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    October 17

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Grenada: Observer teams pleased with poll

sherieholder, sherieholder@nationnews.com

Added 20 February 2013


ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, Feb 20, CMC – The Organization of American States (OAS) is recommending that Grenada undertake a comprehensive review of the Representation of the Peoples Act following Tuesday’s general election in which the main opposition New National Party (NNP) won all 15 seats. According to the preliminary report of the OAS Observer Team that monitored the election, the review should address omissions such as the mechanisms to ensure that electors who are duly registered are entitled to exercise their franchise; the use of symbols by political parties,;  advance polling for election workers, and the legal personality of political parties. It said that one of the main objectives of OAS Electoral Observation Missions is to produce recommendations in order to contribute to the improvement of electoral systems in the countries observed. In said in the case of Grenada, there is also need for the enactment of campaign finance regulations and reiterates the recommendation made by the previous OAS Electoral Observation Missions to enact political party and campaign finance regulations in order to promote transparency and more equitable conditions for the participants in the electoral process. It is also proposing that Grenadian authorities consider eliminating the distinguishing mark on the police ballot and bringing it in compliance with the Constitution regarding the secrecy of the ballot. The OAS mission also recommends that efforts be made by political parties and the government to promote the participation of women in electoral competition. “In particular, the mission recommends the adoption of positive measures to ensure women are incorporated on the ballot and the promotion of training programs for female political leaders.” The statement said that the Chief of OAS Mission, Ambassador Joshua Sears, will present a report to the OAS Permanent Council on the Grenada elections. Meanwhile, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping , which also sent observers to monitor the election that resulted in the defeat of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, said that the poll was conducted in “a peaceful atmosphere, without any incidence of intimidation observed or being reported.  “The People of Grenada exercised their democratic right in a civil and responsible manner demonstrating respect for the electoral process,” it said, adding that it found voters “were able to cast their ballots without intimidation or harassment which augurs well for the conduct of an orderly and peaceful election.  “The CARICOM Electoral Observer Mission was of the view that the assessment is that the preparations for the conduct of the Poll were exceptional and the workers were properly trained which allowed them to execute their duties in a professional, confident and impartial manner.” The mission said it is also of the view that the results “reinforced the commitment of the People of Grenada to the democratic process”.  


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