Following an amendment to the Public Elections (Jersey) Law 2002 in January 2017, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association British Islands and Mediterranean Region (CPA BIMR) were invited by the Chief Minister and Chairman of the Privileges and Procedures Committee to conduct an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to the Jersey 2018 Elections.
The Mission is composed of;
- Head of Mission, Hon. Phillip Paulwell CD MP (Jamaica)
- Deputy Head of Mission – Hon. Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings MP (Ghana)
- Short Term Observer – Jeremy Balfour MSP (Scotland)
- Short Term Observer – Tenia Woolridge (Bermuda)
- Senior Election Coordinator – Matthew Salik (CPA UK – United Kingdom)
- Election Coordinator – Fleur Ten Hacken – (CPA UK – The Netherlands)
- Election Analyst – Harald Jepsen (Denmark)
- Election Analyst – Anne Grandvoinnet Serafini (France)
Election Observation Missions (EOMs) are today worldwide accepted as a source of accurate and impartial assessments of an electoral process. It is also an important aspect of human rights monitoring. Such missions contribute to the strengthening of democratic institutions and add integrity to the process. EOMs can enhance public confidence in elections and show the willingness of Jersey to have an external review of its election. We are honoured to be part of the first mission of its kind in the Channel Islands and hope that we can make a long-lasting and positive contribution to strengthening the democratic process in this Crown Dependency.
In advance of our arrival this week, officials from CPA BIMR have undertaken scoping visits to Jersey in August and December last year and observed senatorial and deputy nomination days last month. The Mission will be in Jersey from the 5 May until the 18 May. The Mission will be guided by the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and Code of Conduct for International Election Observers. The Mission will observe the electoral process in accordance with international standards, Jersey’s commitments under international law as well as domestic legislation. The Mission will gather information and then make an informed evaluation. It will not interfere in the process and will not police its electoral practices. We may raise questions with election officials and may bring to their attention any irregularities if and when the need arises. Observers will strictly adhere to the CPA BIMR Code of Conduct and will be autonomous, impartial and independent in their observation and assessment of the election. The interest and focus of the mission is on the electoral process and not on the political outcome. In our final report the mission will offer recommendations with the aim of improving future elections. We are here to support democracy in Jersey.
This Mission acknowledges its limitations in particular the short time that we will be spending on the Island. Despite this we will strive to look at the entire electoral process to the best of our abilities. During the initial part of the mission we will be meeting with parish authorities, the election administration, judiciary, government, candidates and political parties, civil society, media representatives and other stakeholders. Our assessment will consider the legal framework, the election administration, the campaign, the media, polling and counting procedures, and the complaints and appeals mechanism. We will also consider gender equality and minorities’ issues. We will observe the last part of the campaign giving particular attention to the fundamental freedoms of expression, assembly, association, movement and information. On Election Day we will observe polling in all stations including the opening and closing. We will observe the counting and tabulation of results and also the immediate post-election period. We will look at the complaints and appeals system and follow the handling of any election disputes that may arise.
The Mission will issue a Preliminary Report within two days of the election, which will highlight key findings to date and make a preliminary assessment of the electoral process. Within two months of the election, the mission will publish its Final Report, which will provide an overall assessment of the electoral process and will include recommendations for future elections in Jersey.
The Mission would like to thank the Chief Minister and the Chairman of the Privileges and Procedures Committee for their invitation. We would like to thank the States Greffier for the support of his good offices. During our brief time here we have been well received and we are all overwhelmed by the warm welcome of the people of Jersey.