Got TIPS or BREAKING NEWS? Please call 545-3572; ads call 440-6666                               Sittings from House of Assembly are carried live on 90.9 FM the Caribbean superstation or follow live online: www.cbnvirginislands.com

2015 Election Observers questioned independence of Election Office

- CPA Election Observer Mission called for permanent independent Elections Commission to provide adequate democratic oversight of the Office of the Supervisor of Elections
The General Elections Report 2015 (left) was laid on the table of the Eighth Sitting of the First Session of the Third House of Assembly on April 18, 2016. Right: Elections Supervisor Juliette Penn. Photo: VINO/File
Persons line up at polling stations during the 2015 General Elections. Photo: VINO
Persons line up at polling stations during the 2015 General Elections. Photo: VINO
The National Democratic Party (NDP) won the 2015 snap elections in a landslide, taking 11 out of 13 seats with the Opposition Virgin Islands Party (VIP) securing the other 2. Photo: VINO/File
The National Democratic Party (NDP) won the 2015 snap elections in a landslide, taking 11 out of 13 seats with the Opposition Virgin Islands Party (VIP) securing the other 2. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- While the general public for the most part has accepted the results of the 2015 snap election in the Virgin Islands that saw the National Democratic Party (NDP) returned to power, international election observers have raised some questions in their final report.

Requested by then Opposition Leader at the time Hon Ralph T. O’Neal OBE to have independent election observers, Governor John S. Duncan OBE agreed and invited the Commonwealth Parliamentary British Islands and Mediterranean Region (CPA BIMR) to observe the June 8, 2015 elections.

Election Office not independent?

In their final report laid on the table of the Eighth Sitting of the First Session of the Third House of Assembly on April 18, 2016, the observers questioned the independence of the Office of the Supervisor of Elections headed by Ms Juliette Penn.

The General Elections Report of 2015 included the Observer Mission portion in which they made over eight recommendations on how to improve general elections in the Virgin Islands (VI) and restore confidence and transparency by the voters and political parties.

One of the many recommendations from the Observer Mission titled ‘Election Administration’ is that “there is a need for the creation of a permanent independent Elections Commission to provide adequate democratic oversight of the Office of the Supervisor of Elections and thus add a further layer of public accountability.”

The Observer Mission believed that “such a Commission would provide clarity over the complaints process which is currently in the remit of the Complaints Commissioner, the Attorney General, Director of Public Prosecutions, the Governor and the Deputy Governor.”

They further stated that an Independent Commission having oversight over Juliette Penn and her Office “may reduce questions over partisanship within the Elections Office or appointments processes….”

Even the Supervisor of Elections Penn admitted that due to security requirements for storing ballot boxes and more importantly the sealing of ballots for the advance polls, that the current election office “is not fit for purpose and a larger more secure facility be sought.”

Fixed election date?

The CPA BIMR 6 member team mission headed by Hon Stephen C. Rodan SHK, Speaker of the House of Keys, Isle of Man also recommended “to avoid any unfair advantage or undue influence in the timing of an election, consideration should be given to introducing legislation on fixed terms Parliaments, which would fix the timing of elections. This would in turn allow all parties and candidates, as well as those involved in the administration of an election, the appropriate time and awareness to prepare accordingly.”

The NDP won the 2015 snap elections in a landslide taking 11 out of 13 seats with the Opposition Virgin Islands Party securing the other 2.

29 Responses to “2015 Election Observers questioned independence of Election Office”

  • voter (03/06/2016, 10:29) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    the Friday poling had issues we all knew it but god sits high and looks low
  • Smile (03/06/2016, 10:38) Like (4) Dislike (20) Reply
    "While the general public for the most part has accepted the results of the 2015 snap election..."

    So what is the "other part" of the general public that has not accepted the 11-2 shellacking.

    Yes it was a snap election but the opposition VIP had always stated that there would be early elections.
    They should have been ready so can't sympathize with them on that.
    • @ smile (03/06/2016, 11:19) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
      I suppose many of us after reading this was thinking on the fishy things that went on Friday night after the pre polling with the sealing etc and the manipulation of the voters list…now go talk that
  • Windy (03/06/2016, 10:44) Like (3) Dislike (31) Reply
    THE NDP DID NOT THIEF THE ELECTIONS SO AYO BETTER NOT START
  • needs a thorough investigation (03/06/2016, 11:05) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply
    An injustice was done to dancia when voters were moved from longlook and placed in the 8th district in order for marlon to win.
    • @ needs a thoroug investigation (03/06/2016, 11:20) Like (6) Dislike (10) Reply
      and what about what the man from the Frist district did to her? now go smoke that!
      • Umm (03/06/2016, 12:14) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
        Even on her own Minister Walk a Thon was a waste of time. Anything anybody did to her was doing this country a favour. Her record speaks for itself. Total waste of time. Talk is cheap and that's all she has.
        • the ndp tried to make dancia look bad (03/06/2016, 13:36) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
          Marlon piggybacked on all her projects and looked good for a while...The projects are all finished now so where is he???
          • Pshycosis (03/06/2016, 15:21) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
            You people really must get over this, it's really not good for your mental health. I'm sure Dancia has moved on, atleast I hope she has.
      • please (03/06/2016, 20:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        The man in the 1st didn't do that lazy woman a thing. I can't believe she would get sensible people to believe her flimsy excuse for loosing as a result of not doing her work.
    • Observer (03/06/2016, 13:53) Like (0) Dislike (10) Reply
      No injustice can be done to Dancia. She is not nice
    • Really!!! (03/06/2016, 15:17) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      You people need to get over this, Dancia lost by over a 100 votes in a 4 man race, are you kidding me! "Smh"

