On 3 July the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) independent election observation mission published their report on the Virgin Island 2023 General Election.
The team of eight observers visited the BVI 17-27 April to evaluate the electoral process and its adherence to international obligations and domestic laws.
The observers concluded that Election Day was orderly, peaceful and well run, voting on Advance Polling Day proceeded smoothly, and that the legal framework in place offers a sound basis for democratic elections. The observers also made 14 recommendations for areas for improvement, including on the lack of campaign finance regulations and the steps to clarify the policies and practices on the belongership status that is required for persons to be entitled to vote.
This was the fourth election in the BVI that the CPA has observed since 2011.
The full report can be found here: International Team Observes Orderly, Peaceful and Well-run Election Day in the British Virgin Islands (uk-cpa.org)
HE Governor John Rankin CMG has welcomed the report, ‘Free and fair elections are the bedrock of democratic societies and I am pleased that the CPA has confirmed that the election was well run. I once again commend the Supervisor of Elections and her team for all their good work in ensuring that this was the case.
I also note the CPA’s 14 recommendations and trust that these will be addressed by the Government and members of the House of Assembly, including the clear need for regulations on campaign financing. In the absence of regulations, sources of campaign funding are not made public which is at odds with international best practice. The CPA previously raised this issues, I hope that it will be now be progressed as a matter of priority well before the next General Election’.
The Supervisor of Elections stated that ‘the report is a testament of the efforts of the Office of the Supervisor of Elections to ensure that the recently concluded 2023 General Election was administered to a high standard in accordance with current statute. I am equally pleased to see CPA’s team share my similar sentiments on areas of reform, and of importance the timing of when such should be advanced/implemented. It is my hope that this new administration would prioritize electoral reform early in its tenure. I remain resolute in strengthening our electoral processes, to support free and fair elections, and bolstering the public’s trust in the Office to be able to carry out its mandate to do so impartially and transparently’.