Former Director of Elections Releases Letters Accusing Political Interference

Former Director of Elections, Orette Fisher, has released three letters he wrote to the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) highlighting what he’s described as attempts to influence the actions of the Director of Elections.

The Fisher letters were written in November 2015, May 2016 and his resignation letter that was penned in March this year.

In the letter of May 2016, Mr Fisher said he felt threatened and intimidated following an incident involving JLP Nominated Member of the ECJ, Aundre Franklyn.

Mr. Fisher wrote that Mr. Franklyn allegedly said he was prepared to lead the JLP’s Nomination Day parade in Western St. Mary and reportedly warned that if anything happened to any Labourites, he, Mr. Fisher, would then see what would happen.

Mr. Fisher wrote that Mr. Franklyn’s remark was in response to his earlier decision to remove the nomination centre from the Gayle Court House to the EOJ office in Oracabessa.

Mr. Fisher noted that he was relieved the decision was made to have the nomination centre remain in Gayle.

He wrote, “Fortunately, the decision was made to keep the nomination centre at the Gayle Court House and so any potential conflict was avoided. The comment that was originally captured in the minutes of February 3, 2016 was amended to remove same,”.

Mr. Fisher also wrote that in a meeting on March 2, 2016, election results were being discussed at the Commission.

According to the former Director of Elections, among the topics being talked over were the closeness of the elections and the reversal of the preliminary count in the St Mary South East constituency.

In his letter dated May 2, 2016, Mr Fisher alleged that Mr. Franklyn indicated that. “We were lucky the JLP had won the election because if they had not, you think it woulda go so,”.

Mr Fisher went on to say, “As Director of Elections, I was alarmed at his comments…I find it difficult not to think about the statement and I do feel some apprehension and uncertainty as to what might happen should a future election not go in a particular way. Other members of the Commission present did not comment at the time the statement was made”.

Mr Fisher said he was disappointed at the ECJ’s lack of response to the incidents.

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