Statement issued by Dr. Jennifer Van Dijk-Silos, Chief of Mission of the CARICOM Electoral Observer Mission for the February 19 general elections in Grenada

Grenadians waiting patiently to exercise their voting rights

At the invitation of the Government of Grenada, a seven-member CARICOM Electoral Observer Mission arrived in Grenada for the Parliamentary Elections held on Tuesday, 19 February 2013.

The Mission was led by Dr. Van Dijk-Silos of Suriname and comprised Observers from the following Member States:

Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Jamaica and, Trinidad and Tobago.

The Chief of Mission and the CARICOM Secretariat Representative spent one week prior to the poll, monitoring the preparations for the Elections and meeting with various stakeholders.

The other five members of the delegation arrived on 15 February 2013.

On Polling Day, three teams were deployed to observe the Elections in all constituencies of Grenada except for Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

The team visited a total of fourteen constituencies. The team was out on Poll Day well before the polling stations were opened to witness the opening of the polls, the voting process, the closing of the polls and the counting.

All stakeholders and observers – local, regional and international – were given approval to witness the count. The Mission is pleased to place on record that all counting was conducted in a transparent manner.

The Mission took note of and generally observed the following:

 

*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.




 

*Polling stations opened on time and it was observed that all the polling officials were present. The police provided adequate security at all polling stations observed.

 

*Polling stations were suitable in terms of location and capacity to accommodate electors. The stations were adequately supplied with the necessary material and the staff were knowledgeable about polling procedures.

Most of the Presiding Officers and other electoral officials appeared confident and operated within the framework of the law.

 

The Mission wishes to state that, in assessing the conduct of the Poll, it was found that voters in Grenada 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 wishes to congratulate the Supervisor of Elections, the Parliamentary Election Office, the Poll workers, the Political Parties and the People of Grenada for the decent way in which the elections were conducted, without any reported incidents of violence and a display of great patience by voters while waiting in the long queues.

The CARICOM Electoral Observer Mission is of the view that the results of the Parliamentary Elections reinforced the commitment of the People of Grenada to the democratic process.

The findings and recommendations of the Mission, including any suggestions for strengthening the electoral process of Grenada, will be included in the Report to the Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community.

Finally, the CARICOM Electoral Observer Mission wishes to express its gratitude to the political leaders, the Supervisor of Elections, Civil Society and the People of Grenada for their warm welcome and cooperation which contributed to the success of the Mission. It was much appreciated.

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