Electoral reform: Going somewhere slowly
Mia Motley's recommendations may not be ready before the next election
Dominica's Electoral Commission has hired a consultant to review Dominica's laws and practice of conducting general elections.
But with general elections constitutionally due by May 2015 the consultant's recommendations may have little or no effect on the process of conducting the 2015 general elections.
The Sun has leant that the Electoral Commission has hired Mia Motley, that leader of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) to perform legislative work towards the reformation of the electoral laws in Dominica but the Commission is awaiting her report and recommendations.
"Motley's assignment came about as a result of recommendations from the present Electoral Commission and past Electoral Commissions. The Commission had expected to hear from her already but she is stressed with her own party issues in Barbados and that is delaying the process. The cost of the consultancy is estimated at over US$30, 000,"a source who spoke to the Sun on the usual conditions of anonymity, because the source was not authorised to speak on the matter, stated.
The source continued: "The issue of Multi Purpose ID is one of serious concern and it is altra virus the Act so Motley has her work cut out for her since she has to do some serious amendments and redrafting of the Electoral laws in Dominica."
According to the source, the Electoral Commission is faced with many serious issues.
"The ballot boxes have been changed from the wooden boxes to the transparent one with seals, so Motley's task is huge taking all that into consideration for amendment…and much more," the source said.
Given all the political interferences, the source says the work of the Electoral Commission is not an envious one.
"But I can tell you that it's a lot of work because the Commission is involved in training sessions of registering officers and the appointment of new ones. They also have to deal with many complains which has been brought by people about registering officers who are frustrating the process and are very political. The work of the Electoral Commission is rough and they are operating without a budget. The Chief Elections Officer has a lot of work and is without a deputy and while they are ready whenever an election is called, his work is endless with little resources," the source revealed. The source said that a certain "henchman of the DLP" was a "major hindrance" to the commission.
"I can tell you that the OAS had agreed to fund the voter ID cards but the efforts were derailed," the source said.