The Member of Parliament for Klottey Korle, Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings was in Jersey in the Channel Islands of the United Kingdom over the past week as the Deputy Head of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association British Islands and Mediterranean Region (CPA BIMR) Election Observer Mission.
Dr. Agyeman-Rawlings was part of an eight-member delegation led by Philip Paul, a Jamaican Member of Parliament who was tasked to observe the Jersey elections against international standards, commitments and obligations as well as applicant domestic laws.
The Mission observed political campaigning, electoral administration, voter registration and accessibility, candidate nomination, polling (including postal and pre-polling), counting and tabulation and post-election complaints or appeals.
A preliminary report issued by the Observer Mission on Friday said:
“The 2018 Jersey election was well executed, competitive and enabled the electorate to cast their votes in secret and express their will in a transparent, peaceful and orderly manner. We commend the election officials who were professional in carrying out their functions meticulously and impartially…
“However their work was hindered by an electoral system which remains overly complicated and cumbersome. Further areas of concern relate to the number of uncontested elections, the disparity in the equality of the vote across districts and parishes and the low voter turnout, which arguably undermines the principle that the elections in Jersey are fully genuine. Improvements are needed to tackle the deficiencies in the regulatory framework, particularly in relation to campaign financing, political parties and the process for candidate nomination.”
Asked about her personal impressions of the election experience, Deputy Head of Mission, Dr. Agyeman-Rawlings indicated that it was revealing. She said while it exposed the way democratic governance is applied in several jurisdictions, it also confirmed the oft-stated fact that Ghana’s democracy is quite advanced in its management practices.
Jersey is a Crown dependency with a population of 100,080 located near the coast of Normandy, France. It has a parliamentary democracy with the Queen of England as official head of state.