Tue | Aug 21, 2018

Political influence rife at ECJ - Fisher

Published:Tuesday | May 15, 2018 | 12:11 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I write in response to an advertisement titled 'Statement by The Electoral Commission of Jamaica', which appeared in your Sunday publication.

The public is aware of the court proceedings which I had filed, seeking judicial review of the legality of a one-year appointment to the post of director elections, contrary to statute that mandates a seven-year appointment.

After further consideration, I chose to resign from the post before judgment was handed down. In addition to the fact that I did not wish to be in the post based on a court order (if the court ruled in my favour), I outlined the reasons for my decision in my resignation letter sent to the chairman on March 12 2018.

The court proceedings were subsequently withdrawn, and that, to my mind, had ended the matter.

The ECJ, in its statement, is alleging that I made unsubstantiated statements in relation to political interference at the EOJ.

This I find disingenuous, as after the court proceedings were withdrawn, I spoke to three independent members of the commission during which I pointed out that my email to staff on March 14, 2018, spoke of growing POLITICAL INFLUENCE and NOT political interference.

This is attributable to the media, which misquoted the email.

Attempts at growing political influence is something which I continuously brought to the attention of the commission. A meeting was scheduled with the independent commissioners to discuss my resignation, but the meeting was cancelled and never rescheduled.

Based on the contents of the advertisement, I am authorising and requesting that the contents of my letter of resignation which outlined my concerns to be made public by the ECJ so the media and the general public can be made aware of the basis for my resignation.

The ECJ is being very selective in what it releases, but I am of the view that the time has come to state all and to clear the air.

ORRETTE FISHER

Former Director

of Elections