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Money worries but CAFFE ready - 300-plus monitors to be deployed in 30-plus constituencies

Published:Saturday | February 20, 2016 | 12:00 AMAndrew Harris
Electoral officials on the job during the 2011 general election.

Representatives of Citizens Action for Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE) will be out in their numbers come Thursday despite serious financial woes facing the body.

"We are as prepared as we could possibly be in the last seven days going into the election. We are in some intense activities - deployment, distribution of material - and all that is going on right throughout the island," said Dr Lloyd Barnett, head of CAFFE.

According to Barnett, CAFFE will deploy more than 300 volunteers to monitor voting in just over 30 constituencies across the island.

"A very special feature of this occasion is that a lot of young people have volunteered, and this is in secondary and tertiary institutions, and yet we complain that a lot of the young people are not getting involved. About one-third of our volunteers are coming from that sector of the society," added Barnett.

He said that so far, CAFFE has been doing a lot of recruitment and training of volunteers and has been focusing on the marginal constituencies to ensure that enough monitors are in these seats.




The CAFFE head said that every effort is being made to ensure that it is active right throughout the election because it is determined to meet its mandate of making sure that there is the fair conduct of the election.

"So far, the election has been going well, though there may be some hitches because of the incident and violence in St James, and there is the cancelling of the public debate, but other than that, things seem to be going smoothly," said Barnett as he repeated his appeal for financial assistance from the private sector.

"We are just urging the local private sector to step up to the plate," added Barnett as he noted that CAFFE is a voluntary organisation.