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News : International : Organization of American States (OAS) Last Updated: Feb 13, 2017 - 1:45:37 AM

OAS Mission Highlights Good Practices in Jamaica’s General Parliamentary Elections
Feb 26, 2016 - 1:27:18 PM

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The Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS/EOM) to the February 25 General Parliamentary Elections in Jamaica highlighted good practices and formulated recommendations to further assist the country in its efforts to continue strengthening its electoral process.

The OAS/EOM, headed by former Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs of The Bahamas, Janet G. Bostwick, was composed of 23 international observers from 17 countries, who were present in thirteen parishes across the country, and visited 367 polling stations. The Mission’s report highlighted the positive practices of the Jamaican electoral tradition and commended the implementation of recommendations formulated by previous OAS Missions on campaign finance, electoral technology, gender representation and establishment of a Media Monitoring Unit (MMU).

The OAS/EOM also referred to characteristics of the Jamaican electoral process that make it a good example for the region, including the institution of the political ombudsman, the independence of the electoral authority, and the early invitation extended to international observers. The Mission praised the work of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica and the efficiency demonstrated in the tabulation, transmission and release of the preliminary voting results. The report included further recommendations on electoral organization and voter participation.

The EOM took note of the declining voter turnout and recommended re-doubling voter education and public awareness campaigns, especially to energize new voters. The Mission also noted the incidents of violence which occurred prior to and on Election Day, which do not support the electoral process and have no place in a democracy.

The Mission acknowledged the openness and generosity of electoral authorities and the numerous stakeholders, including all citizens, in facilitating the Mission’s work. A detailed report on the observations and recommendations of the OAS Mission will be presented to the OAS Permanent Council in Washington, D.C. The OAS Mission in Jamaica was possible thanks to the general support of the governments of Argentina, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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