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Electoral process to be monitored by observers

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OFFICIAL observers from across the Commonwealth will visit the Island on polling day next month to oversee and review Jersey’s general election.

Islanders will go to the polls on 16 May

Members from the UK branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association have accepted an invitation to review the election process and will report back on Jersey’s performance as measured against international standards, commitments and domestic laws.

It is hoped that the feedback and recommendations from the group will help to shape electoral reform in the Island.

The main focus of the report will be on how the polls are run and votes are counted. The review will also look at how Islanders are able to register to vote, the nominations process and political campaigning.

An eight-person team from across the Commonwealth will complete the ‘election observer mission’. They will be joined by two election specialist analysts and two election co-ordinators.

The review comes after States Members approved an amendment to the Public Elections Law last year which allowed election observers. The CPA UK were invited to the Island by Chief Minister Ian Gorst and Privileges and Procedures Committee chairman Len Norman.

Jon Davies, the CPA UK chief executive, said: ‘This will be the first election in which Jersey or indeed any of the Crown Dependencies has invited an international election observation team. We are honoured to be a part of this momentous opportunity. Election observations are vital elements of CPA UK’s commitment to enhance openness and transparency in parliamentary democracy across the Commonwealth.’

A preliminary report is expected to be published within two days of the election, with a final report including recommendations for electoral reform made available within two months of polling day.

Since 2011 the CPA has organised short-term election observer missions across five UK overseas territories including the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands and Cayman Islands, as well as for the UK general elections of 2010, 2015 and 2017.

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