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Carter Center to Observe Jamaica Elections

Kingston, Jamaica…The Carter Center and its Council of Presidents and Prime Ministers of the Americas have accepted the invitation from the Electoral Advisory Committee of Jamaica to observe the upcoming parliamentary elections. A pre-election mission, led by Ron Gould, former Assistant Chief of Elections Canada and Laura Neuman, Senior Program Associate of the Carter Center's Americas Program, is in Jamaica this week to assess electoral conditions and has met with election officials, political party leaders, Jamaican security forces, and representatives of civil society and the media.

"Since the Carter Center observed the 1997 elections in Jamaica, we have continued to follow political developments in the country," said Laura Neuman. "Our goal is to demonstrate the international community's support for free and fair elections and to play a constructive role at this point in Jamaica's democratic history."

The Carter Center has worked on democracy-building and anti-corruption efforts in Jamaica since 1997, when it observed the national elections. The 1997 delegation led by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, his wife, Rosalynn, former chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powell, boxer Evander Holyfield, former Belize Prime Minister George Price, former Costa Rica President Rodrigo Carazo, and former Bolivia President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada observed one of the most peaceful elections in Jamaica's history.

Since that election, the Center's Americas Program has been actively working with the Jamaican government, opposition parties, the Media Association of Jamaica and civil society to inform the debate regarding the Corruption Prevention Act and the recently passed Access to Information Act. The Center also oversaw publication of Combating Corruption in Jamaica: A Citizen's Guide and Fostering Transparency and Preventing Corruption in Jamaica.

The Carter Center delegation includes Ron Gould; Laura Neuman; Tom Haney, Director of the Police Leadership Program at Henson College, Canada; David Pottie, Senior Program Associate of the Democracy Program at The Carter Center; and Amy Sterner, Project Assistant in the Americas Program at The Carter Center.

For The Carter Center's Full Report on the Jamaica Elections, click here.

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