Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Patricia Scotland, the first woman to hold the post, will headline today’s launch by the Office of the Political Ombudsman of a historic report reviewing the extraordinary 2020 General Elections Campaign.
Baroness Scotland was born in Dominica and is the second person from the Caribbean to serve as Commonwealth Secretary-General. As Secretary-General, Baroness Scotland is responsible for promoting and protecting the Commonwealth’s values, representing the Commonwealth publicly as well as the management of the Commonwealth Secretariat.
We are delighted Baroness Scotland has generously agreed to make herself available,” said Political Ombudsman Donna Parchment Brown, adding that “given her experience as Secretary-General, Baroness Scotland has a wealth of experience to share about how countries like Jamaica can build and cement key democratic activities such as campaigning.”
The report to be launched on June 2 is the first of its kind in Jamaica’s history. “Next year, 2022, will mark the 20th anniversary of the Office of the Political Ombudsman,” explained Political Ombudsman Hon. Parchment Brown. She added that “In that context, we are reviewing findings and recommendations from the 2020 general election campaign but also discussing the future role of the Political Ombudsman’s Office in relation to its mandate, funding and legislative changes.” The recommendations cover a range of other issues including political and civic education and the enforcement of rules for politics. In light of COVID-19, the report also examines how election campaign activities were conducted in the midst of the pandemic. The campaign review report was compiled from a series of fora hosted by the OPO last year. In addition, expert interviews were also conducted by the Office after the general election on September 3, 2020.
The Office of Political Ombudsman is a Commission of Parliament established in 2002 to investigate any action taken by a political party, its members or supporters which constitutes, is likely to constitute a breach of the Agreement and Declaration on Political Conduct in force among political parties in Jamaica or could prejudice good relations between supporters of various political parties. The code is intended to promote a political culture which emphases the propriety, correctness, transparency and honesty of political parties, their officials and adherents behaviour.
Link to audio bites of the Political Ombudsman: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1ihvXlJnB-c48sbuej2pmVXLLWdOnUQpa?usp=sharing
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