‘We will not com­pro­mise’

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

THE FOL­LOW­ING are ex­cerpts of a speech by the chair­man of the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion of Ja­maica, Dorothy PineMcLarty, at a re­cent break­fast fo­rum in Kingston.

We at the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion of Ja­maica (ECJ) and the Elec­toral Of­fice of Ja­maica (EOJ) are de­lighted that you have carved out time from your sched­ules to be with us this morn­ing.

This rep­re­sents your deep in­ter­est in Ja­maica’s wel­fare and progress, and an undy­ing in­ter­est in the strength­en­ing of its democ­racy.

Your at­ten­dance, too, is a demon­stra­tion of your strong sup­port for the work of the ECJ and the EOJ — in­sti­tu­tions es­tab­lished to de­fend the in­tegrity of the coun­try’s elec­toral process. We will not com­pro­mise on this un­der­tak­ing.

We also pledge to con­tinue to be an im­por­tant part of the process to de­sign the road map for the fu­ture of our coun­try’s democ­racy, one that will ex­tend to all our peo­ple all of the time by way of con­stant year-round fo­cus of at­ten­tion, not just at elec­tion time. How­ever, this must be a part­ner­ship.

SAFE­GUARD DEMOC­RACY

All sec­tors of the so­ci­ety must be­come in­volved in the thrust to safe­guard our democ­racy: non­profit or­gan­i­sa­tions, uni­ver­si­ties, ser­vice clubs, pro­fes­sional or­gan­i­sa­tions and the Govern­ment. In­deed, all Ja­maicans. We urge all to come on board.

The EAC/EOJ will com­mence im­ple­men­ta­tion of pub­lic in­for­ma­tion and pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion pro­grammes on a phased ba­sis to in­crease pub­lic aware­ness of all as­pects of the elec­toral sys­tem, in­clud­ing voter regis­tra­tion, the polling process, po­lit­i­cal party regis­tra­tion, cam­paign fi­nanc­ing, rec­om­men­da­tions to Govern­ment on tech­no­log­i­cal Dorothy Pine-McLarty

ad­vances, to fur­ther the preser­va­tion of our democ­racy.

We must en­sure that the meth­ods and ma­te­ri­als we gen­er­ate, as we strive to im­prove the sys­tems, must heighten pub­lic aware­ness and have max­i­mum im­pact for the pub­lic who use them and not just those of us who work within the elec­toral sys­tem.

It would be re­miss of me not to take this op­por­tu­nity to com­mend the mem­bers of staff of the Elec­toral Of­fice who help to en­sure the re­li­a­bil­ity of Ja­maica’s elec­toral process. And also pay tribute to the pre­vi­ous mem­bers of the Elec­toral Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee and the Elec­toral Com­mis­sion of Ja­maica, all of whom have con­trib­uted tremen­dously and set us on a path of recog­ni­tion, both na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally. Of course, the modus operandi of the com­mis­sion is based on con­sen­sus, which is not al­ways eas­ily achieved.

There is still a great deal yet to be achieved and de­spite the many chal­lenges, we must work to­gether to man­age and over­come for the greater good of our coun­try which we love so dearly.

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