Chief of Mission of an Organization of American States (OAS) Electoral Observer Mission (EOM) to Dominica, Adam Blackwell, has said that more time in a country prior to the date of its general election is necessary in order to do a balanced report on the election process.
Blackwell was part of the 6 man team from the OAS EOM who observed the process and made recommendations for improvement.
“It would have been nice if we had been invited to do these elections a little earlier,” he said, noting that two weeks would have been better.
“But that is one of the challenges of the parliamentary system everywhere,” Blackwell said. “You are not necessarily sure in those countries that haven’t got fix dates when the election is actually going to be called.”
He said this is one the mission’s recommendations.
“I think one of the recommendations that we have in here and it is something that we need to discuss. How much advance time do we need if we are to do as good a job of observing elections as possible is something we want to work on.”
The team consisted of observers from Antigua and Barbuda, Canada, Chile, the United States and Venezuela and arrived on Wednesday 3rd December 2014, some four days before the December 8, 2014 general election.
Blackwell said he believes that they did an excellent job.
“I think we did an exceptional job, we are a dedicated team to visit all the constituencies and 60 percent of the polling stations, it was not easy but we did it.”
Their objective was to observe that the electoral process is carried out with impartiality, transparency and reliability.
They were expected to focus on gathering information about the status of the recommendations made in the last mission in 2009, analyze the electoral organization, electoral-political financing and the equal participation of men and women in the electoral process.
This is their second mission to the island. The first was in 2009.
The findings of the Mission will be presented to the Permanent Council of the Organization in Washington, DC.