Head of Communications
Recovery and Development Agency
Tel: +1 (284) 345-2776 | Mobile: +1 (284) 345-3387
The Election Observation Mission began their official tour of duty today June 1, as observers for the June 8 general election.
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association British Islands and Mediterranean Region arrived in the Territory on May 30 and will depart on June 10.
The team will pay courtesy visits to the Premier of the Virgin Islands, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, the Supervisor of Elections Ms. Juliette Penn, members of the media, the candidates and persons representing the political parties among others.
At a press conference earlier today, Head of the Mission the Honourable Stephen Rodan said that the team is in the Territory on invitation from His Excellency the Governor John S. Duncan, OBE and that the invitation was supported by both the Government and the Opposition.
Honourable Rodan said, “Missions like ours contribute to the strengthening of democratic institutions and add integrity to the electoral process. This is all about enhancing public confidence and deterring fraud. The fact that our Mission enjoys broad support right across the political spectrum shows that the Virgin Islands is willing to open itself to such external assessment. This is very commendable.”
The mission will observe all aspects of the electoral process in accordance with international standards, including the Virgin Islands’ commitments under international law as well as domestic legislation. This includes the legal framework, election administration, the campaign, the media, polling and counting, complaints and appeals.
On Election Day, the mission will observe the process at polling stations paying specific attention to the opening and closing of the polls. They will also observe the counting and tabulation of results and the immediate post-election period.
In addition to Speaker of the House of Keys, Isle of Man, Honourable Stephen Rodan, the Mission is comprised of five other members. They are Member of Parliament of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Honourable Ruth Blackman, Member of Parliament of Jamaica, Honourable D. Winston Green, Election Analyst from the United Kingdom Mr. Matthew Salik, Election Coordinator from the United Kingdom, Ms Rachael Atkins, and Election Analyst from Canada, Ms. Ellen Shustik.
The Election Observation Mission is being guided by the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and the Code of Conduct for International Election Observers, adopted by international bodies involved in election observation at the United Nations in October 2005.