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Recommendations by elections observers should be implemented early- Gov Rankin

Recommendations by elections observers should be implemented early- Gov Rankin

Governor John J. Rankin, CMG has shared his belief that there should be no ‘last minute’ changes to the Elections Act.

During an interview with hosts of the Talking Points Show on ZBVI 780 AM and live-streamed on Facebook on May 1, 2023, the Governor was asked to share his view in light of the recent issue as there were concerns by citizens that these sort of changes should not be made in such close proximity to an election.

In his response, Governor Rankin said he agrees that such changes should be made sooner, since people want to have certainty.

“I agree with those who said…those changes should’ve been made sooner because people want to have certainty… My view is there were further changes required. The international observers, organised through the [Commonwealth] Parliamentary Association, made a number of recommendations after the 2019 election and I would’ve wished those changes recommended to be passed in full at an earlier stage,” Governor Rankin stated.

As such, he noted that in the future he will be working along with government and the new House of Assembly (HoA) to consider early implementation of these recommendations, well in advance of the next election, once a decision is made for them to be acted upon.

The Elections Observer Mission (EOM) is expected to deliver a final report which will include recommendations of how the election process can be improved, within two months of the April 24, 2023 elections.

EOM can only make recommendations

Prior to the recently concluded election, a team from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) British Islands and Mediterranean Region (BIMR) Elections Observation Mission was invited to observe the election process.

The Elections Observer Mission (EOM) had emphasised that they can only make recommendations based on their observations from the electoral process, however, it is up to the people of Virgin Islands to make the necessary implementations.

The team is expected to deliver a final report which will include recommendations of how the election process can be improved, within two months of the April 24, 2023 elections.

The previous observer team which had observed the election in the Territory back in 2019 had also shared key recommendations, however, some level of concern was highlighted by citizens as to whether any of these were actually taken into consideration.

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