Fri | Oct 20, 2017

CAFFE says some observers were barred from observing polls

Published:Friday | February 26, 2016 | 10:17 AM
Voters await their turn outside a polling station yesterday.

Chairman of the Citizens Action for Free & Fair Elections (CAFFE), Dr Lloyd Barnett, is reporting that his group experienced instances of irregularity at some polling stations during yesterday’s elections.

Voters await their turnout to enter a polling station yesterday.

CAFFE is a non-partisan, non-profit organisation, which observes elections here.

Barnett says CAFFE observers were barred by some presiding officers from going inside polling stations to observe the voting process.

He says where observers were allowed inside they were limited to a few minutes.

The CAFFE Chairman says the group is also concerned that electoral workers barred its observers from watching the initial counting of ballots.

IN PHOTO: Dr Lloyd Barnett

Barnett, who is a prominent constitutional lawyer, notes that this was irregular and contrary to the rule of law.

He says this was a very disappointing experience for CAFFE which he notes has been observing elections for many years.

 

CAFFE Chairman, Dr. Lloyd Barnett

He says CAFFE plans to raise its concerns with the Electoral Commission of Jamaica for its intervention.

The CAFFE Chairman asserts that it is important to have independent observation of the electoral process.

He argues that this is critical to democracy.

Meanwhile, the CAFFE Chairman says overall it was a good election as the majority of polls opened on time and electors were allowed to exercise their franchise in a free and fair manner.