ECJ Chairman Disagrees with Fisher’s ‘Exaggerated Claims’ of Interference


Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica, ECJ, Dorothy Pine McClarty yesterday agreed that allegations raised by former Director of Elections, Orette Fisher, concerning undue political interference and or influence did not rise to that level.

She was speaking to Nationwide’s Cliff Hughes and Tyrone Reid last evening on Nationwide @ 5.

The ECJ Chairman says the former Director of Elections is mistaking the robust nature of the political exchanges with interference in the electoral process.

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Mrs. Pine-McLarty says the members of the Commission nominated by the political parties reserve the right to press home the demands of their parties.

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Meanwhile, in a letter to the ECJ Chairman, which was made public yesterday by Mr Fisher, the former Director of Elections detailed his unease about a number of matters regarding utterances and demands from the political representatives on the Commission.

Mr Fisher said he never received a formal response to that letter.

The former Director of Elections said those issues resurfaced following the November 2016 Elections, and he said he again wrote to the ECJ Chairman.

In one of his letters to the ECJ Chairman, Mr Fisher said the controversial utterances were originally captured in the minutes of two meetings held in February and March 2016.

Mr Fisher also wrote that a decision was subsequently made to amend the minutes to remove the remarks he had warned could have implications for future elections.

Mr Fisher then said his letter was subsequently withdrawn following discussions with the Commission.

The ECJ Chairman was asked about the amendments to the minutes.

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In the meantime, a Jamaica Labour Party Nominated Member of the ECJ, Senator Tom Tavares-Finson, is suggesting that the former Director of Elections felt he was entitled to remain in the post.

Senator Finson says Mr. Fisher refused to re-apply for the post when his contract expired.

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He says some members of the Commission had a favourable view of Mr. Fisher’s management style, while others took issue with it.

Mr. Finson says for someone to be appointed as Director of Elections, there must be a consensus among the members of Commission.

He says Mr. Fisher may have received the Commission’s support if he had re-applied for the post.

Senator Tavares-Finson also responded to claims made by Mr. Fisher that the political representatives on the Commission were trying to influence how the electronic voter identification and ballot issuing system was used.

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