Electoral observers outline role in electoral process

Members of the OAS Electoral Mission in discussion at Garraway Hotel press conference.

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.

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3 Comments

  1. angel
    December 22, 2009

    So why then were the opposition crying out for observers? Was it another pointless cry?

  2. Dominican lover
    December 22, 2009

    Dominica has always had a fair election process. The importing of observers was not necessary.
    The opposition should wise up if they want to make any positive impact on the people of Dominica.
    Stop the self-distruction.
    Time to move on to another level of intelligent debate.
    The world is watching us and envying us our freedom of expression.
    Peace and wisdom to our PM and parliarment.

  3. Pu-lease
    December 22, 2009

    Well this was a waste of time for them to come here. I mean we already knew that the process of election is fine, we already knew election day is peacful and everybody gets to vote. Its just all the other factors that unduely influence the elections that there is an issue with.

    I for one have little faith in any commission set up in Dominica. They have no power, no bite to their bark and they definelty do not have the testicular fortitude to stand against any administration.

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