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'More clarification needed,' CAFFE says about claims of political influence on ECJ

Dr. Lloyd Barnett
 
The Board of Citizens Action for Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE) has concluded that more clarification is needed on the complaints made by former Director of Elections Orrette Fisher, in relation to political influence on the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ).
 
CAFFE Chairman Dr. Lloyd Barnett said it was agreed at a meeting of the Board this week that the ECJ needs to make clear what problems persisted at the entity and if these are still occurring.
 
Speaking with RJR News on Thursday, Dr. Barnett said the explanation should also come from the former Director of Elections. 
 
"We need a clarification as to exactly what are the complaints which Mr. Fisher wishes to advance or has advanced because it is not clear who is responsible and exactly what has been done," he argued. 
 
In addition, Dr. Barnett said the distinction made by Mr. Fisher between 'influence' and 'interference' does not help make the matter more clear "because either may be (done) for the wrong motive."
 
Mr. Fisher in several letters to the ECJ Chairman alleged political influence by one of the commissioners.
 
The ECJ has rejected the claim.
 
The allegations have raised concerns about the need to preserve the integrity and maintain public confidence in the Electoral Commission. 
                                                                           
But Dr. Barnett said the complaint of uncouth behaviour and discourtesy would not amount to political partisanship but poor manners.
 
He said where the behaviour of a member becomes disruptive or intolerable, the person responsible should not be retained on the Commission. 
 


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