      You will grieve to death if you don't let this go. Dancia lost over 5 yrs ago and you're still with this nonsense. Free your mind and the rest will follow.

    • Texas (04/06/2016, 09:16) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Good morning everyone, I am from the United States caught in the desperate insanity by Donald Trump to try to manipulate the U.S. elections and it is imperative! and critical! that Hillary Clinton win the U.S. Presidency for the sake of the United States, World Peace and Puerto Rico, as everyone stands to bear the consequences when scammers and con artists and liars and frauds like Donald Trump, pollute the system. Hillary Clinton will be for Puerto Rico, what she has been for decades to the USA an icon on the values important to Americans and critical to the Democratic sytem. God bless Puerto Rico and the USA and all Countries who stand to benefit with a Hillary Clinton Presidency.
  • i remember when (03/06/2016, 11:08) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    they had unsealed ballot boxes opened in their office.
  • par (03/06/2016, 11:25) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    They buy out the people to win its equal to cheating
  • lost (03/06/2016, 11:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What this report is say. Can someone who understands explain. Not hearing of any strong and must recommendations.. Like we need 3 term limits. Like Candidates and the voting public must be given a minimum of three months after election is called. Etc.
  • Knight (03/06/2016, 12:34) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    Election recommendations to prevent fraud might be:
    1. Voter registration card.
    2. The use of ink during voting.
    3. Video footage of all polling stations.
    We have enough time to buy the equipment, train the staff and become more transparent and accountable.
    • Crazy! (03/06/2016, 16:12) Like (1) Dislike (8) Reply
      Inking? I don't think we reach Banana Republic status just yet.....
  • wize up (03/06/2016, 14:12) Like (2) Dislike (6) Reply
    till now: what a cut @$$ the VIP got in 2015 and if they are not very careful dem will get another one come 2019......
    • TO WIZE UP (04/06/2016, 16:25) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      What a cut a$$ the NDP giving you all now. P%ss in you all face and calling it rain.
  • virgin gorda (03/06/2016, 14:35) Like (22) Dislike (0) Reply
    While the ndp would have won the election last year something went down on the pre voting friday that caused karl zoe and roxann to loose by so much and i will take that to my grave
  • The Watcher (03/06/2016, 17:21) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Watch thoes at large ballot next time
  • Wendy (03/06/2016, 19:12) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    We asked for a voter registration card and instead we got a NHI card.
    Voter registration card could stop election fraud. Also, follow St. Lucia lead and make nursing homes and hospitals polling stations for the elderly. Avoid having to droge them to the polling station.
  • Political Observer (03/06/2016, 19:57) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Indeed, a fix election date is needed, to limit the playing file somewhat. Election date should not be a gotcha guessing game. Elections should be won by plans, programmes, policies........etc.
    • wize up (04/06/2016, 04:13) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      @ political observer: it's about time for real; no one group should hold the rest of this voting community in limbo as to date of election: there must be a given date for elections in this territory and it the sooner the better: some of us have elections to be a joking matter and keep on !ucking with the system and It should stop
  • bumblebee (04/06/2016, 23:53) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The whole place stinks.
  • liberal (05/06/2016, 12:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    If the elections was held in November when it was to, the NDP wouldn't be in Power. If you guys look back and see that after June 2015 election all sort of things started with people being laid off etc.
  • bystander (20/06/2016, 01:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    All this talking and still the public don;t have the facts whether they are NDP or VIP. So sick of hearing ignorance and listening to the corruption stories. Tortolians seemed to have lost the value of integrity, morals and ethics and the ones voted in power obsessed with the love of power, money and greed. Very disappointed in the politricks that goes on around here.


Create a comment


Create a comment

Disclaimer: Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) welcomes your thoughts, feedback, views, bloggs and opinions. However, by posting a blogg you are agreeing to post comments or bloggs that are relevant to the topic, and that are not defamatory, liable, obscene, racist, abusive, sexist, anti-Semitic, threatening, hateful or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be excluded permanently from making contributions. Please view our declaimer above this article. We thank you in advance for complying with VINO's policy.


Weather


Follow Us On

Disclaimer: All comments posted on Virgin Islands News Online (VINO) are the sole views and opinions of the commentators and or bloggers and do not in anyway represent the views and opinions of the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Virgin Islands News Online and its parent company.