Head of Jamaica’s electoral commission to resign

Professor Errol Miller stepping down from the Electoral Commission of Jamaica.

KINGSTON — Professor Errol Miller is to resign next month as chairman of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica.

Miller is expected to hand in his resignation to Governor General Sir Patrick Allen at the end of December, ending a 12-year run that has seen an electoral system transformed from being fraught with corruption of varying degrees, political intimidation and violence to one of the best in the world today.

“I think I have done my best; I’ve made whatever contribution I can make. We have done quite a lot. The country has accomplished a lot,” Miller told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

“It was my privilege to lead at a time when we built on the work of the people who went before,” added Miller, who cited family reasons for his decision to step down.

Miller, a source said, had in September declared to members during a meeting of the commission his intent to resign, which is coming a year before his tenure is due to end.

Yesterday, he moved to dismiss any speculation that he has been pushed from the post as a result of his public dust-up last year with controversial Jamaica Labour Party member of parliament Everald Warmington over an assertion that he (Miller) held residency in Barbados for close to a decade, which would be a contravention of the Electoral Commission (Interim) Act 2006.

“I understand that there will be speculations. But nobody is pushing me. That is totally not so,” said Miller in response to queries from the Observer. “I’m not doing anything because of any pressure.”

Miller said he intended to resign earlier but noted that he stayed on because of Warmington’s allegations.

Warmington in May last year tabled a resolution in Parliament calling for the ouster of any member of the ECJ with foreign residency. Miller, in a subsequent interview with the Observer, dismissed his assertion, saying that there was nothing within the laws to prevent the spouse, husband or wife of a commission member from living abroad and for that member to visit, as is the case with him.

A source said yesterday that commission member Dr. Herbert Thompson, the former president of the Manchester-based Northern Caribbean University, was tipped to replace Miller as head of the ECJ. (Observer)

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