Electoral observers present for Friday’s General Elections have made it clear that they are not electoral authorities or law enforcement officials, and are therefore not expected to address concerns of allegations of paid overseas voters and corruption in Government.
Chief of the Organisation of American States (OAS) Electoral Observation Mission Steven Griner, speaking at a pre-election press briefing at the Garraway Hotel, said while he has heard the concerns raised by the opposition parties, it is not their role to investigate matters pertinent to those concerns.
“We are here to observe, we are here to reach out to all the actors of the political process. We want to make an accurate reporting of this process, but we are not the one that investigates, we are not the one that sanctions, and it is incumbent on the court systems of Dominica, it is incumbent upon the Electoral Office and of course it is incumbent on those making those accusations to present very tangible evidence that that is occurring,” Griner explained.
“I think it’s important to emphasize we are not the electoral authorities and we are not the court system of Dominica … They’ve had a lot of concerns about the press and people coming in from overseas to vote and we’ve encouraged them to work through the appropriate channels to reach out to the Electoral Commission, to reach out to the courts, to present evidence of that occurring,” he stated.
The OAS Mission’s preliminary report of Friday’s General Elections was read to the press on Saturday.
A mission from CARICOM also arrived here on Tuesday led by Hensley Robinson, former Chief Elections Officer of Barbados. The other members of the Observer Team come from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The CARICOM Electoral Observation Mission met with Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, and has met the leadership of the Dominica Labour Party (DLP), United Workers Party (UWP), the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP), and the Media Workers Association of Dominica. That mission is also expected to meet with the Dominica Electoral Commission, representatives of the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), the Dominica Christian Council and Dominica Evangelical Association, the National Youth Council, the Dominica National Council of Women, the Dominica Bar Association and the Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce.
Tags: Election 2009