Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Election Observers Report

General Elections in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

The Chief of Mission of the Group of observers that followed the general elections conducted in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Frank Almaguer, characterized the elections of December 13, 2010, as "a well-managed electoral process, which facilitated the counting of the votes and the delivery of the results in what turned out to be a highly competitive election." He also said that the environment in which the voting took place was "orderly and peaceful," and that there were no reported instances of violence or voter intimidation.

The head of the EOM, made up of 11 observers from seven different countries, delivered the following recommendations: to consider the adoption of legislation on political campaign financing, requiring the disclosure of contributors, campaign expenditures and provisions that guarantee access to the media; to redouble the efforts to clean up the voters' list; to ensure that all eligible citizens have obtained their voter identification card so that this may be the only form of identification used; to ensure greater uniformity and standardization of procedures among the polling sites; and to improve voter access to the polling sites, especially voters who are physically challenged and the elderly.

The Permanent Representative of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to the OAS, Ambassador La Celia A. Prince, thanked the work of the EOM, asserting that her government "regards the OAS as a necessary partner in giving credence and validity to our democratic process."

On the subject of the elections of December 13, 2010, the eight general elections since the independence of her country in October 1979, Ambassador Prince highlighted that it was the first time in the history of a Commonwealth Caribbean country that a government was victorious in returning to office through general elections shortly alter having lost a referendum.