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Commonwealth MPs invited to observe BVI elections

By CMC

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Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert

TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands, Feb 5, CMC – The British Virgin Islands (BVI) government says it has invited the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association British Islands and Mediterranean Region (CPA BIMR) send an election observation mission (EOM) to the February 25 general elections.

A government statement said that the invitation had been extended by Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert, with approval of the premier and leader of the opposition, “to observe the BVI elections against international standards, commitments and obligations as well as domestic laws.”

The statement said the mission will observe political campaigning; electoral administration; voter registration and accessibility; polling, including advance polling; counting and tabulation; and post-election complaints or appeals.

A preliminary report will be published within two days following the election to outline the initial findings and that a closing report will be published within two months after the election, offering recommendations for potential electoral reform, the statement said.

“This will be the third occasion that CPA BIMR has had the honour to deploy an international election observation mission to the British Virgin Islands,” said CPA BIM Regional Secretary, Jon Davies.

“We are grateful to BVI for again trusting us with this important responsibility. Election observations are vital elements of CPA and the commonwealth’s commitment to enhance openness and transparency in parliamentary democracy.

“We look forward to supporting the efforts of BVI in that regard once again, and to offering further recommendations based on what the Mission observes,” Davies said.

The six-member observer team will be supported by a “core team” of two election specialist analysts and an election coordinator.

“CPA British Islands & Mediterranean Region is one of the nine regions of the CPA network, and is committed to strengthening democracy and good governance,” the statement said.

Last November, Governor Jaspert announced that a general election would be held earlier than scheduled based on advice from Premier Dr Orlando Smith, who decided to forego a by-election for the Fifth Electoral District.

That district became vacant in October following the death of Representative Delores Christopher.

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