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Jamaica: All ready for polls


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Jamaica: All ready for polls

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The Dr Lloyd Barnett-chaired Citizens Action for Free and Fair Election (CAFFE) wrapped up its final round of preparatory training sessions this weekend, ahead of the December 29 general election, even as its members were engaged in talks with representatives of the group of observers from the OAS who are in Jamaica to observe the polls.
He emphasised that all is set for Thursday, having wrapped up final training sessions of local observers and preparing them with the material that they will need to carry out their functions, ahead of Thursday’s poll.
Barnett disclosed that the local observers would be spread out across the island.
Barnett appeared upbeat as he indicated that his team was ready. Absent was his complaint of 2007 that the conduct of some political standard-bearers were unacceptable as their actions bode ill for the country..
Barnett told The Sunday Gleaner that two overseas teams are in Jamaica for the elections.
In addition to the OAS group, Barnett said a group from Tunisia will also be observing the elections, primarily to study the Jamaican system.
Jamaica is no stranger to the wary and curious from overseas observing the electoral process. In 2002, the reputable Carter Center in the United States deployed a mission to observe the elections.
Barnett told The Sunday Gleaner that while there are others from overseas who are likely to be visit Jamaica for the election, he could speak in more detail about the OAS group.
“They (members of the OAS group) have met with us, we will have a cooperative relationship during the elections,” he said.
According to Barnett, CAFFE will be available to assist members of the group in terms of what they will be doing and where they will be going. “If and where they require assistance to locate,we are prepared to assist.
“We have been holding general briefing sessions and will continue to do so, as it is a general cooperative arrangement that is in place,” said Barnett. “They have made it quite clear that will be cooperating with us.”
Barnett, seen as one of the foremost constitutional legal minds in the country, stressed the organisations that he leads welcomes others who are desirous of making a contribution to the electoral process.
“We welcome others. People come to us because they recognise our record and reputation that we have established,” he said
The civic group, which has been independently observing elections since 1997, is on a continuous recruitment drive to find volunteers to monitor activities in each polling station across the island.
 

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