22 April, 2015, 12:00 am
I AM pleased with the assurance given by the Supervisor of Elections that appropriate consideration will be given to the recommendations contained in the 2014 Elections Report compiled by the Multinational Observer Group (MOG).
The proposed changes will instill more confidence in the integrity of the voting system.
I understand that one of the key recommendations is to include political party identification on the national candidates list.
In its report the MOG had noted that “it was unusual that there was no political party identification on either the ballot paper or the national candidate list, which were the only two sources of information available to the voters inside the polling stations.
It cannot be denied that their independent observation is quite valid and relevant.
I do recall that concerns were raised by some political parties on this issue during the September election but to no avail.
In hindsight it would not be presumptuous of me to say that had their request been addressed then it could have made some difference in the final result.
The votes received by two candidates issued with numbers 279 and 297 bear testimony to the fact that some voters were confused with the numbering system.
Obviously some had difficulty memorising the numbers correctly and to mention about 3000 plus invalid votes that went to waste.
I am sure the political parties will welcome the move given that the enhanced visibility will enable their supporters to place a name against each number.
I believe it is not only important for the elections to be free and fair but more importantly it should be seen as being free and fair.