OAS, Commonwealth and CARICOM sending election observer teams for February 19th polls

Three organisations are each sending an election observer team to Grenada for the February 19th general elections which will see 45 candidates contesting the 15 seats in the House of Representatives.

The Organisation of American States Election Observer Mission arrived in Grenada while the Commonwealth and CARICOM teams are schedule to arrive on Wednesday.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma announced on Tuesday that a Commonwealth Election Assessment Team will be deployed for the 19 February elections in the Caribbean island state of Grenada, following an invitation from Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.

“The Commonwealth is pleased to lend its support to the people of Grenada as they exercise their democratic franchise in electing their leaders. Credible electoral processes lie at the heart of democracy, a fundamental value to which the Commonwealth attaches great importance,” the Secretary-General said.

The three-member team will be led by Irfan Abdool Rahman, Electoral Commissioner of Mauritius. He will be supported by two staff members from the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Political Affairs Division.
The team will be present in Grenada from 13 to 24 February.

In the lead up to the poll, the teams will meet with relevant stakeholders, notably officials responsible for organising the elections, representatives of political parties, civil society, and other international groups present for the election.

The teams will conduct an analysis of the overall management of the electoral process and the environment in which the election takes place, according to the national, regional and international standards for democratic elections to which the country has committed itself. Upon completion of its duties, the team will submit a report to the Commonwealth Secretary-General.

More than 62,000 persons are registered to vote the elections. The main contending parties are the incumbent National Democratic Congress led by Tillman Thomas, and the New National Party led by former Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell.
by Linda Straker

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