The Speaker of the House of Keys, the Hon Steve Rodan SHK, has returned from the British Virgin Islands after serving as Head of Mission to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association British Islands and Mediterranean Region (CPA BIMR) Election Observation Mission.
The purpose was to oversee the territory’s general election on June 8th , ahead of which the Governor of the British Virgin Islands, His Excellency John Duncan OBE, said the mission would ‘increase public confidence in the electoral process’, and that ‘having impartial, experienced observers from an internationally recognised organisation’ provided an opportunity ‘to exchange good practice and maintain the high standards for democracy in the territory.’
Mr Speaker led a team of six observers. From the CPA Caribbean and Americas Region Hon Ruth D Blackman MP (Turks and Caicos Islands) and Dr Winston Green MP (Jamaica) served as observers, election analysts were Matthew Salik from the UK and Ellen Shustik from Canada and the mission was supported by election coordinator Rachael Atkins from the CPA UK.
Following the election the CPA BIMR has issued its preliminary report which says: ‘In carrying out its work, the mission met with election officials, political parties and candidates, media, civil society representatives, voters, the Governor, Deputy Governor, Deputy Police Commissioner, former Leader of the Opposition, Public Complaints Commissioner, Attorney General, Gender Affairs Coordinator and other election stakeholders. Members of the mission observed campaign rallies and motorcades on Tortola and Virgin Gorda. The Mission observed all nine polling stations at the advance polling, Friday 5 June. On Election Day, 8 June, the Mission made repeated visits to 21 polling stations across all districts and observed district and territorial counting and the results tabulation process.’
Reflecting on the mission Mr Speaker said: ‘This was an excellent international Election Observer Mission to the BVI, and it was especially pleasing that the Isle of Man was leading it. Our final Report will have recommendations which I think will be of great value to the government and people of the BVI, for improvement to the conduct of their elections in future. I am certain that the Isle of Man's growing expertise in areas like this, along with our small countries management programme, will help our international profile and give us an edge in our dealings across the global community.’
For further information:
Deputy Clerk of Tynwald
Legislative Buildings, Douglas, IM1 3PW
Tel: (01624) 685500