with — a very experienced team. So it is a matter of continuing in terms of developing and improving on what exists,” Brown told the Observer.

A release from EOJ said that the selection process was open to internal and external applicants.

Brown, who is currently acting as director of elections, has served “meritoriously” for nine years as assistant director of elections — administration, before which he occupied senior management positions in the public and private sectors, the EOJ release said.

Chairman of the ECJ Dorothy Pine-McLarty described Brown as a fine son of Jamaican soil and said that she and the other commissioners wholeheartedly recommend his appointment as director of elections.

“I am satisfied that the Electoral Office of Jamaica is in good hands,” Pine-McLarty said.

The position became vacant after former director of elections Orrette Fisher resigned in March.

Fisher submitted a letter to the ECJ, advising of his decision to relinquish the post.

The decision came as a surprise to the ECJ, as the commission and Fisher were awaiting a decision from the Supreme Court on the legality of his extended one-year tenure.

Fisher's seven-year appointment as director of elections ended in November 2015, but the calling of a general election for February 2016 intervened, and he was granted a one-year extension. The tenure was extended for another year to accommodate the holding of the local government elections in November 2016.

With the two-year extended period coming to a close in November 2017, Fisher took the matter to the court. His attorney Hugh Wildman claimed that his reappointment could not be for less than a seven-year period. But Solicitor General Nicole Foster Pusey, who represented the ECJ in the case, insisted that as a servant of the commission, Fisher could be replaced by the ECJ if the commission was not satisfied with his performance.

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