(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was invited by the Government of Jamaica to establish a Mission to observe the General Elections to be held on December 29, 2011.
In response to that invitation, a seven (7) member Observer Group under the leadership of Mr. Winston Estwick of Barbados, was selected. Mr. Estwick and three (3) members arrived in Jamaica on Monday, 26 December 2011.
The other members of the Group are:
(i) Ms. Jerrylyn Bruce, Belize;
(ii) Mr. Henry George, Dominica;
(iii) Mr. H. E. Steve Wrensford, St. Kitts and Nevis;
(iv) Mr. Stanley Marica, Suriname;
(v) Ms. Sandiria Hall, CARICOM Secretariat
(vi) Mr. Emmerson Husbands, CARICOM Secretariat;
The CEOM has met with the Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica Professor Errol Miller O.J, the Director Elections, Mr. Orrette Fisher, Dr. Lloyd Barnett of Citizens Action for Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE), Mr. Owen Ellington, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Earl Delisser of the National Democratic Movement (NDM) and Mr. Delano Franklyn of the People’s National Party (PNP). Efforts to meet with the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) were unsuccessful.
The CEOM has recognised that in a democracy, the will of the people is primarily expressed through elections, where the “one person, one vote” principle is well established. In such elections, the process should be free, fair and transparent. The mandate of the CEOM is to observe the processes in the coming general elections in order to verify that that it is free, fair and transparent and make the necessary reports in this regard.
On Election Day, the CEOM is expected to be deployed in the St. Catherine, St. Thomas, St. Andrew and the Kingston Constituencies.